Kanda Sashti: Ornate Kandan, obliterate obstacles ♫

by K. Thirukumaran

Kanda Sashti, the annual fasting days in devotion of Lord Murugan falls this year from November 12th-17th.


“Why does by Fasting the soul renews life” queries Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathiyar to Lord Krishna in one of his poems. That was preceded by query, “Why in ailment, one be laying down?”

நோயிலே படுப்பதென்னே?
கண்ண பெருமானே! — நீ
நோன்பிலே உயிர்ப்பதென்னே?
கண்ண பெருமானே!

The poet cum journalist born in 19th century sung about the renewal a soul attains via fasting in those lyrics.

He paved way for Tamil lyrics to be lucid as such, however the hymns rendered by the 63 saints from 6th-8th Century AD though with poignant meanings weren’t colloquial in their composition.

Then came along Saint Arunagirinathar in the 15th century. His renderings about Lord Murugan are mostly jubilant toned and contain foot tapping chords and words fastened in praise for an uplifting worship.

Kanda Sashti fast gives feast to the soul with the renderings of such hymns composed by Saint Arunagirinathar and give it a new sparkle. He composed them as the alluring Thirupugazh, Kantharalangkaram and Kandar Anubhoodi etc.

The tongue-twisting lyrics by Arunagirinathar are featured in Tamil Movies and especially in the one made in 1964 bearing his name. T. M. Soundararajan famously starred in as Arunagirinathar and divinely rendered a Thirupugazh “Muthai Tharu” in the movie.

It was composed in raga Shanmughapriya, the music directors were G. Ramanathan and T.R. Papa for the movie. The popular tune continuances to be rendered by many renowned artistes through this day.

“Ornate Kandan, to obliterate obstacles” as the renderings give your soul a renewal. That overjoy arising via the devotion of Lord Murugan is reiterated in the following Kantharalangkaram rendering, by my paternal grandfather, “Puranapadana Viththagar” Sinnathamby Sangarapillai:

(With translation in English included in the video)

The hymn composed by Saint Arunagirinathar says, Know at least one of those hundred songs, to be:

fearless of wrathful rulers and
free of suffering of/in serious illnesses
and more

More of the allure of Saint Arunagirinathar to hear and/or sing, especially during Kanda Sashti:

Rendered by “Puranapadana Viththagar” Sinnathamby Sangarapaillai
(January 13, 1902-July 6, 1988) Madduvil North, Chavakachcheri, Sri Lanka

Arunagirinathar’s Thirupigazh ♫ Earu Mayil Eri Vilaiyadum ♫ Rendered by Pithukuli Murugadas ♫ (with Translation in English)

Murugan songs, very many of them are rendered in a spirit of overjoy. Here in this rare song, his ardent devotee Pithukuli Murugadas pleads for devotion of the Lord of benevolence, beauty, love and valour in citing his loss of departed kin:

This Kanda Sashti, seek renewal via fasting and awaken the soul in the benevolence of Lord Murugan.

Alluring Abodes