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Kandar Anubhuti by Saint Arunagirinathar — Part 11

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!

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