Among Arunagirinatha’s lesser-known works is Tiru Vakappu, which can be roughly translated as ‘Holy Sections’. The twenty-five sub-divisions that give the work its name mostly deal with different aspects of Murugan – his consorts, his peacock vahana, the vel, etc. One section, though, stands out as being unique among his works. Entitled Perutta Vachanam (Great Spiritual Words or Great Spiritual Truths), it is almost wholly advaitic in character. There are no pleas for grace, no complaints about uncontrollable desires, just a series of statements about the nature of reality in both its manifest and unmanifest state. Speaking from direct experience and with unwavering authority, Arunagirinatha proclaims the final truth that everything is That and That alone.
Within and beyond the three worlds
Traversed by the sun,
What fills everything
As the happy essence is That.
The blissful silence controlling
The many mental modes, again making
Everything blossom forth, is only That.
The foolish and vain votaries of the six faiths
Debate fanatically and prattle aloud;
What lies beyond all such differing conceptions is That.
The six major cults of Hinduism (shanmata), codified and sanctioned by Adi Sankaracharya are the worship of (1) Siva (2) Vishnu (3) Devi or Sakti (4) Ganapati (5) Kumara (6) Surya, the sun. In Kandar Anubhuti, verse forty-seven, Arunagirinatha says, ‘Transcending the six religions, am I blessed to attain as divine fortune that Supreme State which is beyond [them all]?’
For those who wallow and sink
In the dark mire of the three impurities,
My and mine, karma and maya,
What helps them cross over the useless ways is That.
The Guru of Lord Siva,
Who wears the ark and cassia flowers on his head,
Is our Lord Murugan who manifests as That.
On one occasion Murugan imparted a secret upadesa on pranava (the sound of Om) to Siva and thus earned the title ‘Guru of Siva’. The flowers are the ornaments of Siva, not Murugan.
The amounts of good and bad deeds,
Added up, make this dirty body of ours.
Subtracting our identification with it,
What becomes the answer, defying comparison, is That.
Not even all the learning and arts,
Beginning from the Rig Veda,
Will be a counter-balance
If weighed against That.
When messengers of the Lord of Death
Come for one at the time of death,
What endows one with a natural ability
To cross over to safety is That.
Where the thickly-set Upanishads end,
At that edge, what exists alone as the crest is That.
Without form, what lies concealed,
The core and essence
Of fire, earth, ether, wind and water,
Which fill things, nought left out, is That.
Thought, object and thinker vanish:
What evolves in the state where
One abides forever is That.
To the unwavering devotees, their hesitancy gone,
Released from all troubles,
The precious treasure they enjoy is That.
What makes thought, word and deed lie submerged,
Making it possible to experience that joy
Of bathing in the divine grace, is That.
As the light of lights, as space beyond space
And as the life of lives,
What manifests for ever and ever is That.
Lord Shanmukha, the valorous one!
He rode on the strong peerless peacock
To fight the asuras who ran and hid themselves.
He married the hunter girl who wore a dress
Fashioned of beautiful foliage. It was he,
The incomparable one, who graciously taught me That.