Sri AruNagirinAthar - Author of the poemsKaumaram dot com - The Website for Lord Muruga and His Devotees

திரு அருணகிரிநாதர் அருளிய
கந்தர் அலங்காரம்
அறிமுகக் கட்டுரை

Sri AruNagirinAthar's
Kandhar AlangkAram
an introduction

Sri Kaumara Chellam
Kandhar AlangkAram - An IntroductionDr. Singaravelu Sachithanantham (Malaysia)    பேராசிரியர்
    சிங்காரவேலு சச்சிதானந்தம்
    (மலேசியா)

   Dr. Singaravelu Sachithanantham
   (Malaysia)
தமிழில்
 PDF வடிவத்தில் 

in PDF format
previous page next page
அகரவரிசை
எண்வரிசை
தேடல்

alphabetical
numerical
search
 
An Introduction to Sri AruNagirinAthar's Kandhar AlangkAram

by Prof. Singaravelu Sachithanantham,
University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


 

1.

Kandhar AlangkAram is a collection of 108 sacred songs in praise of Lord ThirumurugapperumAn, sung in Tamil by Saint AruNagirinAthar [14th-15th century A.D.]; and the other seven collections of sacred songs sung by the saint in praise of the Lord are known as Thiruppugazh ( 1328 songs ), KandharandhAdhi ( 100 songs ), KandharanubUdhi ( 51/101 songs ), Thiruvaguppu ( 25 songs ), VElviruththam ( 10 songs ), Mayilviruththam ( 11 songs ), and SEvalviruththam ( 11 songs ).

2.

The title 'Kandhar AlangkAram' consists of two words, namely, 'Kandhar' and 'alangkAram'. The name 'Kandhar', or 'Kandhan', is one of several sacred appellations of Lord ThirumurugapperumAn. It is believed to be derived from the Tamil word 'kandhu', meaning pillar [of divine support]. It is also believed that the name 'Kandhar', or 'Kandhan', is related to the term 'Skanda' in Sanskrit. The term 'alangkAram' means adornment-and-ornamentation and hence the title 'Kandhar AlangkAram' means 'Kandhar's adornment-and-ornamentation'.

3.0.

Scope of alangkAram:

AlangkAram in Hindu devotional literature is not confined merely to adorning the particular form of divinity from head to foot, or, according to the Indian tradition, from foot to hair of head, which is equivalent to the Tamil expression 'pAdhAdhikEsam' (பாதாதிகேசம்), traditionally used by Tamil writers and speakers to describe the process of adornment and ornamentation of the revered form, or person, concerned. On the contrary, a careful reading of the sacred songs contained in the collections such as Kandhar AlangkAram would seem to indicate that the scope of alangkAram is very much wider than mere adornment and ornamentation of the various parts of the physical form of the divinity and that it includes the ancient religious or spiritual beliefs and practices of the Tamil-speaking people in South India [as reflected in the Tamil classical as well as devotional literature of the ancient and medieval periods, supplemented by a variety of mythological information found in the Sanskrit Vedic, epic, and purAnic literature].

3.1.

By way of illustrating the above point, reference may be made to the song 5 of the Kandhar AlangkAram, in which the saint AruNagirinAthar praises the Infant-Lord KandhapperumAn as one who is acclaimed by the world as the Lord of Kurinji-realm. [குருந்தைக் குறிஞ்சிக்கிழவன் என்று ஓதும் குவலயமே!]. In order to appreciate fully the reference to the Lord of Kurinji-realm, one has to be familiar with the information found in the classical Tamil poetry of the Sangam-era (circa 200 B.C. - 200 A.D.), concerning the ancient Tamil cult of Lord Murugan [முருகன்] especially in the Kurinji, or mountainous region(s) of the ancient Tamil country.

3.2.

Professor F.W. Clothey has furnished a vivid and composite account of the cult of Lord Murugan, based on the passages in the early Sangam poetry [Clothey 1978: 26-35], and a summarized extract of that account is given in the following sub-paragraphs [3.2.1. to 3.2.6], so that the relationship between the cult of Lord Murugan in the Sangam-era and the more developed cult of the Lord in later periods can be discerned:

3.2.1.

The sacred Tamil name Murugan முருகன் [Beautiful-One, or BEAUTY-INCARNATE], is derived from the Tamil word 'murugu' முருகு, meaning beauty, especially of nature. Lord Murugan in the Tamil poetry of the early Sangam-era is associated with the hills, which are the Lord's domain, and the people dwelling in the domain are the Lord's kinsmen. Lord Murugan, as the Hunter and the Warrior par excellence, presides over the hunt. He causes the blossoming of pure love in the minds of young men and women. He can cause as well as dispel 'aNangku' அணங்கு [fear or distress], frequently personalized as an external force which causes suffering to the love-sick persons. His high-priest is 'vElan' வேலன் [One Who has the lance or வேல்], and the vElan conducts a kind of frenzied-dance.

3.2.2.

Lord Murugan is identified with red colour, and is known as 'SEyOn' சேயோன் [red-one] and the names 'SEnthan' சேந்தன், and 'SEyOn' சேயோன் are used interchangeably with the name Murugan, who is explicitly identified as 'KadavuL' கடவுள் [the God] of Kurinji-realm [TholkAppiyam, தொல்காப்பியம், AgaththiNaiiyal அகத்திணையியல் 5]. A small pillar known as 'kandhu' கந்து, is set up usually on a pedestal over a dais under a 'kadambu-tree' [கடம்பு - anthocephalus cadamba] to represent the God.

3.2.3.

Lord Murugan has a kinship with much of the flora and fauna of the hills and with their colour and fragrance. The flowers associated with Him are more often red (such as the blossoms of kAndhal காந்தள் [gloriosa superba], kadambu கடம்பு [anthocephalus cadamba], and the red-lotus-flower [செந்தாமரை மலர்], and sometimes yellow flowers too, such as the blossoms of vEngkai-tree வேங்கை [pterocarpus bilobus, also known as Kino-tree]).

3.2.4.

The fauna of the hills associated with Lord Murugan includes the elephant [யானை], peacock [மயில்], and the rooster [சேவல்]. The elephant's ferocity and fighting skill are equated often with that of the Lord. The peacock is mentioned several times in the Sangam poetry in association with Lord Murugan. In several passages, the peacock is depicted as dancing particularly when the rain is about to fall, and thus appears to symbolize fertility. The rooster சேவற்கோழி, is mentioned in association with Lord Murugan, who bears a banner on which is inscribed the form of the rooster.

3.2.5.

Lord Murugan is associated with the lance [vEl வேல்], which is described as having a pointed vEngkai-leaf-like-head, and it is adorned with small bells and peacock feathers.

3.2.6.

The word sUr [சூர்] is used in the Sangam poetry to denote a personalized malevolent and demonic force, causing terror to the dwellers of the hills. Lord Murugan overcomes the demonic force with the leaf-shaped-lance

[சூர்மறுங்கறுத்த சுடரிலை நெடுவேல் சினமிகு முருகன் தண்பரங்குன்றத்து,

... அகநானூறு
AganAnURu 59: 10-11].

The above details will no doubt be extremely useful to appreciate the various kinds of alangkAram, which will be discussed in the following pages of this article.

4.0.

Now, reverting to the song 5 of the Kandhar AlangkAram, the rest of its contents say that the Infant-Lord suckled the breasts of His divine mother, Goddess UmAdhEvi [the beloved spouse of Lord SivaperumAn], and climbed on to the lotus-flower-like-cradle on the Saravana-pool to suckle the breasts of His foster-mothers, born of the kArththigai-asterisms, and that, as the Infant-Lord sobbed for more milk, the sea, the krauncha-hill and the demon SUrapanman began to cry, [apparently because SUrapanman and the other demons, who were hiding in the sea and the krauncha-hill, had the premonition of their impending destruction by the lance in the sacred hand of the Infant-Lord!]

4.1.

The foregoing information [as contained in song 5 of the Kandhar AlangkAram] is not to be found in the early Sangam poetry and it would therefore seem to belong to the post-Sangam mythological legends, depicting Lord Murugan as the beloved Son of Lord SivaperumAn and his spouse Goddess UmAdhEvi. The evolution of such legends may be attributed to the earnest efforts made by Hindu sages and poets to harmonize the various Hindu cults [such as that of Lord VinAyagapperumAn, Lord MurugapperumAn, Lord SivaperumAn, Mother Goddess, and Lord ThirumAl], which have flourished among the inhabitants of Indian subcontinent since time immemorial. It is because that each of those cults has been upholding the concept of ONENESS OF GOD, and the use of different names does not signify multiplicity of divinity, and the various cults were harmonized in terms of relationship between members of a family, such as father, mother, children, uncle and nephew.

4.2.

As regards the mythological legends concerning Lord Murugan being the Son of Lord SivaperumAn and Goddess UmAdhEvi, they are to be found in the Sanskrit epics, the MahAbhAratA (III: 223-232; IX, Chapters 46-47; XIII, Chapters 84-86), and the RAmAyaNA (Book One: BAla-kAnda, Chapter 36 and 37) as well as in KALidhAsA's KumArasambhavA in conjunction with the legends of the young war-god KumArA, or SkandA, His exploits as a youth and conquests over the demons [Clothey 1978: 51-61].

4.3.

The Tamil anthology entitled ParipAdal [especially the songs 5, 8-9, 14, 17-19 and 21], and the idyll of ThirumurugAtruppadai, belonging to the late Sangam-era, include more particulars of the legends concerning Lord Murugan, which would seem to have developed following the dissemination of the legends of KumArA, or SkandA, from the Sanskrit tradition of northern India.

4.4.

Sri Kachchiyappa SivAchAriyAr's Kandha-PurAnam [ஸ்ரீ கச்சியப்ப சிவாசாரியார் அருளிய கந்தபுராணம்] in Tamil, which is believed to have been based on the earlier Skanda-PurAna in Sanskrit, contains more information on the legends depicting Lord Murugan as the beloved Son of Lord SivaperumAn and Goddess UmAdhEvi, and these legends are deemed to reflect a modification of the earlier epic accounts [Clothey 1978: 82]. Thus, according to the Kandha-PurAnam in Tamil, consequent upon the arrogant mistreatment of the gods by the demon SUrapanman and his two brothers Singkamugan and ThAragan, a fervent appeal for help is made by the celestials to Lord SivaperumAn, who graciously emanates six sparks of fire permeating the ethereal region, and they are carried by wind, fire, and the river GangA, and deposited on a lotus flower in a pool, surrounded by 'sara' - thickets [hence known as saravana-pool] on the mountain. From the six sparks appears the Infant-Lord Murugan with Six Faces of compassion and twelve arms for the redemption of the world:

  "அருவமும் உருவு மாகி அநாதியாய்ப் பலவாய்ப்
  பிரமமாய் நின்ற சோதிப் பிழம்பதோர் மேனி யாகக்
  கருணைகூர் முகங்கள் ஆறுங் கரங்கள்பன் னிரண்டும் கொண்டே
  ஒருதிரு முருகன் வந்தாங்கு உதித்தனன் உலகம் உய்ய."

...
[கந்தபுராணம், உற்பத்திக் காண்டம், (11), திருவவதாரப் படலம், 942].

Then, upon the request of the celestials led by ThirumAl, the women of the kArththigai [krittikA]-asterisms, came to the saravana-pool to nurse the child; the child splits into six forms in order to suckle the breasts of their foster-mothers:

  "மறுவறும் ஆரல் ஆகும் மாதர்மூ விருவர் தாமும்
  நிறைதரு சரவ ணத்தின் நிமலனை அடைந்து போற்ற
  உறுநர்கள் தமக்கு வேண்டிற்று உதவுவோன் ஆதலாலே
  அறுமுக ஒருவன் வேறாய் அறுசிறார் உருவம் கொண்டான்."

...
[கந்தபுராணம், உற்பத்திக் காண்டம், (11), திருவவதாரப் படலம், 966].

When Lord SivaperumAn and Goddess UmAdhEvi visit the saravana-pool, the Lord looks at the Goddess and asks her to bring her infant to him, she goes to the pool and hugs the infants six forms together, and they become a single form of Lord Kandhan with Six Faces and Twelve Arms:

  "அந்த வேளையில் கவுரியை நோக்கிஎம் ஐயன்
  இந்த நின்மகன் றனைக் கொடு வருகென இயம்ப
   ...    ...    ...    ...
  சரவ ணந்தனில் தனதுசேய் ஆறுருத் தனையும்
  இருக ரங்களால் அன்புடன் எடுத்தனள் புல்லித்
  திருமு கங்களோர் ஆறுபன் னிருபுயம் சேர்ந்த
  உருவம் ஒன்றெனச் செய்தனள் உலகமீன் றுடையாள்
   ...    ...    ...    ...
  அந்தம் இல்லதோர் மூவிரு வடிவமொன் றாகிக்
  கந்தன் என்றுபேர் பெற்றனன் கவுரிதன் குமரன்."

...
[கந்தபுராணம், உற்பத்திக் காண்டம், (13), சரவணப் படலம், 1033-1035].

4.5.

The Kandha-PurAnam mentions also that Lord SivaperumAn makes it known to the kArththigai-women that since they reared the child with their breast-milk, the Infant-Lord will be known by the sacred appellation of KARTHTHIGEYAN and that the devotees who worship the Sacred Feet of the Lord on the auspicious day of KArththigai-asterism will attain 'mukthi', or salvation (கந்தபுராணம், 1044). Simultaneously, Goddess UmAdhEvi hugged the Infant-Lord and fed Him with her breast-milk (கந்தபுராணம், 1045).

4.6.

Furthermore, according to the verses 1067-1070 of the Kandha-PurAnam, Lord SivaperumAn tells Goddess UmAdhEvi that

(a) Lord Murugan is known as KANGKEYAN [காங்கேயன்] because the river GangA bore the Lord's sparks and laid them on the lotus-flower in the SaravaNa-pool;

(b) the Lord is known as SARAVANABAVAN [சரவணபவன்] because of the Lord's divine appearance on the SaravaNa-pool:

  ஈங்கனம் நமது கண்ணின் எய்திய குமரன் கங்கை
  தாங்கினள் கொண்டு சென்று சரவணத்து இடுதலாலே
  காங்கேயன் எனப்பேர் பெற்றான் காமர்பூஞ் சர வணத்தின்
  பாங்கரில் வருத லாலே சரவண பவன் என்று ஆனான்.
[1067];

(c) the Lord is known as KARTHTHIGEYAN [கார்த்திகேயன்] because the women of the KArththigai-asterism reared the Infant-Lord with their breast-milk;

(d) the Lord is known by the appellation of KANDHAN [கந்தன்] because Goddess UmAdhEvi merged the six forms of the Infant together:

  தாயென ஆரல் போந்து தனம்கொள்பால் அருத்த லாலே
  ஏயதோர் கார்த்தி கேயன் என்றொரு தொல்பேர் பெற்றான்
  சேயவன் வடிவம் ஆறும் திரட்டிநீ ஒன்றாச் செய்தாய்
  ஆயத னாலே கந்தன் ஆம்எனும் நாமம்பெற்றான்.
[1068];

(e) that the Six Faces of Lord SivaperumAn and Goddess UmAdhEvi together became the Six Faces [ARUMUGAM ஆறுமுகம்] of the Lord;

(f) the five sacred letters of the OM [PraNavA] together with NAMASIVAYA [the aindhezhuththu ஐந்தெழுத்து or panchAksharA], became the six letters of the sacred name SARAVANABAVAN [சரவணபவன்]:

  நான்முகம் இருமூன்று உண்டால் நமக்கு அவை தாமே கந்தன்
  தன்முக மாகி யுற்ற; தாரகப் பிரம மாகி
  முன்மொழி கின்ற நந்தம் மூவிரண்டு எழுத்தும் ஒன்றாய்
  உன்மகன் நாமத்து ஓராறு எழுத்தென உற்ற அன்றே.
[1069];

and

(g) there is no difference whatsoever between Lord SivaperumAn and Lord Murugan with Six Faces, Who is omnipresent and omniscient and Who has the power of graciously granting eternal 'mukthi' to the devotees, who pay homage to the Lord:

  ஆதலின் நமது சத்தி அறுமுகன் அவனும் யாமும்
  பேதகம் அன்றால் நம்போல் பிரிவிலன் யாண்டும் நின்றான்
  ஏதமில் குழவி போல்வான் யாவையும் உணர்ந்தான் சீரும்
  போதமும் அழிவில் வீடும் போற்றினர்க்கு அருள வல்லான்.
[1070].

4.7.

As regards the significance of the legend of Lord Murugan being the divine Son of Lord SivaperumAn, it has been explained that divine son-ship means that the son is like the father, and the father continues to exist in the son. The father is embodied in the son, and the son is a representation of the father [Clothey 1978: 46]. It is also significant to note from the verse 1070 of the Kandha-PurAnam as cited above that Lord SivaperumAn tells Goddess UmAdhEvi that the infant born of the sparks is not different from the Lord and the Goddess.

4.8.

The overall significance of the alangkAram found in song 5 of the Kandhar AlangkAram is that Saint AruNagirinAthar has skilfully combined the Tamil tradition of Lord Murugan being the Lord of the Kurinji-realm with the purAnic-tradition of depicting the Infant-Lord as the divine Son of Lord SivaperumAn and Goddess UmAdhEvi, so as to make the Lord's renown more comprehensive. The Kurinji-realm, in addition to having earthly attributes of the relevant flora and fauna, represents also the celestial world of divinity where Lord Murugan abides, and it is therefore appropriate that the saravana-pool on the mountain is the place of divine appearance of the Infant-Lord. It is also significant to note that the ancient Tamil cultural tradition of rearing of the child by foster-mothers [செவிலியர்] is reflected in the legend of Infant-Lord Kandhan being suckled by the women of kArththigai-asterism, in addition to the Infant-Lord's actual mother [நற்றாய்], namely, Goddess UmAdhEvi, suckling the Infant-Lord. The mothers breast-milk is the symbol of not only the purest, self-less and all-sacrificing love, but also of reproduction, nurturing and sustenance [Encyclopedia of Women and World Religions, ed., by Serenity Young, Vol.1, p.106 (New York: Macmillan Reference, USA, 1999)].

4.9.

As part of the alangkAram of Lord Murugan, the saint AruNagirinAthar has also embellished the collection of his sacred songs by drawing everyone's attention to the fact that Lord Murugan is the divine Son of Lord SivaperumAn and Goddess UmAdhEvi. Thus in the very first song itself, Lord Murugan is praised, not only as the Lord of Compassion [KirubAgaran], but also as the eternally youthful Son of Lord SivaperumAn, whose red-matted hair is adorned with the GangA-river, the serpent, the konrai-and-tumbai-flowers as well as the crescent moon:

  செஞ்சடா அடவிமேல்
  ஆற்றைப் பணியை இதழியைத் தும்பையை அம்புலியின்
  கீற்றைப் புனைந்த பெருமான் குமாரன் கிருபாகரன்
[ song 1 ].

In other songs, Lord Murugan is praised as the beloved Son of the Lord, who burned down the three-fold-fortresses of arrogance, karmic deeds and illusion:

  புரம் எரித்தான் மகன் [ song 3 ];

as the beloved Son of UmAdhEvi, who has the unique Lord on her right side:

  ஒருவரைப் பங்கில் உடையாள் குமாரன் [ song 13 ];

as the Infant of Goddess UmAdhEvi, who has the triple-eyed Lord on her right side:

  திரியம்பகனை
  பாகத்தில் வைக்கும் பரம கல்யாணிதன் பாலகன்
[ song 80 ];

as the beloved Son of the Lord, who wears the serpent on his matted-hair:

  அராப்புணை வேணியன் சேய் [ song 74 ];

as the Infant who, not being content with suckling the breast-milk of the six foster-mothers known as a cluster of kArththigai-asterisms, suckled the breast-milk of Goddess UmAdhEvi:

  தாரா கணமெனும் தாய்மார் அறுவர் தருமுலைப்பால்
  ஆராது உமைமுலைப்பால் உண்ட பாலன்
[ song 81 ];

as the beloved Son of the Lord, whose neck is darkish-blue [because of partaking the poison that arose at the time of the churning of the ocean by the celestials and the asurAs for the nectar of immortality]:

  மைவரும் கண்டத்தர் மைந்தன் [ song 84 ];

as the beloved Son KandhachchuvAmi [கந்தச்சுவாமி] of the Lord of trident [சூலாயுதன்], who could not be fathomed either by Lord ThirumAl with conch and discus, or by Lord BrahmA:

  சங்கு சக்கராயுதன் விரிஞ்சன் அறியாச்
  சூலாயுதன் தந்தக் கந்தச்சுவாமி
[ song 86 ];

as the beloved Son of the Lord, who performs the cosmic dance in the golden arena:

  மன்றாடி மைந்தன் [ song 90 ];

and as the beloved Son of the Lord, who partook of the poison which arose from the sea:

  கடல்மீது எழுந்த
  ஆலம் குடித்த பெருமான் குமாரன்
[ song 107 ].

4.10.

As Lord Murugan is the younger sibling of Lord VinAyagapperumAn, the saintly author AruNagirinAthar lovingly refers to the fact as an alangkAram while paying homage to both of them in the song-of-divine-protection [kAppuchcheyyuL காப்புச்செய்யுள்] of the Kandhar AlangkAram.

4.11.0.

Lord Murugan, as the foremost member of the divine family, is also praised as the divine nephew of Lord ThirumAl. According to one of the songs belonging to the ParipAdal-anthology [19:57] of the late Sangam-era, Lord Murugan is the nephew of Lord ThirumAl by virtue of the Lord's divine mother Goddess UmAdhEvi being the sister of Lord ThirumAl [Clothey 1978: 65]. As regards the secondary meaning of the term 'marugan', namely son-in-law, there is also the mythological view that Lord Murugan is the son-in-law of Lord ThirumAl by virtue of having as spouses TheyvAnai [DEvasEnA] and VaLLi-ammai, who were Lord ThirumAl's daughters named Amirdhavalli and Sundharavalli, respectively, in a previous life [Clothey 1978: 83].

4.11.1.

In the Kandhar AlangkAram, Lord Murugan is praised as the divine nephew of Lord ThirumAl, who, as Sri RAmA, severed the ten heads and twenty arms of the mad-elephant-like-tyrant RAvaNA:

  வெய்ய வாரணம்போல்
  கைதான் இருபது உடையான் தலை பத்தும் கத்தரிக்க
  எய்தான் மருகன்
[ song 22 ];

who helped in the churning of the ocean by the celestials and the asurAs by erecting the ManthArA-mountain as the churning-rod and the serpent-king VAsugi as the churning rope so that the churning-rod revolved like a fast-spinning-top:

  வெற்பு நட்டு உரக
  பதித் தாம்பு வாங்கி நின்று அம்பரம் பம்பரம் பட்டு உழல
  மதித்தான் திருமருகா
[ song 39 ];

who is in all-knowing-slumber on the coils of the primordial serpent AdhisEshan, who is a cluster of snake-hoods with no legs and who only partakes of lots of wind:

  காலே மிக உண்டு காலே இலாத கணபணத்தின்
  மேலே துயில்கொள்ளும் மாலோன் மருக
[ song 41 ];

who, as Sri RAmA, had the causeway built across the sea to LankA with the help of simian warriors:

  கவியால் கடல் அடைத்தோன் மருகோன் [ song 43 ];

who dances on the hood of the great serpent 'KAlingkan':

  பெரும்பாம்பில் நின்று
  நடிக்கும் பிரான் மருகா
[ song 50 ];

who, as Sri RAmA, told the sea to show the way to LankApuri and went on to set it ablaze with fire by bending the victorious bow of 'KOthaNdam':

  இலங்காபுரிக்குப்
  போகைக்கு நீ வழிகாட்டு என்று போய்க் கடல் தீக்கொளுந்த
  வாகைச்சிலை வளைத்தோன் மருகா
[ song 54 ];

and who assumed the form of a boar and split the ancient and huge earth:

  தொல்லைப் பெருநிலம் சூகரம் ஆய்
  கீன்றான் மருகன்
[ song 95 ].

4.12.0.

Lord Murugan's spouse, VaLLi-ammai:

Though the purAnic-mythology of the post-Sangam-era contains an elaborate account of both VaLLi-ammai and TheyvAnai [DEvasEnA] as Lord Murugan's spouses, however in the KandharalangkAram it is only VaLLi-ammai, who is given prominence, and it is also somewhat puzzling to note that TheyvAnai is only conspicuous by her absence. This is perhaps due to the possibility that the saintly author AruNagirinAthar wished to emphasize the ancient Tamil cultural background, especially the Kurinji-realm, in which the cult of Lord Murugan would seem to have evolved. This possibility would seem to be strengthened by the fact Lord Murugan's marriage with VaLLi-ammai, who is a charming young girl from the hunters clan of the Kurinji-realm, is preceded by the pre-marital courtship of Lord Murugan for the hand of VaLLi-ammai in accordance with the ancient Tamil cultural mode of 'kaLavu' [களவு], that is, a clandestine-love-affair [the love-affair is clandestine or secret, because it remains unknown to anyone until the couple's marriage]. As in the classical Tamil poetic tradition of the early Sangam-era, Lord Murugan appears as the Hero encountering the future spouse of His choice and falling in love with her, and in the ensuing courtship the maiden and the Hero are appropriately symbolized as the creeper leaning on the vEngkai-tree for support. VaLLi-ammai is also believed to be a metaphysical expression signifying 'ichchA-sakthi', the power of willing, or volition [Clothey 1978: 84, 85].

4.12.1.

In the Kandhar AlangkAram, VaLLi-ammai is referred to as a mountain-born-creeper-like-playful-girl:

  சயில சரச வல்லி [ song 67 ];

and Lord Murugan is described as Kumaran Who likes the girl of the hunters clan:

  வேடிச்சி விரும்பும் குமரன் [ song 53 ];

as One Who desired the charming little girl named VaLLi, who captured the Lord's Heart in secret:

  கள்ளச்சிறுமி என்னும் வள்ளியை வேட்டவன் [ song 94 ];

as One Who came to marry VaLLi:

  வள்ளியை மணக்க வந்தவன் [ song 24 ];

and as the Hunter-Lord, Who secretly wedded the red-deer-like VaLLi-ammai:

  செம்மான் மகளைக் களவுகொண்டு வரும் ஆகுலவன் [ song 91 ].

It would seem from the above citations that the ancient Tamil cultural tradition relating to pre-marital relationship of love in the Kurinji-realm has been retained as an alangkAram for Lord Murugan and VaLLi-ammai by the saintly author of the Kandhar AlangkAram. It is also evident that Lord Murugan as the Universal God readily accepts as devotee, a person with sincere love for the Lord, irrespective of the social background of the person concerned.

5.0.

Personal adornment of Lord Murugan:

It may be appropriate to start with the adornment of the Lord's 'thiruvadi' [திருவடி], or Sacred Feet (in accordance with the Tamil literary tradition of describing adornment-and-ornamentation from foot to the hair of head [pAdhAdhikEsa-varuNanai - பாதாதிகேச வருணனை]).

5.1.

The Sacred Feet of Lord Murugan are always and invariably compared with the tender and reddish lotus-flower [செந்தாமரை மலர்]:

  செய்ய தாள் [ song 28 ],செக்கச் சிவந்த கழல் [ song 31 ],மலர்த்தாள் [ song 41 ],மென்மலர்ப் பாதங்கள் [ song 70 ],

and They are always adorned with the ornaments such as heroic-anklets ['kazhal' கழல்] such as 'thandai' [தண்டை] or 'silambu' [சிலம்பு] and with 'vetchi', 'kadambu' and 'kurA' flowers:

  வெட்சிபூத்த தண்டைப் பாத அரவிந்தம் [ song 17 ],வெட்சித் தண்டைக் கால் [ song 30 ],குராப்புனை தண்டை அம் தாள் [ song 74 , song 103 ],தகட்டில் சிவந்த கடம்பையும் நெஞ்சையும் தாள் இணைக்கே [ song 82 ],தண்டை அம் புண்டரிகம் [ song 92 ],காவிக் கமலக் கழல் [ song 99 ].

5.2.

The sacred little feet [சிற்றடி] of the Infant-Lord ought to be revered and contemplated with love [ song 15 , song 60 , song 67 ]. They confer gracious blessings of the Lord by merely touching the peacock [the Lord's vehicle], the heads of the celestials paying homage to the Lord, and the bundle of palm-leaf-records containing the sacred songs sung by the saintly author in praise of the Lord and offered at the Lord's Sacred Feet:

  தாவடி ஓட்டு மயிலும் தேவர் தலையிலும் என்
  பா அடி ஏட்டிலும் பட்டது அன்றோ ...
  பெருமான் மருகன் தன் சிற்றடியே!
[ song 15 ].

5.3.

The Sacred Feet of the Lord have the power to erase even Lord BrahmA's own handwritten decree of fate on one's head:

  அவன் கால் பட்டு அழிந்தது இங்கு என் தலைமேல் அயன் கையெழுத்தே [ song 40 ]

and the Sacred and Tender Feet are the real protective-companion for one's eyes:

  விழிக்குத் துணை திரு மென்மலர்ப் பாதங்கள் [ song 70 ].

5.4.

The celestials praise and worship the Sacred Feet of the Lord by saying 'saranam', 'saranam' [homage, homage to my Lord, or Your Sacred Feet, my Lord, are my refuge]:

  'குமரா, சரணம். சரணம்!' என்று அண்டர் குழாம் துதிக்கும் [ song 87 ].

The Lord's Sacred red-lotus-flower-like Little-Feet are adorned with the heroic anklets with the main purpose of releasing the celestials from prison [of the demons]:

  இமையோர் சிறைவிடச் சிற்றடிக்கே
  பூங்கழல் கட்டும் பெருமாள்
[ song 83 ].

5.5.

Directing one's mind to the Sacred Feet of the Lord is an easy way of reaching the world of 'mukthi' [liberation] instead of trying to focus one's eyesight at the point of one's nose, drawing in and holding up the breath between the skull and 'mUlAthAram' [மூலாதாரம்] without letting it go anywhere else [as practised by some of the yOgis]:

  பிரான் பதத்தே கருத்தைப் புகட்டின்
  வீட்டில் புகுதல் மிக எளிதே, விழி நாசிவைத்து
  மூட்டிக் கபாலமும் மூலாதாரமும் நேர் அண்ட மூச்சை உள்ளே
  ஓட்டிப்பிடித்து எங்கும் ஓடாமல் சாதிக்கும் யோகிகளே
[ song 85 ].

5.6.

The saintly author himself feels repentant for himself and others on realizing that, after having been born as a human being, which is a rare blessing-and-privilege, he has not learnt yet how to humbly reach and attain the Sacred Feet of the Lord:

  பெறுதற்கரிய பிறவியைப்பெற்று நின் சிற்றடியைக்
  குறுகிப் பணிந்துபெறக் கற்றிலேன்
[ song 67 ],

but he is certain that the mind of one who is capable of fixing the-always-straying-mind at the Sacred Feet of the Lord will attain eternal bliss even at the end of all the yugAs [the great eras] and at the final moment of the dissolution of the world:

  முருகன் சரணத்திலே
  ஓடும் கருத்தை இருத்தவல்லார்க்கு உகம் போய்ச் சகம் போய் ...
  பரமமாய் இருக்கும் அதீதத்திலே
[ song 68 ].

5.7.

Reaching for and attaining the Sacred Feet of the Lord is symbolically equivalent to surrendering and submitting oneself completely to the Sacred Will of the Lord, and it is also refuge [அடைக்கலம்] and 'mukthi' [salvation or liberation]:

  When one's learning departs,
  sorrowful relatives and village-folk cry aloud,
  one is deserted by the well-known acquaintances of
  five-sensory-organs and one's soul also leaves the body,
  one can only seek refuge in the Lord's Sacred Feet:

  கற்றகல்வியும் போய்ப்
  பைவரும் கேளும்பதியும் கதறப் பழகிநிற்கும்
  ஐவரும் கைவிட்டு மெய்விடும்போது உன் அடைக்கலமே!
[ song 84 ].

6.0.

Lord Murugan's adornment around the waist:

The Infant-Lord is wearing the heroic-girdle with a small curved scimitar-like-sword:

  கந்தவேள் மருங்கில்
  சேலையும் கட்டிய சீராவும்
[ song 27 ];

  பாலன் அரையில் கட்டும்
  சீராவும் கையில் சிறுவாளும்
[ song 81 ].

He is also adorned with the tinkling bells of jeweled-kiNkiNi around the waist, and the moment the bells sounded, the demons were startled and they trembled with fear; those who were dwelling in all the eight directions of the world became deaf, the legendary eight hills surrounding the circular continents as well as the great mountain of MahAmEru moved from their base and shook, and the celestials fear of the demons also perished:

  குமாரனுடை மணிசேர்
  திருவரைக் கிண்கிணி ஓசைபடத் திடுக்கிட்டு அரக்கர்
  வெருவரத் திக்குச் செவிடு பட்டு எட்டு வெற்பும் கனகப்
  பருவரைக் குன்றும் அதிர்ந்தன தேவர் பயம் கெட்டதே.
[ song 13 ].

6.1.

When the Infant-Lord held the lance in His Hand and sported around mighty hills causing them to wither away as dust, the sound of the Lord's kiNkiNi-bells worn around the waist was heard all over the fourteen worlds, whereas the sound of Lord ThirumAl's conch was only heard in the groves and pools of the celestial world:

  திருமால் வலம்புரி ஓசை அந்த
  விண் கமழ் சோலையும் வாவியும் கேட்டது; வேல் எடுத்துத்
  திண்கிரி சிந்த விளையாடும் பிள்ளைத் திரு அரையில்
  கிண்கிணி ஓசை பதினாலு உலகமும் கேட்டதுவே.
[ song 93 ]

7.0.

Lord Murugan is praised in the Kandhar AlangkAram as One, Whose broad chest is adorned with the garlands of kadambu-flowers:

  கடம்பின் மலர்மாலை மார்ப [ song 19 ];

  கந்தக் கடம்பன் [ song 72 ].

The kadambu-tree [anthocephalus cadamba], of the hills and its reddish and fragrant blossoms have been intimately associated with Lord Murugan in the early Tamil poetry of the Sangam-era as well [Clothey 1978: 31].

8.0.

Lord Murugan as VElAyudhan: A foremost object of alangkAram of Lord Murugan is the VEL வேல் [lance], which the Lord holds prominently in His Sacred Hand:

  வேலே விளங்கு கையான் [ song 28 ].

It is the most powerful warring weapon against evil forces, and it is also a symbol of True Wisdom [MeyjnAm - மெய்ஞானம்].

The Lord is lovingly praised as the Bearer of the beautiful lance which is lauded by the scriptures of the VEdAs and the AgamAs:

  வேத ஆகம சித்ர வேலாயுதன் [ song 17 ];

and the Lord is well-known as the Bearer of sharply-pointed, victorious, lustrous and beautiful lance:

  அயில் வேலன் [ song 2 ];

  வெற்றி வேலோன் [ song 11 ];

  வையிற் கதிர் வடிவேலோன் [ song 18 ].

8.1.

Lord Murugan is also known as 'pOr-vElan' [போர் வேலன்] that is, One Who holds the warring-lance [ song 91 ]. The chief target of Lord Murugan's sharply-pointed-lance is the demon SUr [சூர்], or SUrapanman [சூரபன்மன்].

8.2.

As noted in Paragraph 3.2.6., the term 'SUr' is used in the classical Tamil poetry of the early Sangam-era to denote a personalized malevolent and demonic force causing terror to the dwellers of the hills. According to a poem in the AganAnURu-anthology, the wrathful Lord Murugan Who abides on the cool, sacred hill of Thirupparangkundram, annihilated the demonic force with the long-and-fiery leaf-shaped lance:

  சூர்மறுங்கறுத்த சுடரிலை நெடுவேல் சினமிகு முருகன் தண்பரங்குன்றத்து

- அகநானூறு,
[59:10-11].

Though it is believed that the Tamil word 'sUr' and the Sanskrit term 'asurA' [demon] may not be related [Clothey 1978: 30], nevertheless it would seem that both the terms came to be used to refer to the demons in the elaborate purAnic-mythology of the medieval period.

8.3.

According to the Kandhar AlangkAram, Lord Murugan hurled the lustrous lance against SUr:

  சூர்மீது கதிர்வேல் எறிந்தவன் [ song 49 ];

the Lord also released the lance against the roaring sea wherein the demons had hidden:

  பொங்கு ஆர வேலையில் வேலை விட்டோன் [ song 59 ].

Lord Murugan being the Supreme Lord of the hills, it does seem rather ironical that the demon SUrapanman chose to hide in the golden krauncha-hill and defied the Lord! The Lord's sharply-pointed-lance pierced the golden krauncha-hill which was the hiding place of the demons:

  சொன்ன (சுவர்ண) கிரௌஞ்சகிரி ஊடுருவத் தொளைத்த வைவேல் [ song 19 ].

Finally, Lord Murugan hurled the sharply-pointed lance against the stealthy and cruel SUran and killed him in an instant:

  சோர நிட்டூரனைச் சூரனை ...
  கூர கட்டாரி இட்டு ஓர் இமைப்போதினில் கொன்றவன்
[ song 4 ].

8.4.

Though Lord Murugan has been described as a terror to the demon SUran [சூரபயங்கரன் - song 82 ], it must be remembered that the Lord is, indeed, 'KirubAgaran' - Lord of compassion [ song 1 ] to sincere devotees, and the Lord is kind and gracious enough to grant then and there, a pleasant livelihood even to those who abuse the Lord in the three-fold-Tamil-language:

  முத்தமிழால்
  வைதாரையும் அங்கு வாழவைப்போன்
[ song 22 ];

and it should be also noted that Lord Murugan is the divine Patron for the dissemination of classical Tamil literary works:

  கந்தன் ... செந்தமிழ்நூல் விரித்தோன் [ song 72 ].

The Lord's beautiful lance, which causes terror to the evil forces, becomes a beacon of light and wisdom to a sincere devotee, and it is indeed the source of help-protection-and-guidance for one's journey along lonely and fearsome path:

  பயந்த தனி வழிக்குத்துணை வடிவேல் ... [ song 70 ].

9.0.

Lord Murugan as ARUMUGAM, or SHANMUGAM:

The pinnacle of Lord Murugan's personal alangkAram is that the Lord has Six Sacred Faces, and is therefore known by the sacred appellation ARUMUGAM in Tamil and as SHANMUGAM in Sanskrit.

9.1.

As noted in Paragraphs 4.4. - 4.6., when the six foster-mothers born of kArththigai-asterisms wished to suckle the Infant-Lord of Six Faces and Twelve Arms, the Child split into six forms, so that the foster-mothers could suckle the child individually. Subsequently when Goddess UmAdhEvi hugged the six forms, they assumed the original single form with six identical faces and twelve arms.

9.2.

In the Kandhar AlangkAram, the saintly author AruNagirinAthar reveals that

(a) the Infant-Lord with Six Faces and Twelve Hands joyfully clapped with open palms when, as a result of the victorious battle against the demons, the legendary eight hills were split open into two equal halves, the stability of the MahAmEru-mountain was disturbed until it quivered and the celestials were rescued from the prison of the demons:

  இருநான்கு வெற்பும்
  அப்பாதியாய் விழ மேரும் குலுங்க விண்ணாரும் உய்யச்
  சப்பாணிகொட்டிய கை ஆறுஇரண்டு உடைச் சண்முகன்
[ song 14 ];

(b) the saintly author had the sacred vision of the row of Six Beautiful Faces and Twelve Shoulders of Lord Kandhan as the eternally sweet nectar in the shore-less ocean of supreme bliss:

  பத்தித் திருமுகம் ஆறுடன் பன்னிரு தோள்களுமாய்த்
  தித்தித்து இருக்கும் அமுது கண்டேன் ...
  தத்திக் கரைபுரளும் பரமா ஆனந்த சாகரத்தே
[ song 47 ], and

(c) the [so-called inauspicious] days, the results of past deeds, the planets of evil influence, and the messenger of cruel death cannot do anything to him because Lord KumarEsar, Whose Sacred Feet are adorned with silambu-anklets, strings of tinkling-bells, and thandai-anklets, and whose Six Faces and Twelve Shoulders are adorned with garlands of kadambu-flowers, graciously appears right in front of him:

  நாள் என் செய்யும்? வினைதான் என் செய்யும்? எனை நாடி வந்த
  கோள் என்செய்யும்? கொடும் கூற்று என் செய்யும்? குமரேசர் இரு
  தாளும் சிலம்பும், சதங்கையும் தண்டையும் சண்முகமும்
  தோளும் கடம்பும் எனக்கு முன்னே வந்து தோன்றிடினே
[ song 38 ].

9.3.

The alangkAram of the Six Sacred Faces and Twelve Arms of Lord Murugan is most probably meant to be a metaphorical, or figurative, imagery in the purAnic-mythology [as noted in Paragraphs 4.4. - 4.6]. It is on that basis that several scholars have explained the significance of the Six Faces.

Thus according to SwAmi SivAnandA, the Six Faces of the Lord signify the six attributes of the divinity, namely,

Wisdom [jnAnam ஞானம்], Dispassion [vairAgya, or vairAkkiyam வைராக்கியம்], Strength [bala, or palam பலம்], Fame [keerththi கீர்த்தி], Wealth [shree, or thiru திரு] and Divine Power [aishvarya, or aisvaryam ஐஸ்வர்யம்].

Thirumuruga KirubAnandhavAriyAr has suggested that the Six Faces of the Lord represent Six Divine Qualities, namely,

Felicity, Fullness, Eternal-Youthfulness, Limitless-Energy, Protection from evil, and Spiritual-Splendor.

Another plausible explanation is that the Six Faces represent the six directions of the universe, namely,

north, south, east, west, and the upper and the lower directions,

and thus the Lord's sacred appellation ARUMUGAM, or SHANMUGAM signifies that the Lord is omnipresent in the entire universe and is thus homologous to the world [Clothey 1978: 175].

10.0.

Lord Murugan as Mayil vAganan [மயில் வாகனன், One who rides the vehicle of peacock]:

Lord Murugan has been associated with the peacock [மயில்] since the ancient time. The peacock, having a lustrous greenish blue neck, brilliant plumage and a tail that can be expanded erect in a display [which almost resembles the form of the sacred PraNavA-mantra, Om ஓம்] is Lord Murugan's vehicle par excellence. Though in the early Tamil literature of the Sangam-era, the peacock only reflects the beauty and fertility of the vegetative life in the hills, however it came to be soon endowed also with celestial attributes such as its capacity for flight in the sky like the mythical bird 'garudA', whose favourite son the peacock is deemed to be in the purAnic-mythology of the medieval period. By the fifteenth century A.D., the peacock came to be associated with the ocean as well. Thus the peacock as the vehicle of Lord Murugan is now associated with the land, the sky, and the sea, that is to say, the world's totality, just as Lord Murugan signifies the totality of the cosmos [Clothey 1978: 150-151].

10.1.

In the Kandhar AlangkAram, Lord Kandhan is praised as One Who rides the peacock that is overjoyed on seeing dark rain-bearing clouds

  கார்மயில் வாகனன் [ song 72 ];

as One Who rides the bluish peacock:

  நீலச் சிகண்டியில் ஏறும் பிரான் [ song 26 ]

and the peacock is described as one that is like a horse:

  கலாபப் புரவி [ song 83 ];

the Lord is praised as One Who, while tightly holding the bridle, rides the peacock at a speed very much faster than a horse which is urged on with a lash of a whip, so that the entrails of the demons ruffled, and the fierce blowing of wind, caused by the movement of the cluster of the peacock's tail-feathers, made the great MahAmEru-mountain shake, and as the peacock took a few steps, the hills in all the eight directions of the world were reduced to dust, and because of the dust, the sea became a high-ground:

  குசை நெகிழா வெற்றி வேலோன் அவுணர்குடல் குழம்பக்
  கசையிடு வாசி விசைகொண்ட வாகனப் பீலியின் கொத்து
  அசைபடு கால்பட்டு அசைந்தது மேரு அடியில் எண்
  திசைவரை தூள்பட்ட அத்தூளின் வாரி திடர்பட்டது
[ song 11 ];

and as a Warrior-Lord Who rides the unique peacock with great tail-feathers which shattered the krauncha-hill with such force as to make the cruel demon SUrapanman shiver:

  கொடும் சூரன் நடுங்க வெற்பை
  இடிக்கும் கலாபத் தனிமயில் ஏறும் இராவுத்தன்
[ song 50 ].

[The word இராவுத்தன், probably a loanword from Hindi, means a horse-soldier.]

10.2.

Lord Murugan is also praised as One Who rides the peacock whose feathery-tail spreads and covers the entire outer space of the sky beyond the reach of one's vision, so much so that the mountain-like elephants-with-arms in the eight directions of the universe and the eight-legendary-mountains of the world have shifted from their respective location:

  கராசலங்கள்
  எட்டும் குலகிரி எட்டும் விட்டு ஓட எட்டாத வெளி
  மட்டும் புதைய விரிக்கும் கலாப மயூரத்தன்
[ song 65 ].

In song 96 the saintly author says to the peacock: If my Lord will let you go alone in order that this world is rid of great suffering, you will surely traverse the whole world by rolling your feathery tail and flying beyond the MahAmEru-mountain in the northern direction, well beyond the ocean as well as the sun, and beyond the golden chakravAla-mountain-range and the eight directions of the Universe?:

  இடர் தீரத் தனிவிடில் நீ
  வடக்கில் கிரிக்கு அப்புறத்து நின்தோகையின் வட்டம் இட்டுக்
  கடலுக்கு அப்புறத்தும் கதிர்க்கு அப்புறத்தும் கனகசக்ரத்
  திடர்க்கு அப்புறத்தும் திசைக்கு அப்புறத்தும் திரிகுவையே
[ song 96 ];

and it is said in song 97 that the Lord's graceful vehicle peacock makes a gleeful [crowing] sound and attacks the hoods of the serpent AdhisEshan, and [as the sequel to the noise arising thereof] the heap of nAga-gems of the serpent's hoods, as well as Lord ThirumAl [who is reclining on the coils of the serpent as the protector of the world], his discus and conch are lying at the feet of the peacock:

  செழுங்கலபி
  ஆலித்து அநந்தன் பணாமுடி தாக்க அதிர்ந்து அதிர்ந்து
  காலிற் கிடப்பன மாணிக்க ராசியும் காசினியைப்
  பாலிக்கும் மாயனும் சக்ராயுதமும் பணிலமுமே
[ song 97 ].

10.3.

In song 21, the saintly author lovingly informs Lord Murugan:

  O, Lord, there is no danger of death to us,
  who are the Lord's devotees
  [because] your vehicle of lustrous peacock
  and your lance are always our companions of protection:

  மரணப்ரமாதம் நமக்கில்லை யாம் என்றும் வாய்த்த துணை
  கிரணக் கலாபியும் வேலும் உண்டே
[ song 21 ].

11.

Lord Murugan's victorious flag is adorned with the symbolic-figure of rooster [சேவற்கோழி] and, as such, the Lord is praised as the bearer of the rooster-flag:

  கோழிக் கொடியான் [ song 20 ]

and as One Who has in His Sacred Hand the rooster-flag:

  சேவற்கைக் கோளன் [ song 91 ].

The rooster is described as a brightly-crested-bird that uses its leg as a weapon:

  சுடர்க்குடுமி காலாயுதன் [ song 86 ].

It is mentioned in song 12 that when the rooster came to the lance-bearing-Lord, the mighty bird was humbled by the Lord, and henceforth it became a devotee as well as an emblem on the flag proclaiming the Lord's victory, and that when the rooster beat its wings forcefully, the sea was torn asunder, the roofs of the universe shook and dropped, and the clusters of the stars in the sky were destabilized, and the hills in-between and the great MahAmEru-mountain were battered and pulverized:

  படைபட்ட வேலவன்பால்வந்த வாகைப்பதாகை என்னும்
  தடைபட்ட சேவல் சிறகடிக்கொள்ளச் சலதி கிழிந்து
  உடைபட்டது அண்டகடாகம் உதிர்ந்தது உடுபடலம்
  இடைப்பட்ட குன்றமும் மாமேரு வெற்பும் இடிபட்டவே
[ song 12 ].

12.0.

The alangkAram of Lord Murugan's devotees defying death:

Generally, human beings, both young and old, are afraid of death. However, the devotees of Lord Murugan are an exception to the general rule. They are defiant of death, which is personified as Yaman [யமன்], or KUtruvan [கூற்றுவன்]. The saintly author says that as a devotee of Lord Murugan, he is not at all perturbed either by the summons sent by Yaman or his messenger, because the Lord graciously manifests Himself in front of him every morning and evening, wearing the heroic girdle with a small curved scimitar [sword], the garland of red vetchi-blossoms over His shoulders together with the flag of rooster, the vehicle of peacock and garlands of victory:

  ஓலையும் தூதரும் கண்டு திண்டாடல் ஒழித்து எனக்குக்
  காலையும் மாலையும் முன்னிற்குமே கந்தவேள் மருங்கில்
  சேலையும் கட்டிய சீராவும் கையில் சிவந்த செச்சை
  மாலையும் சேவல் பதாகையும் தோகையும் வாகையுமே!
[ song 27 ].

12.1.

In another song, the saintly author issues a challenge to death:

  Hey andhagA [death], I shall cut you asunder and make you suffer
  and fall with no more power by smashing your club and trident to
  pieces. I am a slavish devotee of lance-bearing Lord Murugan Who has
  His sacred abode at ThiruchchendhUr. Did you see that I possess a
  lustrously-beautiful and sharply-pointed sword-of-wisdom which does
  not know of any enemy? Do come and see a bit of it, if you can reach
  as far as my hand!

  தண்டாயுதமும் திரிசூலமும் விழத் தாக்கி உன்னைத்
  திண்டாட வெட்டி விழவிடுவேன் செந்தில் வேலனுக்குத்
  தொண்டாகிய என் அவிரோத ஞானச்சுடர் வடிவாள்
  கண்டாயடா அந்தகா? வந்துபார் சற்று என் கைக்கு எட்டவே!
[ song 25 ].

12.2.

A similar challenge is issued in another song:

  O, wily death riding on the male buffalo!
  I shall not let you go without cutting you asunder
  and putting you to flight for the whole world to know ...
  I have in my hand the sword of power.:

  பட்டிக்கடாவில் வரும் அந்தகா, உனைப் பார் அறிய
  வெட்டிப் புறம்கண்டு அலாது விடேன் ...
  சத்தி வாள் என்றன் கையதுவே
[ song 64 ].

12.3.

On the question as to why a saintly author should want to defy and fight with Yaman [personification of death], it may be noted that the saintly author's defiance of death is not like the often senseless bravado of a person who challenges another to a fight by claiming that he is not afraid of death. It is also not the kind of false egoism of a fanatic who is willing to sacrifice his life and claim martyrdom for a given cause. On the contrary, the saintly author is one, whose mind has been disciplined over a period of time by sincere 'bhakti' [devotion and love] for the Sacred Feet of Lord Murugan. He has also in several songs expressed an ardent desire to forsake the illusory embodied existence in this world and attain 'mukthi' [liberation] at the Sacred Feet of the Lord. Thus, for example, he makes a fervent appeal to the Lord for attaining liberation by reaching the Lord's heroic anklets-wearing Sacred-Feet that are more reddish than the red lotus-flower, so that he shall not re-enter the hut which is his false illusory body:

  பொக்கக் குடிலில் புகுதாவகை புண்டரீகத்தினும்
  செக்கச்சிவந்த கழல்வீடு தந்து அருள்
[ song 31 ].

To pose the question again, why should such a person want to defy death? Perhaps, one reason is that the saintly author's mind is so conditioned and attuned over a period of time by sincere devotion to the Lord that he is confident that death or any other evil forces cannot harm him because he is protected by the Lord, and that is perhaps why the saintly author has included the following song among the songs [101-107] which tell us of the benefits accruing to those who recite the songs belonging to the Kandhar AlangkAram:

  சலம் காணும் வேந்தர்தமக்கும் அஞ்சார் யமன் சண்டைக்கு அஞ்சார்
  துலங்கா நரகக்குழி அணுகார் துட்டநோய் அணுகார்
  கலங்கார் புலிக்கும் கரடிக்கும் யானைக்கும் கந்தன் நன் நூல்
  அலங்காரம் நூற்றுள் ஒருகவிதான் கற்று அறிந்தவரே
[ song 101 ].

  [They will not be afraid of even wrathful rulers;
  they will not fear the combat with Yaman (death);
  they will not reach the dark pit of hell;
  they will not suffer from serious illnesses; and
  they will not be perturbed over the danger from
  wild animals such as tiger, bear, and elephant,
  for they are those who have read and understood
  the significance of at least even one of the hundred
  sacred songs contained in the good book known as
  Kandhar AlangkAram, which tells us about the
  greatness of Lord Kandhan.]

13.0.

THE ALANGKARAM OF ETHICAL AND SPIRITUAL TEACHINGS:

The saintly author of the Kandhar AlangkAram has included in his sacred work, several important ethical and spiritual teachings for the benefit of the Lord's devotees.

13.1. ETHICAL TEACHINGS:

The foremost of the ethical teachings include abstinence from anger and the provision of charitable gifts or alms to the poor and needy people. Thus, the saintly author makes a fervent plea for everyone to stop the mind from wandering at will, to abstain from the emotion of anger, to remain quiet without action or speech, and to give charitable gifts and alms to the poor, and he assures them that if they follow these principles, Lord Murugan's Grace will manifest itself and accept them as the Lord's devotees:

  தடுங்கோள் மனத்தை, விடுங்கோள் வெகுளியை, தானம் என்றும்
  இடுங்கோள் ...
  கோன் அருள் வந்து தானே வெளிப்படுமே
[ song 16 ].

13.1.

On the necessity of giving gifts or alms to the poor, the saintly author reminds us that

[a] wealth is just like water running in a river:

  சுழித்து ஓடும் ஆற்றில் பெருக்கு ஆனது செல்வம் [ song 36 ];

[b] wealth hoarded in deep pits under the earth will not follow one's footsteps at the time when one's soul leaves the body:

  அத்தம் எல்லாம்
  ஆழப்புதைத்துவைத்தால் வருமோ நும் அடிப்பிறகே?
[ song 20 ] and

[c] If one is not charitable to those who seek alms at any place, will the person's gold, fine house, and women be of any help to that person's soul going along the lonely way [after death]?

  எங்கு ஆயினும் வரும் ஏற்பவர்க்கு இட்டது இடாமல் வைத்த
  வங்காரமும் உங்கள் சிங்கார வீடும், மடந்தையரும்
  சங்காதமோ ... உயிர்போம் அத்தனிவழிக்கே?
[ song 59 ].

Therefore the saintly author advises us to praise the Lord of sharply-pointed lustrous-and-beautiful lance and share with the poor at least half of our food even if it happens to be of only broken-rice; and just like our body's useless shadow, which does not even help us to take shelter in the hot sun, the wealth in our hand will not be of any help to show the final way to our departing soul at the time of death:

  வையிற் கதிர்வடிவேலோனை வாழ்த்தி வறிஞர்க்கென்றும்
  நொய்யின் பிளவு அளவேனும் பகிர்மின்கள்; நுங்கட்கு
  இங்ஙன் வெய்யிற்கு ஒதுங்க உதவா உடம்பின் வெறுநிழல்போல்
  கையில் பொருளும் உதவாது காணும் கடைவழிக்கே
[ song 18 ].

In another song, he suggests that we ought to give daily at least a handful of cooked rice to the poor asking for alms and then eat the rest, and he also reminds us that we are bound by the results of our past [good and bad] deeds, and our body is of such an illusory kind that, when we die, it perishes without even amounting to a handful of ash [when it is cremated]:

  நித்தம்
  இருபிடிசோறு கொண்டு இட்டு உண்டு இருவினையோம் இறந்தால்
  ஒருபிடி சாம்பரும் காணாது மாய உடம்பு இதுவே
[ song 57 ];

also in song 51, the saintly author tells us that we will find that the result of being charitable to others will be the right kind of help, like a packet of cooked rice [பொதிசோறு], along the never-ending road of [one's last journey] which will be looking for us. Even if it is only a meal of vegetables or any boiled-food, one ought to share it with others in need:

  நும்மை நேடிவரும்
  தொலையா வழிக்குப் பொதிசோறும் உற்றதுணையும் கண்டீர்
  இலையாயினும் வெந்தது ஏதாயினும் பகிர்ந்து ஏற்றவர்க்கே
[ song 51 ].

13.2.0.

ALANGKARAM OF SPIRITUAL TEACHINGS: The saintly author reminds us that life in this world is illusory just like the water flowing in a river:

  நதிதனை அன்ன பொய்வாழ்வு [ song 98 ];

[learned people] say that this body of ours is like a bubble on water [which appears and disappears] and that material wealth does not last for all the time, and it is like a flash of lightning:

  நீர்க்குமிழிக்கு நிகர் என்பர் யாக்கை; நில்லாது செல்வம்
  பார்க்கும் இடத்து அந்த மின்போலும் என்பர்
[ song 66 ];

we are bound by the results of our [good and bad] deeds, and our body is of such an illusory kind that, when we die, it perishes without even amounting to a handful of ash [when cremated]:

  இருவினையோம் இறந்தால்
  ஒருபிடி சாம்பரும் காணாது மாய உடம்பு இதுவே
[ song 57 ].

13.2.1.

The saintly author reminds us that this world is an illusory one of dirty mud, and, in order to get away from this world, one must seek the true path shown by Lord Murugan, who is KirubAgaran [Lord of Compassion]:

  பிரபஞ்சம் என்னும்
  சேற்றைக் கழிய விட்டவா ... கிருபாகரனே
[ song 1 ].

The five sense-organs will not usually allow one to consider the greatness of the Lord's Sacred Feet, nor will they easily allow one to contemplate the Lord as the One Supreme Lord of the Universe, nor will they allow one to reach the Lord's lotus-flower-like Sacred-Feet by offering the oblation of fragrant flowers:

  ஓர ஒட்டார், ஒன்றை உன்ன ஒட்டார், மலர் இட்டு உனது தாள்
  சேர ஒட்டார் ஐவர்
[ song 4 ].

Therefore we must make a fervent plea to the celestial Lord of the sharply-pointed-lance to be gracious enough to come and appear in front of us and protect us before the body with two legs and hands, built like a home for the five-sense-organs, dissolves:

  வைவைத்த வேற்படை வானவனே ...
  ஐவர்க்கு இடம்பெற கால் இரண்டு ஓட்டி அதில் இரண்டு
  கைவைத்த வீடு குலையும் முனே வந்து காத்தருளே
[ song 23 ].

Those who recite the Sacred Name of the Lord of the victorious lance will not drown in the un-crossable sea-of-birth-death-and-rebirth, nor will they suffer from the debilitating disease of poverty:

  முடியாப் பிறவிக்கடலில் புகார், முழுதும் கெடுக்கும்
  மிடியால் படியில் விதனப்படார் வெற்றிவேல் பெருமாள் ...
  திருநாமம் புகல்பவரே
[ song 33 ].

The Supreme Lord's Sacred Names such as MurugA are the source-of-help-protection-and-guidance to truthful speech:

  மெய்ம்மை குன்றா
  மொழிக்குத் துணை முருகா எனும் நாமங்கள்
[ song 70 ].

We must worship with blossomed love, the Lord's Sacred Feet that are adorned with the garlands of kurA-flowers and thandai-anklets, so that the playful show of the cruel five sense-organs will cease, and the mind will stop shivering:

  அவிழ்ந்த அன்பால்
  குராப்புனை தண்டை அம் தாள் தொழல்வேண்டும் கொடிய ஐவர்
  பராக்கறல் வேண்டும் மனமும் பதைப்பு அறல்வேண்டும்
[ song 74 ].

The saintly author is most kind enough to share his spiritual experience of contemplating the Lord:

  When, with true love, I began to think little by little of the Lord,
  I partook of the unique eternal bliss that arose from such a thought,
  and when I realized how eternally sweet it was,
  the usually sweet sugar-cane tasted astringent,
  and the good honey tasted sour and very bitter:

  குமரனை மெய் அன்பினால் மெல்லமெல்ல உள்ள
  அரும்பும் தனி பரமாநந்தம் தித்தித்து அறிந்த அன்றே
  கரும்பும் துவர்த்து செம் தேனும் புளித்து அறக் கைத்ததுவே.
[ song 6 ].

13.2.2.

A foremost spiritual teaching that was expounded by the Lord to the saintly author concerns the state of mute-quietude [maunam மௌனம்], which precedes the state of 'nirguNA' [which is bereft of all the three 'guNAs', as well as the result of one's past deeds and the self-awareness of one's soul]. It is in the state of 'nirguNA' that one becomes aware of the sacred presence of the Lord again and again:

  மௌனத்தை உற்று
  நின்னை உணர்ந்து உணர்ந்து எல்லாம் ஒருங்கிய நிர்க்குணம் பூண்டு
  என்னை மறந்து இருந்தேன்
[ song 19 ].

The saintly author also reveals that the Lord of Six Faces [ARUMUGAM], with compassion, expounded to him the way to realize the absolute spiritual state of BEING-ALONE [that is, the state of BEING NONEXISTENT] without the influence of the sense-organs in the open boundless space:

  It is the unique AUSPICIOUS BLISS [SIVANANTHAM]
  arising from the Great Effulgence of the Lord's Grace
  at the summit of REAL-WISDOM [MEY-JNANAM]:

  ஒளியில் விளைந்த உயர் ஞான பூதரத்து உச்சியின்மேல்
  அளியில் விளைந்தது ஓர் ஆநந்தத்தேனை அநாதியிலே
  வெளியில் விளைந்த வெறும் பாழைப்பெற்ற வெறும் தனியைத்
  தெளிய விளம்பியவா! முகம் ஆறுடைத் தேசிகனே!
[ song 8 ].

13.2.3.

THE SILENT MODE OF CUMMA-IRUTHTHAL [சும்மா இருத்தல்]:

The saintly author is also most kind enough to share with us what Lord Murugan had graciously expounded to him about the silent mode of cummA-iruththal:

  Instead of living in the body, made of the five elements of nature,
  you ought to dwell in the silent abode of the space, bereft of speech
  and memory, and no other mortal being knows of this silent abode,
  said the lance-bearing Lord, Who is the Preceptor to Lord SivaperumAn.

  நிணம் காட்டும் கொட்டிலைவிட்டு ஒரு வீடு எய்தி நிற்க நிற்கும்
  குணம் காட்டி ஆண்ட குருதேசிகன்
[ song 42 ],

  ஒரு பூதரும் அறியாத் தனிவீட்டில் உரை உணர்வு அற்று,
  இருபூத வீட்டில் இராமல், என்றான் ...
  புராந்தகற்குக் குரு, பூத வேலவன் ...
[ song 45 ].

The saintly author also tells his mind [and us] how to attain that state:

  Now that you have, as your Protector, Lord Murugan's Sacred
  lotus-flower-like Feet adorned with vetchi-blooms and thandai-anklets,
  you proceed to the outer space, where there is neither night
  [oblivion, or forgetfulness], nor day [memory, or remembrance],
  nor deception, and you ought to remain hidden there in the
  state of quietude with no speech or motion, and this rightful path
  is unknown to anyone else.:

  வேத ஆகம சித்ர வேலாயுதன் வெட்சிபூத்த தண்டைப்
  பாத அரவிந்தம் அரணாக அல்லும் பகலும் இல்லாச்
  சூதானது அற்ற வெளிக்கே, ஒளித்துச் சும்மாஇருக்கப்
  போதாய் இனி, மனமே, தெரியாத ஒரு பூதருக்குமே
[ song 17 ].

13.2.4.

WHAT IS THE SUPREME BEING LIKE?:

As regards this question, which is most probably also on the minds of many devotees of Lord Murugan, the saintly author is again kind enough to share with us the REAL-TRUTH, which the Lord graciously imparted to him:

  It refers neither to the sky, nor the wind, nor the fire, nor the water,
  nor the earth, nor Himself, nor myself, nor any bodiless being,
  nor any being with a body -
  {It is ONE, that is NONE OTHER, because IT is beyond everything else}:

  கோன் அன்று எனக்கு உபதேசித்தது ஒன்று உண்டு கூறவன்றோ;
  வான் அன்று, கால் அன்று, தீ அன்று, நீர் அன்று, மண்ணும் அன்று,
  தான் அன்று, நான் அன்று, அசரீரி அன்று, சரீரி அன்றே
[ song 9 ].

13.2.5.

Is it not possible to have a sacred vision of the Lord?

The saintly author declares affirmatively that

  THE ONLY WAY OF HAVING A SACRED VISION OF THE SUPREME LORD OF THE WORLD IS FOR THE DEVOTEES TO FALL AT THE SACRED CRIMSON FEET OF THE LORD, WHO MANIFESTS HIMSELF WITH THE LANCE BEING PROMINENT IN HIS SACRED HAND AND WORSHIP HIM WITH LOVE. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO REACH THE LORD BY MEANS OF ONE'S MIND, SPEECH, OR DEED.

  HOW ELSE CAN ONE DESCRIBE THE SUPREME LORD OF THE WORLD WHO IS FORMLESS, YET ASSUMES FORM, NEVERTHELESS REMAINS THE SAME WITH NO DIFFERENCE?


  வேலே விளங்கும் கையான் செய்ய தாளினில் வீழ்ந்து இறைஞ்சி
  மாலே கொள இங்ஙன் காண்பது அல்லால் மனம் வாக்குச் செய
  லாலே அடைதற்கு அரிதாய் அரு உருவாகி ஒன்று
  போலே இருக்கும் பொருளை எவ்வாறு புகல்வதுவே?
[ song 28 ].

13.2.6.

The saintly author reveals his own personal spiritual experience of such a Sacred Vision of the Lord in the following words:

  திருவடியும் தண்டையும் சிலம்பும் சிலம்பு ஊடுருவப்
  பொரு வடிவேலும் கடம்பும் தடம்புயம் ஆறிரண்டும்
  மருவடிவான வதனங்கள் ஆறும் மலர்க் கண்களும்
  குருவடிவாய் வந்து என் உள்ளம் குளிரக் குதிகொண்டவே!
[ song 102 ].

  [The Lord's Sacred Feet, adorned with thandai-and-silambu anklets
  with tinkling jewels within, the sharply-pointed warring-lance which pierced
  through the krauncha-hill, the garlands of kadambu-flowers adorning the
  Lord's twelve broad shoulders, and the Lord's beautiful Six Faces with
  lotus-flower-like eyes graciously appeared in a sacred vision as the
  spiritual Preceptor and joyfully danced together bringing a refreshing
  feeling of coolness to my mind].

14.

CONCLUSION:

It would seem evident from the above discussion that Saint AruNagirinAthar's Kandhar AlangkAram consists of illuminating particulars of not only the personal adornment-and-ornamentation of Lord Murugan, but also several other features such as the purAnic-lore concerning the Lord, the Lord's spouse, vehicle, rooster-flag, and the Lord's devotees defying death, several ethical and spiritual teachings of great importance, all of which embellish the Lord's Greatness as the Supreme Lord of the Universe.
go to top
 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

[துணை நூல்கள்]

ஸ்ரீ அருணகிரிநாத சுவாமிகள் அருளிச்செய்த கந்தரலங்காரம் [விரிவுரையுடன்] உரையாசிரியர்: திருமுருக கிருபானந்தவாரியார். சென்னை: வானதி பதிப்பகம், எட்டாம் பதிப்பு, 1986.

ஸ்ரீ கச்சியப்ப சிவாசாரியார் அருளிய கந்தபுராணம். மூலமும் தெளிவுரையும். உரையாசிரியர்கள்: பேராசிரியர் அ. மாணிக்கம், மற்றும் டாக்டர் பூவண்ணன். சென்னை: வர்த்தமானன் பதிப்பகம், மூன்றாம் பதிப்பு, 2000 [உற்பத்திக் காண்டம், திருவவதாரப் படலம், சரவணப் படலம், 942-1070].

Shriman Maharishi Krishna DwaipAyana VedavyAsa. Skanda PurAnam. 5 Vols. Calcutta, 1960. [Sanskrit text]

நக்கீரர். திருமுருகாற்றுப்படை, பத்துப்பாட்டு மூலமும் நச்சினார்க்கினியருரையும். சென்னை: டாக்டர் உ.வே. சாமிநாதையர் பதிப்பு, கபீர் அச்சுக்கூடம், ஆறாம் பதிப்பு, 1961, பக்கம் 1-82.

பரிபாடல். எட்டுத்தொகையுள் ஐந்தாவதாகிய பரிபாடல். மூலமும் பரிமேலழகருரையும். சென்னை: டாக்டர் உ. வே. சாமினாதையர் பதிப்பு, கபீர் அச்சுக்கூடம், நான்காம் பதிப்பு, 1956 [பாடல்கள் 5, 8-9, 14, 17, 21: செவ்வேள்].

சிவபாதசுந்தரம், சு. கந்தபுராண விளக்கம். கோலாலம்பூர்: சைவசித்தாந்தி சிவபாதசுந்தரனார் குருபூசை அறங்காப்பு, 2000.

கி. வா. ஜகந்நாதன், அலங்காரம் [சொற்பொழிவுகள்]. சென்னை: அமுத நிலையம், 1956.


CLOTHEY, Fred. W. The Many Faces of Murugan. The History and Meaning of a South Indian God. The Hague: Mouton Publishers, 1978.

  வேலும் மயிலும் துணை
go to top
 


பேராசிரியர் முனைவர் சிங்காரவேலு சச்சிதானந்தம் [பிறப்பு, 1936], ஜே.எஸ்.எம்., எம்.ஏ., பி.எச்.டி., எல்.எல்.பி., சி.எல்.பி., மலாயாப் பல்கலைக்கழகத்தில் 1969-ஆம் ஆண்டு முதல் 1984-ஆம் ஆண்டு வரையில் இந்திய ஆய்வியல்துறைத் தலைவராகவும், 1980-ஆம் ஆண்டு முதல் 1994-ஆம் ஆண்டு வரையில் இந்திய ஆய்வியல்துறைப் பேராசிரியராகவும், 1995-ஆம் ஆண்டுமுதல் 1998-ஆம் ஆண்டு வரையில் மலேசியாவில் வழக்கறிஞராகவும் வழக்குரைஞராகவும் பணியாற்றியுள்ளார்; சங்ககாலத் தமிழர் சமுதாயம், தென்கிழக்காசியாவில் இராமாயணப் பாரம்பரியம் என்னும் ஆய்வுநூல்களையும் இயற்றியிருப்பதுடன், இந்திய-தென்கிழக்காசியப் பண்பாட்டுத் தொடர்புகளைப்பற்றி எண்பதுக்கும் மேற்பட்ட ஆய்வுக்கட்டுரைகளையும் எழுதி உலகளாவிய ஆய்வேடுகளில் வெளியிட்டுள்ளார்; மலேசியக்குடியுரிமை பெற்றுள்ள அவர் மலேசிய நாட்டிற்கென்று ஆற்றிய பணிக்காக மலேசிய அரசாங்கம் அவருக்கு ஜே.எஸ்.எம். என்னும் விருதினை 1991-ஆம் ஆண்டு நல்கியது; அவர், உயர்கல்வித் துறையில் ஆற்றியுள்ள பணிக்காக 2004-ஆம் ஆண்டு நடைபெற்ற மலாயாப் பல்கலைக்கழகக் பட்டமளிப்பு விழாவில் Professor Emeritus எனப்படும் சிறப்பு விருதினைப் பெற்றார்.

Professor Emeritus Dr. Singaravelu Sachithanantham [born 1936], JSM, MA, PhD, LLB, CLP, is a former Head [1969-1984] and Professor [1980-1994] of Indian Studies, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and a former Advocate and Solicitor [1995-1998] of the High Court of Malaya; he is the author of two monographs entitled Social Life of the Tamils, the Classical Period [Kuala Lumpur, Department of Indian Studies, University of Malaya, 1966] and The Ramayana Tradition in Southeast Asia [Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press, 2004]. He has also published more than eighty research articles on the cultural relations between India and Southeast Asia in international journals. He is a Malaysian citizen, and in recognition of his services to the nation, the Government of Malaysia conferred on him the title of Johan Setia Mahkota [JSM] in 1991, and in recognition of his services in the field of higher education, he was conferred the title of Professor Emeritus by the University of Malaya in 2004.
go to top
 
 அனைத்து செய்யுட்கள்   செய்யுட்கள் - ஒலிவடிவத்துடன்  தேடல்
 ஒர் அறிமுக ஆய்வுக் கட்டுரை - பேராசிரியர் சிங்காரவேலு சச்சிதானந்தம் (மலேசியா) 
 அகரவரிசைப் பட்டியலுக்கு   PDF வடிவத்தில்   எண்வரிசைப் பட்டியலுக்கு 
 English Transliteration of all verses  with audio
 An Introductory Article in English by Dr. Singaravelu Sachithanantham (Malaysia) 
 For Alphabetical List   in PDF format   For Numerical List  search
previous page next page

Thiru AruNagirinAthar's Kandhar Alangkaram

an Introduction by Dr. Singaravelu Sachithanantham (Malaysia)

... www.kaumaram.com ...
The website for Lord Murugan and His Devotees


 முகப்பு   அட்டவணை   மேலே   தேடல் 
 home   contents   top   search 



Get Free Tamil and other Indian Language Software from Azhagi dot com
If you do not see Tamil characters or for 'offline' viewing,
please install 'SaiIndira' fonts from Azhagi.com
 download Free Azhagi software 

Kaumaram.com is a non-commercial website.
This website is a dedication of Love for Lord Murugan.

 Please take note that Kaumaram.com DOES NOT solicit any funding, DIRECTLY or INDIRECTLY. 

[xhtml] .[css]