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!