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Kandar Alankaram

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Kandar Alankaram
Ornament to Kanda (Skanda)
By Swami Arunagirinathar
Translated by P. R. Ramachander
Transliteration by Elango Kadhirvel

[This great poetic work was written by Sanit Arunagiri Nathar, the author of Thirupugazh, which is considered as one of the greatest poem collections praising Lord Subrahmanya. I am quoting from Wikipedia article about him: Arunagiri was born in Thiruvannamalai, a town in Tamil Nadu. His father died soon after his birth and his mother and sister brought him up in the rich cultural and religious traditions. Legends claim that Arunagiri was attracted to the pleasures of the flesh and spent his youth in pursuing a life of debauchery. He used to get money from his sister each time to go to devadasis. His sister always gave whatever she earned to make his brother happy. One day he demanded money from his sister, but unfortunately she had no money. She was very sad and said, "Oh brother, I am sorry that there is no money to give you today." Arunagirinathar shouted how it is possible and he wanted money now to have pleasure. His sister then said "Brother, if you need to have pleasure then please come sleep with me, tomorrow I will get you the money somehow". Hearing that, Arunagirinathar felt how self centered and selfish he was. He decided to end his life, went to the temple hit his head in all the pillars and steps, begging for forgiveness. Then he leaped from the tower of Thiruvannamalai temple. He was however miraculously saved from the death by Lord Muruga who also transformed him to a holy saint instantaneously. Arunagiri sang his first devotional song and thereafter decided to spend the rest of his life singing in praise of the god. He was a devotee of Lord Muruga and worshipped the God at Vedapureeswarar temple at the sacred place known as Cheyyar on the banks of the Cheyyar River. His fame got the jealousy of chief minister of the Kingdom. He claimed Arunagirinathar as a false saint and not a true devotee of Lord Subramaniya. So the King arranged a public gathering and asked Arunagiri to show Lord Subramanya to others also. Arunagiri started singing songs towards Lord Muruga and soon after Lord Muruga appeared in a stone pillar in the form of child. He was so bright as equal to hundred of suns and the people were unable to see this with their ordinary eyes. Due to this everybody lost their eyes including the King and ministers. It was suggested that bringing the Parijatha flower could only get sights back to the people. Arunagirinathar is said to have entered the body of a parrot in order to fetch the parijatha flower. His enemy Sambandan burnt his body and hence Arunagirinathar settled himself on the temple tower in the form of the parrot and sang his famous Kantharanubhuthi. There is a form of a parrot in one of the sthubis (Kili Gopuram), testifying to this story. [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arunagirinathar] It is clear from this great work that this great saint was equally proficient in Sanskrit and Tamil. Most of the parts are very difficult to translate. I have wholly depended on the Tamil translation by Sri Pi. Ra. Natarajan published by Shakunthala publications, Madras and the one available in nayanmars.net for doing my translation of Sri Kanthar Alankaaram. One of my young friends, Sri Elano Kadhirvel has done the transliteration. It is much more scientific than the normal transliteration that I do.]

(Protective Verse)

Adal arunnai thiru gopurathe antha vaayillukku
vada arugil sendru kandu kondean varuvaar thalaiyil
thada-pada enapadu kuttudan sarkkarai moikkiya kai
kadathada kumba kallithrukku illaya kallithrinaiye

In Thiruvannamalai, which grants salvation just by its thought?
Inside the pretty inner Gopuram sits lord Ganesa facing north,
With his trunk for eating food, exuberance, and broad forehead,
Receiving the hits with clenched palm on one�s forehead,
Creating the sounds of Thada and Pada and also the jaggery,
And I salute his younger brother, who is the elephant of wisdom.

Paethrai thavam satrum illaatha ennai prapanjam ennum
saethrai kazhiya vazhi vitta-vaa sengchadaa adavi Mel
Aat-trai paniyai ithazhiyai thumbaiyai ambuliyin
Keethrai punaidha perumaan kumaran krupaakarane

Oh God who showed me the way out of the mire of worldly illusion,
Which tried to stick to me, who does not have holiness for getting salvation?
Oh merciful Lord who is the darling son of Lord Shiva,
Who holds the holy river Ganges and snake in his red forest like matted hair,
And who also wears the Thumbai flower and the single crescent of the moon. 1

azhiththu pirakka otta ayil velan kaviyai anbaal
yezhuthu pizhai arra karkinrrileer yeri moondathu enna
vizhiththu pugai yezha pong-gum vem kooththran vidum kayithrraal
kazhuththil surukkittu izhukkum anrO kavi karrkinrathe

Oh people, who waste their time by not learning without mistakes,
The prayers addressed to Lord Muruga, which are capable of,
Destroying bad fate and avoids you being born to another mother, know that,
At the time of your death when the angry Yama with smoke filled eyes,
Rolls them and puts the noose in the rope of his in your neck to take out your life,
Without any benefit, possibly you would start learning them. 2

Thaeranni ittu puram eritht-haan magan sem kaiyil vel
Koor-anni ittu anuvaagi kiraunjam kulaindhu arakkar
Naeranni ittu vaLLai-ndha kadakam neLLin-thathu soor
Paeranni kettathu dhaevae-ndhira lokam pizhaiththa-thuvE

When the sharp Vel from the hands of Muruga,
Son of him who went in a decorated great chariot,
And destroyed the three cities, just by his laugh,
Split in to powder the mountain called Krouncha,
And destroyed the great formation of the army of asuras,
It managed to save the land of Indra, king of devas. 3

Oo-ra vottaar onrrai unna vottaar malar-yittu una-thaal
Saera-vottaar aivar seivathu yen yaan senru dhevar uyya
Sora nittooranai sooranai kaar udal SOri kakka
koora kattaari ittu Oar imai pOthinil konrra-vanE

Oh Lord Muruga, who along with his army killed within a second,
The very bad Soorapadma, with your sharp Velayudha,
Which made blood ooze out of his very black body?
So that the devas of heaven are saved,
Please tell me what shall be done by me because,
My mind prevents my five senses not think of your lotus like feet,
Nor think about your holy names, nor worship your feet with flowers. 4

thiru-ntha bhuvanangkaL iin-rra pon-paavai thirumulaippaal
aru-nthi saravaNa poon-thottil YERi arruvar konggai
virumbi kadal azha kunrru azha soor azha vimmi azhum
kuru-ndhai kurrinji kizhavan enru Oo-dhum kuvalayamEy

After drinking the milk of Uma who looks like a golden doll,
And who gave birth to the entire world and its beings,
After climbing and swinging in the floral cradle of Saravana stream,
After drinking the breast milk of the six Karthiga ladies,
Who cries and made cry the sea, Krouncha Mountain and Soorapadma,
Can this world calls you the old man** of Kurinchi* land? 5
* Mountainous land. ** The honourable lord

perum paim-punath-thinuL sithrae-nal kaakkinRa paedhai konggai
virumbum kumaranai mei anbinaal mella mella uLLa
arumbum thani paramaanandham thith-thiththu aRintha-vandro
karumbum thuvarth-thu sen-thaenum puLith aRa kaith-thathuvE

When we slowly and slowly start loving that Kumara,
Who likes the breasts of the girl who guards the maize fields,
WE would get in our mind the divine and great pleasure,
And as soon I tasted the sweetness that is spread by the great pleasure,
Suddenly to me the sweet sugarcane was salty and sweet honey bitter. 6

saLaththil piNi-pattu asattu kriyaikkull thavikkum endran
uLaththil piramaththai thavirppaai avunar uraththu uthira
kuLaththil kudhith-thum kuLith-thum kaLithum kudi-thum vetrik
kaLaththil serukki kazhudhu aada vel-thotta kaavalanE

Oh guard who has the Vel, in the war with Soorapadma,
In the tank of blood oozing out of the chests of ghosts and asuras,
You jumped, drowned and drank and encouraged the devas,
To play in the battle field by sending your Vel,
And so please help me to remove the trance of ignorance,
In me, who is living in this world full of dishonesty and lies,
Which have tied me by foolish deeds and which make me sad. 7

oLiyil viLai-ndha uyar-jnaana pootharaththu uchchi-yin mEl
aLiyil viLai-nthathu oru aana-ntha thaenai anaadhi-yil
veLiyil viLai-ndha veRum paazhai pethra veRum thaniyai
theLiya viLambiya vaa mugam aaRudai dhEsikanE

Oh teacher with six faces, what shall I tell about your kindness,
Which taught me the honey of happiness which was made by you,
In your top peak of your wisdom, mixed with your graceful pity,
And made me, who was living in empty solitude, clear my thoughts. 8

thean endrum paagu endrum uvamikka oNaatha mozhi dheiva vaLLi
kOn anRu enakku upadhEsith-thathu onRu uNdu kooRa-vat-thro
vaan-anRu kaal-anRu thee-anRu neer-anRu maNNum-anRu
thaan-anRu naan-anRu asaree-ri-anRu saree-ri-anRE

There is one truth taught to me by the royal lord of Valli,
Whose sweet words cannot be compared either to honey or syrup.
That great truth cannot be described by any words,
And which is not the five spirits of earth, water, fire, air and sky,
And which is neither he nor me, which has shape and also does not have shape. 9

sollugaik-killai yenRu ellaam izha-ndhu summaa irukkum
ellai-yul sella enai vitta-vaa igal vElan alla
kolliyai sErkkinRa solliyai kal-varai kovvai sevvaai
valliyai pul-kinRa maal-varai thOL aNNal vallabamEy

Words from the mouth cannot describe the greatness of the Lord,
Who has with him the very powerful victorious Vel,
And who with his mountain like shoulders hugs the goddess Valli,
Who sweetly murmurs in his ears the song set to music of the mountain,
And who has reddish mouth resembling the Kovvai fruit.
That Lord in his position of stability bereft of all desires,
Taught me with his grace all that which can be told. 10

kusai-negizhaa vetRi-vElOn avuNar kudar-kuzhambak
kasai-yidu vaasi visai koNda vaahana peelee-in koththu
asai-padu kaal pattu asai-ndhathu mEru adiyida yeN
thisai varai thooL-patta ath-thooL-in vaari thidar pattadhE

The God Velayudha who has a bright dazzle and a Victorious Vel.
Rides on a peacock* which runs faster then the horse, who churns the guts of Asuras
Due to speed generated because of its stirrup which is tightly held,
And which is constantly beaten by the whip,
And the wind generated by the movement of the wings of that peacock
Moves the Meru Mountain and the marching steps of that peacock,
Powders the mountains in all eight directions which sprayed dust,
And which turned even the oceans in to hills of dust. 11

* Peacock is the steed of Lord Kandha.Some say that is Indra and others say that it is Soorapadma with whom he waged war. It is believed that the Vel split Soorapadma in to two and one part became the Peacock and the other a Cock, which occupied the flag standard of Muruga.

padai-patta vElavan paal-va-ndha vaagai padhaa-kai yennun
thadai-patta sEval siRaku adik-koL-La saladhi kizhin-thu
udai-pattathu aNda kadaa-ka-mum udhir-nthathu udu-padalam
idai-pat-ta kunRamum maa-mEru veRpum idi-patta-vE
The cock,which came in a submissive state to Lord Muruga,
Who has the great power of exterminating the army of his enemies,
Made his flag be called as a victorious flag by one and all,
And became capable of destroying problems created by his enemies.
Flapped its wings and due to this the oceans were torn asunder,
The sky and the horizon broke and all the mountains along,
With the mount Meru in the middle were powdered in to dust. 12

oruvarai pang-gin udaiyaaL kumaaran-udai maNi-sEr
thiru-varai kiN-kiNi Oo-sai-pada thiduk-kitta arakkar
veru-vara thikku sevidu-pattu ettu veRpum kanaka
paruvarai kunRum adhir-nthana dheavar bayam ket-ta-thE

The young son of the Goddess who has the God as her half,
Wore a bell in his pretty waist and the sound 'kling klang' from that bell,
Created great fear in the heart of all asuras, made every one deaf,
And the eight mountains with golden Meru in the middle,
Which touched the skies trembled because of it,
And these events removed the fear from the mind of Devas. 13

kup-paasa vaazhk-kaiyul kooth-thaadum aivaril kot-pu-adai-ntha
ip-paasa nen-janai ii-dERRu-vaai iru naanku veRpum
ap-paadhiyaai vizha MaEru-vum kulungga viNNaarum uyya
sappaaNi kottiya kai aaRi-raNdu udai shaNmuganE

Oh God with six heads, the thunderous clap of your twelve hands,
Broke the eight mountains in eight directions in to pieces,
Made the mount Meru tremble and saved the devas,
Oh God please take me, who dances with the idea that life in earth is everything,
And who wanders all around due the confusion created by the trance,
In to your grace and save me from these delusions. 14

thaavadi Oo-ttum mayililum dhEavar thalaiyilum en
paa-adi yEttilum pattathu-anRO padi maavali paal
moovadi kaettu anRu moodhu-aNda kooda mugadu mutta
sEvadi neettum perumaan marugan than sit-thra-adiyE

Oh nephew of the God, who begged for three steps of earth from Mahabali,
And took the superior form and his steps touched the highest mountains,
Your small steps touch the peacock rushing towards the battlefield,
And the heads of devas as well as the book of poems that I wrote. 15

thadung-kkOL manaththai vidung-kkOL veguLiyai dhaanam enRum
idung-kkOL iru-ntha-padi irung-kkOL ezhu paarum uyya
kodum kOba soorudan kunRam thiRakka thoLaikka vai-vEl
vidung-kOn aruL va-nthu thaanE umakku veLip-padumEy

Oh people of the world, don�t allow your mind to wander as it likes,
Completely leave out the very harmful anger, give charity to the poor,
And firmly establish yourself in these three different good aspects,
And if you do so the grace of Lord Muruga, who with great anger sent his sharp Vel,
On Soorapadma and also broke the Krouncha mountain to save the world,
Would come of its own so that you would be able to see it. 16

vEdha-aagama chithra vElaa-yudhan vet-chi pooththa thaNdai
paa-dhaara-vi-ndham araNaaga allum pagalum illaa
soo-thaa-nadhu at-thra veLikkE oLiththu summaa-irukka
pOdhaai ini manamE theriyaadhu oru pootharkkumEy

Oh my heart, the lotus like feet of, he holds the Vel, which wears the anklets,
Praised by the Vedas and Agamas, seems to have opened like a flower,
For the sake of protecting me and you be silent and hide from all beings,
In the space of divine wisdom where night, day and deceit are not thee. 17

vaiyil kadhir vadivElOnai vaazhththi vaRi-njarkku enRum
noiyin piLavu-aLa-vEnum pagir-minkaL nung-gatku ingngan
veiyiRku odhungga udhavaa udambin veRu-nizhal POll
kaiyil poruLum udhavaadhu kaaN um kadai vazhikkE

Like the shadow of the body which does not even provide shade during torrid heat,
When you are about to die, the assets that you have will be of no help,
And so salute the Lord Muruga who has the shining and sharp Vel,
And also share the broken rice that you have with the poor, always. 18

sonna kiraun-ja giri-uduruvith thoLaiththa vEl
manna kadambin malar-maalai maarba mau-naththai ut-thru
ninnai uNar-ndhu uNar-ndhu ellaam orung-giya nir-guNam poonndu
ennai maRa-ndhiru-ndhean iRa-nthu vittadhu iv-vudambE

Oh Lord who made a hole with his Vel on the golden Krouncha Mountain,
Oh king, who wears the garland of Kadamba flowers over his chest,
When I realized you with my real wisdom and got in to a state of no properties*,
I forgot myself completely and this body was completely dead. 19
* Beyond Sathwa, Rajas and Thamas

kOzhi kodiyan adi paNiyaamal kuvala-yaththae
vaazha karudhum madhiyili-kaaL unggaL val-vinai nO-i
Uzhil peru-vali uNNa-ot-taathu ungaL aththam ellaam
aazha pudhaiththu vaiththaal varumO num adip-piRagE

Oh foolish one who think that they can live in this great world,
Without worshipping the feet of he who has cock in his flag,
Due to your great mistake, the disease caused by the powerful fate,
Will not allow you to enjoy all the wealth that you have earned,
And even if you bury that wealth deep, will it ever follow you? 20

maraNNa piramaadham namakku-illai-yaam enRum vaaith-tha thunnai
kiraNNa kalaabiyum vElum uNdE kiNkiNi muguLa
saraNNa pirathaapa sasidhEvi manggalya tha-ndhu
rakshaa-baraNa krupaakara jnaanaa-kara sura bhaaSkaranE

Oh God, who has lotus like feet adorned by jingling anklets,
Oh merciful one who saved the husband of Devi Sasi from death,
Oh personification of wisdom who shines like the Sun God,
The fate of death is not for me, because I have got to myself,
Your peacock with dazzling feathers as well as your Vel. 21

moii-thaar aNi-kuzhal vaLLiyai vEttavan muth-thamizhaal
vai-thaarai-yum anggu vaazha vaip-pOn veyya vaaraNam pOl
kai-thaan irupadhu udai-yaan thalai paththum kaththarikka
ei-thaan marugan umaiyaaL baya-ndha ilang-chiyamEy

The God who married Valli who wears flowers,
In her pretty hair around which bees fly,
The god who is the nephew of Lord Rama,
Who cut off the ten heads of Ravana,
Who resembled an exuberant elephant,
And the God who is the stream of Goddess Parvathi,
Would be present and bless the one with happiness,
Even if ill is told of him in the three Tamils*. 22
*Three main parts of Tamil are writing, music and drama

dheivath thirumalai senggOttil vaazhum sezhum-sudare
vai-vaiththa vER-padai vaana-vanE maRavEn unai naan
ai-varkku idam peRak kaal iraNdu Oo-tti adhil iraNdu
kai-vaiththa veedu kulaiyum munnE va-ndhu kaath-tharuLae

Oh lustrous light living in the Godly mountain of Thiruchengodu**.
Oh God who holds the Vel as his weapon, I would never forget you,
Please do come and save me before this house having five organs*,
Built on the foundation of two legs with two hands, perishes. 23
* Body, toungue, eyes, ears and nose.
** Temple town in Namakkal district

kinnam kuRiththu adiyean sevi nee anRu kEtkas sonna
kunnam kuRichchi veLi-yaakki vittadhu kO-du-kuzhal
sinnam kuRikka kuRing-chik kizhavar siRumi-thanai
munnam kuRich-chi-yil senRu kalyaaNam muyanRavanae

Oh God who married the daughter of the chieftain of the mountain,
In Mountainous area known as Vallimalai*, when horn, flute and drums were played,
You decided to remove my sorrow and secretly told in my ears,
The secret that made me realize and this truth was made known to me in this small place 24
* Situated in North Arcot district near Walaja.

DhaNdaa-yudhamum thiri-soolamum vizhath thaakki unnaith
thiNdaada vetti vizha viduvEn senthil vElanakku
thoNdaagiya en avi-rOdha jnaana sudar vaaL
kaN-dhaai adaa an-dhakaa vandhu paar saththru en kaikkku ettavE

Oh God of death, if you dare come near my arms,
See the sword of wisdom with me, who am a servant,
Of the Lord holding the Vel of Thiruchendur*,
And I would make you fall down after cutting you,
With your weapons known as Dandayudha and trident. 25
*The only famous temple of Muruga in the sea shore.

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