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Kandar Anubhuti by Saint Arunagirinathar — Part 10

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!

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