Sharanaagati is the state of complete submission to one’s Guru or Ishtadevata. Sharanaagati leads to tremendous outcomes and many great Masters have showed this to be very true. It is a phenomenal state that is worthwhile our life’s time to aspire and pursue. In taking us closer to the attainment of the golden state of Sharanaagati at the Feet of Muruga Peruman — Lord Skanda, Saint Arunagirinathar guides and shows the way for longing seekers.
In this “Sharanaagati ” series, we welcome you on a journey where we perform abhyasa of “Kandhar Anubhuti” gifted to us by the great Saint Arunagirinathar.
Arunagirinathar’s exemplary life and literary works are direct portals to the Grace of Shanmukha Peruman. Arunagirinathar Swamigal continues to guide all sincere seekers to attain Sharanaagati at the Feet of Lord Skanda! In the previous edition we have looked at a brief historical note on Saint Arunagirinathar. We have also looked at the kappu verse and the first 27 verses of Kandhar Anubhuti. In this edition, we delve into verses 28, 29, and 30.
Import of Kandhar Anubhuti
Swami Arunagirinathar has bestowed six prominent works for the world to cherish — Thiruppugazh, Thiruvaguppu, Kandhar Andhaadhi, Kandhar Alangaram, Kandhar Anubhuti and Vel-Mayil-Seval Viruttham.
Kandhar Anubhuti is regarded as a Mantra-Shastra — a treatise of mystic imports and has been placed on par with the well-known Mantra-Shastra of Thirumanthiram - a treatise of 3,000 verses of Siddhar Thirumular. The Thirumanthiram is the 10th book of the Panniru Thirumurai (the 12 sacred Saiva works) of the Saivites. Correspondingly, the Kandhar Anubhuti is regarded as the 10th book of the Panniru Thirumurai of the followers of Lord Murugan. Some gems from Thirumanthiram have been presented in the Siddhar Charithiram series of Parnika Magazine.
“Maatrukaa Pushpa Maalai” is a treatise of verses with the 51 letters, of the Sanskrit language, from ‘A’ to ‘Ksha’. Maatrukaa Pushpa Maalai is also said to mean a treatise of 51 verses, because of the correspondence in number and the Kandhar Anubhuti comprises of 51 verses. Arunagirinathar himself refers to this work, in the Kaappu verse, as “a garland knit with beautiful sorkal (words or aksharas of Tamil)” — “Senchor Punai Maalai”.
“Kandhan” in Tamil refers to Lord Skanda, Who is also adored as Shanmukha, Subramanya, Karthikeya, Guha, Velayudha, Muruga, Arumuga, Senthilnatha, Saravana, Dandayuthapani and more names. “Anubhuti” signifies the spiritual union of the Jeeva (loosely means soul) with Shiva (God) thereby implying direct or immediate experience of God. Hence “Kandhar Anubhuti” would mean the Immediate or Direct Divine Experience of Lord Skanda.
Kandhar Anubhuti contains many Mantras both explicitly and implicitly. The Names of the Lord, such as Murugan, Kanda, Shanmukha, Guha, Velava are Mantras by themselves. Kandhar Anubhuti is replete with these Names of the Lord. Further, in many verses there are Mantras in the form of mystic formulae as brought out by N.V. Karthikeyan of Sivananda Ashram. Some instances are “Velum Mayilum Thunai” in verse 1, “Naatha Kumaraa Namah” in verse 36, “(Naan) Iraiyoon Parivaaram” in verse 37 and “Guruvaai Varuvaai Arulvaai Guhanae” in verse 51.
Hence Kandhar Anubhuti is held in high esteem as a Mantra-Shastra and as the crowning glory of Sri Arunagirinathar’s works, because of its high spiritual value and mystical depth. Kandhar Anubhuti is also specially revered because it intricately blends Bhakti and Jnana, devotion and wisdom. Kandhar Anubhuti is a text of great importance to sincere seekers, for in it lies the tremendous potential to attain the Lord’s Feet through Sharanaagati. It is undoubtedly a phenomenal blessing that we begin this journey of abhyasa of Kandhar Anubhuti through this series.
Kandhar Anubhuti bestowed by Saint Arunagirinathar
பாடல் 28 — ஆனா அமுதே ஆனா அமுதே! அயில்வேல் அரசே!ஞானா கரனே! நவிலத் தகுமோயானாகிய என்னை விழுங்கி வெறுந்தானாய் நிலைநின் றதுதற் பரமே
Oh ambrosia of eternity! Supreme Ruler with sharp lance! Abode of spiritual wisdom! Could it be put in words?Where “I” was swallowed, only to be left withThe immense state of Grace that is You, the eternal Supreme Being!
Arunagiri Peruman, in this verse, captures a particular state of Mukti. Bhagavadpada Adi Sankaracharya Swamigal in his Shivananda Lahiri enumerates four types of Mukti. In Salokya Mukti, one shall attain the state of living in the loka or abode of one’s Ishtadeivam. Sameepya Mukti will lead one to attain the status of living in close proximity to one’s Ishtadeivam. Sarupya Mukti will bestow one with a form identical to one’s Ishtadeivam. Some Masters have revealed that those who attain to any of the aforesaid Mukti states, will merge finally during the Mahapralaya. Whereas in Sayujya Mukti one directly and completely merges into one’s Ishtadeivam. Murugaperuman in His infinite Grace can bestow upon His devotees such a state. Arunagirinathar Swamigal is expressing pure joy from attaining to such a state and thereby referring to Lord Skanda as the Eternal Elixir — ஆனா அமுதே! Arunagiri Peruman also points out to the fact that it is not quite possible or valid to put such a state in words exclaiming — நவிலத் தகுமோ! Except maybe inspire us with a pointer so may we too seek!
பாடல் 29 — இல்லே எனும் மாயையில் இல்லே எனுமாயையில் இட்டனைநீபொல்லேன் அறியாமைபொறுத்திலையேமல்லே புரி பன்னிரு வாகுவில்என்சொல்லே புனையுஞ் சுடர்வே லவனே!
You have planted me in this illusory life!You haven’t left this lost one to stay ignorant!Upon Your mighty twelve shoulders,Lord with Vel, You bear the garland of my songs!
Here the phrase “அறியாமைபொறுத்திலையே” is not meant to be understood as the “Lord has not forgiven my ignorance and actions stemming out of my ignorance”. Lord Skanda has caused the re-birth of His dear devotee and He Himself in all his kindness has removed the “Avidya” in the disciple. Lord Skanda was not patiently witnessing Arunagirinathar Peruman to be lost in the entanglement of loukeeka life. As the life-story of Arunagirinathar Swamigal shows, Murugaperumaan Himself appeared, prevented Arunai Muni from taking his own life, initiated him and led him to Vayaloor. From whence, Arunai Muni has weaved many mystical and spiritually rich songs beginning with the grand poetry of Thirupugazh. Arunagirinathar has adorned Lord Skanda with grand garlands of intricate and exquisite verses. It was Lord Skanda Himself who initiated Arunagiri Swamigal to compose exceptional songs. And this verse also re-emphasises the fact that the work of Skandar Anubhuti is a “Maatrukaa Pushpa Maalai” as stated in the very first verse — “Senchor Punai Maalai”.
பாடல் 30 — செவ்வான் உருவில் செவ்வான் உருவில் திகழ்வே லவன்அன்றொவ்வா ததென உணர்வித் ததுதான்அவ்வா றறிவார் அறிகின் றதலால்எவ்வா றொருவர்க் கிசைவிப் பதுவே?
Radiant as a red-sky, Lord of Vel had that dayBestowed graciously upon me a peerless Upadesha!That can be truly known only through experienceHow could one tell others about it?
In verse 27 also we saw that Arunagiri Peruman says even as one gains a glimpse of life experiences’ temporary nature that does not last long, one again becomes caught up in the web. Awareness is the first step. As one repeatedly observes the patterns of self indulgence, Arunagiri Swamigal directs us to appeal to Lord Skanda. For in His Grace, we shall find the path to break this apparent deadlock. Murugaperumaan Himself shall appear as the Guru and bestow one to become Anubhuti-maan.
It is a divine blessing that we study Kandhar Anubhuti through this Sharanaagati Series. We invite you to chant aloud Kandhar Anubhuti, contemplate more on these lines and share with us your insights.
In reciting, learning and absorbing these revered verses, may our abhyasa continue, may our shraddha strengthen and may revelations awaken as we grow within!
Skandaarpanam! Aum Tat Sat!