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Story Of Composing Subramanya Bhujangam By Adi Shankaracharya

Subramanya Bhujangam is a brilliant hymn of Adi Shankaracharya that extols ineffable supremacy of Muruga, son of Shiva, who is also famous as Kartik and Skanda. The story of composing Subramanya Bhujangam shows the unfathomable compassion that Muruga has for his devotees.

Adi Shankaracharya had defeated many scholars who were following various different schools of thought. One such rival scholar grew jealous of Adi Shankara’s felicity in debates. He cast an evil spell on Adi Shankaracharya and this caused severe stomach pain to the acharya.

Story Of Composing Subramanya Bhujangam By Adi Shankaracharya

Adi Shankara thought the stomach pain as prarabdha karma. He tried to avoid the pain of the body.

But Muruga was not ready to ignore the severe pain that his devotee was going through. He therefore appears in the dream of Adi Shankaracharya and summons him to Tiruchendur Temple – the famous abode of Muruga in Tamil Nadu.

Adi Sankara reaches Tiruchendur Temple through yoga marga. Here Muruga shows him the rarest of rarest vision – Muruga standing and Adi Shesha spreading his hood over him.

This rare darshan of Muruga inspires the Adi Shankara to sing a hymn in the Bhujanga metre, as it conjures wavelike, graceful movements of a snake. This composition came to be known as Subrahmanya Bhujangam.

Adi Shankaracharya was relieved to the stomach pain and he sings –

“I do not know sabda or artha; neither am I proficient in gadya, prose or padya, poetry; Yet when the Lord sits in my heart with the effulgence of His six shining faces, words rush with a flow from my mouth with ease and perfection.”

Listening to this composition confers mental strength and solace to all caught in samsara.

The hymn explains to a devotee the infinite power and grace of Kartikeya.

The hymn shows that Muruga is the very essence of the Mahavakyas in Upanishads that convey the truth of the identity of the atma with Brahman.

Contemplating on Muruga one gains purity of thought and gradually becomes enlightened.