Here are the top interesting facts about Lord Kartikeya (Murugan):
#1 He is the son of Supreme Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and is worshipped and venerated mainly in south India.
#2 He is known by different names – Lord Murugan, Lord Swaminatha, Sanmukha, Subramaniam, Skanda, Shadanana, Guha, and more.
#3 Furthermore, he is the commander of the Devas and the God of war. He is the most fierce and masculine of all the Hindu Gods. He is also fire and is very fiery in nature. More importantly, he symbolizes perfection and the need for every living being to aim towards being perfect.
#4 His birth was with the intent to kill the demon (asura) Tarakasura, that repeatedly defeated the Hindu gods until heaven was on the verge of collapse. In addition, the demon had a boon that he should only be killed by a son of Lord Shiva.
#5 The ancient sacred text – Skanda Purana, one of the Puranas created by Veda Vyasa, describes the circumstances that led to the divine ”appearance” of Lord Skanda. He is said to have been created from the sparks from Supreme Lord Shiva’s third eye. Agni Deva and Vayu carried the sparks and dropped it in the Ganges that was carried to the Saravana Poigai.
#6 In another description of his origin, the Mahabharata (one of the two major Sanskrit epics of India), Lord Skanda is said to have been born from Svaha and Agni after Svaha impersonated the 6 of the 7 wives of the Saptarishi.
#7 More references of Lord Skanda can be traced back to the 1st millennium BCE. For instance, there are references of Lord Skanda in Kalidasa’s epic poem the Kumarasambhava, in Kautilya’s Arthashastra, and in the works of Patanjali.
#8 The 6 sites where Lord Skanda lived while leading his armies against Surapadman (all are in Tamil Nadu) are: Swamimalai, Palani, Pazhamudirsolai, Thiruparamkundram, Thiruchendur, and Thiruthani.
#9 The emergence of Lord Skanda as a popular Hindu God in Tamil Nadu dates back as the Sangam Era during the 3 B.C to 4 B.C. Moreover, the Thirumurugatruppadai, a profound ancient devotional poem by Nakeerar, glorifies the Lord Skanda as the God of Eternal Youth.
#10 The esteemed brother of Lord Skanda is Lord Ganesha, the Lord of Obstacles. Lord Ganesha has elephant ears and trunk, plus, he is one of the 5 main Hindu deities along with Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
#11 Saundaravalli and Amaratavalli, the daughters of Lord Vishnu, the creator of the world, were ardent followers of Lord Skanda.
#12 He has two wives: Deyvayanai and Valli. Devasena is the daughter of Indra, the king of the Devas and Valli is a tribal girl. One is Kriya-shakti (power of action) and the other Iccha-shakti (will power). Both these characteristics come together with the Kundalini Shakti.
#13 In ancient India, he was acknowledged as the patron deity of thieves, as may be inferred from the Vetala Panchvimshati, a medieval collection of tales, and the Mrichchakatikam, a Sanskrit play by Shudraka.
#14 In Bengal, he is recognized and venerated as the most handsome of the demi Gods. For example, on Durga Puja, Lord Skanda has to be adored along with Mother Durga and Lord Ganesh.
#15 The existence of many temples dedicated to him leads to the conclusion that Lord Skanda’s worship is popular in South India. For instance, In Tamilnadu, it is equal in popularity to Lord Shiva’s worship. However, in North India, his worship seems to have declined slowly.
#16 Moreover, in South India, he is referred as the younger son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and is shown as married to a woman known as Kumari or VaIli or Devasena. In North India, he appears as never been married.
#17 One of the most important holidays dedicated to the worship of Lord Skanda is Thaipusam. It is also held outside of India, mainly by the Tamil-speaking community settled in Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and South Africa.
#18 He is usually portrayed with one head. However, some describe him with 6 heads, that symbolized the legend surrounding his birth, where 6 mothers representing the 6 stars of Pleiades took care of him.
#19 His favorite weapon is the spear or vel, hence the famous name Velayudhan, that translates as ”he whose weapon is a spear.”
#20 His vehicle is a peacock, a pious bird which grips with its feet a serpent. His peacock symbolizes him as the conqueror of sensual desires and a destroyer of all bad habits.
#21 By worshipping Lord Skanda with deep and sincere devotion, good days start appearing, and all the difficulties and troubles in one’s life dissolve. More importantly, he can instill courage and hope in your mind and consciousness as well as he can help you to accomplish success in your professional life. Additionally, his benevolence destroys ignorance, negativity, and disease and can also help you overcome external and internal battles.
Meaning – “Om and salutations to the son of Supreme Lord Shiva, who brings auspiciousness and who is chief of the celestial army.
Sloka meaning – ”Adoration to Kartikeya, who is also known as Skanda. He is the one who holds the staff of intelligence and holds the beautiful beloved of Goddess Vallii. She is the enchanter of the mind of Goddess Devasena. I offer adorations repeatedly to that Divine Lord.”
Lyrics – ”Gyaanashaktidhara skanda
Devasenaa manaH kaanta
Kaartikeya namo astute
OM subrahmanyaaya namah.”