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 42 verses of Kandhar Anubhuti. In this edition, we delve into verses 43, 44, and 45.
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 43 — தூசா மணியும்தூசா மணியுந் துகிலும் புனைவாள்நேசா முருகா நினதன் பருளால்ஆசா நிகளந் துகளா யினபின்பேசா அநுபூதி பிறந்ததுவே!
Beloved of the One adorned with impeccable pearls, ruby gems and garmentsOh Muruga! Because of your infinite Love and GraceThe chain of desires has been crushed to powderAnd in the stillness of silence arose the Anubhuti!
This verse is the crown-jewel of Kandhar Anubhuti. It is important to recollect the immediate previous verses. In verse 40, we saw that Thiru Murugapperuman comes wandering through all geographies seeking to bestow Grace on to the one whose consciousness is filled with Lord’s Name and Form. We saw that one of the pathinen-siddhas Patanjali Maharishi also has described this process as attaining to Savitarka and then Nirvitarka Samapatti in the Samadi Pada. In verse 41 Lord bestows Grace through Yoga and Shiva-upadesha. Through verse 42 we see that Arunagiriperuman succinctly showing the experiences through Asamprajnata and Nirbeeja Samadi. In this verse we see that Lord Skanda in His Infinite Love and Grace has crushed all the vrittis within. “Anubhuti” here signifies the true uninterrupted spiritual union of the Jeeva (loosely means soul) with the Para. Having attained to Nirvikalpa Samadi, Arunagiriperuman thereby states an inexplicable experience of Oneness with Lord Skanda. Om Muruga!
பாடல் 44 — சாடும் தனிவேல்சாடுந் தனிவேல் முருகன் சரணஞ்சூடும் படிதந் ததுசொல் லுமதோவீடுஞ் சுரர்மா முடிவே தமும்வெங்காடும் புனமுங் கமழுங் கழலே!
The Divine Feet of the Lord Muruga, who wields the all-slaying Lance (Vel)How would I extol His Grace with which He has placed Them on my head!Those Sarced Feet in the abode of Mukti, on the heads of the Devas, the four Vedas!That which have walked through scorching-forests and millet-fields!
In this verse, Arunagiri Swamigal expresses with great anandha (bliss) the incredible feat of having attained to Lord Skanda’s feet. This verse also deeply resounds that it is by the Will and Grace of Murugaperuman that Lord Muruga has placed his Divine Feet on Arunagiriperuman’s head thereby bestowing Sharanaagati. Arunagiri Swamigal emphasises that Kandhar Anubhuti attainment is Murugaperuman’s doing!
பாடல் 45 — கரவாகிய கல்வியுளார்கரவா கியகல்வி யுளார் கடைசென்றிரவா வகைமெய்ப் பொருள் ஈகுவையோகுரவா குமரா குலிசா யுதகுஞ்சரவா சிவயோக தயாபரனே!
Without having to serve and learn from the Realized MastersYou have bestowed me with Mei-PorulOh Sat-Guru, Kumara, One with Kulisayuda and an Elephant Vahana Oh bestower of Shiva-yoga-upadesha!
From Skanda Purana we also learn that Lord Skanda has a Goat, Peacock and an Elephant (Pinimukam) as his Divine Vahanas or vehicles.
In Indian literature, one would often find the author attributing to his or her lineage and a guru-vandhana where the author bows down to his or her Guru and reveals it to us. In this verse, Arunagiriperumaan shows us the great bhagya (divine fortune) he has been a recipient of. Arunaimuni hasn’t had to go to any Guru as a Sishya. It is his unparalleled purva-karma and tapo-bala that Lord Skanda Himself came as the Sat-Guru. And through these verses infused with Arunagiri Swamigal’s tapo-bala, we also undoubtedly receive the direct Grace and Guidance of Lord Skanda. This verse also removes all samshaya (doubts as hurdles) and invokes in bhaktas the guaranteed support of Lord Skanda where He is known to seek the seeker!
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!