Kartikeya……. MURUGA

“The fiery Mass That stood as Brahman That hasth no beginning Assuming a form from formless, From several unto One, Thus rose a Tirumuruga With six merciful faces and twelve eyes, For the universe to get rescued.”

-Kandar Puranam by Kacciyappa Sivachariyar

Lord Muruga (Tamizh Kadavul)…. is considered essentially as the Tamil God, repository of Jñana (Knowledge), the fountain-head of Tamil literature — prose (iyal), verse (isai) and theatre (natakam). “ Muruku “ in Tamil, denotes divine-ness, handsomeness, youthfulness, happiness, fragrance and sweetness. The Lord is the very manifestation of handsomeness, robust youthfulness, masculinity, fragrance and unmatched valour.

Great thinkers, sages, poets…Nakkeerar, Poyya Mozhi, Auvvaiyar, Kacciyappa Sivachariyar, Kumara Gurupara and Arunagirinatha were all close to Muruga’s heart, who composed priceless, soul-stirring devotional gems in Tamil.

(Kaliyuga Varada)Murugan…Beautiful God,

Mention has to be made of the Pious Avvaiyar, who replied in eloquent Tamil, in poetic form all the questions, that Muruga asked her in person….Avvaiyar’s, life history, the great poetess and a true devotee of Lord Murugan, the Beautiful God is associated with interesting incidents/events.

…..Lord Murugan incarnate. Lord Murugan explained that He wanted to enjoy the Tamil eloquence of Avvaiyar and He had been playing around to hear the sweet Tamil from her. She was happy and worshipped Him. He asked her a number of Questions that were answered with tact, as beautiful poems..Muruga was pleased by Avvaiyar’s eloquence and poetry,it made him happy and He blessed her for her knowledge and literary eloquence.

…one such Question asked by Lord Murugan was about the rarest thing.

Avvaiyar sang….

(if You ask me what is the rarest thing, my Lord with the spear (Vel)

Being born as a human is rare

Even if born a human, it is rarer

To be born without being dumb, deaf, humpback, blind

Even if born without disabilities, it is rarer

To have knowledge and education

Even if one has good knowledge and education, it is rarer

To have benevolence and ethics

Without those benevolence and ethics

Heaven would not open its gates to give to people)

Who….is the Lord?

Shanmukha(Muruga) is the son of Lord Siva, younger brother of Lord Ganesha and nephew of Lord Narayana. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna declares that among all commanders, He is Skanda. In Muruga (Himself), are contained the eternal functions….

— creation (sristi),

— protection (sthithi) and

— destruction (samhara) as evidenced by the three first letters in His name:

MU — Mukundan (Vishnu),

RU — Rudra (Siva) and

KA — Kamalan (Brahma).

The integral elements of Muruga’s personality are spear (vel) in His hand, peacock as His mount and cock adorning His banner.

– Vel signifies jñanasakti (power of wisdom); this was given to Muruga by His Divine Mother. Parvati wishing Him victory over asuras (titans) led by the tyrannous Surapadma. The glittering spear of Muruga is venerated by devotees as Sakti Vel or Veera Vel signifying its extraordinary power and strength.

– Cock and peacock represent nada and bindu. The peacock displays the divine shape of Omkara when it spreads its magnificent plumes into a full-blown circular form, while the cock proclaims loudly the Pranava sound OM. Muruga shines as the very essence of the Vedas and mantras.

….the Lord is born….


The epic Skanda Purana, one of the eighteen puranas created by Veda Vyasa, vividly narrates the circumstances which led to the divine ‘appearance’ of Muruga, His glory and heroic achievements. He ‘rose’ to protect gods who were subject to extreme tormentation and cruelty by demon Surapadma. Surapadma, who had the temerity to confront Muruga despite being forewarned, became prey to His powerful Vel (spear) after a stiff fight. Muruga acted as Supreme Commander (Deva Senapati) and freed the gods from their captivity. The ever-compassionate Lord converted the two portions of His slain enemy as an integral part of Himself — one becoming Peacock, His mount and the other the Cock adorning His banner.

Siva willed to bring forth as a powerful divine personality, an element of Himself, but yet distinct from Him, Who would have unparalleled bravery. The extremely powerful spark which emanated from His third eye was carried by the Fire God (Agni) and was deposited in Saravana (‘stand of reeds’) Lake; there arose six cute tiny tots who were looked after by six Krittika maidens; the six forms later united to become a single Six-Faced Child with resplendent beauty. Added to Siva’s five faces Sadhyojata, Vamadeva, Aghora, Tatpurusa and Ishana was Adhomurka; thus He became Shanmukha. He is known as Saravanabhava as He emerged out of Saravana Lake, and Karttikeya since six Krittika maidens took the six babies in their arms and showered affection on them.

Muruga’s supermacy…..

Muruga wished to teach a lesson to the Creator(Brahma) for his imprudence, as he had be-littled Muruga and ignored Him. He asked the four-faced Creator the meaning of the Pranava. When he could not explain satisfactorily, Muruga taunted Brahma and not content with that imprisoned him too. He concluded that Brahma was not fit to perform the assigned job. He then assumed the role of the Creator! Muruga freed Brahma from prison when Siva, Vishnu and Indra prayed at His lotus Feet and requested for the release of the Creator.

Muruga turned a guru or teacher when He explained the essence of Pranava to His Father who received the upadesa in all humility as a disciple. He thus came to be known as Swaminatha.

Another interesting anecdote links Muruga’s taking a full round of the universe mounted on His mighty peacock. the legend has it that sage Narada once visited Kailasa, the abode of Siva, and presented Him with a divine pomegranate fruit. As is usually the case with fathers, Siva wanted to give it to His children Ganesa and Muruga rather than consuming it Himself. In this process, He hatched a plot as a prelude to an eventful drama. He would not allow the fruit to be shared by two brothers. Instead, He announced that the fruit would be given to either of the two who returned first after taking a round of the universe. No sooner had Siva said this than young Muruga started off riding on the back of His peacock. His elder brother Ganesa acted in a different manner. To Him, His eternal Parents Siva and Parvati represented the world and circumambulating them would be equivalent to circling the world. With this well-reasoned thought fixed in His mind, He took a round of His Parents and instantly annexed the prized fruit. Muruga, on return from His whirlwind trip around the universe, learnt that His elder brother had already won the competition. A Beautiful Story !!!

A disappointed Muruga left Kailasa and proceeded straight to Palani Hill in South India. The name Palani is in fact the derivative of Pazahm Nee (Thou art the Fruit of Jñana) as addressed by His Parents, Siva And Mother Shakthi, who rushed to Palani to soothe the enraged Muruga.

Muruga’s Consorts are Valli and Devayanai. They represent Saktii. They were in reality Sundaravalli and Amudavalli, who were born out of the tears of joy of Narayana when He incarnated as Trivikrama. Both the celestials damsels did intense penance with the object of attaining the exalted status as Muruga’s consorts. Pleased with their prayers, Muruga appeared before them and ordained that Amudavalli would be born in Devaloka as Indra’s daughter, while Sundaravalli would take birth on the earth in a hunter tribe. The Lord promised to marry bothi.


The marriage of Muruga and Devayanai took place at Tirupparankundram attendant with full Vedic rites. Devayanai was in fact gifted to Muruga by Devendra in grateful acknowledgment of heroism and valour displayed by Muruga as the Supreme Commander of divine forces.

The Lord woo’s Valli into marrying Him…

King Nambi Rajah of Chittoor, the head of the hunter tribe, had seven sons and he was aspiring to have a daughter He was deeply devoted to Muruga. The sage Sivamuni, who was doing tapasya in the forest, chanced to see a female deer and his mere sight resulted in the animal becoming pregnant. The animal delivered a beautiful baby girl and left the place. King Nambi, who had gone to the forest with his sons to hunt, saw the bewitching babe and brought it home and began to foster the child as his own daughter. As the girl was found among valli creepers, she was named Valli, who ceaselessly nurtured the thought of Muruga even from her tender age and was determined to have Him as her Husband and none else. Muruga’s wedding with Valli is replete with many interesting interludes. Muruga chose to engage in a few frolics before accepting Valli as His Consort. (an Old man troubling valli, a Wild Eelephant, muruga requests his brother, ganapathy to create fear in the minds of valli, who runs to protect herself into the open arms of the Lord, and so on…).By differnt leela’s, Muruga proposed to wed her.

There are six prominent abodes of Muruga, these are known as Aaru Padai Veedugal :

Tirupparankundram, Tiruchendur, Tiruvavinankudi (Palani), Tiruverakam, Kundrutorādal (Tiruttani and several other hills) and Pazhamutircolai.
....In this Kali Yuga, chanting of Muruga's Name acts as a panacea to all sufferings. The Popular “ SKANDA SASHTI KAVACHAM “ is an armour, protection against all odds, sung by the Famous ‘Bombay Sisters’

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4 thoughts on “Kartikeya……. MURUGA”

  1. “Muruga was pleased by Avvaiyar’s eloquence and poetry,
    it made him happy
    and He blessed her
    for her knowledge and literary eloquence.”

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