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!