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Kandar Anubhuti by Saint Arunagirinathar — Part 9

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!

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