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Skanda Sashti: The story of Lord Karthikeyan or Lord Subramanya

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Skanda Sashti Story:

Skanda Sashti, also known as Kanda Shashti, is a sacred day for Hindus dedicated to Lord Kartikeyan. According to Hindu beliefs, Lord Karthikeyan is the son of Lord Siva and Goddess Parvathy. Skanda, Subramanya, Murugan, etc,  they are other common names of the Lord and is one of the most adored Hindu deities in South India, especially in  Tamil Nadu. Lord Kartikeyan or Murugan is considered as the God of war and knowledge.

Teej is a Hindu festival celebrated during the month of Shravana and Badrapadha in north Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and Nepal in various forms. During this festival women pray and fast to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi seeking their blessings.


Karthikeyan/Murugan Mantra:

Oṃ Saravaṇa Bhava Om Saravaṇa Bhavāya Namaḥ
Kandanukku Arohara Vetrivel Muruganukku Arohara

Karthikeyan / Murugan legend:

Hindus in southern India consider Lord Kartikeya as Lord Ganesha\'s younger brother, while those in northern India consider him as Ganesha\'s elder brother. There is a legend behind the birth of Lord Kartikeyan.

Once, the three demons Surapadman, Simhamukhan and Tarakasuran created destruction throughout the world. Surapadman received a blessing from Lord Siva that he would be killed only by the powers of Siva. This made him so powerful that he and his brothers became a threat to humans and devas. As the devas wanted to get rid of these demons, they decided to approach Lord Siva, who is the only power capable of defeating the demons. But, it became an uncomfortable task for them since Siva was involved in severe meditation. Then, the devas sent the God of Manmata Love to awaken the love desires in Siva and disconnect him from meditation.

When Manmata shot his Pushpasaram (arrow of flowers) at Lord Siva, his meditation was disturbed. This angered the Lord and burned Manmata in ashes. Later, after the appeal of all the devas, Siva resurrected Manmata and decided to give birth to a child who inherits all his powers to defeat the demons.

Lord Shiva emitted six sparks from his third eye that were carried by the God of Agni fire to the refreshing waters of the Saravana River, where the six sparks manifested in six divine babies. Six damsels called Kartika sisters (symbolic of the six stars of the constellation Kartika or Pleiades) agreed to take care of these babies. Once, when Mother Parvati visited the six children who grew up in the pond and hugged them all at once, they merged to form a child with six faces, twelve hands and two feet. This majestic figure was called Kartikeyan. Mother Parvati gave her skills, dexterity and a spear called Vel in Tamil.

He became an embodiment of wisdom and compassion and also had immense knowledge in war. He, along with his assistants, fought a war against the mortal demon Surapadman and his brothers. On his way to the city of the devil, the Lord killed the brothers Simhamukhan and Tarakasuran of Surapadman. Then, there was a fierce battle between the lord and the demon in which he cut Surapadman with his Vel. A peacock and a rooster emerged from Surapadman\'s body, the first of which became the lord\'s vahana (carrier or vehicle) and the second was stamped on his flag as a symbol of victory over evil.

Sashti is the day that Karthikeya defeated Surapadma. It is also said that when Surapadman was mortally wounded, he asked the Lord to forgive him and, therefore, Muruga made him a peacock with the provision that he would be his vahana forever.\r\n

Skanda Sashti Celebration:

The Skanda Shashti festival is celebrated with enthusiasm in Tamil Nadu and other states. In most Murugan temples, it is a ten-day event that culminates in the promulgation of the murder of the demon named Soorasamharam. In the temple of Lord Subramanya located in Tiruchendur (the place where the final battle between Murugan and Surapadman took place), the festival is celebrated with great vigor. Devotees from all places visit the Tiruchendur temple and witness the great event of the execution of the murder of the devil.

Large fairs are held every year in Skanda Sashti in the famous Murugan temples in South India: Thiruparamkunram, Tiruchendur, Palani, Udupi, etc., and in Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Special mention should be given to the great celebrations in the Thirupparamkunram and Tiruchendur temples, which are two of the Murugan Arupadai Veedu temples. The exploits of the Lord and the events that lead to the conquest of demons are dramatized and represented here. At the Sikkal Singaravelan temple, the Subramanya idol receives a Vel (symbolic of the gift of Vel from Mother Parvati) from the Ambal sanctuary and explodes in sweat a day before the climax of the festival.

2019 Skanda Sashti Vrat and Puja Dates

August 5, 2019, Monday

September 4, 2019, Wednesday

October 3, 2019, Thursday

November 2, 2019, Saturday

December 2, 2019, Monday

December 31, 2019, Tuesday

January 30, 2020, Thursday

February 29, 2020, Saturday

March 30, 2020, Monday

April 28, 2020, Tuesday

May 28, 2020, Thursday

June 26, 2020, Friday

July 25, 2020, Saturday

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