By Swami Chidananda & Swami Krishnananda
Om Skandam Vande Loka-Gurum Om.
Salutations to Lord Karttikeya, personification of the Power of Grace of Lord Siva, the Divine Leader of the celestial hosts, the beloved off-spring of Mother Para-Sakthi or Vidya Maya and the mysterious Sadhana-Sakthi infilling the pure hearts of sincere seekers on the path to Divine Experience! May His blessings be upon you all!
It gives me the greatest pleasure to write these words in respect of this present work, namely, an English rendering of the renowned Tamil work, "Kanthar Anubhuthi" by the great Saivite Saint Sri Arunagirinathar of Thiruvannamalai in South India. This highly mystical, poetical work is shiningly radiant with the Light of Transcendental Experience. The rare and supreme treasure of God-Experience is made available to the eager souls in quest of God through this sublime poem replete with the ecstatic bliss of the wonderful Saint Arunagirinathar who gave it to the world. But locked up in the close confines of the original Tamil language this unparalleled wealth and spiritual treasure was lost to the great majority of the aspirant-world. Therefore, great indeed is my joy that the present translator (a namesake of the Lord Himself) Sri N.V. Karthikeyanji has now rendered a signal service to the non-Tamil-knowing world by bringing into broad day-light, as it were, this lofty spiritual work of the highest order. This unique service is made even more valuable by the most excellent commentary in English upon each one of the verses that make up the work Kanthar Anubhuthi.
The standard of the commentary is very high and bespeaks of the undoubtable spiritual status of the translator and commentator Sri N.V. Karthikeyan. He is known to me personally over these past ten years and I have observed him to be a spiritually evolved soul who has the grace of God and our beloved Guru Maharaj Swami Sivanandaji. He has earned the deepest gratitude of the whole world by this unique spiritual service he has done by undertaking this English version of this mystical poem of Saint Arunagirinathar. During these past three years from 1969 onward, "The Divine Life" monthly journal has had its value greatly enhanced by the appearance in serial form of portions of this present work in regular installments in each monthly issue of the above magazine of our Society. I have observed with great pride and satisfaction the distinctive spiritual progress and maturity of this sincere disciple of our worshipful Gurudeva Sivanandajai Maharaj. While congratulating him upon this excellent work, I also prayerfully wish that the Lord may bestow upon him this same Anubhuthi he has so well and ably explained through his very lucid and luminous commentary. May Lord Skanda reveal Himself to him in all His divine glory and grant him the bliss of Aparoksha Anubhuthi in this very life!
I wish this most inspiring, revealing, and invaluable work the widest circulation all over the world. May it be translated into many other foreign languages too and may countless earnest seekers be benefited thereby. I am happy to write these words and express my joy and appreciation. God's Grace be upon all readers.
Om Sri Saravanabhavaya Namah!
It is with deep satisfaction that I have gone through the exposition of one of the immortal works in religious literature Kanthar Anubhuthi of Saint Arunagirinathar presented by Sri Karthikeyan, whose earnestness of spirit and honesty of purpose in making this wisdom available to all seekers in the world I can personally vouchsafe due to a fairly long contact I had with him for years, as well as my observation of his fervor in things spiritual and his ardent longing for a Godly life of service, devotion, and an immense goodness in dealing with issues in general. Such an author as this, ably fitted to share his thoughts on subjects concerning the profounder themes of the Spirit, should be regarded as one who is in a position to understand the psychological and practical processes of Sadhana which are mystically presented by Saint Arunagirinathar.
The present exposition is precisely the seeker's point of view, for that is really the right point of view which one has to adopt in treating of a spiritual text intended for catering to the needs of the soul of man. We are naturally more concerned with what we are at present than what we would be or ought to be in a purely idealistic sense. And what we are presently is a complex bundle of entanglements, passions, urges as well as aspirations. All these should indeed necessitate and call for a realistic approach to facts of the inner life of man, which will at once draw appeal from souls rather than personalities. From this assessment, it will be found that the Kanthar Anubhuthi, as commented on here in great detail, will be the most appropriate study-guide in daily life to all sincere Sadhakas who are struggling on the path to self-restraint and self-composure. Not only this. The work is a powerful aid in gaining access into the ideal realization which awaits one in the end. It is thus a compendium combining in its compass a beautiful description of the means of living a disciplined spiritual life as also of the end to be attained thereby the summum bonum of existence. May the work be ushered in for the release of beneficent forces throughout the world!
Karthikeyan, N.V. Kanthar Anubhuti (God-Experience) of Saint Arunagirinathar. 2nd ed. India: Divine Life Society, 1990.