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Kandar Anubhuti by Saint Arunagirinathar — Part 5

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 12 vers­es of Kand­har Anub­huti. In this edi­tion, we delve into vers­es 13, 14, and 15.

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 13 — முருகன் தனிவேல் முருகன் தனிவேல் முநிநம் குருவென் றருள்கொண் டறியார் அறியுந் தரமோ உருவன் றருவன் றுளதன் றிலதன் றிருளன் றொளியன் றெனநின் றதுவே!
Lord Muru­ga, the muni with vel, is our Guru Would it be pos­si­ble to attain Jnana with­out His Grace? Nei­ther one of form, nor form­less­ness, nor that which exists, nor that which does not exist, Nei­ther dark­ness, nor efful­gence is the fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ple!

Many great beings who are those behold­ing the anub­huti state “real­iza­tion” or “கண்டுகொண்டேன்”. This refers to the removal of avidya (loose­ly mean­ing igno­rance) that veils us from of our divine nat­ur­al self. Such a state of real­iza­tion dawns in the anub­huti­maan reveal­ing the param-porul (as explained in the pre­vi­ous editions).That fun­da­men­tal all-per­vad­ing prin­ci­ple is explained in many Indic works through nega­tion. By negat­ing one is guid­ed to arrive at per­ceiv­ing the inex­plic­a­ble fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ple. What would lead us to such a state of direct per­cep­tion? Aruna­giri­natha Swami­gal responds by say­ing what else but Lord Skanda’s Grace!

பாடல் 14 ~ கைவாய் கதிர் கைவாய் கதிர்வேல் முருகன் கழல்பெற்று உய்வாய், மனனே, ஒழிவாய் ஒழிவாய் மெய் வாய் விழி நாசியொடும் செவி ஆம் ஐவாய் வழி செல்லும் அவாவினையே.
May you attain by reach­ing the sacred feet of Kathirvel Muru­gaOh mind, may you ascend as you renounce firm­lythe desires and actions aris­ing through the five sense-organs — the body, the mouth, the eyes, the nose, and the ears

Aruna­giri­nathar address­es the mind-field here. In the Indic tra­di­tions, it is clear­ly stat­ed that you are inher­ent­ly divine, where you are the all-per­vad­ing fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ple. Now, where is the cen­ter of one’s life expe­ri­ence? We see that what we con­sid­er to be “I” is pre­dom­i­nant­ly the body-mind-emo­tion com­plex. All the anub­huti­maans have clear­ly guid­ed human­i­ty to real­ize one’s true nature, which is cer­tain­ly beyond one’s body-mind-emo­tion com­plex. One may won­der if there is “I” beyond the body-mind-emo­tion com­plex. All of us have an expe­ri­ence of the deep sleep state called “sushupthi” where we have expe­ri­enced com­plete ces­sa­tion of our body-mind-emo­tion com­plex. But the “I” did not cease to exist! Hence it is clear that our Mas­ters and Sid­dhas are very right in point­ing us to the fact that our cur­rent expe­ri­ence of life is lim­it­ed. Being iden­ti­fied with the five-sens­es and the objects of their per­cep­tion we seem­ing­ly have end­less desires and actions that spring from them. Here Aruna­giri­natha Swami­gal inspires the mind the aspire to attain to the feet of Lord Skan­da. In that anub­huti, the mind-field drops the lim­it­ed sen­so­ry auto-dri­ve and is com­plete­ly stilled!

பாடல் 15 ~ முருகன் குமரன் முருகன், குமரன், குகன், என்று மொழிந்து உருகும் செயல் தந்து, உணர்வு என்று அருள்வாய் பொரு புங்கவரும், புவியும் பரவும் குருபுங்கவ, எண் குண பஞ்சரனே.
To mind­ful­ly chant “Muru­ga, Kumara, Guha”And to melt in devo­tion­al act, when would You bestow such states?Oh! The One! Adored and praised by pious celes­tials and dwellers of earthThe excep­tion­al Guru! And the abode of eight divine qual­i­ties!

After explain­ing in verse 13 that none but Lord Skan­da Guru’s Grace shall pave the way for Jnana and in verse 14 that attain­ing to Lord’s feet shall lead to ces­sa­tion of desire-dri­ven mind sen­so­ry expe­ri­ences, in verse 15 Aruna­giri Peru­maan shows us the way. He inspires us to do “nama-japa” chant­i­ng such that one yearns for the state where one is mind­ful and every action is devo­tion­al­ly charged. Aruna­giri Peru­maan encour­ages us fur­ther by say­ing Lord Skan­da is “Guru Pun­ga­va”. An expert Guru who will guide us in ensur­ing we real­ize! He is Lord Guru Guhan the abode of 8 divine qual­i­ties which are: “தன் வயத்தம், தூய்மை, இயற்கையறிவு, முற்றறிவு, பற்றின்மை, பேரருள், எல்லாம்வன்மை, வரம்பிலா இன்பம்”. This can loose­ly trans­late to “root­ed in the true Self, puri­ty, nat­ur­al wis­dom, per­fect wis­dom, detach­ment, mag­nan­i­mous grace, omnipo­tence, and lim­it­less bliss”.

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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