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 15 verses of Kandhar Anubhuti. In this edition, we delve into verses 16, 17, and 18.
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 16 — பேராசை எனும் பேராசை எனும் பிணியிற் பிணிபட் டோரா வினையேன் உழலத் தகுமோ வீரா முதுசூர் படவேல் எறியுஞ் சூரா சுர லோக துரந்தரனே!
Having been bound by greed, a mighty diseaseIs it apt that I wander without discriminating good and bad?Oh valorous One! The Slayer of Surapadman with VelAnd the guardian of the celestial Devas!
As often mentioned in this series, Arunagiri Bhagawan writes the Skandar Anubhuti in a first person point-of-view where he switches between the two states of anubhutimaan (the realized) and sadhaka (the seeker). This divinely charged writing has the potential to help every seeker attain to the anubhuti state, as one chants these mantra shlokas.
In the previous verses, Arunagirinatha Swamigal has enumerated multiple hurdles to the seeker, such as: அகமாடை மடந்தையர், அமரும் பதி கேள் அகம், வளை பட்ட கை மாதொடு மக்கள், மங்கையர் மையல் வலை, ஐவாய் வழி செல்லும் அவா. In this verse Swamigal points to பேராசை, which can be loosely translated to greed. In Bhagavad Gita too, Bhagawan Shri Krishna enumerates this as one of the asuri sampaththi (wealth of the asura guna).
The reason Arunagirinatha Swamigal calls greed a mighty disease is because of its nature to ceaselessly multiply and continue, thereby hijacking one’s viveka buddhi (the power to discriminate right from wrong). One may wonder if there is an absolute right and wrong. In this case, Swamigal clearly points out to the “limiting” nature as the wrong. The nature of greed is the seemingly unending binding one imposes on oneself. And Surapadman was all greed embodied. He rules 1008 universes for 108 yugas and then went on to overpower the celestial devas, who are tasked with the divine intelligence that sustains the manifest. And Lord Muruga’s Vel, as already seen in this series, is called Jnana Vel (the lance of true knowledge). With this knowledge and support of Muruga’s Grace and Jnana Vel,one can pierce through one’s own binding of greed and end the seemingly ceaseless ride of desires one experiences.
பாடல் 17 ~ யாம்ஓதிய கல்வியும் யாமோதிய கல்வியும் எம்மறிவுந் தாமேபெறவேலவர் தந்ததனாற் பூமேல் மயல்போய் அறமெய்ப் புணர்வீர் நாமேல் நடவீர் நடவீர் இனியே!
Knowledge attained through education and through the SelfHave been bestowed upon by Lord VelavaHaving renounced worldly desires and acting truthfully and dharmicallyWalk rejoicing the chant, nama-japa and glories of Skanda!
Advaita Vedanta points to 10 ways of attaining valid knowledge. Primarily they may attained through knowing by Self experientially or through education, that is inference. Arunagirinathar says that it is Lord Velava’s Grace that one is bestowed with true knowledge, that is liberating from limiting desires and other bindings. This true knowledge, Jnan liberates us from worldly desires, henceforth liberating us from the cycles of birth and death. Upon attaining such a knowledge, every action of one on this planet would be for sathya (truthfulness) and dharma (righteousness). As said in verse 15, such Jnanis too tread the planet with nama-japa, chanting the mantras and names of Lord Skanda!
பாடல் 18 ~ முருகன் குமரன் உதியா மரியா உணரா மறவா விதிமால் அறியா விமலன் புதல்வா! அதிகா! அநகா! அபயா! அமரா பதிகா! வலசூர பயங் கரனே!
One with neither birth nor death, One who neither remembers nor forgetsUnattainable even to Brahma and Vishnu, Shiva is such a Vimalan! His Son isSupreme, virtuous, fearless, guardian of Devas! One of terror to the Asuras!
This is the only verse in Kandhar Anubhuti that is completely in the format of a “thuthi”. The first two lines are an ode to Lord Shiva, who is beyond dualities. Lord Skanda is the very son of Shiva Perumaan. Hence exceptional is His Might!
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!