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Kandar Anubhuti by Saint Arunagirinathar — Part 8

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 21 vers­es of Kand­har Anub­huti. In this edi­tion, we delve into vers­es 22, 23, and 24.

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 22 — காளைக் குமரேசன் காளைக் கும ரேசன் எனக்கருதித்தாளைப் பணியத் தவமெய் தியவாபாளைக் குழல் வள்ளி பதம்பணியும்வேளைச் சுரபூ பதி மேருவையே!
It is tru­ly a mat­ter of won­der that I obtained the boon ofPer­form­ing penance fixed upon Lord Muruga’s Sacred FeetWho is the Lord cher­ish­ing the Sacred Feet of Val­li-ammaiyaarHav­ing long tress­es of hair like the flower sheath of palm tree.He is the Ruler of the Devas and mighty like Mount Meru!

At the out­set this song looks deceiv­ing­ly sim­ple. It is well-known that Lord Muru­ga wed­ded Val­li Devi. Nonethe­less that divine wed­ding is not just an episode from the Puranas. This rep­re­sents an event that hap­pens even today. It is the phe­nom­e­non where Lord Muru­ga seeks out to merge with the souls ripened through Jnana and Bhak­thi. Many great devo­tees and yogis have pre­sent­ed the pur­port of Val­li-Thiru­manam as the episode of “இறைவனே வலிய வந்து ஆட்கொள்வான்” — The Lord Him­self seeks out to rule over the tru­ly devout. As a proof to this, Aruna­giri Peru­maan presents his own case. In this song, Arunai Muni is amazed how in his life he got the good for­tune of Lord Skanda’s Grace­ful Rule that led him to attain the ulti­mate Shi­va-Bhoga!

பாடல் 23 — அடியைக் குறியாது அடியைக் குறியா தறியா மையினான் முடியக் கெடவோ முறையோ முறையோவடிவிக் ரமவேல் மகிபா குறமின்கொடியைப் புணருங் குணபூ தரனே!
With­out med­i­tat­ing upon Your Sacred Feet because of my igno­ranceShould I entire­ly per­ish? Is it right?Oh! All pow­er­ful wield­er of the sharp lanceOh! The One unit­ed with creep­er-like Val­li-ammaiyaar!

In the Tamil Sid­dha tra­di­tion, “அடியார்கள்” is a very spe­cial word. It denotes those who have ded­i­cat­ed all their actions, thoughts and entire life towards the attain­ment of the Sacred Feet of their Ish­tade­va­ta or Guru. One among the Pathi­nen-Sid­dhar­gal, the renowned Patan­jali Muni defines Kriya Yoga as “Tapah, Swad­hyaya and Ish­wara­pranid­hana”. Ish­wara­pranid­hana means to be cen­tered in the Ish­wara. It is this qual­i­ty that Aruna­giri­nathar writes about in this song. அடி means both feet and the source! Aruna­giri­nathar Swami­gal echoes the essence of all Upan­ishads that point out to the veil of “Avid­hya” that insu­lates one from real­iz­ing the Divine Res­i­dence with­in! Lord Muru­ga made Val­li Devi real­ize Her True Self. The creep­er metaphor here empha­sizes how the param-porul is cen­tral to the man­i­fes­ta­tion that springs, spreads and sup­port­ed by It!

பாடல் 24 — கூர்வேல் விழி கூர்வேல் விழி மங்கையர் கொங்கையிலேசேர்வேன் அருள் சேரவும் எண்ணுமதோசூர்வே ரொடு குன்று தொளைத்தநெடும்போர்வேல் புரந்தர பூ பதியே!
Will this mind intend­ing to embrace womenHave the good for­tune of think­ing of obtain­ing Your Sacred Grace?Oh Lord! Hav­ing pierced through Surapadman’s tree and hillWield­er of Vel, The Supreme Ruler of the World!

A casu­al read­er may eas­i­ly won­der if it is appro­pri­ate for an anub­huthi-maan (one who has expe­ri­enced the Supreme Divine) to feel this way! Sim­i­lar to many songs that we have pri­or­ly encoun­tered in this series, Aruna­giri Swami’s heart is cry­ing out for the sad­hakas who are striv­ing in the path! Such is Arunagirinathar’s immac­u­late empa­thy. When life is sole­ly dri­ven by sen­so­ry engage­ment, it leads to an imbal­anced state where one expe­ri­ences “kama-prad­hana”. The great Indi­an spir­i­tu­al tra­di­tion always calls for a life of bal­ance as empha­sized in the Purushartha : Dhar­ma, Artha, Kama and Mok­sha. When the sad­ha­ka feels that he or she is a slave to his or her sens­es and intends to break free, Aruna­giri Peru­maan shows the ulti­mate way — med­i­tate upon the Vel! The Jnana Vel bestowed by Maa Shak­thi to Lord Skan­da pierces and breaks the veil of Maya-shak­thi, as illus­trat­ed in the Skan­da Purana where the pur­port of Surasamharam is pierc­ing through the three malas (impu­ri­ties) — Mayaa Mala, Kar­ma Mala and Aaana­va Mala.

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.You could write to us at

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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