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 45 verses of Kandhar Anubhuti. In this edition, we delve into verses 46, 47, and 48.
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 46 — எந்தாயும் எனக்குஎந்தாயும் எனக் கருள்தந் தையுநீசிந்தா குலமா னவைதீர்த் தெனையாள்கந்தா கதிர்வே லவனே உமையாள்மைந்தா குமரா மறைநா யகனே!
You are my Mother and Father bestowing GraceMay you resolve the mind’s afflictions and rule withinOh Skanda! Wielder of the lustrous Vel! Son of Uma Devi!One who is eternally young! Oh Lord of the Vedas!
As Patanjali Mahamuni succinctly says in Yoga Sutras that the “yogaś-citta-vr̥tti-nirodhaḥ” the termination of mental afflictions is the state of yoga. Arunagiri Peruman appeals to Thiru Murugapperuman to bestow this state with His Grace. In the equipoise of mind or the inner instruments, one attains to “iruvinai oppu” where the dvandvas or the twin opposite principles of pleasure and pain cease to exist. Shakti’s Grace descends on such a mature soul without the three malas and is led to liberation only left to enjoy Shiva’s Bliss. This in the Saiva Siddhanta is termed as “Sakthi Nipatham”. Arunagiri Swamigal assures that prayers and sadhana towards the son of Uma Devi, the eternally young Son of Lord Shiva, the wielder of radiating Jnana Vel and the Lord of all Vedas shall certainly bestow this experience upon the Thiru Muruga Adiyargal.
பாடல் 47 — ஆறாறையும் நீத்துஆறா றையுநீத் ததன்மேல் நிலையைப்பேறா அடியேன் பெறுமா றுளதோசீறா வருசூர் சிதைவித் திமையோர்கூறா வுலகங் குளிர்வித் தவனே!
The great state beyond the 36 (6 x 6) tattvasWould you bestow such an attainment upon this AdiyenOh Slayer of the angrily storming Soora andBestower of happiness in the hearts of Devas!
The art of seeking a boon from the Ishtadevata is one that needs a lot of caution. What might one ask that will truly make sense? My Guru Shriman Adinarayanan always advised me that it is apt to only ask to be eternally at the feet of Ishtadevata! Because anything else is tricky unless one is really clear, as our vasanas can lead to further entanglement. And the Ishtadevata knows best. Shriman would usually say, all this is valid only if you can recollect at the moment! In this case, Arunagiri Swamigal has given us a precise verse of the highest prayer one can ask for. It is an extremely precise and highly refined prayer. So this is also a fantastic option. To follow the maha tapasvis and ask as they have prayed.
In the Saiva Siddhanta tradition there are 36 tattvas. The word tattva can broadly be taken as the fundamental principles of existence. The 36 tattvas as per Saiva Siddhanta are Shiva, Shakti, Sadashiva, Ishwara, Shudda-Vidya, Kaala, Niyati, Vidya, Raga, Kalaa, Maya, Purusha, Buddhi, Ahamkara, Manas, Prakriti, Jnanedriya (further as Srotra, Tvak, Chakshu, Jihva, Grahana), Karmendriya (further as Vak, Pani, Pada, Payu, Upastha), Tanmatra (further as Shabda, Sparsha, Rupa, Rasa, Gandha) and Mahabhuta (further as Akasha, Vayu, Agni, Apa, Prithvi). Arunagiriperumman prays for complete dissolution beyond these 36 tattvas.
பாடல் 48 — அறிவு ஒன்றுஅறிவொன் றறநின் றறிவார் அறிவிற்பிறிவொன் றறநின்ற பிரான் அலையோசெறிவொன் றறவந் திருளே சிதையவெறிவென் றவரோ டுறும்வே லவனே!
Aren’t You the One abiding within the Sages who haveCompletely unified in Shiva consciousness, beyond consciousness of the soul!Detached from close attachments, devoid of ignorance and won over illusionsVelava, You reside as in the form of spiritual wisdom without separation in Them!
This song hails the Jivan Muktas and their phenomenal state as the very residence of Lord Skanda. Arunagiriswamigal says Lord Skanda is inseparable from such Sages, making them One and the Same. It is through these pointers we see the immaculate Tapsvis and their immense Tapsya. Om Muruga!
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!