One unique fact about Hinduism is the personal bond between God and the Individual.
God,called Iswara is a concept that evolved after the Vedas.
Vedas speak of Reality as a principle beyond mind,names and forms.
As it is difficult to follow this method by all,this method is called Nirguna Aradhana,Vedas also allow worship of Personal God as one of the methods to realise Self.
This is called Saguna Aradhana.
This provides an emotional connect between Man and God.
When all said and done,human beings are ruled more by heart,emotions than by Reason.
After all God is an experience.
One can feel God ,not Know God,in the Cognitive Sense.
And in practising these two methods,what is important is the faith and the Experience of God or Reality.
A realized soul has no Gender, religion race or creed.
As a matter of record Hinduism is not a Religion.
It is a set of tried out practices and it is a way of Life.
So it is not surprising to find the Devotees of God in Hinduism cut across race,creed ,religion and gender.
It is interesting to note that Lord Ranganatha,The presiding deity at Sri Rangam,is attired in Muslim tradition with Lungi,and the offerings to Him are Roti and Butter on specific days.
And there is a Lady Devotee called Thulukka Nachiar,who is worshipped in Srirangam.
Legend has it that when Muslim invaders looted Srirangam temple and took away the Utsavar Idol to Delhi, it was brought back later by Ramanujacharya , according to one version.
The Daughter of the Sultan could not bear the separation from the lord’s Idol.
She came to Srirangam and attained the feet of Vishnu as Ranganatha.
To honour this devotee,she is called Thulukka Nachiar,meaning Turkish Consort.
· Daughter of a king of Delhi was too devoted to the Lord. To remember her, Lord is dressed with Lungi the Muslim dhoti. Roti is offered as nivedhana on Ekadasi and new moon days and people worship calling her “Thulukka Nachiyar”.
Thulukka was a name initially used to denote Turks.
Later the term included all Muslims.
However the information that her name was Surthani and she was the daughter of Malikkafur does not check out.
Some traditions say it was Alauddin Khilji.
This also does not check out
The period of Malikkafur is…
‘Malik Kafur (died 1316), also known as Taj al-Din Izz al-Dawla, was a prominent eunuch slave-general of the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji. He was captured by Alauddin’s general Nusrat Khan during the 1299 invasion of Gujarat, and rose to prominence in the 1300s.
Ramanujacharya period is 1017–1137 CE. ( https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramanuja )
However another fact that Thulukka Nachiar at Melkote checks out with the history of Masoud III,of Ghazhanvi Dynasty.
Did Thulukka Nachiar exist or is it an imagination of a fertile mind?
Thulukka Nachiar did exist,though it needs painstaking hunt to find the historical information.
She was the daughter of Masood,The Third, of Ghazanvi Dynasty.’
My take is that the historical fact relating to Melkote is used at Srirangam.
There is a lot of controversies about Ramanujarcharya where facts are interpolated with incorrect information.
I shall be writing on this in a series of articles.
Clarifications on this article and authentic information on Ramanujarcharya is requested from readers.