Thursday, February 13, 2014

Kandhar Anubhuti : Verse #0 - Invocation to Ganesha (Nenjakkana Kal)

நெஞ்சக் கன கல்லு நெகிழ்ந்து உருகத்
தஞ்சத்து அருள் சண்முகனுக்கு இயல்சேர்
செஞ்சொற் புனை மாலை சிறந்திடவே
பஞ்சக்கர ஆனை பதம் பணிவாம்

nenjakkana kallu' negiznthu uruga
thanjatthu arul shanmugan'ukku iyal ser
senjol punai maalai siranthidave
panjakkara aanai padam panivam

நெஞ்சம் - Heart
கன - Heavy
கல் - Stone
நெகிழ்ந்து - In Ecstasy
உருக - To Melt
தஞ்சத்து - One who takes refuge
அருள் - (offer) Grace
சண்முகனுக்கு - The Six Faced Lord, Shanmuga
இயல் - Equal
சேர் - To offer
செஞ்சொற் - Beautiful Words
புனை - Made
மாலை - Garland
சிறந்திடவே - To come out well
பஞ்சக்கர - Five Hands
ஆனை - Elephant
பதம் - Feet
பணிவாம் - Bow

Short Meaning

For the hearts that are harder than stone to melt out of ecstasy and for a garland (made of finest of words as an offering) to the Six Faced Lord (who offers Grace to all that come and surrender to him)  to come out par excellence, I bow to the Holy feet of the Elephant with Five Hands!

All great things are difficult to achieve. A great start is a good indicator of success. Hindus understood that any activity could face obstacles. So, for an auspicious start of any project of any scale, they invoked Sri Ganesha, fondly called Pillayar (Venerated Son - Pillai meaning Son, and 'yar' indicating respect)

There are three kinds of obstacles that anyone faces:
1. Adyatmika - (Adi Atmika) - From Self. Most troubles can be traced to ourself. Lack of concentration, lack of focus, no energy etc. 
2. Adi Bhouthika - From the nature. There could be obstacles from natural calamities. 
3. Adi Daivika - From (demi) Gods - There are various Devatas with whom Humanity has a symbiotic relationship. If this subtle balance is broken, various bad things like droughts, diseases might happen. These problems are called Adi Daivika

This is the reason why most chantings in Vedas ends with 'Om Shanti Shanti Shanti:' (may the triad problems be resolved' (one Shanti for each)

It is almost mandatory that everyone prays to Ganesha before starting any work. Even Lord Shiva, Ganesha's father had to do that! Lord Shiva had to fall off the chariot before He burnt the Tripura since He did not worship Ganesha before the activity and even Lord Vishnu had to face the brunt of it when the 'Ksheera Sagara Mathanam' (churning of the Milk Ocean) for Nectar was started. 

If Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu have to invoke Sri Ganesha before they begin activities, we, the regular mortals have even more reasons to do it. 

Sri Arunagiri Nathar, has a tough job ahead. He wants to create a Garland (malai in tamil). But this is no ordinary Garland of regular flowers. It is Garland of Words (Sol). Not just ordinary words, but with 'fine' words (sen-jol) [semmaiyana sol] - The Garland is so - 'Senjol punai maalai' (Punai indicating the act of making the Garland)

Now two questions come:
1. For whom does Sri Arunagiri Nathar wants to make this Garland?
2. Why does he want to offer the Garland?

The simple answer to the first question is 'Shanmugan' , One with Six Faces. (Shat meaning six (in Sanskrit) and Mugan (meaning Face) - Literally, the Six Faced God. 

Sri Arunagiri Nathar is a Genius when it comes to adding adjectives. He says it is not just 'Shanmugan', but He is the Six Faced Lord,  who Offers Grace to those who Surrender onto Him. 

Thanjam means to seek refuge. Sri Vibhishanan took refuge of Lord Sri Rama. Like that, for any devotee who approaches Lord Murugan and seeks refuge (thanjam), Lord Shanmuga offers Grace (arul) to them and Protects them. So, Sri Arunagiri calls the Lord as 'Thanjathu Arul Shanmugan' 

The next question, 'Why does he want to offer the Garland' has a longer answer
1. Nenjakkana Kall Negiznthu Uruga
2. Senjol Punai Malai Siranthidave
3. Shanmugan'ukku Iyal Ser

Human heart has lost its softness because of greed, anger and lots of negative emotions. It has become as hard as a Heavy Stone (gana kal). A stone cold heart is no place for God to reside. So, the heart has to melt. It has to melt of of ecstasy (negiznthu uruga). How do we know that the heart is melting? Tears would flow down the eyes. If that doesn't happen we can say with 100% confidence that the heart is not melting. 

Heart melts for various reasons:
1. Grace - God's Grace is so profound, and most people cannot earn it (that's why it is Grace). So, when we feel God's Grace, we feel so happy that an insignificant being such as us, is being Loved by the Most Magnificent and Glorious being in the Universe and beyond
2. Joy
3. Humility
4. Forgiveness
5. Peace
6. Sacrifice etc. 

Sri Arunagiri Nathar, through the magnum opus, wants all the hearts of all the readers of Anubhuti to melt in Divine Ecstasy. 

For this to happen, the Garland should come out in a great way (siranthidave) and it should be appropriate and befitting to the Lord Murugan, whom it decorates. (iyal ser) 

So, Sri Arunagiri bows to the feet of the Elephant with Five Hands (panja-kara aanai padam panivam)

Lord Ganesha has four hands and also the trunk which is counted as the fifth hand (thuthi-kkai). Interestingly, another work, one  of the greatest works in Tamil on Mantra Sastra, Thiru Manthiram  starts 'Ainthu Karathhanai' (One with Five hands) (written by Thirumoolar). We can see different Saints, using the same description for the Great God Ganesha. 

And, let's also bow to Sri Ganesha, for success in all out endeavours. If this verse can help Sri Arunagiri Nathar to successfully complete Kandhar Anubhuti, it will help us in whatever we want to achieve. 


  1. Great job on explaining the Lord Ganesha invocation verse Sriram. I join you today in bowing before the 'panchakkara anai' faced Vinayakar and pray that he blesses this project to reach its completion smoothly.

  2. Oops. I meant 'panchakkara' vinayagar - the one endowed with five hands. :)

  3. Thanks Meena! His blessings are absolutely required :)

  4. Thanks for the wonderful explanation of the vinayakar slokam, Sriram.

  5. Glad you liked, Vidya :) I am trying to reduce the size of the Gloss but just doesn;t seem to work! :)

  6. Hi Sri! I kind of had some strange experience for a moment when I started reading verse # 0 and was crying even before I reached your comments on melting heart.Carry on your work.Will follow.

  7. Dear @Rakavi, That is very rare. You are blessed to have such an experience. As mentioned, the very act of crying is a direct result of heart melting in Devotion / Bhakti.

    Thanks for following.

  8. Great explanation. Kanchi Maha Periyavaa has written and spoke about greatness of kandar anubhoodhi. We all should be fortunate to learn and get His Arul .

  9. Thanks Ganesh! Kandhar Anubhuti is indeed a blessing on Humans, and we should be very fortunate to be born in a Tamil Family to enjoy this!

  10. Veru nice explanation...The best I have read so far! It has a heart and intellect all can relate. Thank you.