There lies, beneath this vast layer of the ocean, precious treasure of gems and pearls. I took few steps ahead and experienced the bliss of being submerged under the spell of Thiruppugazh for a while. However, I have not ventured deep and returned soon to share whatever little valuables I could lay my hands on. But I hope that you will find something useful, worth or stimulating in it. To those who may not find anything new, there is the Kandhar Alamgaram and Kandhar Anuboothi which they could leaf through, chant and even get some benefit from what appears to be a translation.
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Posted on am by appa Apart from the garland of songs which Arunagirinathar has weaved and offered as Thiruppugazh, he has also made beautiful garland of hymns to adore Muruga. While the garland of songs hailed the Lord and sought His grace, the garland of hymns like Kandhar Anubhuti revealed his own experience of having received the grace. While the hymn Kandhar Alamgaram described the infinite qualities of Muruga, the Vakuppu described the Lotus Feet of Lord Muruga as the ultimate refuge of all devotees.
What one experiences cannot be explained to another. However, the devotees are blessed that Arunagirinathar could share with them some of his divine experience in the form of Kandhar Anubhuti. In his song on Arumuga temple of Kuthalam, the saint-poet said that the Lord had invited him and blessed him to sing the Anubhuti so that devotees can draw inspiration from it and lead a life of truth and righteousness.
Kandhar Anubhuti is significant in another respect. Lord Muruga appeared before Arunagirinathar as Guru and gave the advice on the eternal truth. Arunagirinathar says that as a result of this advice, he was elevated to a new state of consciousness where silence alone prevailed. In another verse, he thanks the Lord for considering him fit enough to impart this rare advice. Kandhar Anubhuti, consisting of 52 verses is the quintessence of all the works of Arunagirinathar.
It is the crest jewel, the gate-way to Jnana; the way to the path of liberation. As the narration of all the 51 verses of Kandhar Anubhuti would run into several pages, we confine within three verses and attempt to understand their meaning. The very opening lines of Kandhar Anubhuti which is a work of Jnana, underline the importance of devotion. Seldom does he remain still and quiet, in his natural state, as during sleep. This is the ideal state where the individuality ceases to exist and one remains conscious of his true Self.
This is the state of Siva Jnana where all differences subside and he becomes one with Lord Siva. His liberation lies in realizing his true nature which is beyond the body and mind.
The ego that characterised my individuality has been thoroughly overpowered by you. While reciting Anubhuti, the fears and anxieties of mind would disappear and the devotee would enter into the Kingdom of God where peace and tranquillity prevails. Who else has rendered a verse of truth as eloquently and beautifully as you? Kandhar Alamgaram: Kandhar Alamgaram, consisting of verses, is a marvellous poetry that portrays Muruga in all His splendour and glory.
Apart from being an ornament that adores Muruga, Kandhar Alamgaram describes the various qualities of Muruga, His benevolence, his knowledge, his valour, the power of his weapon, the Vel, the peacock his transport and rooster, his ensign. How can I describe the infinite compassion of Muruga, the son of such a God as Siva, who has showered his love to a person like me who has not done any Tapas or Puja to qualify His grace?
Every verse of Kandhar Alamgarm is unique in its description of Muruga. Vedanta gives the example of a man walking in the veil of darkness and mistaking a rope lying on the road as a snake.
It is only when someone puts on a light; he realizes that his perception was wrong. Similarly, the eyes merely make an object visible, but they do not reveal what the object is exactly.
It is the inner eyes which gives the correct vision. We need someone to give us this inner vision. We need someone to light a torch and tell us what is real and what is not.
Who else can give us this vision than Muruga? Mozhikki Thunai: Words that normally come from mind cannot be the true expression. True expression is one which comes from heart and the language which the heart speaks is the language of silence. Silence alone speaks truth. May Lord Muruga guide us to speak the most effective language; the language of silence.
An action done with a motive invites adverse consequence and becomes Karma Vinai. It is the Karma or the necessity of bearing its consequence that brings one back to this life again.
If he is going to add up his Karmas, it would become a chain reaction, leading to the cycle of birth and death. One may have done some Karmas out of his ignorance in the previous birth and it is the grace of Muruga that can liberate him.
Vazhikki Thunai: One passes through different roads in his life time and the passage is invariably smooth, but there is one road which he has to pass through ultimately and that is the dreadful road, the lonely road and the dark road, the road that leads to death. It is the dark road where there would be no companion or guide. Here, Arunagirinathar prays for the grace of Muruga by which he would find the passage smooth.
Your sacred feet alone would serve as a steady raft to reach me to the Lotus feet where Devas bow their head. Uravumurai manaivi…7, 8 It is believed that one who seeks the Lotus Feet of the Lord becomes free from fear of death, free from the effects of Karma and attain immortality Amritatvam.
I seek the Lotus feet of Muruga who is the son of Bhavathi, the source of wealth, fame, knowledge, courage and vairagya detachment , son of Madhura vachani who speaks the language of sweetness, Bairavi, who is beyond time, Yuvathi, who is ever in youth, Gouri, who is fair as white-ash vibhuti , Uma, who is the symbol of Pranava Mantra, Trisuladhari, who holds the three sharped weapon, Trisul, Vanasai, who is seated on the lotus, Amalai, who is pure and stainless, who is known as visayai Durga, Madhupati Kali, tripurai the leader of all the three worlds, punithai , pure, vanithai embodiment of beauty, abhinavai ever-green, anagai and beyond sin.
I seek the Lotus feet of Muruga, son of the ever-lasting beautiful Devi, the leader of Kurinji region, who stands witness to all lives, who dispels fears and provides solace and comfort, who permeates the four Vedas, who exudes the benign grace; whose feet alone I worship with reverence. The Vel Vakuppu describes the power of the Vel which almost reflect the image of Valli.
While the broad and pointed portion of the Vel looks like her heavy bosoms, the lower portion of the Vel resembles her slender waist. Surarkku Muni. Ezhayin irattai vinai…. Arukkan Ulaviya jaga…. One may have done many acts, out of ignorance, either in earlier birth or in this birth, but whatever the nature of action, he has to suffer the consequences of it. However, there is hope for one who chants Pazhani Vakuppu with devotion as the grace of Muruga would indeed mitigate his sufferings to some extent.
Pazhani Vakuppu conveys the prayer that no consequence of karma should come near the devotee. Kandhar Andhati, a set of hymns consisting of stanzas, is remarkable for its many wonderful features. Besides, all the four lines start with same word, yet each word carry different meaning. Another notable feature is that the same first letter of the ending word of a stanza is used as the first letter of the beginning word of the new stanza.
Andhati refers to the eternal reality Param Porul which has no beginning or end. The saint has composed the Andhati in chaste verses that portrays the magnificent divine qualities of Lord Muruga. Here, the 54th stanza of Kandhati is given. Unless one is extra-ordinarily brilliant in Tamil literature, it is very difficult to comprehend the above passage which appears as the 54th stanza of Kandar Anthadi, composed by Arunagirinathar.
Villiputhur Alwar was a scholar of high repute. Though he was the recognized poet in the court of the King, Varapathi Atkondan, he was too proud of his accomplishments. He used to go to different royal courts and challenge the Tamil Pundits there for a trial of talent.
He came to Tiruvannamalai, met the king there and challenged whether there is any poet in the town who can match him. He laid down the rules that there would be a trial of talent between him and any other pundit where both would render song and the other one should be able to explain it.
Alwar also put up a strange condition that the pundit who failed to explain a song should pay the penalty of his ears being cut. Arunagirinathar accepted the challenge, heard the song rendered by Alwar and successfully explained its meaning. Villiputhur Alwar could not make out anything from this song and he meekly conceded defeat. Arunagirinathar then explained the meaning of the song and said that he would not insist on the penalty clause.
According to these, Arunagirinathar led a hedonistic life as a young man. His disgust at his own conduct led him to attempt suicide by jumping off the temple tower at Thiruvannamalai. He was saved by a stranger, who, according to legend, was Murugan himself. Arunagirinathar was transformed, and began a long pilgrimage , visiting the Arupadai Veedu Six Abodes of Murugan , the six temples most sacred to Murugan, and over other holy shrines in India and Sri Lanka. At each of these, he composed songs in praise of Murugan, which are collected together in the Thiruppugazh.
Garland of Hymns to Muruga