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Kanthar Anubhuthi is a deeply philosophical and spiritual treatise with profound mystical import of Saint Arunagirinathar, who stands unique among the devotee-saints of the Tamil Nadu.

Kanthar Anubhuthi is a work of 51 verses. It is held in high esteem as a Mantra-Sastra and as the crowning glory of Sri Arunagirinathar's works, because of its high spiritual value and depth. The verses are short, rather the smallest in all the works of Arunagirinathar, but they are the most sublime. As the title suggests, it is a work on (the attainment of) God-Experience. There are certain editions of the Kanthar Anubhuthi with 100 verses, but the last 49 verses are generally rejected as later additions by someone and not Arunagirinathar's words.

"Kantha," in Tamil, is "Skanda" in Sanskrit; it is one of the names of the spiritual Son of Lord Siva. Some of Skanda's other names being: Shanmukha, Karttikeya, Guhan, Velayudhan, Murugan, etc. He is the younger brother of Lord Sri Ganesha.

"Anubhuthi," is rather a Sanskrit term used in the Tamil language as well in the same sense, i.e., direct or immediate Experience of God, and it denotes the spiritual union of the soul with God. It usually implies the highest non-dual or Advaitic realization. It is Sakshatkara or direct experience. Hence, Kanthar Anubhuthi would mean the Immediate or Direct Divine Experience of Lord Skanda. And, to Arunagirinathar, Lord Skanda is not merely a personal deity or Ishta Devata but the Supreme Absolute Itself, as he himself reveals in many verses, particularly in verses 2, 13, 28, and 49. Hence, we may say that "Kanthar Anubhuthi" means, in simple terms,"God Experience."

Saint Arunagirinathar is the author of many poetic works of which the Kanthar Anubhuthi is his masterpiece. Though it is a small work of 51 verses or stanzas, it is very rich in spiritual wisdom and is full of deep significance. It is a treasure of rare knowledge to seekers of Truth and a mine of devotion to lovers of God. It is an unusual work of a mysterious synthesis of Bakthi and Jnana, of devotion and wisdom — the one overlapping the other; at once touching the heart and igniting pure emotions as well as provoking deep thought and transcending the intellect. Suffice it to say that it is regarded as a Mantra-Sastra or a treatise of mystic imports and has been placed on par with the well-known Mantra-Sastra of Thirumanthiram — a treatise of 3,000 verses of Saint Thirumular, who used to remain absorbed in Samadhi for one full year, only to rise from it to give one verse and remain absorbed again. The Thirumanthiram is the 10th book of the Panniru Thirumurai (the 12 sacred Saiva works) of the Saivites. Correspondingly, the Kanthar Anubhuthi is regarded as the 10th book of the Panniru Thirumurai of the followers of Lord Murugan. Thus, the glory and greatness of the work can be understood in a measure, though to realize it in full measure it has to enter into one's being and become part of one's own experience.

It is rightly believed that the work Kanthar Anubhuthi contains itself, explicitly and implicitly, many Mantras. The Names of the Lord, such as Murugan, Kantha, Shanmukha, Guhan, Velava, are mantras by themselves; and the work is replete with these Names of the Lord. Further, in many verses there are mantras in the form of mystic formulae. For instance, "Velum Mayilum Thunai" in verse 1, "Naatha Kumaraa Namah" in verse 36, "(Naan) Iraiyoon Parivaaram" in verse 37, "Guruvaai Varuvaai Arulvaii Guhanae" in verse 51 — the details about which can be found in the explanations of the verses. There is also another reason why the Kanthar Anubhuthi is regarded as a Mantra-Sastra. "Mananaat Trayate Iti Mantra" — that by the Manana or reflection of which one is saved or released (from Samsara) is a mantra. Truly, a deep reflection and meditation on this mystic work and its imports liberates one from bondage.

The Vel of Lord Skanda, which is identical with Him, is a mystic Divine weapon with which He destroyed the Asuras. The Vel which is Wisdom-Absolute also annihilates the inner Asuras or enemies of Avidya, Kama, and Karma, and liberates the Jiva from transmigration. The Vel is a mysterious divine power and is referred to by Saint Arunagirinathar as the Mantra-Vel in one of his Thiruppugal songs. And, out of the 51 verses of the Kanthar Anubhuthi, there is a direct invocation to the Vel in 25 verses. For this reason as well, the work is regarded as a Mantra-Sastra.

Thus, being replete with the Names of the Lord, which are mantras; containing many mystic formulae (Mantras) in its bosom, a reflection or repetition of which liberates one from Samsara; being filled with invocations to the Vel which is mystic in nature, which destroys Avidya; a daily recitation of this marvellous Mantra-Sastra, the Kanthar Anubhuthi, is capable of bestowing on one whatever one honestly seeks and exactly in the manner one seeks. Hence, to the devotees of Lord Skanda, the Kanthar Anubhuthi is a holy book for daily parayanam (devout recitation) and there are devotees even today who can narrate their personal experiences and the miraculous protection received by them from the Lord by resorting to the repetition of a single verse or even a part of a verse from the Kanthar Anubhuthi. We may, in passing, refer to one or two such instances.

(1) A devotee, who used to do daily parayanam of the Kanthar Anubhuthi, was proceeding from one village to another through a jungle-path. He was suddenly accosted by a thief. The devotee plucked the stem of a betel leaf which he was carrying and uttering the phrase "Tholaipatturuvath Thodu Velavanae", meaning: "O Lord Velayudha, who dispatched the Vel as to pierce (through the heart of the Asura Surapadman)" (last line of verse 4), shot it on the thief. Lo! The betel stem acted as the Vel and killed the thief on the spot.

(2) The Saiva Siddhanta Maha Samajam, Madras, has published a book entitled "Kanthar Anubhuthi", in Tamil, with the original verses, their respective Yantras or Chakras and Mula-Mantras. Its author is Sri M.P. Thyagaraja Mudaliar, B.A., who was the Assistant Secretary of the Samajam. He was initiated into the verses and the yantras by a Sannyasin who had attained great Siddhis in them and to whom the yantras and Mula-Mantras were revealed in meditation. The author has narrated an interesting incident in his book, as follows:

"It was in the year 1956. An American, Mr. Edward James, was doing Devi Upasana and had some obstacles in his practices. He wrote from America to the revered Mudaliar to suggest some means to overcome the obstacles. In his reply, Sri Mudaliar hinted at the need for invoking Lord Ganesha's grace to overcome the obstacles and advised him to repeat the first verse of the Kanthar Anubhuthi (Aadumpari Vel…) together with its Mula-Mantra and Yantra. Mr. James acted accordingly and in about three months' time, he had a mysterious experience. He wrote: 'While I was thus, meditating, an elderly person, clad in pure white clothes and with a Kamandalu in his hand, surrounded by elephants, appeared in my room, and poured from his Kamandalu a little holy water into my mouth and that of my wife who was also in meditation. Then everything disappeared into a mass of light. Since then I am totally transformed and I continue my Devi Upasana without any impediment.'"

From the above incidents, we can imagine the immense benefits that could be derived from a systematic parayanam of the Kanthar Anubhuthi, daily. If a line in a verse or a single verse can do so much, what cannot be achieved from a recitation of the whole work? While the repetition of a particular verse with its Mula-Mantra and Yantra bestows such results, an unselfish, daily recitation of all the 51 verses without any expectation from the Lord does not only remove one's physical and psychological ills, and protect one from all dangers, but also bestow on one the higher blessings of pure love of God and Divine Wisdom as well, is my own conviction and experience.

To my knowledge, there is no commentary on the Kanthar Anubhuthi available in English, though I understand that more than 25 years ago someone published a bare translation of it, but of this no information or copy can now be had.

There are, of course, many commentaries available, in Tamil, on this great work and each one has a specific purpose or is characterized by certain predilections. Thus, there are commentaries purely for students, direct and simple, so as to enable them to understand the meaning even as they recite the verses; for the masses, delivered as a series of talks and subsequently edited and published; for scholars, with profuse quotations from the different Tamil works; for devotees, extolling the glory and greatness of the Lord by recounting His Divine Deeds with anecdotes and stories so as to instill faith in their hearts; and so on and so forth. There are again commentaries based on the Saiva Siddhanta philosophy as well as on the Vedanta philosophy. My effort is to interpret and explain the verses mainly from the viewpoint of a Sadhaka or a seeker of Truth, so as to be helpful to them in their practices, rather than to be literary or academic. Hence, much searching analysis in an attempt at finding the rationale behind the pithy phrases, words and declarations used in the verses has been made in order to create the needed conviction in the minds of seekers, which unshakable conviction is a great asset to Sadhakas to be steady in their practices and plod on till the goal is reached. Here I may mention that, to me, the Kanthar Anubhuthi is a treatise purely spiritual in nature and so it does not admit of any kind of low and whimsical interpretations, just to please the people. It is a holy book and has, therefore, to be treated in a holy manner, with due fervour and devotion. Even if it might seem out of the way and far-fetched, it would be befitting and advisable to direct our efforts to try to understand the Saint's mind and his purpose in giving such a work to the world and explaining the verses in a divine manner, raised above the sensuous and worldly views. Hence, my effort has been to interpret and explain the verses purely from a spiritual seeker's point of view, to be commensurate with the title of the work and the purpose for which Saint Arunagirinathar gave it to the world — to help others, too, to attain that bliss which he himself enjoyed. More importance and attention has been given to see that the explanations are of practical utility to seekers, in so doing, providing the needed understanding and strength to encounter the day-to-day struggle with their lower nature, overcoming them gradually, and finally to attain the Goal of God-Experience. My efforts would be amply rewarded even if one seeker is helped a bit in his onward march to the Goal. Of course, it goes without saying that I have derived the greatest benefit in writing this commentary, as many great truths and secrets have been revealed to me in the course of my effort at this task.

May the Grace of Lord Skanda illumine our path and crown our endeavours with success, is my honest prayer.

Sri Arunagirinaathar Swaamigal's - kanthar anubhuthi

nenja- kanakallu nekilnTh- uruka,
thanjath- aruL shaNmukhanuk- iyal sEr
senjot punai maalai chiRanThidavE,
panjakkara aanai paTham paNivam.

Even the hardened stony heart melts and liquefies
By the grace, to one that takes refuge, Shanmukha bestows;
That this sweet word-garland to Him be glorious
To the five-armed Lord’s Feet bow let us.

"Let us bow to the Lotus-Feet of the Five-armed Lord (Sri Vighneshvara) for the renown of this garland (Kanthar Anubhuthi), knit of beautiful Tamil language, to Lord Shanmukha, Who, on the one that takes refuge in Him, showers His Grace that liquefies and melts even a hardened stony heart."

aadum parivEl aNi sEvalena-,
paadum paNiyE paNiyaa aruLvaay
thEdum kayamaa mukanai cheruvil,
saadum thani yaanai sahoTharanE. 1

The dancing Peacock, Vel, and the beautiful Cock
Thus, to sing, grant me this service as my holy task;
O Brother of Vinayaka peerless! Who in battle kills,
The searching Asura, Gajamukha, with face elephant's.

"O Lord Subramanya, the (younger) brother of the peerless Lord Sri Ganesha – who kills in the battle the Asura, Gajamukha, who always searches for the Devas who will face him in battle! Grant me as my holy task the divine Seva of singing Thy praise as, 'the dancing Peacock, the Vel, and the beautiful Cock.'"

ullaasa niraakula yOga viTha-,
chalaabha vinoThanum nee alaiyO
ellam aRa ennai ilanTha nalam,
sollay murugaa sura bhoopathiyE. 2

Are Thou not, O Lord! Bliss, pain-free and Yoga,
The Well-wishing, Good-speaking, as also the doer of Lila?
That all-ceasing and mine-losing Good – Moksha,
Pray, instruct me, O Muruga! O Lord of Devaloka!

"O Lord, are You not (the Lord of) Bliss, freedom from pain, and Yoga, Who intends the Good and speaks the Good (to all), and does things as Divine Sport (Lila)? That 'Good' of ceasing from all (external attachments) and losing myself within, in Thee – instruct me, O Lord Muruga! O Lord of Devaloka!"

vaanO punal paar kanal maaruthamO,
jnaanO ThayamO navil naan maRaiyO
yaanO manamO enai aaNda idam,
thaanO poruLaavathu shaNmukhanE. 3

Is it earth, water, fire, ether, or air?
Is it sense-knowledge, or the uttered Vedas four?
Is it the 'I' principle, the mind, or the county
Where I was accepted, O Shanmukha! What is Reality?

"O Lord Shanmukha! What is it that can be called the Eternal Verity? Is it the earth, water, fire, air, or ether; or that state in which (sensory) knowledge arises; or the four Vedas that are uttered (by mouth); or the 'I' principle; or the mind; or the place where You (appeared as my Guru and) accepted me?"

vaLaipatta kai maathodu makkaL enum,
thaLaipat- taliya thakumO thakumO
kiLaipat- telu soor uramum giriyum,
thoLaipat- turuva thodu vElavanE. 4

Caught up in this fetter called wife and family,
Am I to perish? O Lord, is it fair, is it seemly?
The Krauncha Mountain and Soora's heart, who rose with retinue,
Thy Vel, Velayudha, You let go, that pierced through.

"O Lord Velayudha! You dispatched Your (Sakthi) Vel as to pierce through the heart of the Asura, Soorapadma, who, with his relatives, rose in battle against You, as also the Krauncha Mountain. (It being so) should I totally perish caught up in the entanglement of woman with bangle-arm (wife) and children (i.e., the bondage of household)? Is it fair, O Lord, is it fair?”

maka maayai kaLianThida valla piraan,
mukham aaRum molinThu molinThilanE
akamaadai madanThaiyar enR- ayarum,
sagamaayaiyuL ninRu thayanguvathE. 5

The Mahamaya, the Lord is capable of destroying,
His Name 'Shanmukha' though have I been uttering,
Home, wealth, and women am I still eagerly thinking,
Freed am I not from this irksome Maya's suffering!

"The Lord is capable of destroying the Mahamaya. Though I have been repeating His Names many times as 'Shanmukha,' 'Shanmukha,' alas! I am still thinking of home, wealth, and women, and am not freed from the suffering of this world-delusion which is so irksome."

thiNiyaana manO silai meeth- una thaaL,
aNiyaar aravinTha- marumbu mathO
paNiyaa ena vaLLi paTham paNiyum,
thaNiyaa athi mOha gaThayaa paranE. 6

On the hardened stony tablet of my heart
Will Thy beautiful Feet-Lotus manifest?
Asking for service, You bow to Valli's Feet,
O Lord of unquenching Love! O Grace Embodiment!

"O Lord of unquenching love for Valli, at Whose Feet You bow, enquiring of her orders! O Abode of infinite Compassion! In this hardened stone-heart of mine, will the beautiful Lotus of Your Feet blossom forth?"

keduvaay mananE gathi kEL karavaath-,
iduvaay vadivEl iRaithaaL ninaivaay
suduvaay neduvE Thanai thooL padavE,
viduvaay viduvaay vinai yaavaiyumE. 7

Means to salvation, O wretched mind! Listen:
Give unreservedly, think of the Feet of Vel-Murugan;
Thus, shatter to pieces this misery long-drawn,
And get freed forever from all Karmas, soon.

"O mind, (by taking the unreal, fleeting things of the world as real) you stand to suffer! Now, listen to this means for attaining salvation: Without holding, give in charity; (and) meditate on the Lotus-Feet of the Lord having the sharp Vel! (By so doing, you will) burn to ashes the longpersisting misery of birth and death; and soon get freed from all Karmas."

amarum pathi kEL akam aam enumip-,
pimaram keda mey- poruL pEsiyavaa
kumaran giri raasa kumaari makan,
samaram poru thaanava naasakanE. 8

The dwelling body and relatives, to regard as I (and mine)
This delusion to dispel, You spoke on Reality Supreme.
O Kumara, Himavan's daughter Parvathi's Son!
O Destroyer of Asuras who rose to fight and win!

"O Lord Kumara! O Son of Himavan's (King of Himalayas) daughter! O Destroyer of Asuras who fought against Thee! It is indeed a wonder, O Lord, that You gave me Upadesa on the Supreme Reality such that the ignorance, which makes one feel that the body in which the Atman dwells and the relatives as 'I' (and 'mine,' respectively), has been destroyed."

mattor kulal mangaiyar maiyyal valai-,
pat- toosal padum parisen RolivEn
that- toodaRa vEl sayilath- theRiyum,
nittoora niraakula nirbhayanE. 9

Caught up in the fragrant dressed women's infatuation-net
And tossing thereby – When shall I cease from this plight?
O Lord, Who lets go the Vel to pierce the mount;
Who is Fierce and Painless, Undaunted and Great!

"O Lord, Who is Fierce, Painless, and Fearless! Who so dispatched the Vel as to pierce through the center of the Krauncha Mountain (without any obstacles)! When shall I cease from the miserable plight of tossing (of mind), being caught up in the net of infatuation for fragrantdressed women?”

kaar maa misai kaalan varil kalapath-,
thErmaa misai vanTh- ethira- paduvaay
thaar maarpa valaari thalaari enum,
soormaa madiya- thodu vElavanE. 10

If, mounted on black buffalo, Yama approaches me,
Appear on Thy beautiful-plumed peacock and bless me;
O Garland-Chested! O Thrower of Vel that cleaved finely
The Sura-tree – the Valan-Killer Indra's enemy!

"O Lord, Whose chest is ever adorned with victory garlands! O despatcher of the Vel so as to cleave the mango-tree-Surapadma who was the enemy of the kingdom of Indra who killed the Asura called Vala! In case (by mistake) Yama comes on his black buffalo (to take away my life), give me Thy vision appearing before me on Thy beautiful-plumed Divine Vehicle, Peacock."

kookaa ena en kiLai koodi alap,
pOkaa vakai mey poruL pEsiyavaa
naakaasala vElava naalu kavith-,
thyaagaa suralOka sikhaamaNiyE. 11

My relatives to gather round and lament as 'koo-kaa',
Not so to die, Lo! On Truth Supreme You gave Upadesa;
O Poet-maker, of the type four! O Velayudtha!
O Lord at Nagasala! O Crest-Jewel of Devaloka!

"O Lord enshrined (on the hillock) at Nagasala! O Velayudtha! O Granter of the power to compose the four kinds of poetry! O Crest-Jewel of Devaloka! What a wonder; You gave me Upadesa on the Supreme Reality such that it averted my so passing away as to occasion my relatives to gather around and lament as 'koo-kaa' over my dead body!"

semmaan makaLaith- irudum thirudan,
pemmaan murugan piRavaan niRavaan
summaa ira sollaRa enRalumE,
ammaa poruL onRum aRinThilanE. 12

The Stealer who kidnapped Valli, the red-deer-born;
That Glorious Murugan, deathless and unborn –
When He, speechless, instructed me 'Be Silent,'
What wonder! Even a single object I knew not.

"What a wonder! When Lord Murugan – the Stealer who kidnapped Valli born of (Lakshmi in the form of) a red deer, the Glorious One, the birthless and deathless One – instructed me through silence (speechless Upadesa) to 'be silent,' Lo! I knew no object of the world."

murugan thanivEl muni nam guruven,
aruL koNd- aRiyaar aRiyum tharamO
uruvanR- aruvanR- uLathanR- ilathan,
iruLanR- oLianR- ena ninRathuvE. 13

(That is) Murugan, the Peerless Vel Lord and our Preceptor –
Is this possible of being known, unless known through Grace?
Not with form, not without; not existence, not otherwise,
Not darkness, not light; – Thus, the Absolute is.

"That (Supreme Being or the Absolute) which can be said to be neither with form nor without form, neither existence nor non-existence, neither darkness nor light, is (Itself) Murugan, is (Itself) the Lord with the peerless Vel, is (Itself) our Parama Guru, – Is this capable of being known except by those who know it through (Divine) Grace? (i.e. Except those who realize this by Divine Grace, no one can know this secret).

kaivaay kathirvEl murugan kalal pet,
uyvaay mananE olivaay olivaay
meyvaay vili naasiyodum seviyaam,
aivaay vali sellum avaavinaiyE. 14

Murugan with Vel radiant in hand – His Feet obtain
And be saved, O mind! Give up, give up soon
The desires that course through the senses four and one:
The body, mouth, eyes, nose, and ear, in addition.

"O Mind! Give up, give up the desires that project themselves through the five sense-organs of body (skin), mouth, eyes, nose, and ears (for the enjoyment of objects of the world); Obtain the Lotus-Feet of Lord Murugan with the radiant Vel in His hand, and be saved (attain salvation)."

murugan kumaran guhan enRu molinTh-,
urukum sheyalthanThu uNarv- enR- aruLvaay
poru pungavarum puviyum paravum,
guru pungavaa eN guNa panjaranE. 15

'Murugan, Kumaran, Guhan' – Thus, to utter and melt
And have Divine Experience, when shalt Thou grant?
O Guru Supreme! Who is worshipped by the Devas devout
And the mortals alike! O Abode of Virtues Eight!

"O Guru Supreme, who is worshipped by the battling Devas and by (men of) the world, who is an Abode of eightfold attributes! Granting me the state of melting (of heart) with the utterance of 'Murugan, Kumaran, Guhan,' when shalt Thou bless me with Inner Awareness (Divine Experience)?"

pEraasai enum piNiyil piNipett-,
Oraa vinaiyEn ulala- thakumO
veeraa muthusoor padavEl eRiyum,
sooraa sura lOka thuranTharanE. 16

Afflicted by the deadly disease of insatiable desire,
Is it fair that I, of evil deeds and non-discrimination, suffer?
O Valorous One! O Undaunted Vel-Thrower
As to destroy the age-old Sura! O Devaloka-Protector!

"O Lord, Who is an embodiment of courage! O Undaunted One, Who threw the Vel as to destroy the age-old Surapadma! O You, Who took the responsibility of protecting Devaloka! Should I, of such evil Karmas as cannot discriminate, be tossed about, and afflicted by the disease of inordinate desire! Is it fair, O Lord?"

yaam Othiya kalviyum yem aRivum,
thaamE peRa vElavar thanThathanaal
poomEl mayil pOy aRam mey puNarveer,
naamEl nadaveer nadaveer iniyE. 17

The education we had and our inner understanding too,
As Lord Velayudha, of His accord, bestowed on us,
Let go your world's delusion and hold fast to Truth,
Sing, with your tongues, sing His glories henceforth.

"The learning we had and our understanding were given to us directly by Lord Velayudha, of His own accord; therefore, casting aside (or overcoming) your delusion on the world, be rooted in the Reality, and with your tongues ever sing His glories henceforth."

uthiyaa mariyaa uNaraa maRavaa,
vithimaal aRiyaa vimalan puthalvaa
adhikaa anakaa abhayaa amaraa-,
vathi kaavala soora bhayankaranE. 18

Unborn and deathless, unthinking and unforgetting,
Unknowable by Brahma and Vishnu,– such Ever-Pure offspring!
O Great One! O Sinless! O Refuge! O Protector
Of Amaravathi! O Surapadma's terrifier and terror!

"O Lord Shanmukha! (Spiritual) Son of the Ever-Pure Lord (Siva), Who is birthless and deathless, Who thinks not nor forgets, Who cannot be known (even) by Brahma and Vishnu! O Great Lord, the Sinless One, the Giver of Refuge, the Protector of Amaravathi (the capital of Svarga, or the abode of Devas), the terrifier of Surapadma!"

vadivum Thanamum manamum guNamum,
kudiyum kulamum kudipOkiyavaa
adianTham ilaa ayil vEl arasE,
midi enR- orupaavi veLipadinE. 19

Beauty, wealth, (good) mind, noble qualities,
Good lineage and family prestige – all depart, Alas!
O King of sharp-Vel, the beginningless and endless One!
If poverty, the sinner, manifests itself in anyone.

"O King (Lord) with the sharp Vel! O beginningless and endless One! If poverty, the sinner, afflicts a person O what a wonder! His (bodily) beauty, his wealth, his (good) mental condition, his (noble) qualities, his (good) lineage and his family prestige – all leave him!"

arithaakiya mey poruLukku adiyEn,
urithaa upaThEsam uNartthiyavaa
viri thaaraNa vikrama vEL imaiyOr,
puri thaaraka naaga puranTharanE. 20

That Supreme Reality, most difficult to attain,
O, Thy experience-Upadesa made this slave gain!
O Great Vessel! O Beloved! O Lord of might and main!
O Pranava, longed by the Devas! O Protector of Heaven!

"O Lord, Who is like a big boat (to cross this ocean of Samsara), Who is possessed of great valour, Who is liked by all, Who is the Supreme Pranava and the object of longing and meditation by the Devas, Who is the protector of Devaloka! You gave Upadesa from within (Initiation by way of inner experience) such that it made this slave of Thine entitled for that Supreme Reality that is (otherwise) most difficult to attain. O What a wonder!"

karuthaa maRavaa neRi kaaNa enakk-,
iruthaaL vanasam thara enR- isaivaay
varaThaa murugaa mayil vaahananE,
viraThaa sura soora vipaadaNanE. 21

Non-thinking and non-forgetting state, I to attain,
Your two Foot-Lotuses to confer, When will you deign?
O Granter of boons! O Muruga! O Peacock-Rider!
O Protector! O terrible Surapadma-Cleaver!

"O Peacock-vehicled Lord Muruga, Who art the Granter of boons, Who art avowed (to protect devotees), Who rent the Asura, Surapadma, into two halves (with Thy Vel)! When wilt Thou condescend to grant me Thine two Lotus-Feet, that I may attain that non-thinking and nonforgetting state (of Mukthi)?"

kaaLai- kumarEsan ena- karuthi,
thaaLai- paNiya- thavam eythiyavaa
paaLai- kulal vaLLi paTham paNiyum,
vELai- sura bhoopathi mEruvaiyE. 22

To meditate on You, O Lord, as 'Kumaresan,' of Youth Permanent,
And bow to Your Feet; how did I reach this Tapas great!
O Lord, Who bows to the charming Valli's Feet!
O Muruga! O Deva-Chief! O Great like the Meru Mount!

"O Lord Muruga, the Commander-in-chief of the Devas, the Great One like the Mount Meru, Who bowed to the feet of Valli Devi of beautiful hairs! What a wonder, I have been blessed to attain to that state of austerity (Tapas) as to bow to Thy Lotus-Feet meditating on Thee as Lord Kumaresan of Eternal Youth!"

adiyai- kuriyaath- aRiyaa maiyinaal,
mudiya- kedavO muRaiyO muRaiyO
vadi vikrama vEl makipaa kuRamin,
kodiyai- puNarum guNa bhooTharanE. 23

Contemplating not on Your Feet, of nescience
Am I to perish totally; is it fair, is it justice?
O Lord with Vel, sharp and valorous! O Embracer of Huntress,
The Lightning-Creeper! O Mountain of Divine Virtues!

"O Lord with the sharp and valorous Vel; O Mountain (embodiment) of Virtues, Who embraced (married) the lightning-creeper-like Valli Devi of the hunter caste! Not meditating on Thy Feet, should I totally perish of ignorance! Is it fair, O Lord , is it justice?"

koor vEl vili magaiyar kongaiyilE,
sErvEn aruL sEravum eNNumathO
soor vErodu kunRu tholai- thanedum,
pOr vEla puranThara bhoopathiyE. 24

Unto the breasts of women with looks piercing
I join; to me Your Grace won't You think of joining?
O Lord Velava with the Spear, long and fighting,
That rent the Sura and (Krauncha) mountain! O Devaloka-King!

"O Lord with the long, fighting Vel that pierced (destroyed) Surapadma with his entire clan and the (Krauncha) mountain! O Lord of Indraloka! Wilt Thou condescend to think of joining Thy grace with (or bestowing Thy grace on) me who (am so means as to) joins the breasts of women with Vel-like sharp eyes (piercing looks)?"

meyyE ena- vevvinai vaalvai ukanThu-,
aiyyO adiyEn alaya- thakumO
kaiyyO ayilO kalalO muluthum,
seyyOy mayil Eriya sEvakanE. 25

Taking life, of Karmas relentless, as real and rejoicing,
Am I to toss about and whirl? Is it becoming?
Not only Thy hands, Vel and Feet, but Thy whole being
Is red in colour; O Valorous Lord, Peacock-riding!

"O Peacock-riding Lord, Whose not only Hands, Vel, and Feet are, but Whose whole being is, red in colour! Taking this (phenomenal) life, of Karmas inexorable, as real, should I, Thy slave, rejoice in it and be tossed about? Is it fair, O Lord?"

aaThaaram ilEn aruLai- peRavE,
neethaan oru satRum ninainThilaiyE
vEThaagama jnaana vinOTha manO-,
-theethaa sura lOka sikhaa maNiyE. 26

I, Who am supportless, Your grace to get
You too have bestowed not a moment's thought!
Vedas, Agamas, Knowledge, Actions and the Mind even, –
Transcending these art Thou, O Crest-Jewel of Heaven!

"O Lord, the Crest-Jewel of Devaloka! Who art beyond (the reach of) the Vedas, Agamas, (intellectual) knowledge, (physical) activity and mind! I am supportless, O Lord! (Yet) Thou hast not thought, even for a moment, of my receiving Thy grace (to have God-Experience)!"

minnE nikarvaalvai virumbia yaan,
ennE viThiyin payan ing- ithuvO
ponnE maNiyE poruLE aruLE,
mannE mayil ERiya vaanavanE. 27

Lo, lightning-like life I eagerly covet!
Why so? Is it so here due to my bad fate?
O Gold! O Gem! O Verity! O Grace-Embodiment!
O King! O Peacock-riding Providence Great!

"O Lord, Who art rare like Gold, Who shinest like a Gem, who art the Supreme Reality, Who art an embodiment of Grace and Compassion, the (Eternal) King, the Great One that ridest on the peacock! How is it that I eagerly hug this lightning-flash-like transitory life (taking it as real)? Is it due to my fate that it is so here?"

aanaa amuThE ayilvEl arasE,
jnaanaa karanE navila- thakumO
yaan aakiya ennai vilungi veRum,
thaanaay nilai ninRathu thaTparamE. 28

O Nectar Divine unspoiling! O King with sharp Vel!
O Embodiment of Wisdom! What (is there) further to tell?
That which was, duly swallowing 'me' the individual,
As Mere Existence, was the Reality Transcendent.

"O unspoiling Divine Nectar! O King with the sharp Vel! O Wisdom-Mass! Can anything be said (further)? (No! Because) Swallowing up (my) individuality constituting I-ness, 'That' which was as 'Mere Existence' was the Transcendent Reality Itself."

illE enum maayaiyil ittanai nee,
pollEn aRiyaamai poRu- thilaiyE
mallE puri panniru vaakuvil en,
sollE punayum sudar vElavanE. 29

Into this Maya non-existent You have me involved;
Alas, this wicked one's ignorance You have not pardoned!
On Your mighty shoulders, twelve, valiant to wrestle,
My song-garland You wear, O Lord of Luminous Vel!

"O Lord, with the luminous Vel, Who, on Thine twelve mighty and valiant shoulders that are fit to wrestle, wearest my garland of songs! Thou hast entangled me in this Maya which is said to be non-existent. Alas, You have not absolved me, who is of evil-deeds, of my ignorance!"

sevvaan uruvil thikal vElavan anR-,
uvvaathath- ena uNarvitthathu thaan
avvaaR- aRivaar aRikinRath- alaal,
evvaR- oruvark- isaivi- pathuvE. 30

Crimson-sky-like Velayudhan gave me that day
That Divine Experience unique; which experience gay,
Unless it is had and experienced as such,–the only way,–
How can that be told to another? Is it something to say!

"That Divine Experience which Lord Vel-Murugan, Whose Form shines like the crimson sky (at sunset), revealed (to me) from within, on that day, as having no comparison to it,–Unless that Experience is had by one as such and experienced as such, how can that be related to another? (It is impossible to relate that Experience.)"

paal vaalv- enumip- padumaayaiyilE,
veelvaay ena ennai viThithanaiyE
thaalvaanavai seythanathaam uLavO,
vaalvaay ini nee mayil vaagananE. 31

Into this evanescent life of Maya perishable,
Alas, You ordained me to fall and roll!
Are there deeds done of me, low and sinful?
O Peacock-riding Lord! May Thou live well!

"O Peacock-rider! Thou hast ordained me to fall and suffer in this evanescent, phenomenal life of perishable Maya! O Lord, are there sinful and unbecoming deeds done by me in the past (as the cause for this)? May Thou live long!"

kalaiyE pathaRi- kathaRi thalaiyO,
alaiyE padumaaR- athuvaay vidavO
kolaiyE puri vEdar kula- pidithOy,
malaiyE malai kooRidu vaakaiyanE. 32

Excitedly screaming the scriptures, and in the intellect
Waves of confusion to dash, am I to become that?
O Embracer of the hunter-caste she-elephant!
O Mountain-rending valorous Lord! O Skanda, the Great!

"O Lord Skanda, Who art Great like a mountain, Who embraced the female-elephant (Valli Devi) of the cruel hunter-caste, Who cleft the Krauncha-mountain (with Thy Vel) and Who wearest the victory-garlands! Screaming the scriptures with (feverish) excitement, and waves (of confusion) to dash in my head (i.e, brain or intellect), should I become that? (O Lord, let it not happen.)"

sinThaakula illodu selvam enum,
vinThaadavi enRu vida- peRuvEn
maThaakini thanThavarO ThayanE,
kanThaa murugaa karuNaakaranE. 33

The mind-distressing family, riches, and gold,
From this dense forest, when shall I be freed?
O Manthakini-given Incarnation, auspicious and sacred!
O Lord Skanda, O Muruga, O Compassion-embodied!

"O Lord Skanda! O Muruga! O Embodiment of Compassion! O Boon-incarnation, born of Manthakini! When shall I get freed from this Vindhya-forest like (Samsara of) family and wealth, which cause afflication to the mind?"

singaara madanThaiyar thee neRi pOy,
mangaamal enakku varam tharuvaay
sankraama sikhaa vala shamukhanE,
gangaa naThi baala krupaakaranE. 34

Not to get lost in romantic women's evil ways,
And be ruined; – Grant me this boon of grace.
O Lord Shanmukha, with Peacock battle-waging and fierce!
O Divine Son of river Ganga! O Embodiment of Grace!

"O Lord Shanmukha with the battle-waging Peacock! O Son of river Ganga! O Embodiment of Grace! Grant me this boon that I may not be dimmed (in spirit) by going into the evil ways of enchanting, romantic (public) women."

vithikaaNum udambai vidaa vinaiyEn,
gathikaaNa malar kalal enR- aruLvaay
mathivaa nuthal vaLLiyai allathu pin,
thuthiyaa virathaa sura bhoopathiyE. 35

Of such actions am I as not to leave the Karma-experiencing body,
To attain Mukthi, when shall You, Your Lotus-Feet, grant me?
Except Valli, with radiant like the moon,
To praise none else is Your vow, O Lord of Heaven!

"O Lord of Devaloka! O Skanda, Whose vow (divine policy) is to praise no-one except Valli Devi of shining forehead like the (crescent) moon! I am of such Karmas as not to leave (the attachment for) this Karma-experiencing body. When shalt Thou grant me Thine Lotus-Feet that I may attain Liberation?"

naaTha kumaraa nama venR- aranaar,
Othaay ena Othiyath- epporuL thaan
vEThaa muthal viNNavar soodum malar,
paathaa kuRamin paTha sEkharanE. 36

"Prostrations, O Lord Kumara!" –so saying when Siva, the Great,
Implored You for Upadesa, what secret did You instruct?
Brahma and the Gods, on their heads, wear Your Lotus-Feet!
O Lord, Your head You adorn with the huntress' Feet!

"O Lord, Whose Lotus-like Feet, Brahma and other gods adorn their heads with, Who places on his head the Divine Feet of the Lightning-like huntress (Valli Devi)! When Siva bowed to Thee, saying 'Naatha! Kumara! Namah!' (Prostrations unto Thee, O Lord! O Kumara!) and asked for Upadesa, what is the Upadesa (secret teaching) which Thou gavest to Him?"

girivaay vidu vikrama vEl iRaiyOn,
parivaaram enum paTham mEvalaiyE
purivaay mananE poRaiyaam aRivaal,
arivaay adiyOdum akanThaaiyaiyE. 37

The Lord, Who threw His mighty Vel on the mountain,
His Parivaaram (associate) I am – this status to attain,
Do long, O mind! With Knowledge called Serenity
Kill the ego, with its root, in its entirety.

"O mind! Sincerely long to attain the status of being a Parivaaram (associate) of the Lord (Velayudhan), Who let go the powerful Vel on the (Krauncha) mountain (as to rend it); and, with the Knowledge called Serenity cut off this ego, together with its root, completely."

aaThaaLiyai onR- aRiyEnai aRat-,
theeth- aaLiyai aaNdathu cheppumathO
koothaaLa kiraatha kulik- iRaivaa,
vEthaala gaNam pukal vElavanE. 38

Ignorant, knowing nothing, and still worse,
Evil-natured,– me, You accepted; what to say of this!
O Kudhala-garlanded! O Lord of the huntress!
O Lord Velayudha, hymned by ghosts countless!

"O Lord Velayudha, Who wears garlands of Kudhala flowers! Who is the Husband of the maiden (Valli) of the hunter caste! Who is praised by groups and groups of ghosts! O Lord, I am ruled by ignorance; (I am) a fool who knows nothing and (I am) full of evil nature. Yet (considering me as something of worth) Thou 'accepted' me (and made me Thine). What to say (of this gracious act of Thine)!"

maa vEl sananam keda mayai vidaa,
moo vEdanai enRu mudinThidumO
kOvE kuRamin kodithOL puNarum,
ThEvE siva sankara ThEsikanE. 39

For the seven great births to come to a close,
When shall the three Eshanas, inseparable from Maya, cease?
O King! O Embracer of Valli, the tender huntress!
O Great Guru of Sankara, of form auspicious!

"O King (of the universe)! O Lord, Who embraces the shoulders of the lightning-like huntress, Valli Devi! Guru of Sivasankara! In order that the seven (kinds of) great births be destroyed, when shall the three Eshanas (desires), which are inseparable from Maya, come to an end?"

vinai Odavidum kathir vEl maRavEn,
manaiyOdu thiyangi mayangidavO
sunaiyOd- aruvi- thuraiyOdu pasum,
thinaiyOd- ithanOdu thirinThavanE. 40

Karma-dispelling Luminous-Vel, I shall not forget;
Perplexed and deluded will I be, by this life transient?
The spring, the waterfall and the fields of millet, –
O Lord, Who wandered amongst these, as also the watch-shed?

"O Lord, Who (in search of Valli) wandered about the (mountain) spring, the banks of the waterfall, the millet field, and the watch-shed! I shall not forget the Luminous-Vel that dispels (the darkness of) Karmas. Will I be perplexed and deluded by this Samsaric life? (No, it cannot be!)"

saagath- enaiyE saraNam kaLilE,
kaakaa namanaar kalakam cheyum naaL
vaagaa murugaa mayil vaagananE,
yOgaa siva jnaana upaThEsikanE. 41

Save me from transmigration and, under your Lotus Feet,
Protect, protect, when the soul Yama separates,
O Victory-garlanded! O Muruga! O Peacock-rider!
O Lord of Yoga! O Guru Supreme, the Siva-Jnana Bestower!

"O Lord, wearing beautiful victory-garlands! O Lord Muruga! O Peacock-rider! O Lord of Yoga! O Lord (the Supreme Guru) who grants Siva-Jnana (Atma-Jnana or Brahma-Jnana)! At the time (of death) when Yama would play his mischief (of separating the soul from the body by throwing his noose), allowing me not to die (at his hands), protect me, O Lord, protect me under Thine Divine Feet."

kuRiyai- kuRiyaathu kuRitth- aRiyum,
neRiyai- thanivElai nikaltthidalum
cheRiv- atRu ulakOdu urai sinThaiyum atRu,
aRiv- atR- aRiyaamaiyum atRathuvE. 42

To know the Object Supreme by thinking without thinking,
That State, – the Vel incomparable, – no sooner is it granted,
Than, lo, world's relations ceased, speech and mind too ceased,
Ceased the intellect and, lo, ignorance also ceased!

"No sooner is the Vel Incomparable, (or) that Supreme State (Mukthi) of knowing (realizing) the Object (of meditation) by thinking without thinking, granted (to me), that all (my) relations with the world ceased, speech and mind also ceased, intellect ceased and ignorance, too, ceased!"

thoosaa maNiyum thukilum punaivaaL,
nEsaa murugaa ninath- anp- aruLaal
aasaa nikaLam thukaLaayina pin,
pEsaa anubhoothi piRanThathuvE. 43

She who wears clean gems and clothes,
Her Beloved, O Muruga, by Thine Love-Grace,
The desire-chain having been reduced to dust,
Was born Speechless-Experience, grand indeed most.

"O Lord Muruga, the Beloved of her (Valli) who wears clean (garlands or ornaments made of) gems and clothes! By Thine Love-Grace, the desire-chain was shattered to dust (i.e., destroyed) and then Speechless-Experience (i.e., Direct Experience or Sakshatkara) was born."

saadum thani vEl murugan saraNam,
soodum padi thanThathu chollumathO
veedum surar maamudi vEThamum vem-,
kaadum punamum kamalum kalalE. 44

Murugan, the Great, with the destroying, Peerless Vel,
Granted His Feet to be crowned, – O, what to tell!
Moksha, God's glorious heads, and the Vedas eternal,
Shine with the Feet, the hot forest and the field as well.

"Lord Muruga, with the Incomparable and destroying Vel, granted His Feet to be crowned (on my head), – the Feet which shine as (or whose divine fragrance is emitting or felt in) Moksha, on the heads of the Devas, in the Vedas, in the hot forest and the millet fields. O What shall I say (of His graciousness)!"

karavaaKiya kalvi uLaar kadai senRu,
iravaa vakai mey- poruL eekuvaiyO
kuravaa kumaraa kulisaayuThaa kun-,
jaravaa siva yOga ThayaaparanE. 45

Not to approach me, who their learning conceal,
And beg of them, will You grant me Wisdom Eternal?
O Lord with Vajrayudha! O Kumara! O Teacher Spiritual!
O Deivayanai's Lord! O Granter of Yoga, the Grace all full!

"O Master Divine! O Lord Kumara! O Lord having the weapon, Vajra! O Consort of
Deivayanai! O Embodiment of Grace, Who grants Siva-Yoga! Wilt Thou (graciously) grant me the Wisdom Supreme, so as to obviate the need for me to beg at the doors of those who conceal their learning? (Kindly grant me.)"

enthaayum enak- aruL thanThaiyum nee,
sinthaakulam- aanavai theerth- enaiyaaL
kanThaa kathir vElavanE umaiyaaL,
mainThaa kumaraa maRai naayakanE. 46

Thou art my Mother as also my Father that bestows grace,
Please pray, accept me, removing all my mental afflictions;
O Skanda! O Lord with Vel luminous! O Darling Uma's!
O Kumara! O Glorious Lord of the immortal Vedas!

"O Lord Skanda! O Lord with the self-luminous Vel! O Son of Uma Devi! O Kumara! O Lord of the Vedas! My Mother, as also the Father, that blesses me art Thou. Destroy all (my) mental afflictions and 'accept' me."

aaRaaRaiyum neetth- athanmEl nilaiyai-,
pERaa adiyEn peRumaaR- uLathO
seeRaa varu soor sithaivitth- imaiyoor,
kooRaa ulagam kuLirvitthavanE. 47

Transcending six-six, that state which is beyond,
Am I blessed to attain that as my fortune grand?
Destroying Surapadma, who rose angrily to fight,
O Lord, You made heaven the Devas', duly cooling it!

"O Lord Skanda! You killed the Asura, Surapadma, who rose against You hissing in anger (to attack), and restored the Devas (who were tortured by the Asura) to (their original abode of) heaven, cooling it and making it again as theirs. Transcending the thirty-six Tattvas, am I blessed to attain as my fortune divine that Supreme State which is beyond (the Tattvas)? (Pray, grant me.)

aRivon RaRaninR- aRivaar aRivil,
piRivon RaRaninRa piraan alaiyO
serivon RaRavanTh- iruLE sithaiya,
veRi ven RavarOd- uRum vElavanE. 48

Ceasing from every knowledge, those who know, O Lord,
Dost Thou not, in their intelligence, inseparably stand?
Their relations coming to nought and darkness destroyed,
O Velava! Thou abideth in them who their delusion have conquered.

"In the consciousness (intelligence) of those who know, duly ceasing from all (sensory) knowing, dost Thou not, O Lord, stand (in union) without the least separation? (And when this practice is repeated and intensified) Every (worldly, external) relation (due to Vikshepa) coming to nought, and the darkness (of the veil or Avarana) being destroyed, they overcome their delusion (Avidya); and, with them, O Lord Velayudha, Thou abideth (forever)."

thannam thani ninR- athuthaan aRiya,
innam oruvark- isaivi- pathuvO
minnum kathivEl vikirthaa ninaivaar,
kinnam kaLaiyum krupai sool sudarE. 49

That which Is by Itself, by oneself is It to be realized;
To yet another can that (Experience) be disclosed?
O Lord with the twinkling Light-Vel and of forms varied!
Misery-Remover of those that think, O Resplendence, grace-surrounded!

"O Lord of twinkling self-luminous Vel, with forms varied! O Grace-surrounded Resplendence, that removes the misery (of Samsara) of those that think (of Thee)! That (Supreme Reality) which is Alone by Itself (i.e., One without a second) is to be realized by oneself (by being It); can It (or that Experience) be related to yet another!"

mathiket- aRavaadi mayangi- aRak,
gathiket- avamE kedavO kadavEn
naThi putthira jnaana sukhaaThipa Ath-,
thithi putthirar veeR- adu sEvakanE. 50

Reasoning lost, enervated and deluded most,
Losing the Goal of virtuous life, shall I in vain be lost?
O Son of Ganga, Lord of Wisdom-Bliss, and the Great!
Diti's sons' prowess destroyer, O Lord of Might!

"O Son of river (Ganga)! O Lord of Wisdom-Bliss! O Hero, Who vanquished the prowess of the sons of Diti! Intellect confounded, much distressed (in mind) and deluded, losing that great Blessedness (of Anubhuthi) which accrues from a virtuous or righteous life, am I to be lost in vain? (No; it cannot happen.)"

uruvaay aruvaay uLathaay ilathaay,
maruvaay malaraay maNiyaay oLiyaay
karuvaay uyiraay gathiyaay viThiyaay,
guruvaay varuvaay aruLvaay guhanE. 51

With form and formless, what is not and what is,
Flower and fragrance, gem and radiance,
Body and soul, Salvation and rules of righteousness,
O Lord, Who comes (as all and) as Guru! O Guha! Bestow Thy Grace.

"O Almighty Lord Guha! O Supreme Being, Who comes (as all these which are) with form and without form, as what is and what is not, as flower and (its) fragrance, as gem and (its) radiance, as body (universe) and soul (universal spirit) (that pervades and animates it), as the rules of righteousness and Moksha (that is attained through them) (i.e., as the means and as the End), and as the Guru! Bestow Thy Grace (on all)."


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