Kandhar Anubhuti by Saint Arunagirinathar – Part 17 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.

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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 48 verses of Kandhar Anubhuti. In this edition, we delve into the last three verses 49, 50, and 51.

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 especially 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 49 –  தன்னம் தனி

தன்னந் தனிநின் றதுதான் அறிய

இன்னம் ஒருவர்க் கிசைவிப் பதுவோ

மின்னுங் கதிர்வேல் விகிர்தா நினைவார்

கின்னங் களையும் க்ருபைசூழ் சுடரே!

The Supreme State clearly detached from the instruments and objects

How would I express this to anyone!

Oh! Thy lustrous Lance and multivarious Forms

You thwart all afflictions (in attaining the  Supreme) to those who meditate on You!

Arunagiri Peruman has been effervescing highly mystical verses. In the previous few, after the crown-jewel verse on attaining Anubhuti, we have seen the principles of Iruvinai Oppu, Sakthi Nipatham and going beyond the tattvas. In the previous verse, Swamigal hailed the Jivan Muktas and their phenomenal Supreme state of realization as the very residence of Lord Skanda. In this verse, Swamigal says that such a state is clearly a differentiated state. The experience stands out from the avidya experience of identifying with senses and objects. விகிர்தன் signifies that Murugaperumaan is One who assumes multivarious forms. Hence Arunagirinathar Swamigal emphatically says that May you meditate upon the One with Lance or any of His various forms. That will bestow upon one the Supreme state by thwarting all hindrances through consistent sadhana.

பாடல் 50 – மதி கெட்டு

மதிகெட் டறவா டிமயங் கிஅறக்

கதிகெட் டவமே கெடவோ கடவேன்?

நதிபுத் திர ஞான சுகா திபவத்

திதிபுத் திரர்வீ றடுசே வகனே!

A state weakened in  buddhi and lost in adharma 

Would I ever be subject to such a state! (rhetorically meaning – never)

Oh! Son of Maa Ganaga, Lord of true bliss arising from Jnana

Oh Supreme Warrior! Slayer of the might of  Diti’s sons!

Among the thirteen daughters of Daksha Prajapati married to Sage Kashyapa, Diti and Aditi are two of them. From them Daityas and Adityas were born, respectively. Danavas and Daityas are together the Asura kula. We have seen the samharam of Asura’s leader Surapadman is actually called Suran Peuvazhvu loosely meaning “greater life attainment of Suran”. Because in His Infinite Kindness, Lord Muruga makes Suran his Vahana. Who is an asura, then? Bhagavan Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, “ O Arjuna, the marks of those who are born with asuric qualities are: Hypocrisy, arrogance, pride, anger, harshness, and ignorance. Divine qualities lead to Moksha while the asuric qualities are said to be for bondage. Asuras do not know what to do and what not to do [meaning the lack of a well refined intellect to discriminate – buddhi]. They have neither purity nor good conduct nor truthfulness” (Chapter 17). Lord Skanda’s Grace will alleviate these lower qualities within ourselves. His Vel bestows the true bliss that arises from Jnana.

பாடல் 51 – உருவாய் அருவாய்

உருவாய் அருவாய் உளதாய் இலதாய்

மருவாய் மலராய் மணியாய் ஒளியாய்க்

கருவாய் உயிராய்க் கதியாய் விதியாய்க்

குருவாய் வருவாய் அருள்வாய் குகனே!

As That with form and formless, as That which is and which is not

As flower and it’s fragrance, as gem and it’s radiance

As the source and life, As the destination and destiny

As my Guru may You come and bestow Your Grace, Oh Guha!

This is the most celebrated and final verse of Skandar Anubhuti! It is the very Grace of the Lord that he has bestowed all lives with forms, a space for residence, the inner instruments and all life experiences. At an appropriate time one matures, Thiru Murugapperuman guides as the Guru in the Hridaya Guha and  guides one to become One with Him. During the laya stages in between kalpas, that is during the period of complete void, Lord Skanda carries within Him as a Mother to all jivatmas and bestows them life again in the periods of manifestation that follow. The Lord is the nimmita karana (creative cause) and the upadana karana (material cause).

Owing only to Guru Kripa, Skanda Iccha and Arunagiri Peruman’s Tapa, we have had the divine blessing of studying Kandhar Anubhuti through this Sharanaagati Series. May His Grace guide us to more swadhyaya and atma vicharana. 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! Skanda Guru Charanam Sharanam! Murga Sharanam! Muruga Sharanam! Muruga Sharanam! Aum Tat Sat! 

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