Kandhar Anubhuti by Saint Arunagirinathar – Part 5 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 the first 12 verses of Kandhar Anubhuti. In this edition, we delve into verses 13, 14, and 15.

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 13 – முருகன் தனிவேல்

முருகன் தனிவேல் முநிநம் குருவென்

றருள்கொண் டறியார் அறியுந் தரமோ

உருவன் றருவன் றுளதன் றிலதன்

திருளன் றொளியன் றெனநின் றதுவே!

Lord Muruga, the muni with vel, is our Guru

Would it be possible to attain Jnana without His Grace?

Neither one of form, nor formlessness, 

nor that which exists, nor that which does not exist, 

Neither darkness, nor effulgence is the fundamental principle!

Many great beings who are those beholding the anubhuti state “realization” or “கண்டுகொண்டேன்”. This refers to the removal of avidya (loosely meaning ignorance) that veils us from  of our divine natural self. Such a state of realization dawns in the anubhutimaan revealing the param-porul (as explained in the previous editions).That fundamental all-pervading principle is explained in many Indic works through negation. By negating one is guided to arrive at perceiving the inexplicable fundamental principle. What would lead us to such a state of direct perception? Arunagirinatha Swamigal responds by saying what else but Lord Skanda’s Grace!

பாடல் 14 ~ கைவாய் கதிர்

கைவாய் கதிர்வேல் முருகன் கழல்பெற்று
உய்வாய், மனனே, ஒழிவாய் ஒழிவாய்
மெய் வாய் விழி நாசியொடும் செவி ஆம்
ஐவாய் வழி செல்லும் அவாவினையே.

May you attain by reaching the sacred feet of Kathirvel Muruga

Oh mind, may you ascend as you renounce firmly

the desires and actions arising through 

the five sense-organs – the body, the mouth, the eyes, the nose, and the ears

Arunagirinathar addresses the mind-field here. In the Indic traditions, it is clearly stated that you are inherently divine, where you are the all-pervading fundamental principle. Now, where is the center of one’s life experience? We see that what we consider to be “I” is predominantly the body-mind-emotion complex. All the anubhutimaans have clearly guided humanity to realize one’s true nature, which is certainly beyond one’s body-mind-emotion complex. One may wonder if there is “I” beyond the body-mind-emotion complex. All of us have an experience of the deep sleep state called “sushupthi” where we have experienced complete cessation of our body-mind-emotion complex. But the “I” did not cease to exist! Hence it is clear that our Masters and Siddhas are very right in pointing us to the fact that our current experience of life is limited. Being identified with the five-senses and the objects of their perception we seemingly have endless desires and actions that spring from them. Here Arunagirinatha Swamigal inspires the mind the aspire to attain to the feet of Lord Skanda. In that anubhuti, the mind-field drops the limited sensory auto-drive and is completely stilled!

பாடல் 15 ~ முருகன் குமரன்

முருகன், குமரன், குகன், என்று மொழிந்து
உருகும் செயல் தந்து, உணர்வு என்று அருள்வாய்
பொரு புங்கவரும், புவியும் பரவும்
குருபுங்கவ, எண் குண பஞ்சரனே.

To mindfully chant “Muruga, Kumara, Guha”

And to melt in devotional act, when would You bestow such states?

Oh! The One! Adored and praised by pious celestials and dwellers of earth

The exceptional Guru! And the abode of eight divine qualities!

After explaining in verse 13 that none but Lord Skanda Guru’s Grace shall pave the way for Jnana and in verse 14 that attaining to Lord’s feet shall lead to cessation of desire-driven mind sensory experiences, in verse 15 Arunagiri Perumaan shows us the way. He inspires us to do “nama-japa” chanting such that one yearns for the state where one is mindful and every action is devotionally charged. Arunagiri Perumaan encourages us further by saying Lord Skanda is “Guru Pungava”. An expert Guru who will guide us in ensuring we realize! He is Lord Guru Guhan the abode of 8 divine qualities which are: “தன் வயத்தம், தூய்மை, இயற்கையறிவு, முற்றறிவு, பற்றின்மை, பேரருள், எல்லாம்வன்மை, வரம்பிலா இன்பம்”. This can loosely translate to “rooted in the true Self, purity, natural wisdom, perfect wisdom, detachment, magnanimous grace, omnipotence, and limitless bliss”.

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!