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Kandar Anubhuti by Saint Arunagirinathar — Part 12

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 33 vers­es of Kand­har Anub­huti. In this edi­tion, we delve into vers­es 34, 35, and 36.

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 34 — சிங்கார மடந்தையர் சிங்கார மடந்தையர் தீநெறிபோய்மங்காமல் எனக்கு வரந் தருவாய்!சங்க்ராம சிகாவல சண் முகனே!கங்காநதி பாலக்ரு பாகரனே!
May my com­pul­sive behav­ior in kama be goneBless me with the boon of not being dimwit­tedOh Lord Shan­mugha upon the invin­ci­ble pea­cock vahana! Oh Divine Child of Gan­ga! Oh Abode of Com­pas­sion!

In the Bharathiya Guru Parampara, Purushartha com­pass­ing dhar­ma, artha, kama and mok­sha is a well-known prin­ci­ple. The Sanatana Dhar­ma tra­di­tions do not cen­sure kama bha­va. Aruna­giri Peru­man, in this verse, points to a par­tic­u­lar “anat­ma kama vrit­ti”. From the famous and bril­liant Yoga­su­tra of Sid­dhar Patan­jali Peru­man we know that “yogah cit­tah vrit­ti niro­dah” broad­ly mean­ing that Yoga is the state of con­trol over one’s afflic­tions of the mind. vrit­ti here is the con­di­tion­ings or afflic­tions. When one is so deep root­ed in the iden­ti­ty of the body, one tends to be lost in the engage­ments of super­fi­cial beau­ti­fi­ca­tion and com­pul­sive ten­den­cies root­ed in the iden­ti­ty of the Self as the body. Hence one’s cen­ter of one’s own iden­ti­ty stems from an “anat­man” frame of ref­er­ence, as we assume the tran­sient as the per­ma­nent. This phe­nom­e­non is called “anat­ma kama vrit­ti”.

Such a frame of mis­un­der­stand­ing the Self is lim­it­ing and hence Aruna­giri Peru­man is invok­ing Lord Shan­mugha (One with Divine Six Faces) to guide us from our mis­con­cep­tions and lim­i­ta­tions. Shan­mugha is a name attrib­uted to Lord Skan­da for many rea­sons. Sig­nif­i­cant­ly, Lord Shiva’s five faces — Ishana, Tat­pu­rusha, Agho­ra, Vamade­va and Sady­o­jatha and Lord Shakthi’s face togeth­er in the Shi­va-Skahthi Swa­roopam is the glo­ri­ous Shan­mugha form. In the Yoga Mar­ga too, Lord Shan­mugha guides the rise of Kun­dali­ni through the six chakras from mulad­hara to ajna.

பாடல் 35 — விதிகாணும் உடம்பை விதிகாணும் உடம்பை விடா வினையேன்கதிகாண மலர்க்கழல் என் றருள்வாய்மதிவா ணுதல்வள் ளியையல் லதுபின்துதியா விரதா சுரபூ பதியே!
Owing to my deeds, cling­ing to the body bestowed by Lord Bhra­maWhen would You bestow me with the state of Muk­tiAdor­ing none except Val­li Devi, whose fore­head is bright as the moonOh Virad­ha, Lord of the Celes­tials and Ter­res­tri­als!

Arunai Peru­maan invokes spe­cif­ic forms of Lord Skan­da appeal­ing to break-free from spe­cif­ic lim­i­ta­tions. In this verse, Aruna­giri­nathar Swami­gal says that one end­less­ly seems to take up a body owing to one’s past deeds and their con­se­quences (வினை). Anoth­er name of Lord Bhra­ma in Tamil and San­skrit is விதி or Vid­hi. As per one’s deeds one takes up birth after birth as bestowed by Lord Bhra­ma. Attain­ing to Lord Skanda’s feet — Sha­ranaa­gati would lead one to Para Gati — the supreme state of Muk­ti where one is lib­er­at­ed from the infi­nite cycles of birth and death. And to bestow this supreme state upon us.

Arunai Muni appeals to Lord Skan­da in the form of con­sort to Val­li-ammaiyaar. In verse 22 we clear­ly saw the import of Val­li Thiru­manam that the Divine Mar­riage to Val­li Devi is not just an episode from the Puranas. This rep­re­sents an event that hap­pens even today. It is the phe­nom­e­non where Lord Muru­ga seeks out to merge with the souls ripened through Jnana and Bhak­thi. Many great devo­tees and yogis have pre­sent­ed the pur­port of Val­li-Thiru­manam as the episode of “இறைவனே வலிய வந்து ஆட்கொள்வான்” — The Lord Him­self seeks out to rule over the tru­ly devout. Also in verse 21, we have seen that the word Virad­ha or விரதா is so beau­ti­ful. It is said that Lord Muru­ga has tak­en upon the divine vra­ta, an aus­tere vow to ded­i­cate Him­self to pro­tect and guide His Devo­tees!

பாடல் 36 — நாதா குமரா நம நாதா குமரா நம என் றனார்ஓதாய் என ஓதியதெப் பொருள்தான்வேதா முதல் விண்ணவர் சூடும் மலர்ப்பாதா குறமின் பாதசே கரனே!
Lord Shi­va hailed you as Natha and chant­ed Kumara NamahWould you not shared the Prana­va Upade­sha that You impart­ed to Lord Shi­vaYour feet are soft as the divine flow­ers adorn­ing Lord Bhra­ma and DevasOh One who sought the feet of Val­li Devi!

As men­tioned ear­li­er, Arunai Peru­maan invokes spe­cif­ic forms of Lord Skan­da with spe­cif­ic prayers. In the Skan­da Purana, Lord Skan­da quizzes Lord Bhra­ma on the mean­ing of — Aum — the Prana­va Mantra. Unsat­is­fied with Lord Bhrama’s inabil­i­ty to answer, Lord Skan­da knocks and impris­ons Lord Bhra­ma. Lord Shi­va hav­ing come to know this, becomes furi­ous and ques­tions Lord Skan­da if He hap­pens to know the true mean­ing of Aum. Lord Skan­da demands that Lord Shi­va assume the role of a stu­dent or sishya to receive the Prana­va Upade­sha. Lord Shi­va too oblig­es, folds His hands, kneels in rev­er­ence and hails Lord Skan­da as Gurunad­ha and chants “Naatha Kumaraa Namah”, there­by receiv­ing Prana­va Upade­sha.

In explain­ing the con­text and sig­nif­i­cance of Kand­har Anub­huti, it has been explained in the begin­ning of this series and also briefly at the intro­duc­to­ry part of every arti­cle that — Kand­har Anub­huti is regard­ed as a Mantra-Shas­tra, replete with mantras. Aruna­giri Peru­maan invokes Lord Skan­da as the Shi­va Guru and ini­ti­ates us the appro­pri­ate mantra to be chant­ed.

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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