(pronunciation = 'kanthar alan-gaa-ram')
By N.V. Karthikeyan
Kanthar Alangaaram means "poetical adornment of Skanda." This work is a garland made of beautiful, sweet Tamil and offered as ornaments to the Lord. Flower garlands fade away by usage in a couple of hours (or at the most in a few days). But this word-garland wafts more and more fragrance as days pass by, because more and more people will come to know of it, sing or read it, and be benefited by it. Hence, such word-garlands are more pleasing to the Lord than flower-garlands.
Kanthar Alangaram is a work of 107 verses. As the title suggests, it gives a grand description of the Divine personality of Lord Skanda from feet to head, and His adventurous deeds, as also descriptions of His consorts, Valli and Deivayanai; His Vahana (Vehicle), the Peacock and the Cock. The language or style of the verses is also dramatic in character, kindling the spirit of emotion, or evoking enthusiasm, or admonishing with words jolting and piercing in their effect, such as:
"Is one to study the poems of Vel-Murugan, which free one from rebirth, at the last moment when the terrible Yama, fierce in nature, throws his noose on one's neck and drags?"
"By the touch of the wind created by the movement of the plumage of the Peacock of Lord Murugan, the mount Meru shook; by the footsteps of the Peacock, mountains crumbled to dust; and the seas, filled with this dust became raised grounds."
"Due to the notion of the Cock's wings, the oceans tore away, the sky broke, the stars dropped, and the mountains crumbled."
"O Lord Yama! I am the devotee of the Lord (Skanda) of Thiruchendur. I have the sword of wisdom called 'non-enmity', with which I shall attack you and put you down with your weapons of 'Sula' and 'Danda.' Come close to me and see (what happens to you), if you like!"
"O mind, knowing the transitory nature of wealth, when will you go beyond pleasure and pain? You do not repeat the Names of the Lord, as Vel-Murugan, Vel, etc. How do you hope to get Mukthi or liberation?"
"O Hero (Muruga) who destroyed Surapadma! Though I might be immersed in sex, I shall not forget Thy Vel!"
"By the touch of the Feet of Murugan, Brahma's written words on my head (fate) have been wiped out!"
"To Siva, the ornament is a garland of skulls; to Vishnu, the Tulasi garland; to the Feet of Murugan, the crown of the Devas' heads and the Kadamba garland; and to the Vel, the ocean, Surapadma, and the Krauncha Mountain."
"O Yama! I am in the presence of Lord Murugan. If you oppose me, I shall cut you with the Sakthi sword in my hand and make you run away. Therefore, trace your way back."
"Learned ones will say: 'The body is perishable, wealth is transitory.' But if one approaches them for charity, they will quietly slip away. These are people who have no devotion to Vel-Murugan. Wonderful is their wisdom!"
"O Yogis! There is no use of torturing the body through Hatha Yoga. Knowing what Siva Yoga is through the Upadesa of Muruga, if you become 'silent,' you will attain mukthi."
Note: For personal (spiritual) use only. Commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Karthikeyan, N.V. Kanthar Anubhuti (God-Experience) of Saint Arunagirinathar. 2nd ed. India: Divine Life Society, 1990.