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Kandar Anubhuti by Saint Arunagirinathar — Part 14

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!

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