Kandar Alamgaram

Arunagirinathar has weaved a beautiful garland to adore Lord Muruga. He weaved not a garland of flowers (Poomalai), but a garland of songs (Paamalai) by way of Kandhar Alamgaram. Each word appeared like a selectively chosen flower to adore the God. Kandhar Alamgaram, consisting of 102 verses, is a marvelous creation of poetry that portrays the magnificence of Muruga and presents Him in all His splendor and glory before us. Apart from being an ornament that adds to the beauty of Muruga, Kandhar Alamgaram describes the various qualities of Muruga, His benevolence, his knowledge, his valour, the power of His Vel, the exquisitely beautiful peacock and the ensign of rooster

In the beginning, the poet says: “Siva, the Lord whose hairy head is the source of the sacred river, where rests the great serpent and the sign of half-eclipsed moon, the head that wears different kinds of garlands, is the Supreme Lord of the Universe. 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?” (Petrai Thavam).

This body on which we have so much fascination is not real and it would let us down any day. What is real is the ever-existing reality, Muruga, whose Lotus Feet we should aspire to reach. I another verses, Arunagirinathar says: “Oh Lord, who resides in the divine hills of Tiruchengodu, who radiates the light of knowledge, whose holds the sharp-edged weapon of Vel, I always cherish your thoughts in my heart. Thisbody consisting of five senses has been built, like a house, with two pillars (legs) for support. I pray that before this house called body crumbles, let me reach your Lotus Feet”. (Deiva Thirumalai Sengottil…23). The same message that the body is like a house that would crumble any moment is given in another verse. (Tholal Suvar Vaithu….44) There are other verses which highlight the futility of accumulating wealth, (20 Kozhi), which seeks to conquer the fear of death and help us to reach the shores of Muruga’s Lotus Feet.

Every verse of Kandhar Alamgaram speaks volume about various infinite qualities of Muruga. Here, an attempt is made to explain just one out of the 108 stanzas of Kandhar Alamgaram how the Lord grace the devotees as the Protector.

Vizhikku thunai Thiru Men Malar Padhangal Meimaikundram Mozhikku Thunai,
Muruga Enum Namangal Munbu Seitha Pazhikku Thunai, Avan Paniru Tholum Bayantha Thani Vazhikku Thunai Vadi Velum Sengodan Mayooramume.”

Vizhikki Thunai: What we see through our eyes, what we hear through our ears and what we feel through our senses are mere illusion. 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 torch; 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: The words one speaks determine his character and personality. The words have to be clear, polite, humble, brief and in accordance with truth. Words are only the expression of mind. Only where the heart is full of love and the mind is without thoughts, pure and truthful words come. Let us seek the blessings of Muruga by which we use the words of love, words of compassion and words of truth.

Pazhikki Thunai: One performs various deeds in the course of his life which are known as Karmas. The word ‘Karma’ denotes action. A action done with a selfish motive, invites adverse consequence and becomes a Karma Vinai. It is the Karma or the necessity of bearing its consequence of prior action 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 (Punarabhi Jananam…). 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 from the consieiquence of Karma. Arunagirinathar prays that the names of Lord Muruga (Muruga Enum Namangal), like Kanda, Kadamba, Kartikeya, Karunakara and Kumara would rescue the devotees from the adv erse effect of karma.

Vazhikki Thunai: One passes comfortably through different roads in his life time, 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. It is only when he reaches this road, he feels the necessity for a companion. Here, Arunagirinathar prays for the grace of Muruga by which one would overcome the road smoothly. In the Vel Vakuppu, Arunagirinathar prays: “As I walk through this lonely path, may the Vel (spear) of Muruga accompany me on my left and right and give me solace, courage and protection”.(Thanithu Vazhi Nadakkumena…)

Lord Velavan, who has chosen his abode at Tiruchengodu, holds special fascination for the saint Arunagirinathar. This is overwhelmingly evident in Kandhar Alamgaram. According to the poet, even if one is destined to suffer due to his past Karmas, he will be able to redeem himself by worshipping the Tiruchengodu Velavan. In the hymn starting “Senthanai Kandanai (72)” he prays that there will be no downfall for those who worship Tiruchengodu Velavan and the Lord would bestow them a life of happiness and prosperity. In another song (Malon Maruganai 90), Arunagirinathar says: “Oh Lord Muruga, the son-in-law of Lord Vishnu, son of Lord Shiva, the connoisseur of the divine art of dance at the Court of Devas, the Lord most adored and worshipped by Devas, the epitome of knowledge, who resides at Tiruchengodu, the abode surrounded by lush green paddy fields and lakes, how fabulous and magnificent you look!. Even if Lord of Creation, Brahma, has endowed me with four thousand eyes, it would not be sufficient enough for me to see and admire your majesty and splendor to my heart’s content. The saint-poet mentions about the divine qualities of Tiruchengodu Velavan in the hymn No.23 and then continues portraying His various divine qualities in hymns No. 36, 70, 72, 90, 91 and 97.