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Kandar Anubhuti by Saint Arunagirinathar — Part 7

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 18 vers­es of Kand­har Anub­huti. In this edi­tion, we delve into vers­es 19, 20, and 21.

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 19 — வடிவும் தனமும் வடிவுந் தனமும் மனமுங் குணமுங் குடியுங் குலமுங் குடிபோ கியவா அடியந் தமிலா அயில்வேல் அரசே! மிடியொன்றொரு பாவி வெளிப் படினே!
Form, wealth, mind, good qual­i­tiesFam­i­ly and lin­eage — all desert one!Oh The Lord with the sharp Lance, Who has no begin­ning and end!These desert the one in whom dis­grace­ful pover­ty is expressed!

This verse of Aruna­giri­nathar Swami­gal is said to be a chant for “வறுமையை நீக்கி அருள்வாய்” — a prayer to van­quish pover­ty. Upon deep con­tem­pla­tion, one would realise that Swami­gal is talk­ing about the “pover­ty of the spir­it” here. Life is a con­se­quence of pur­va-jan­ma-kar­ma in the Indi­an tra­di­tion. Past actions may lead one to a life bestowed with inner and out­er pros­per­i­ty. Swami­gal exclaims here that none of those gifts are sus­tained in the lives of those who do not seek to spir­i­tu­al­ly enrich one’s Self through jnana, bhak­ti and kar­ma. A life impov­er­ished by the lack of Lord Muruga’s Grace is indeed true pover­ty. May Lord Muru­ga in His Infi­nite Grace bestow every one with His Divine Pres­ence. Skan­da Sha­ranam!

பாடல் 20 — அரிதாகிய மெய்ப் பொருளுக்கு அரிதா கியமெய்ப் பொருளுக் கடியேன் உரிதா உபதேசம் உணர்த் தியவா விரிதாரண விக்ரம வேளிமையோர் புரிதாரக நாக புரந் தரனே!
For me to receive The Real Knowl­edge of the Divine Prin­ci­pleYou made me fit and deserv­ing, and bestowed Real­i­sa­tion through Upade­sha!Oh benev­o­lent, val­or­ous One, cel­e­brat­ed by the celes­tial DevasSupreme embod­i­ment of Prana­va and uphold­er of the celes­tial worlds!

In the pre­vi­ous verse Swami­gal brought out the grim despair in a life with­out Grace. In this verse, Aruna­giri­nathar Swami­gal says that one becomes deserv­ing of Grace through Lord Muruga’s benev­o­lence itself. Even the Shi­va Puranam of Thiru­vasagam states “அவன் அருளாலே அவன் தாள் வணங்கி”. It is this phe­nom­e­nal state of Sha­ranaa­gati to which this series is ded­i­cat­ed to. Espe­cial­ly through dif­fer­ent modal­i­ties of sat­sang­ha - asso­ci­a­tion through our hal­lowed land’s innu­mer­able tem­ples, real­ized mas­ters and rich lit­er­a­ture, Lord Muru­ga cre­ates the Divine Oppor­tu­ni­ty for us to be show­ered in His Grace.

Swami­gal in verse 8 sings “மெய்ப் பொருள் பேசியவா” where we saw 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 this verse Swami­gal says that he became deserv­ing of the upade­sha only through the benev­o­lence of Lord Skan­da!

பாடல் 21 — கருதா மறவா கருதா மறவா நெறிகாண எனக் கிருதாள் வனசந் தரஎன் றிசைவாய் வரதா முருகா மயில்வா கனனே விரதா சுரசூர விபாட ணனே!
To go beyond the state of mem­o­ry and for­get­ful­nessMay You bestow me with a divine life at Your Two FeetOh Varad­ha, Muru­ga, the Lord with the pea­cock vahana!Oh Virad­ha, the Divine slay­er of Sura and all asur­as!

கருதா மறவா நெறி காணsignifies a prayer to attain a state that is syn­ony­mous to one explained in Mahar­ishi Sid­dhar Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Smri­ti or mem­o­ry is also con­sid­ered a vrit­ti(con­di­tion­ing) hin­der­ing one to be iden­ti­fied with that mem­o­ry entan­gle­ment rather than with the true nature of one’s Self. Such is the pro­found prayer by Aruna­giri Peru­man here. எனக்கு இருதாள் வனசம் தர என்று இசைவாய் denotes a deep long­ing to expe­ri­ence the Sha­ranaa­gati state. Here the prayer is to be free eter­nal­ly from all entan­gle­ments of mem­o­ry and the mind in order to be lost for­ev­er in the dar­shan of Lord Muruga’s Feet. வரதா (Varad­ha) and விரதா (Virad­ha) are two very sig­nif­i­cant words in this verse. Kalasamu­ni Swami­gal has very pop­u­lar­ly extolled Lord Skan­da as the Kali Yuga Varad­han. Varad­ha means the granter of boons. The empha­sis is that, in this Yuga, it is through Lord Muruga’s Grace we shall attain the supreme boon of real­is­ing mei-porul. The word Virad­ha is so beau­ti­ful. It is said that Lord Muru­ga has tak­en upon the divine vra­ta, an aus­tere vow to ded­i­cate Him­self to pro­tect His Devo­tees!

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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