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 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. I am the devotee of the Lord Skanda of Thiruchendur.
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This great poetic work was written by Sanit Arunagiri nathar, the author of Thirupugazh, which is considered as one of the greatest poem collections praising Lord Subrahmanya.
I am quoting from Wikipedia article about him. His father died soon after his birth and his mother and sister brought him up in the rich cultural and religious traditions. Legends claim that Arunagiri was attracted to the pleasures of the flesh and spent his youth in pursuing a life of debauchery. His sister always give whatever she earned to make his brother happy. One day he demanded money from his sister, but unfortunately she had no money. She was very sad and said, "Oh brother, I am sorry that there is no money to give you today.
His sister then said "Brother, if you need to have pleasure then please come sleep with me, tomorrow I will get you the money somehow".
Hearing that, Arunagirinathar felt how self centered and selfish he was. He decided to end his life, went to the temple hit his head in all the pillars and steps, begging for forgiveness. Then he leaped from the tower of Thiruvannamalai temple. He was however miraculously saved from the death by Lord Muruga who also transformed him to a holy saint instantaneously". Arunagiri sang his first devotional song and thereafter decided to spend the rest of his life singing in praise of the god.
He was a devotee of Lord Muruga and worshipped the God at Vedapureeswarar temple at the sacred place known as Cheyyar on the banks of the Cheyyar River.
His fame got the jealousy of chief minister of the Kingdom. He claimed Arunagirinathar as a false saint and not a true devotee of Lord Subramaniya.
So the king arranged a public gathering and asked Arunagiri to show Lord Subramanya to others also. Arunagiri started singing songs towards Lord Muruga and soon after Lord Muruga appeared in a stone pillar in the form of child.
He was so bright as equal to hundred of suns and the people were unable to see this with their ordinary eyes. Due to this everybody lost their eyes including the king and ministers. It was suggested that bringing the Parijatha flower could only get sights back to the people. Arunagirinathar is said to have entered the body of a parrot in order to fetch the parijatha flower. There is a form of a parrot in one of the sthubis Kili Gopuram , testifying to this story.
Most of the parts are very difficult to translate. I have wholly depended on the tamil translation by Sri Pi. It is much more scientific than the normal transliteration that I do. Kaapu Adal arunnai thiru gopurathe antha vaayillukku vada arugil sendru kandu kondean varuvaar thalaiyil thada-pada enapadu kuttudan sarkkarai moikkiya kai kadathada kumba kallithrukku illaya kallithrinaiye In Thiruvannamalai , which grants salvation just by its thought? Text Paethrai thavam satrum illaatha ennai prapanjam ennum saethrai kazhiya vazhi vitta-vaa sengchadaa adavi Mel Aat-trai paniyai ithazhiyai thumbaiyai ambuliyin Keethrai punaidha perumaan kumaran krupaakarane Oh God who showed me the way out of the mire of worldly illusion, Which tried to stick to me , who does not have holiness for getting salvation?
Oh merciful Lord who is the darling son of Lord Shiva, Who holds the holy river Ganges and snake in his red forest like matted hair, And who also wears the Thumbai flower and the single crescent of the moon. So that the devas of heaven are saved, Please tell me what shall be done by me because, My mind prevents my five senses not think of your lotus like feet, Nor think about your holy names , nor worship your feet with flowers.
That great truth cannot be described by any words , And which is not the five spirits of earth, water, fire, air and sky, And which is neither he nor me, which has shape and also does not have shape. That Lord in his position of stability bereft of all desires, Taught me with his grace all that which can be told. Some say that is Indra and others say that it is Soorapadma with whom he waged war. It is believed that the Vel split Soorapadma in to two and one part became the Peacock and the other a Cock , which occupied the flag standard of Muruga.
The cock ,which came in a submissive state to Lord Muruga, Who has the great power of exterminating the army of his enemies, Made his flag be called as a victorious flag by one and all, And became capable of destroying problems created by his enemies. Flapped its wings and due to this the oceans were torn asunder, The sky and the horizon broke and all the mountains along, With the mount Meru in the middle were powdered in to dust.
Would come before me riding on a blue peacock, Accompanied with the pretty tribal girl , Valli, And the truth that he gives as advice to me as teacher , Would be clear to very learned yogis slowly and after thought, And others would do meaningless acts and embrace death.
And would remove the fear of the letter of death, As well as the fear of the messengers of death from me 27 vElE viLanggum kai-yaan seiya thaaLi-nil veezh-ndhu iRaing-chi maalE koLa ing-ngan kaaN-bathu-al-laal mana vaakku seya-laalE adaithaRku aridhaai aru-uvuruvaagi onRu pOlE irukkum poruLai yev-vaaRu pugal-vadhuvE Except for falling at the reddish feet of the God with Vel, And beseeching him and falling totally in love with him, It is not possible to praise Him , who is beyond the reach, And beyond the state of having form and not having a form, But is having the unified form, by our mind, words and action.
You have not offered prayers to the God at Thiruchengode, Near which runs Cauvery taking with it the gems loosened, From the tusk of the very big black elephant and you also , Have not praised the Vel which broke open the eight mountains? And when this is so, how can you ever get salvation? What would my bad fate be able to do to me? What would the cruel God of death be able to do to me and what would, The nine planets that search for me be able to do to me? Drowning , melting , ebbing and twisting in the private parts of a pretty woman?