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Kandar Anubhuti by Saint Arunagirinathar — Part 6

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!

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