[Spiritual Union with Kanda]
By Saint Arunagiri Nathar
Translated by P. R. Ramachander*
*[My understanding is based on a Tamil translation by poet Pi. Ra. Natarajan and English translation by Swami Anyananda]
[God Kanda (or Skanda - He who supports everything) or Muruga (the pretty lord) or Kumara (The young lad) or Guha (he who lives in the cave of our mind) or Karthikeya (He who was taken care of by Karthigai maidens) or Arumugha (Or Shanmuga-the God with six faces) has been sung about by literally thousands of poets in Tamil Nadu. But the pride of place among those poets would be occupied by Saint Arunagirinathar of Thiruvannamalai in Tamil nadu. His Thiruppugazh (divine fame of god) is possibly the greatest ever book that would extol Kanda. The poet Arunagirinathar represents a remarkable blend of Tamil literary genius, a high degree of devotion to Murugan and a musical expertise. It literally melts one’s mind . Kandar alankaram (Description of Kanda) and Kandar Anubhoothi (Spiritual union with Kanda) are two other great books of this poet. I have tried my best to translate Kandhar Anubhuthi, realizing well, that I am too much insufficient for the job that I have undertaken.]
[Protective verse - A prayer to Ganapathi]
Nencha kana kallum negizhndu urugath,
Thanjathu arul shanmuganukku iyal cher,
Chenchor punai malai chiranthidave,
Panchakkara aanai padam panivom.
We salute the holy feet of the five armed elephant god,
So that this garland made of naturally flowing words,
Which are very apt to describe the six faced lord,
Who protects devotees who approach him with devotion
In their mind, would even melt very heavy stones.
Aadum pari Vel ani cheval yenap,
Padum paniye paniyay arulvay,
Thedum kayamaa muganai cheruvil,
Chadum thani yanai sodharane. 1
Oh, god who is the brother of the elephant god,
Who defeated the elephant faced asura in a war,
Give me always, the only job of singing about you.
Your dancing peacock, your spear and the cock on your flag.
Ullasa nirakula yoga idhach,
Challabha vinodhanum nee yallayo,
Yellam aara ennai izhanda nalam,
Chollay muruga sura bhoo pathiye. 2
Are you not he who gets interested in,
Happiness, absence of sorrow, yoga,
And joyful actions and so please advice me,
To get detached from everything and forget me and my ego,
Oh Lord Muruga, who is the lord of earth and heaven.
Vaano punal paar kanal maaruthamo,
Jnanodhayamo navil naan marayo,
Yano manamo, yenai aanda idam,
Thaano porul aavathu Shanmugane. 3
Oh Lord Shanmuga please tell, which is really real,
Is it the sky, water, earth, fire or wind?
Or is it the rising of wisdom or Is it the four Vedas,
Or is it myself, or my mind or the place where you blessed me?
Valai patta kaimmathodu, makkal yenum,
Thalai pattu azhiya thagumo,.thagumo,
Kilai pattu ezhu choor uravum giriyum,
Tholai pattu uruvathodu Velavane. 4
Is it proper, is it proper, to be imprisoned,
By love for the wife wearing bangles, sons and relations,
Oh Lord with the Vel who pierced and killed Sura Padma,
Along with his relations and also the flying Krouncha mountain.
(Krouncha was the assistant of Tharaka (brother of Sura Padma), who used to take the shape of a mountain and prevent, his enemies Vel - is a spear carried by Muruga)
Maga mayai kalainthida valla piraan,
Mugam aarum mozhindum ozhindilane,
Agam maadai madantair endru aayarum,
Chaga mayayul nindru thayanguvathe. 5
Oh Lord who is capable removing the great illusion,
Though I shouted several times, Oh Lord with six faces,
I am not able to get rid of the illusion of my house,
My wealth, my wife and only think about them.
Thiniyana manochilai meedu unathal,
Ani aar aravindam arumbumatho,
Paniya yena valli padam paniyum,
Thaniya athi moha daya prane. 6
When will you place your lotus like feet,
On the hard hearted mind of mine, Oh God,
Who is the merciful lord, who salutes the feet of Valli,
And ask her, What can I do for you?
Keduvay manane gathi kel karavaathu,
Iduvay vadi Vel irai thaan ninaivay,
Chuduvay nedu vedanai thool padave,
Viduvay viduvay vinai yavaiu may. 7
Oh mind which is getting spoiled,
I would tell you a solution to improve,
Give all that you have and meditate on the feet,
Of Him who holds the Vel,
And get all your long time problems burnt,
And stop, and stop worrying about your fate.
Amarum pathi kel, agamam enum ip,
Pimaram keda mey porul pesiyava,
Kumaran kiri rasa kumaari makan,
Samaram poru danava nasakane. 8
Oh Kumara, the son of the daughter of the mountain,
Oh Lord, who destroyed all asuras in war,
Oh Lord who talked about the eternal truth that,
My home, my relations and myself are but illusions.
Mattoor choozhal mangayar maiyal valaip,
Pattu oosal padum parisu endru ozhiven,
Thattu oodara Vel sayilathu eriyum,
Nittoora nirakula nirbhayane. 9
Oh angry Lord without confusion and fear,
Who threw his Vel on Krouncha mountain,
And made it split in the middle,
When will you save me from the passionate net,
Spread by girls wearing honey sweet flowers?
Kaarma misai kalan varin kalapath,
Therma misaim vandu yedirapaduvai,
Thaar maarba valaari thalaari yenum,
Soormaa madiya thodu Velavane. 10
Oh Lord, wearing a flower garland,
Who killed the king called Valan,
And who killed Surapadma,
Who took the form of a mango tree,
And destroyed of heaven Of Indra,
Please come to save me riding on a peacock,
When God of death comes riding on a buffalo.
Kookaa yena yen kilai koodi azhap,
Pokaa vagai mey porul pesiyava,
Nagachala Velavaa nalu kavith,
Thyaga sura loka shikamaniye. 11
Oh Lord with the Vel, living on the serpent mountain*,
Who is the gem of the land of devas and who bestowed on me,
The capacity to sing poems in all four different types,
When my relatives gather and cry loudly with sorrow,
At my death, you taught me the ultimate truth.
[* Serpent mountain -Thiruchengottu malai in Tamil Nadu]
Chemman magalai thirudum thirudan,
Pemman murugan piravaan iravaan,
Chumma iru chol aara endralume,
Aamma porul ondrum arindilane. 12
When he, the thief who eloped with the deer’s daughter*,
The great Lord Muruga without birth or death,
Told me, avoid words and do nothing,
Oh God, I did not understand the meaning of those words.
* Valli - she was brought up by Nambi Raja a hunter king
Murugan thani Vel, muni nam guru endru,
Arul kondu ariyar ariyum tharamo,
Uru andru, aaru andru, ulathu andru, ilaathu andru,
Irul andru, oli andru yena nindrathuve. 13
That which has neither form or no form,
And is Neither a being or a non being,
And is neither darkness nor light,
Is understood as Murugan, a sage with a Vel,
And who is our teacher, only through His grace.
Kai vay kadir Vel murugan kazhal pethu,
Uyvay manane ozhivay ozhivay,
Mey vay vizhi nasi yodum cheviyaam,
Aiwai vazhi chollum aavaa vinaye. 14
Oh mind, please leave out, and leave out all desires,
Flowing through the body, mouth, eye, nose, ears,
And get salvation by surrendering at the feet of Muruga,
Who holds the shining Vel in his hands.
Murugan, kumaran Guhan endru mozhindu,
Urugum cheyal thanthu unaruv endru arulvay,
Poru punga varum puviyum paravum,
Guru pungava enguna panjarane. 15
Oh Lord who is the teacher praised by,
Devout devas and the people of earth,
Oh Lord who is blessed with eight qualities,
Please grant me the senses which make my mind to melt,
When calling you, Muruga, Kumara and Guha*.
[* Muruga - Pretty one. Kumara - Lad. Guha - He who lives in the cave of our mind.]
Perasai enum piniyil pettu,
Oraa vinayen uzhala thagumo,
Veera mudu choor pada Vel eriyum,
Soora sura loka durandarne. 16
Oh Valorous one, who threw the Vel,
To destroy the ogre Surapadma,
Oh God who protects the heaven,
Is it proper for me, who am not wise and bad,
To always suffer the ties,
Of the disease of avarice?
Yaam odhiya kalviyum, yem arivum,
Thaame pera Velavar thandathanaal,
Poo mel mayal poy aara mey punarveer,
Naa mel nadaveer, Nadaveer iniye. 17
The knowledge we have learnt,
And the wisdom that we have,
Are only gifts given by Lord Muruga himself,
And so renounce the craze for worldly life,
Understand the truth and let your toungue walk*.
*Walk- sing the praises of Lord Muruga.
Udiyaa mariyaa unaraa maravaa,
Vidhi maal ariya vimalan pudalvaa,
Aadhikaa, aanakaa aabhayaa aamaraa,
Vadhi kavala soora bhayangarane. 18
Oh son of Lord Shiva, who is birth less,
Deathless, cannot be felt and cannot be known,
Even by Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma,
Oh protector of the town of Devas,
Oh God, who is the greatest,
Who is without sins and who grants protection,
And who was seen as a fearful one by Soorapadma.
Vadivum dhanavum manamum gunamum,
Kudiyum kulavum kudi pokiyava,
Adi andham ilaa ayil Vel arase,
Midi endru oru paavi Velippadine. 19
Oh king with a spear who has no end nor beginning,
If the sinner called poverty were to visit me, then
Will not my beauty, my wealth, my mind, my good qualities,
My family status and my caste status desert me and go somewhere else.
Arithagiya mey porulukku adiyen,
Urithaa upadesam unarthiyava,
Viritharana vikram Vel emayor.
Puri tharaka naga purandarane. 20
Oh God who taught me the real meaning,
Of the rare and difficult to get truth,
Oh Lord who is the Pranava wanted by devas,
Oh Lord who saved the city of Devas,
And Oh Lord who due to his great strength,
Is liked by every body.
Karuthaa maravaa neri kana enakku,
Iru thaal vanasam thara endru isaivai,
Varada, Muruga, Mayil Vaganane,
Viradha Soora veera vibhadanane. 21
Oh giver of boons, Oh Muruga, Oh Lord who travels on peacock,
Oh God who considers protection of his devotees as his duty,
And Oh Lord, who cut asunder the hated Soorapadma,
When will you consent to give your lotus like feet to me,
So that I can find the unthinkable and unforgettable way.
Kalai Kumaresan yena karudhi,
Thalai paniya thavam yeythiyava,
Palai kuzhal Valli padam paniyum,
Velai sura bhoopahi meruvaye. 22
When I was doing penance to worship your feet,
Thinking you as youthful Lord Kumara,
You, who was the king of devas and
Strong like the great mountain Meru,
Were worshipping the feet of Valli,
With tresses as long as an areca nut sheath.
Adiyai kuriyathu ariyamamayinal,
Mudiya kedavo murayo murayo,
Vadi vikrama Vel makiba kuramin,
Kodiyai punarum guna bhoodarane. 23
If due to ignorance, when I was not able to worship your feet,
Is it proper, Is it proper for you to forsake me and make me suffer,
Oh Lord with a sharp Vel, Oh Lord with mountain like virtues,
Oh virtuous Lord, who is in tight embrace of the lightning like Valli.
Koor Vel vizhi mangayar kongayile,
Cherven, arul cheravum ennumatho,
Choor verodu kundru tholaitha nedum,
Por Vela purandara bhoopathiye. 24
I embrace the busts of spear sharp eyed women,
And when will I ever be able to embrace your grace,”
Oh king of deva loka, Oh lord who destroyed Soora Padma
And Oh Lord who split the mountain in to two.
Meyye yen vevvinai vazhvai ukandu,
Iyo adiyen alaya thagumo,
Kaio ayilo kazhalo muzhudum,
Cheyyoy mayil yeriya chevagane. 25
Oh Warrior who rides on a peacock,
Whose hands, Vel and everything emits red colour,
Alas, Is it proper for me to wander about,
Because of the life of evil ways that I lead?
Aadaram ilen, arulai perave,
Nee thaan chathum ninaindu ilaye,
Vedagama gnana vinoda mano.
Theethaa, sura loka shikamaniye. 26
Oh Crest jewel of the world of Devas,
Who takes interest in knowledge of Vedas and Agamas,
Who is much beyond the human mind,
You did not ever think of showering your mercy,
On me who does not merit receiving your grace.
Minne nigar vazhvai virumbiya yaan,
Yenne vidhiyin payan ingu idhuvo,
Ponne, maniye, porule, arule,
Manna mayil yeriya vahanane. 27
Oh king who rides on the peacock,
Oh gold, Oh jewel, oh wealth, oh grace,
Is this result of proper fate for me,
Who liked the life which is like lightning?
Aanaa, amuthee ayal Vel arase,
Jnana karane, navila thagumo,
Yaan aagiya yennai vizhungi verum,
Thanai nilai nindrathu tharparame. 28
Oh nectar for, which one says never enough,
Oh God who is having a pointed Vel,
Oh God who blesses me with wisdom,
Is it not proper for you to tell the truth,
Which would help me swallow the I,
And make me reach the highest ever state?
Ille yenum mayayil ittanai nee,
Pollean ariyamai poruthu illaye,
Malle puri panniru vaguvil yen,
Cholle punayum sudar Velavane. 29
Oh, holder of the shining Vel, who carries,
In his twelve hands which are meant for wrestling,
The garland of words that has been spun by me,
You made me drown in this illusion of family life,
And so please pardon the ignorant mistakes done by me.
Chevvan uruvil thigazh Velavan andru,
Ovvaathathu yena unarvithathu thaan,
Avvaru arivaar arikindrathu allal,
Yevvaru oruvarkku isaivippaduve. 30
The lord who has a body of crimson colour of the sky,
Who holds the Vel, that day made one realize, the divine knowledge
And those who understood it, can really know and experience it,
But are unable to tell, what they know to others and make them understand.
Paazh vaazhvu yenum eppadu mayayile,
Veezhvay yena ennai vidithanaye,
Thazhvanavai cheythanathaam ulavo,
Vazhvay ini nee mayil vahanane. 31
Did you fate me to fall in this useless life,
Which is but a mire of illusion, due to my bad acts,
Or those which I did in my earlier life,
Oh God who rides on a peacock, may you prosper.
Kalaye padari kadari thalai yudu,
Alaye padumaaru aaduvay vidavo,
Kolaye puri vedar kula pidithoy,
Malaye malai kooridu vagayane. 32
Oh God who split the mountain in to two,
And Oh Mountain like God, who embraced the girl,
Who is as pretty as the she elephant,
From the clan of hunters, who kill for living,
When will I, get freedom from this dizzy feeling,
Created due to the fuddled learning of all sciences.
Chinthakula illodu chelvam yenum,
Vindhadavi endru vida peruven,
Mandakini thanda varodayane,
Kanda muruga karunakarane. 33
Oh Kanda, Oh Muruga, Oh doer of mercy,
Oh God who was given by river Ganga,
Oh God who was born as a result of boon to devas,
When will I be able to leave out of Vindhya jungle,
Of worries created by having wife and wealth?
Singara madanthayar thee neri poy,
Mangamal yenakku varam tharuvay,
Sangrama shikavala shanmugane,
Ganga nadhi, bala krupakarne. 34
Oh God with six faces who rides on a peacock,
Which is expert in warfare,
Oh boy from river Ganga,
Oh God who does merciful deeds,
Give me a boon that mind and intellect,
Should not get dimmed due to pursuits,
Of evil women, who are extremely pretty.
Vidhi kaanum udambay vidaa vinayen,
Gathi kaana malar kazhal endru arulvay,
Madivaal noodal valliyai allathu pin.
Thudhiya viradar sura bhoopathiye. 35
Oh King of devas, who has taken a vow,
Not to praise any one else except Valli, with a crescent forehead,
When will this miserable me, attain your lotus like feet,
Leaving out this body afflicted by misery created by Brahma?
Nadhaa, Kumaraa nama, endru aaranaar,
Oodhaa yena odhiyathu yepporul thaan,
Vedaa mudal vinnavar choodumalarp,
Pada kuramin pada shekharane. 36
Oh God whose lotus like feet is meditated,
By Lord Brahma and other devas,
But who has the feet of Valli on his head,
When Lord Shiva called you, Oh Lord, Oh Kumara
And requested to teach him, what did you teach him?
Kirivay vidu vikrama Vel irayon,
Parivaram yenum padam mevalaye,
Purivay manane porayaam arival,
Arivay adiyodu aganthayaiye. 37
Oh mind, please prefer to be,
One among the family of the God
Who made a hole in the mountain using the Vel,
And uproot the feeling of ego with the sword of patience.
Aathaaliyai ondru ariyenai arath,
Theethaaliyai aandathu cheppu matho,
Koodaala kirada kulikku iraiva,
Vethala kanam pukazhum Velane. 38
Oh Lord who wears Koothala flowers,
Oh Lord of the girl from hunter’s clan,
Oh Lord who is praised by clan of demons,
Why did you make me, who is boastful,
Ignorant and addicted to evil, your slave?
Maa yezh chananam keda mayai vidaa,
Moovedanai endru mudithidumo,
Kove kuramin kodithol punarum,
Deva shiva shankara desikane. 39
Oh king, Oh Lord who embraces,
The shoulders of Valli of the hunter clan,
Oh teacher of Lord Shiva,
When will the three desires* attached,
To illusion which push me away,
From the seven higher births,** end?
*Three desires: desire for wealth, wife and progeny
**Seven higher births: Devas, Men, Animal, Birds, insects, water living beings and plants
Vinai oda vidum kadir Vel maraven,
Manayodu thiyangi mayangidavo,
Chunayodu, aruvi thurayodu, pasun,
Thinayodu, ithanodu thirinthavane. 40
Oh Lord who wandered in search of Valli,
In streams, river ghats and green millet fields,
I will not forget your Vel which drives away fate,
And in this state should I get attracted to the family life?
Chakaathu yenaiye charanangalile,
Kaka namanaar kalakam cheyum naal,
Vakaa muruga, mayil vahanane,
Yoga siva jnana upadesikane. 41
Oh Victorious one, Oh Muruga,
Oh Lord who rides on the peacock,
Oh Lord who taught the knowledge of Shiva,
When the God of death is quarreling with me,
Prevent my fear of death and keep me under your feet.
Kuriyai kuriyathu kurithu ariyum,
Neriyai thani Velai nigazhthidalum,
Cherivathu ulagodu urai chinthayum athu,
Arivu athu, ariyamayum athadhuve. 42
That pretty Lord who has a Vel,
Lived deep within my mind and
Made me understand that method to meditate,
Which lies in thinking of that and nothing else,
And that made me cut off, my attachment with the world,
And Speech and mind ceased, along with ignorance and knowledge.
Thoosaa maniyum thugilum punaival,
Nesa murugaa ninathu anbu arulaal,
Aasaa nigalam thugal aayina pin,
Pesaa anubhuthi piranthathuve. 43
Oh Lord who is the friend of her,
Who wears beads and cloths,
By your loving grace, the animal,
Of desire was made into a dust,
And that understanding which,
Makes one silent was born.
Chadum thani Vel murugan charanam,
Choodumpadi thanthathu chollumatho,
Veedum churar maamudi vedamum vem,
Kadum punamum kamazhum kazhale. 44
Oh Lord with a Vel, which destroys fate,
Your feet which is placed in, the city of salvation,
The heads of best devas, on Vedas and in the,
Weltering forest as well as in millet lands,
Gives them a perfumed existence and
How do I tell your grace for permitting,
Those feet placed on my head also?
Karavagiya kalvi ular kadai chendru,
Irava vagai mey porul eeguvaiyo,
Kurava, kumara, kulisayudha kunch
Charava, siva yoga daya parane. 45
Oh teacher, oh Kumara, oh God with,
Thunderbolt as weapon, oh consort of Devayani,
Oh compassionate one, oh bestower of Shiva Jnana,
Would you please give me the true knowledge,
Without my begging for that, from those,
Who have knowledge but do not tell others?
En thaayum, yenakku arul thanthayum nee,
Chinthakulam aanavai theertha yenai aal,
Kanda, kadir Velavane, umayal,
Maintha, kumara, marai nayakane. 46
Oh Kanda, Oh lord having the shining Vel,
Oh son of Parvathi, Oh Kumara, Oh lord of Vedas,
You are my mother as well as father who showers his grace,
And so please destroy all my worries and rule over me.
Aaraarayum neethu, athan mel nilayai,
Pera adiyen peramaru uladho,
Cheera varuchoor chidaivithu imayor,
Kooraa ulagam kulirvithavane. 47
Oh Lord who destroyed the very irate Soorapadma,
Oh Lord who protected the land of devas as per their request,
When will you cast the way for me to get the state,
Of assimilation with you, which is beyond the thirty six states*?
Thirty six states are:
1. State of the soul (24):
Five elements: Earth, water, fire, wind and ether,
Five sense organs: Body, mouth, eye, nose and ear.
Five senses: Touch, taste, sight, smell and sound
Five Karmendryas: Word, feet, hands, Gas and phlegm.
Four interior organs: Mind, wisdom, anger and grace.
2. State of learning (7):
Time period, law, art, education, desire, Past Karma and basic personality
3. State of Shiva (5):
Godliness, pure knowledge, power, sound and Divine grace.
Arivu ondru ara nindru ariyar arivil,
Pirivu ondru ara nindra piraan aalayo,
Cherivu ondru ara vandu irule chidhaya,
Veri vendravarodum urum Velavane. 48
Oh god who cuts off attachments,
And make the darkness of ignorance run away,
Oh God with Vel, who puts me in to contact,
With those who have won over their five senses,
You are the one who never moves away and stays,
With those who have cut off the feeling of ego.
Thannam thani ninrathu thaan aariya,
Innam oruvarkku isaivippathu vo,
Minnum kadir Vel vigirtha ninaivar,
Kinnam kalayum krupai choozh chudare. 49
Oh God, who holds the shining Vel,
Oh God, who removes problems of those who think of you,
And Oh God, who is the light that is surrounded by mercy,
How can we tell others, the divine knowledge,
That the true soul is unattached and stands alone?
Madhi kettu aravaadi mayangi arak,
Kadhi kettu avame kedavo kadaven,
Nadhi puthira jnana sukadhipa ath.
Thithi puthirar veeru adu chevakane. 50
Oh, Son of the river who gets pleasure from true knowledge,
And who destroyed the sons of Thithi with his valour,
Should I move away from the fate of the good?
Due to my loss of the intellect and consequent,
Trance of Ignorance brought about by illusion?
Uruvay aaruvau ulathay ilathay,
Maruvay malaray maniyay oliyay,
Karuvay uyiray kathiyay vidhiyay,
Guruvay varvay, arulvay Guhane. 51
Oh Guha show mercy on me and come,
As one, with form and one without form,
As one, who has and one who has not,
As scent, as flowers, as gems, as light,
As the seed, as the life within the seed,
As the aim and as the fate leading to the aim,
And as the teacher, who teaches me.