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 24 verses of Kandhar Anubhuti. In this edition, we delve into verses 25, 26, and 27.
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 25 — மெய்யே என மெய்யே எனவெவ் வினைவாழ் வையுகந்தையோ அடியேன் அலையத் தகுமோகையோ அயிலோ கழலோ முழுதுஞ்செய்யோய் மயிலேறிய சேவகனே!
Believing it to be true, indulging in a life full of indiscriminate deedsAyyo! Is it right that I should wander this way!Not only Your Divine Hands, Your Lance, and Your Sacred FeetOh One who is entirely in red complexion! Oh Great Warrior on the peacock!
Arunagiri Peruman has had the Divine Darshan of Lord Skanda. Swamigal has given vivid descriptions about the various forms of Murugaperumaan in his various works. Multiple descriptions include செக்கர் நிறமாய் இருக்கும் பெருமாளே — One who is entirely red in complexion, பால சூர்யப் பிரகாசம் — one who radiates red like the rising sun, குங்கும வர்ணம் — one who is red as the Kungumam, பச்சை வர்ணம் — one who is also green in complexion. In the Shaastras, different colors have said to have different meanings. The formless Bhramam is denoted as to be pure white and the form taken is denoted as deep red. In the spiritual traditions, it is a well-known that this birth is a result of our past actions. Sanjita Karma denotes the cumulative bundle of deeds and their consequences accumulated through innumerable births. Prarabhda Karma is considered as the allocated Karma to be expended through this specific birth and Agami Karma is the new Karma we collect through the course of this life. Thirodhanam is the phenomenon that hides the Brahmam within us and leading to the apparent perception of our world experience to be real. In this song Arunagiri Peruman addresses Lord Skanda as the primary red form manifest from the pure Bhramam and prays to unveil this apparent world experience.
பாடல் 26 — ஆதாரம் இலேன் ஆதாரம் இலேன் அருளைப் பெறவேநீதான் ஒரு சற்று நினைந்திலையேவேதாகம ஞான விநோதமநோதீதா சுரலோக சிகாமணியே!
I rely on no one but You, seeking Thy GraceWould you please not think of me a moment!Oh, Lord of the Jnana embedded in Vedas and AgamasOh, Saviour and crown-jewel of the Deva Loka!
In this song we can experience the Bhakthi-rasa in us by chanting along with Arunagiri Perumaan. The Devas were imprisoned by the Asuras detaching them from their true kingdom. Similarly the atma is imprisoned in maya detached from its true kingdom of sat-chit-ananda. Lord Muruga who is the embodiment of the Jnana can liberate us from this state and Arunagiri Peruman, with intense bhakthi, appeals to Lord Skanda for His Grace!
பாடல் 27 — மின்னே நிகர் வாழ்வை மின்னே நிகர்வாழ்வை விரும்பிய யான்என்னே விதியின் பயன்இங் கிதுவோபொன்னே மணியே பொருளே அருளேமன்னே மயிலேறிய வானவனே!
Life experiences are momentary and last as long as a flash of lighteningIs it not the role of vidhi that I am attached to such temporary experiences!Oh True Gold, Effulgent Gem, True Object, Oh Grace!Oh King Supreme and Celestial Rider of Peacock!
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 three malas (impurities) — Mayaa Mala, Karma Mala and Aaanava Mala are a result of my vidhi. While fate is a loose translation, this denotes the sum total of past actions and their consequences. Arunagiri Peruman says even as one gains a glimpse of life experiences’ temporary nature that does not last long, one again becomes caught up in the web. Awareness is the first step. As one repeatedly observes the patterns of self indulgence, Arunagiri Swamigal directs us to appeal to Lord Skanda. For in His Grace, we shall find the path to break this apparent deadlock.
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!