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 30 verses of Kandhar Anubhuti. In this edition, we delve into verses 31, 32, and 33.
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 especially 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 31 — பாழ்வாழ்வு எனும் பாழ்வாழ் வெனுமிப் படுமாயையிலேவீழ்வாயென என்னை விதித்தனையேதாழ்வா னவைசெய் தனதாம் உளவோவாழ்வாய் இனிநீ மயில்வா கனனே!
In this illusory swirl of life (human birth)You determined that let me be entangled.Wouldn’t that be due to my past actions!Long Live the Lord with the Peacock as His Vahana!
Arunagiri Peruman, in this verse, adopts an alankara (loosely meaning — figures of speech) called nindastuti! “Ninda” would mean blame or abuse and Stuti would mean a composition of praise or adulation. These compositions are passionate outbursts of a devotee. Owing to the special relationship with the Ishtadeiva or Guru, the devotee takes the liberty to express this way.In this song the expression or bhava is that “aren’t you the one responsible for this state of mine, where I am completely lost in this illusory world! May you long live!” As repeatedly pointed out in this Sharanaagati series, Arunai Muni is an Anubhutimaan. This nindastuti is for the seekers to cry our hearts out. Very importantly Arunagiri Swamigal invokes the Lord of the Peacock. Of all the samharas in all the puranas, Sura-samhara in Skanda Purana is different. In all His Grace, Lord Skanda turns Padmasura into His Vahana and all of the universes that feared the Asura now hold the Vahana the dearest and adore the Mayura Vahana. Such is Muruga Perumaan’s Grace that can transform the entangled into the enlightened!
பாடல் 32 — கலையே பதறிக் கலையே பதறிக் கதறித் தலையூடலையே படுமா றதுவாய் விடவோகொலையே புரி வேடர்குலப் பிடிதோய்மலையே மலைகூறிடு வாகையனே!
In learning the arts will I hastily and bewilderedlyBe caught up in the process and feel agony in my head?Oh The One united with the Vedar Kulam(Hunter Clan)!Oh The One to pierce through the Krauncha Mountain with the divine Lance!
Through the word “கலை” Arunai Perumaan brings out multiple pointers to a. knowledge of shastras, b. various art forms, c. other classifications such as தந்திரக் கலை, மந்திரக் கலை, உபதேசக் கலை, d. இடகலை பின்கலை (ida and pingala naadi) point to the yogic knowledge of naadis. Swamigal says that in the due process of acquiring knowledge may one be protected from being haughty or being lost in vādaprativāda(meaning sets of disputation) and tarka (intellectual arguments or debate). While acquiring Jnana or the true Self-Knowledge is important and all encompassing, in the process of acquiring Jnana, as one’s knowledge expands, one is susceptible to become haughty. This stems from ego or aanava. In Skanda Puranam, the three terrible brothers Surapadman, Mayaasuran and Singamukhasuran are symbolic representatives of the three malas (loosely meaning — impurities) — aanava mala, mayaa mala and karma mala. With the Jnana Vel (Lance), Lord Skanda penetrates the Krauncha Mountain form of Surapadman who embodies the aanava mala. Hence Arunagiri Swamigal invokes the Lord who wields the Vel to pierce through one’s aanava mala and shatter it! Ah!
பாடல் 33 — சிந்தா ஆகுலம் சிந்தா குலஇல் லொடுசெல் வமெனும்விந்தா டவி என்று விடப் பெறுவேன்மந்தா கினிதந்த வரோதயனேகந்தா முருகா கருணா கரனே!
Afflicting the mind, this material life and wealthDense as the forests of Vindhya Hills — When would I be rid of this?Risen from the One who holds Ganga (Lord Shiva)Oh Kandha! Muruga! Abode of infinite compassion!
Starting from verse 4, Arunagirinathaer Swamigal inspires us to detach from the illusory material living. We have earlier discussed that bandha(bondage) developed by living in a material life, identified with the body-mind complex, with all assumed identities and relationships is maya swaroopam. The action we engage in serving, nurturing and protecting one’s bandha relations, is karma swaroopam. The very way in which we hold these relationships with respect to us — my husband, my wife, my beloved, my son, my this, my that — is aanava swaroopam. To be entangled in such a life and eventually dying without realizing Paramporul is a bane, says Saint Arunagirinathar. The word கந்தா or Kandha is a derivation of Skanda meaning “That which dries up the powers of enemies”. Hence we seek Lord Skanda’s immaculate and infinite Grace in drying up the enemies — Shad Ripu (meaning six enemies) namely kama(lust), krodha(anger), lobha(greed), moha(attachment), mada(pride), and matsarya(jealousy). These hinder us from knowing the True-Self Paramporul.
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!