Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Birth history of Lord Muruga ~ Skanda Sashti Mahotsavam special

1. Skanda Sashti Mahotsavam :-
Skanda Shasti festival is the most important festival dedicated to Lord Murugan. In 2014, Skanda Sashti falls on october 24th to 29th. Skanda Sashti is observed mainly by Tamil Hindus. The day of Skanda Sashti is decided based on lunar month and it falls during sixth day of Karthika Masam. During Kanda Sashti, devotees observe six days fasting which starts from first day of Karthika lunar month and ends on the sixth day which is known as Soorasamharam day. 
Soorasamharam is the final and the most important day of the six days festivities. It is believed that Lord Murugan defeated demon Soorapadman with his Vel on the sixth day of the battle and the festival of Soorasamharam is observed every year to mark the victory of good over evil. Thiru Kalyanam is observed on the next day of Soorasamharam. The famous ‘Vetri Vel’ chanting that takes place on the Shasti day is associated with the victory of Skanda over Soorapadman.  

The Tamil word Murugan means beauty, youthfulness divine etc,. Lord Muruga is also known as Skanda, Kartikeyan and Subramanya, Shanmuga, Guhan, Skanda, Velan, Kumaran etc,. each name has its own meaning. He is the son of God Shiva & Goddess Parvati and younger brother of Lord Ganesha. Murugan is seated on peacock with his consorts, Valli and Deivanai and holding Vel and Seval(cock). Valli, Deivanai and Vel denote ichchai, kriyai and jnanam respectively.

a. The Skanda Shasti Vratam (fasting) :-
The Skanda Shasti Vratam is believed to be highly beneficial and is observed mainly by Tamil speaking people. It is important to note that the day when shasti thithi conjugates with panjami thithi is chosen for Shasti Vratam. The Shasti vratam is also famous in Kerala. The energy of Lord Muruga, also called as Skanda, is abundantly available during these sacred 6 nights of darkness destroying energy. 

Most devotees fast during the 6-day period.  There is no common method of Skanda Shasti fasting. Different devotees observe it differently. Some people only fast on the Soorasamharam day. The fasting ends with the Thirukalyanam on the next day. Those who are observing the fast make it a point to read scriptures related to Lord Muruga or recite the Kanta Shasti Kavasam or Subramaniya Bhujangam. Most devotees also visit Skanda temples during the period.
b. Skanda Sashti :-
Skanda Sashti is the powerful time to quickly increase your vibrations for power, new perceptions and perfect body and health. Beginning on the day after the New Moon in October-November, and continuing through to the 6th day of the waxing Moon, you can readily connect and utilize the energy from the Pleiades. 6 sacred abodes (ஆறுபடை வீடு) of Muruga that become especially activated during Skanda Sashti. They vibrate with the frequencies necessary to transform your current self into your highest self.  
2. History of Lord Muruga’s birth :-     
Skanda Puranam narrates the origin and deeds of Lord Muruga. Birth of lord Muruga was primarily to annihilate the demons that had crated mayhem on earth. According to Skanda Puranam, an asura by name Soorapadman performed many austerities invoking Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva granted him many boons to him. Later he became arrogant and defeated the Devas and took over the earth. They found immense pleasure in torturing the Devas and humans. They went on a massive rampage and destroyed anything that belonged to Devas. Devas took refuge at the feet of Lord Shiva.  

a. Lord Shiva's six sparks of grace :- 
Lord Shiva opened his frontal eye to create a son to kill the asuras. Six sparks of fire(Sathyojatham, Vamadevam, Thathpurusham, Eesanam, Aghoram and Atho) issued from the  frontal eye of Lord Siva. Lord Shiva asked Vayudevan (God of wind) and Agnidevan (God of fire) to take the six fire sparks to the Ganges River. 

b. Karthikeyan :-
Ganga (the Name of the Ganges River deity) took the divine sparks of grace to himalayan lake Saravana Poigai. The six fire sparks became six beautiful babies on six red lotus flowers. Karthigai Pengal(6 Karthigai stars) took care of the six babies from lotus flowers. Hence he was also called Karthikeyan. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi granted a boon to Karthigai pengal that, special poojas for Lord Muruga will be held in every Krithiga nakshatra. Thus Krithigai Nakshatram is considered highly auspicious to worship Muruga.  

c. Saravana Bhava :-
SA-RA-Va-Na-Ba-Va – Each of the 6 syllables is dedicated to the 6 faces of Lord Muruga. It denotes both the intellectual and spiritual qualities with complete vitality. Also, it qualifies to lead a life of truthful existence.   One of the Meanings of "Saravanabhava" is a small bush that grows abundantly around lakes and marshes (called Naanal in Tamil). Lord Muruga's divine birth took place in a lotus-pond that was enclosed by these reeds. The divine seed of Lord Shiva created this heavenly child. Thus he became known as Saravanabhava (the one born in the reeds). 

d. Arumugan (Skandan) :-
When Goddess Parvati hugged the six babies together, they joined to become one form with six faces, twelve hands and was named Arumugan(Skandan). Lord Siva has six faces but only five are apparent. Arumugan is Siva in manifestation with six faces. Sixth face is called Athomugam. Others are Esanam, Ahoram, Thatpurusham, Vamathevam, and Saththiyosatham. Hence Murugan is sometimes referred to as Arumugach Sivan, meaning Siva with six faces. Lord Muruga is depicted differently sometimes with one face and two arms, sometimes with six faces and twelve arms and in some places with single face and four arms.
The sacred functions of having six faces are described as, One face sheds rays of light and removes the dense darkness shrouding the world; One face with gracious look lovingly showers boons on his devotees who praise him with Love and Joy; One face watches over the sacrifices of the brahmans who perform them without deviating from the strict Vedic traditions; One face like full moon, which brightens all the quarters of the world, lights the sage's minds to enable them to search for hidden Truth; One face with raging heart performs battle-sacrifice-destroy his enemies and One face smiles lovingly on his young consort, the pretty daughter of the hunting tribe. The 6th face can only be seen by the wise.

e. Soorasamkaran:-When Soorapadman’s cruelty went to an extreme, Lord Shiva asked Muruga to destroy asuras and free Devas from their cruel bondage. Shiva gave the eleven rudras eleven weapons, and Parvathi gave the Vel weapon to Lord Muruga for the war. The Vel, or sacred spear, is the most powerful weapon in Lord Muruga's armory.
During the first five days of the war the brothers of Surapadma and all other asuras perished. Soorapadman had such a big ego that he did not want to surrender to the Lord. He took the form of a big mango tree. On sixth day, Lord Muruga’s spear split the tree and one part became a peacock and the other became a Chanticleer(rooster). Lord Muruga took Peacock as his vahana (Vehicle) and Chanticleer on his banner.         

Check this link to know more about Lord Muruga's six abodes - Lord Murugan's Arupadai Veedu ~ Six sacred abodes ~ ஆறுபடை வீடு .
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