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Kandar Anubhuti by Saint Arunagirinathar — Part 13

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 36 vers­es of Kand­har Anub­huti. In this edi­tion, we delve into vers­es 37, 38, and 39.

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 37 — கிரிவாய் விடு கிரிவாய் விடுவிக் ரமவேல் இறையோன்பரிவா ரம்எனும் பதமே வலையேபுரிவாய் மனனே பொறையாம் அறிவால்அரிவாய் அடியோடும் அகந்தையையே!
The Lord who hurled His Lance split­ting the Kraun­cha HillMay I seek to attain the stature of His Devo­teeOh my mind! With (patience)silence-instilling JnanaMay I uproot the lim­it­ing iden­ti­fi­ca­tion cen­tered in the ego!

There are lay­ered nuances to this verse of Aruna­giri Peru­man. We have repeat­ed­ly looked through­out Kand­har Anub­huti that Soora­pad­man or Pad­ma­sur­an is the embod­i­ment of Aana­va Mala. How will a sad­ha­ka rid of this mala or impu­ri­ty? To the sad­hakas, Aruna­giri­nathar Swami­gal reveals the key in this verse. In the sec­ond quar­ter of this verse, Peru­man says “பரிவாரம் எனும் பதம் மேவலையே”. The lit­er­al mean­ing here is that, Aruna­giri Peru­man pre­scribes to cul­ti­vate the ten­den­cy and aspi­ra­tion to attain to the stature of “அடியார்” or “தொண்டன்”. The broad trans­la­tion to this stature can mean “devo­tee” but this word is not suf­fi­cient to ful­ly qual­i­fy the mean­ing here. Such a stature is bestowed upon those who have attained the great state of Sha­ranaa­gati and live their lives through the lens and real­i­ty of serv­ing the Divine Will of Muru­gape­ru­man.

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. This verse too has embed­ded in it an impor­tant Mantra as brought out by Shri. N.V. Karthikeyan of Sivanan­da Ashram. (நான்) இறையோன் பரிவாரம் — ‘Iraiy­on Pari­vaaram’ : ‘Pari­vaaram’ means ‘ret­inue’, ‘belong­ing to’, ‘close­ly asso­ci­at­ed with’. ‘Iraiy­on’ means God. ‘(Naan) Iraiy­on Pari­vaaram’ there­fore means the sacred mantra — “Aham Brah­ma Asmi”.

Bha­gavad­pa­da Sri Adi Shankaracharya’s Bha­ja Govin­dam verse 9 also echoes the same as we learn the key for sad­hakas is Sat­san­ga with the Self-Real­ized. “sat­saṅ­gatve nis­saṅ­gat­vaṃ ; nis­saṅ­gatve nir­mo­hat­vam । nir­mo­hatve niś­ca­latattvaṃ ; niś­ca­latattve jīvan­muk­tiḥ ॥”. This song means that from sat­san­ga, com­pa­ny of good peo­ple (real­ized Mas­ters), comes non-attach­ment, from non-attach­ment comes free­dom from delu­sion, which leads to self-set­tled­ness. From self-set­tled­ness comes Jivan Muk­ti! Hence with con­stant asso­ci­a­tion with the great and true Devo­tees, that is by serv­ing them we may attain to the stature of lat­er becom­ing one — தொண்டருக்கு தொண்டனாகும் பெருமை.

பாடல் 38 — ஆதாளியை ஒன்று ஆதாளியை ஒன் றறியே னை அறத்தீதாளியை ஆண் டதுசெப் புமதோகூதாள கிராத குலிக் கிறைவாவேதாள கணம் புகழ் வேலவனே!
Irre­spec­tive of hav­ing been an igno­rant, vain in speech and non-right­eous per­sonHow would I put in words Your Grace that has made even me Your devo­tee!Oh Lord adorned with Kootha­la flow­ers! Oh Lord of Val­li Devi!Oh Lord praised with hymns by ghosts!

In the pre­vi­ous verse, we saw that hav­ing the ten­den­cy and aspi­ra­tion to become a Devo­tee would lead to an evolved state of over­com­ing the Aana­va mala. In this verse, Arunai Peru­maan makes it abun­dant­ly clear to every sad­ha­ka two things. One, it is through Lord Skanda’s Grace alone that one can attain to the stature of His Devo­tee. Two, irre­spec­tive of one’s past doings and acquired ten­den­cies, owing to Lord Skanda’s Grace, pari­na­ma or trans­for­ma­tion is guar­an­teed. Sage Valmiki’s past actions how­ev­er adharmic they were, owing to Grace, an unprece­dent­ed trans­for­ma­tion hap­pened. He has bestowed us with one of the great­est lit­er­ary works which is a fruit of his tapasya. Arunai­giri­nathar Swami­gal says his own life is an inspi­ra­tion for every sad­ha­ka that what­ev­er the past actions and ten­den­cies were, it does not mat­ter. Seek Sha­rana­gaati and Lord Skan­da will bless appro­pri­ate­ly. Ved­ha­la or ghosts (loose­ly meant) are con­sid­ered infe­ri­or forms with suf­fer­ings due to past bur­dens. Lord Skanda’s Grace lib­er­ates one even if one’s bur­dens are tan­ta­mount as that of the ved­ha­lam.

பாடல் 39 — மாஏழ் சனனம் மாவேழ் சனனங் கெடமா யைவிடாமூவேடணை யென்று முடிந்திடுமோகோவே குறமின் கொடித்தோள் புணருந்தேவே சிவசங்கர தேசிகனே!
When will the huge cycle of sev­en­fold-birth, mayaAnd the three kinds of delu­sion­ary desires come to an end?Oh King! Embrac­er of Val­li Devi, who is like the ten­der light­ning-like creep­erOh Pre­cep­tor of Shi­va Shankara!

Through the words of the Real­ized, we have come to know that the Jiva (soul) under­goes count­less cycles of birth and death in sev­en dif­fer­ent forms owing to three key ishana or desires, as gov­erned by Maya Shak­thi. The sev­en cat­e­gories of birth are in the forms of: plants, aquat­ic crea­tures, rep­tiles, birds, ani­mals, human beings, and Devas (celes­tial beings). It is said that for attain­ing to the human form, one has gone through 84 lakh wombs of the ear­li­er forms. The three Ishanas are 1.Arthais­hana, 2. Putrais­hana or Daarais­hana, and 3. Lokais­hana. In the Tamil spir­i­tu­al lit­er­a­ture these are referred in the reverse order as: மண்ணாசை, பெண்ணாசை and பொன்னாசை. Arthais­hana or பொன்னாசை is the unend­ing desire to acquire more pos­ses­sions and wealth. Putrais­hana or Daarais­hana or பெண்ணாசை is the redun­dant desire to seek­ing hap­pi­ness through pro­cre­ation. Lokais­hana or மண்ணாசை is the desire for pow­er, name and fame to spread across the sphere of exis­tence of Loka. Seek­ing the Grace of Lord Skana­da and invok­ing Him in the forms of King of the Uni­verse, Embrac­er of Val­li Devi and Guru of Sivashankara is the pre­scrip­tion of Aruna­giri­nathar Swami­gal.

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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