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During the period from before Sankara, Vaisnavism was making headway in the south under the active patronage of King Kulasekhara of Kerala, who was the author of the immortal Vaisnava poem Mukunda-mala-stotra. He invited Vaisnava scholars from other provinces to check the advance of Buddhism and other non-devotional sects. Kulasekhara built the Kulasekhara temple in the suburb of Krangamore, another at Kulasekharapuram and Vaisnavite Matha at Kumbakonam. Prabhakara is said to have been employed by Kulasekhara to fight Buddhism. Prabhakara preceded Sankara’s disciple Padmapad, and during the lifetime of Sankara, it was not Kulasekhara but Rajaa Raj and Raja Sekhara who were the kings. Kulasekhara tells us in his Mukunda-mala-stotra that he was the king; so it appears that Kulasekhara was earlier than Sankara. This Kulasekhara, author of the Mukunda-mala-stotra, seems to be the same as the famous Alvar Kulasekhara who wrote the Vaisnava devotional poems in Tamil which have been included in the Nalayira Prabandham. Some scholars distinguish the Sanskrit author Kulasekhara and from the Tamil author of the same name.
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