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 39 verses of Kandhar Anubhuti. In this edition, we delve into verses 40, 41, and 42.
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 40 — வினை ஓட வினையோட விடுங் கதிர்வேல் மறவேன்மனையோடு தியங்கி மயங் கிடவோசுனையோ டருவித் துணையோ டுபசுந்திணையோ டிதணோடு திரிந்தவனே!
I shall not forget the lustrous Lance (Vel) that drives away results of past deeds!Must I stay caught and swooned in the trap of material life? (rhetoric question) Oh The One! who wandered in the midst of streams, waterfalls and green millet fields [seeking out Valli-ammaiyaar]!
In the previous verse, we saw that one undergoes countless cycles of birth and death in seven different forms owing to three key ishana or desires, as governed by Maya Shakthi. In this verse of Arunagiri Peruman gives us the key that the all-potent lustrous Vel of Lord Skanda shall drive away all karma (which we saw in the commentary of verse 25) from one’s deeds. This verse also invokes in bhaktas the guaranteed support of Lord Skanda through the episodes of Lord Murugaperuman seeking out Maa Valli, where the Lord wanders through nook and corner… to seek the seeker!
Through various earlier verses (especially verse 22), we have learnt the import of the episode of Valli-Thirumanam (the Divine Marriage or Unification with Maa Valli). When one sincerely aspires to attain the true knowledge of atma-swarupa, perspires to overcome the senses, pursues with vairagya focussed only on bhrama-vritti, at the appropriate time the Lord Himself seeks out that mumukshu, evaluates through various tests and finally reveals His Glorious Self. This is the tattvartham of Valli-Thirumanam.
The keyphrase in this verse is “கதிர்வேல் மறவேன்”. By stating “I shall not forget the One who wields the Divine Vel”Arunagiri Peruman takes a divine sankalpa and shows it as the way to all sadakas. To always do smarana through japa, meditation, songs, speech, actions and through everything — to establish Lord Skanda in the consciousness. In the Yogasutras, one of the pathinen-siddhas Patanjali Maharishi also has described this process as the Savitarka and Nirvitarka Samapatti in the Samadi Pada.
பாடல் 41 — சாகாது எனையே சாகா தெனையே சரணங் களிலேகாகா நமனார் கலகஞ் செயுநாள்வாகா முருகா மயில்வா கனனேயோகா சிவஞா னொபதே சிகனே!
Bestow me with a beyond-death state of attainment at Your FeetOn the day when Lord Yama comes to capture my lifeOh lustrous Lord Muruga! One upon the Divine Peacock Vahana!Oh perceptor of Shiva-Jnana and Yoga!
In the previous verse, we saw that Sada-Skanda-Smaranam is the divine path shown by Arunagirinathar Swamigal. In this verse Swamigal reveals the powerful outcome of Sharanaagati to Lord Skanda through previously stated pursuits. Bhagavan Sri Krishna’s words in the Bhagavad Gita (Verse 5, Chapter 8 — Akshara Brahma Yogah) also resonate the purport of this verse.
anta-kāle ca mām eva
smaran muktvā kalevaram
yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṁ
yāti nāsty atra saṁśayaḥ
Bhagavan says that “whoever, at the time of death leaves one’s body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.” Various Rishis, Siddhas, Nayanmars, Azhvars and all Masters have emphasized on the moment of death. Many great devotees and disciples of Lord Skanda, in many of their songs have repeatedly assured us that Lord Skanda arrives at the moment of death to liberate from the endless cycles of birth by bestowing Sharanaagati. We have also discussed the various types of mukti attained in the commentary on verse 28.
பாடல் 42 — குறியைக் குறியாது குறியைக் குறியாது குறித்து அறியும்நெறியைத் தனி வேலை நிகழ்த்திடலும்செறிவற்று உலகோடு உரை சிந்தையும் அற்றுஅறிவு அற்று அறியாமையும் அற்றதுவே!
Knowing the inexplicable, attributed to, without attributesOne with the great Lance, graciously made it happen within meAs bondage, world(object of binding), speech(expression) and thoughts dropped,Mind (antahkarana) dropped and the ignorance too dropped!
Arunagirinathar Swamigal shares the phenomenal experience of Lord Skanda’s Mouna-Vakya, the phenomenal stillness that transpired and the oneness attained. What words are of use expounding this verse! This verse inspires great strength and silence within.
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!