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Kandar Anubhuti by Saint Arunagirinathar — Part 3

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 5 vers­es of Kand­har Anub­huti. In this edi­tion, we delve into vers­es 6, 7 and 8.

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 spe­cial­ly 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 6 ~ திணியான மனோ திணியான மனோ சிலை மீது உனதாள் அணியார் அரவிந்தம் அரும்பு மதோ பணியா என வள்ளி பதம் பணியும் தணியா அதிமோக தயா பரனே.
On this hard stone-like heart, Your Feet touched And it is a won­der that a beau­ti­ful lotus blos­somed Com­mand me, Oh the Lord who bows to Valli’s feet And has undi­min­ish­ing love and com­pas­sion!

In the first edi­tion of this series we saw the kap­pu verse offered in rev­er­ence to Lord Vinaya­ga, that begins with நெஞ்சக் கன கல்லு நெகிழ்ந்து உருக. It was a prayer for dis­solv­ing the man­as that is heavy as a rock with all the vasanas, drown­ing one in the sam­sara sagara. In this verse how the Grace of Lord Skan­da, that He entered in the life of Aruna­giri­nathar, blessed him with mei-porul (verse 3), has changed the very cen­ter of exis­tence lead­ing to the full bloom of the lotus with­in. In the yog­ic and sid­dha tra­di­tion, each ener­gy chakra is depict­ed as lotus­es with spe­cif­ic num­ber of petals. The phrase அரும்பு மதோ lit­er­al­ly trans­lates to a ques­tion of “will it bloom?”. Know­ing the con­text and divine expres­sion of Kand­har Anub­huti, one has to under­stand that Aruna­giri Peru­man is shar­ing a moment of sheer excla­ma­tion in exu­ber­ance of being won­der­struck in the state of Sha­ranaa­gati! பணியா here also indi­cates the vir­tu­ous Sha­ranaa­gati state, ask­ing the Lord to com­mand Aruna­giri­nathar in order to act per His Divine Will.

Once Lord Maha Vish­nu was rem­i­nisc­ing med­i­ta­tive­ly the great thaan­da­va dance of Lord Shi­va. In that state of anan­da, two drops of tears fell down the eyes of Maha Vish­nu, becom­ing his two divine daugh­ters who per­formed severe aus­ter­i­ties to become con­sorts of Lord Skan­da. They are Maa Val­li and Maa Devayani. They orig­i­nat­ed from Maha Vishnu’s eyes and Lord Skan­da orig­i­nat­ed from Mahadeva’s eyes! Maa Val­li as per Her boon, was born in Bhu­lo­ka and Lord Skan­da had played an elab­o­rate leela seek­ing Her by Him­self. Many swamis includ­ing Swa­mi Kri­panan­da Vari­yar have also inter­pret­ed the Val­li Thiru­manam as an indi­ca­tion of Lord Skan­da Him­self com­ing down to unite the jee­vat­ma of his bhak­thas with Him­self the mei-porul and param-porul. Such is Skanda’s Karunai!

பாடல் 7 ~ கெடுவாய் மனனே கெடுவாய் மனனே, கதி கேள், கரவாது இடுவாய், வடிவேல் இறைதாள் நினைவாய் சுடுவாய் நெடு வேதனை தூள்படவே விடுவாய் விடுவாய் வினை யாவையுமே.
Oh ruin­ing mind, lis­ten to the Path, Donate with­out con­ceal­ing and med­i­tate on the Feet of Vadi­v­el! Burn the long-held suf­fer­ings for them to be pow­dered Be freed from all the actions (and their out­comes).

Per­form­ing dhaana and dhyana are the two-fold ways that Aruna­giri­nathar shows as the true Path to Lord Skan­da. In Sri­mad Bha­gavad Gita, Bha­ga­van Sri KRish­na explains to Arju­na that there are sat­va, rajas and tamas modes in dhaana. When giv­en at a wrong place and time to unwor­thy per­sons or with­out pay­ing respect to the receiv­er or with ridicule is said to be tamo-guna dhaana. When giv­en unwill­ing­ly or to get some­thing in return or to gain some fruit is called a rajo-guna dhaana. When giv­en at the right place and time as a mat­ter of duty to a deserv­ing can­di­date who does noth­ing in return, it is tru­ly a sat­va-guna dhaana. Aruna­giri­nathar is hence say­ing that with­out any ill-inten­tion or ulte­ri­or atti­tude con­cealed with­in, per­form dhaana. Such an action is also deemed as a yagna-kar­ma with the per­son nei­ther the cause of the action nor the fruit of the action. Hence one is free from any karmic-bind­ing. Dhaana along with Dhyana is the cer­tain path Aruna­giri­nathar shows in order to attain mano-nasha and be freed from the suf­fer­ings one has accu­mu­lat­ed for a long time through many births.

பாடல் 8 ~ அமரும் பதி அமரும் பதி, கேள், அகம் ஆம் எனும் இப் பிமரங்கெட மெய்ப் பொருள் பேசியவா குமரன் கிரிராச குமாரி மகன் சமரம் பொரு தானவ நாசகனே.
Place of birth, my rel­a­tives and the ego of me These tran­sient things have van­ished because of Your Upadesha/initiation Kumara the son of Himavan’s Daugh­ter Maa Par­vati Devi, The destroy­er of Sura­pad­man and asur­as who waged war!

Aruna­giri Peruman’s life changed upside down as Lord Skan­da in all His com­pas­sion, Him­self arrived and gave upade­sha of Shadak­shara Mantra and made Aruna­giri­nathar expe­ri­ence and uni­fy with Lord Skan­da the mei-porul. In verse 5, Aruna­giri­natha Swami­gal said that it is Lord Skanda’s upade­sha and Grace that can alto­geth­er cut one’s deep root­ed entan­gle­ments. In verse 6, it is estab­lished how Lord Skanda’s bless­ings will lead to inner blos­som­ing and in verse 7, we are gift­ed with dhaana and dhyaana as the way. In this verse Aruna­giri­nathar says that Lord Skanda’s Upade­sha shall lead to the destruc­tion of ahamkara and mamakara with Sura­pad­man being the sym­bol­ic rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the three malas — aana­va mala, maya mala and kar­ma mala.

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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