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Kandhar Anubhuti : Part 2

Skan­daarpanam! Aum Tat Sat!

Skan­da Guru Swaminey Namah

Aum Tat Purushaaya Vitma­he Maha Senaya Dheemahi Dhan­no Skan­dap Pra­cho­dayaad

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 2 vers­es of Kand­har Anub­huti. In this edi­tion, we delve into vers­es 3, 4 and 5.

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 3 ~ வானோ? புனல் பார்

வானோ? புனல் பார் கனல் மாருதமோ? ஞானோ தயமோ? நவில் நான் மறையோ? யானோ? மனமோ? எனை ஆண்ட இடம் தானோ? பொருளாவது சண்முகனே.

Is it space, water, land, fire or air Is it the dawn of Jnana or the chants of four vedas? Is it the “I”, Man­as or the where Grace rules me? The Supreme Prin­ci­ple is Lord Shan­mu­ga!

In this verse, Aruna­giri­natha Swami­gal estab­lish­es That which is the supreme or fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ple — mei porul or param porul. Paramporul or the nitya vasthu is That which is anaa­di, fun­da­men­tal to every­thing, That from which all has come and all goes to. What could be that Supreme Prin­ci­ple? He negates the pan­cha bhoothas or the five fun­da­men­tal ele­ments. He delves sub­tler and negates them too. Ulti­mate­ly refer­ring to Lord Skan­da Him­self as the very fun­da­men­tal prini­ple or mei porul.

பாடல் 4 ~ வளைபட்ட கை

வளைபட்ட கைம் மாதொடு, மக்கள் எனும் தளைபட்டு அழியத் தகுமோ? தகுமோ? கிளைபட்டு எழு சூர் உரமும், கிரியும், தொளைபட்டு உருவத் தொடு வேலவனே.

With ban­gle-clad wife and chil­dren Being entan­gled until death, is that right? is that right? Oh the wield­er of Vel that pierced Kraun­ja Hill and the chest of Sooran! (with his kins­men sur­round­ing him)

Many seers have explained that Soora­pad­man, Singa­mugha­sur­an and Taraka­sur­an stand for ana­va mala, kar­ma mala and maya mala respec­tive­ly. The band­ha one has in mate­r­i­al life con­tains all these malas or (loose­ly mean­ing) impu­ri­ties. The bandha(bondage) devel­oped by liv­ing in a fam­i­ly with all rela­tion­ships is maya swa­roopam. The action we engage in serv­ing, nur­tur­ing and pro­tect­ing one’s band­ha rela­tions, is kar­ma swa­roopam. The very way in which we hold these rela­tion­ships with respect to us — my wife, my son, my this, my that — is aana­va swa­roopam. To be entan­gled in such a life and even­tu­al­ly dying with­out real­iz­ing Paramporul is a bane, says Saint Aruna­giri­nathar.

பாடல் 5 ~ மக மாயை

மக மாயை களைந்திட வல்ல பிரான் முகம் ஆறும் மொழிந் தொழிந்திலனே அகம் மாடை, மடந்தையர் என்(று) அயரும் சகமாயையுள் நின்று தயங்குவதே.

All-pow­er­ful Lord who can destroy the all-pow­er­ful Maya Though has giv­en the Supreme Upade­sa One still is caught and stuck in All the maya of pos­ses­sion, wealth and pas­sions.

The pop­u­lar com­men­taries for this verse hold the notion that — even though Lord Shan­mugha has giv­en the upade­sha of Shadak­shara Mantra, I am still stuck in the mun­dane mate­r­i­al life under the grip of maya. But such an inter­pre­ta­tion would lessen the great­ness of Lord Skan­da and hence it should not be tak­en that way. The very life of Aruna­giri­natha Swami­gal is an exam­ple of how Lord Skan­da rid all the entan­gle­ment and severe con­se­quences of Arunagirinathar’s relent­less pur­suit plea­sures, ear­li­er in his life. Here Saint Aruna­giri­nathar mag­nan­i­mous­ly empathis­es with the non-seek­ers and as well Sadakas, who are stuck in maya. By con­trast, Swami­gal says, it is Lord Skanda’s upade­sha and Grace that can alto­geth­er cut one’s deep root­ed entan­gle­ments. Hav­ing not had the anub­huti, one feels stuck. The verse uses such an alankara to bring out the con­trast between the high­est supreme and the deep­est entan­gle­ment.

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 anaadifoundation@gmail.com.

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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