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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!