Skanda Sashti

Skanda Sashti (Language of Festivals)

(Muruga inspires Total fearlessness and Love

P.Venkatesh)

Lord Muruga or Karkiteya is the older son of Shiva and Parvati and sibling of Ganesha.

The conclusion of the six day worship of Kartikeya falls on the 6th day after Diwali and is called Skanda Sashti.

In the Bhagvad Geeta Krishna states “Of Generals I am Skanda”

This festival celebrates the victory of Good over evil.

Evil could be symbolic of inner vices.

P. Venkatesh writes:

The numeral six is special to Skanda.

There are six holy abodes of His in Tamil Nadu.

The legend goes that He was born of the six rays of light that emerged from Lord Shiva’s third eye.

The six rays turned into six babies, each looked after by one of the six maidens of the constellation of Kritikai.

The six babies were united into one by Goddess Parvati when she held them in her arms. So He was called Shanmukha, the six faced One.

The six faces bestow six divine attributes to the devotee:

1) Jnana or Wisdom

2) Vairagya or detachment

3) Bala or strength

4) Kirti or Fame

5) Sree or wealth

6) Aishwarya or Divine powers

Muruga’s weapon is called: Vel which represents Shakti, the Universal power…

Muruga married Devayani, a tribal chieftan’s daughter signifying that class does not matter.

When Muruga killed Surapadman, the demon’s body split into two.

One half became a peacock, his vehicle. The snake below the Peacock’s feet symbolizes conquest of ego and fearlessness.

The other half turned into a rooster. It heralds the dawn of wisdom.

Most temples devoted to Muruga bear the following words:

“Why fear when I am here”