Skanda Sashti is celebrated on the sixth waxing moon of Sun Month ‘Thula’, every Vedic year (November 5th, 2016). This specific day is dedicated to Skanda (Muruga) as He restored peace and prosperity by destroying a demon race whose leader was Shurapadma. Muruga-devotees/followers practice fasting and various rituals are performed to obtain complete blessings of Muruga during this powerful time period. People who have afflicted Mars in their Birthchart (Jatakam) participate in rituals and make offerings to appease Muruga, who is closely connected to Mars (as one among Pratyadhi-Devata).
On the eve of Sashti, the killing of demons by Muruga is re-enacted among huge crowds, in various temples all over the world. ‘Thirukkalyanam’ (Marriage ritual of Muruga and His consorts) is performed the very next day, with reference to the ancient scriptures and as a celebration of the victory.
Skanda, is a manifestation of the Ultimate being, Shiva, to restore peace through destruction of negativity. The word Skanda has multiple meanings which can be completely different from one another like destruction, King, Spilling (of energy) and wise man.
Skanda Purana is one among 18 major Puranas which describes all about Skanda. ‘Kumarasambhavam’ is the poetic version of the same Purana, penned by none other than Kalidasa, filled with nature related comparisons and heartfelt emotions. This poem provides detailed description of events that led to the manifestation of Muruga into this realm, along with multiple related stories.
Shurapadma, the demon who obtained the boon to be destroyed by a creation of Shiva-Shakti, from Shiva Himself, ruled all worlds and tortured all beings. During the same time Shakti, incarnated as Parvati, was practicing penance to attain Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared in the form of a Brahmachari, settled near Parvati and sought Her help to perform His duties in the form of a leela. Devas (demi Gods) unable to bear the tortures, sought the help of Kama (Cupid) to unify Shiva and Shakti through His arrows. Shiva felt the presence of Cupid around and turned him into ashes. Shiva accepted the prayers of all rishis and devas and Skanda, finally spurt out of Shiva’s third eye as a ball of flame. He rolled on a forest filled with Darbha grass, hence got the name Saravanabhava (Arose from Darbha forest) which is also His powerful mantra. Shakti offered the most powerful weapon ‘Vel’ to Muruga, which is an embodiment of Knowledge and to assist Him in the war. Muruga (Shiva’s energy) and Vel (Shakti’s energy) merged together to become the one and only possible way to bring an end to the atrocities of Shurapadma. Muruga’s army led by Veerabahu, completely eliminated the obstacles and emerged victorious. Shurapadma turned himself into a tree which Muruga pierced through His Vel into two halves. One part of the tree became the victory flag of Muruga with an image of cockerel and the other part became Peacock which became His mount.
Participate in the Skanda Sashti rituals performed in nearby temples or chant ‘Saravabhava’ during these six days to enrich your life with peace, attraction, harmonious relationship and victory!
Skanda is known by many names with reference to His different forms and appearance. Ancient scriptures mention 16 major forms of Muruga which are as follows,
Jnana-Shakti-Dhara – Beholder of the Vel, energized with Knowledge.
Skanda – Spilled, spurted as an enormous energy. Also means, King, Wiseman and destroyer.
Devasenapati – Husband of Devasena and leader of the army of Devas.
Subrahmanya – Supreme soul and Valuable Jewel.
Gajaaruda – Mounted on the powerful elephant of Heavens, Airavatam.
Sharakaanana-Sambhava – Emerged from Darbha forest.
Kartikeya – 6 Female beings known together as Krittika, showered their motherly love throughout Muruga’s childhood.
Kumara – An adolescent divine being.
Shanmukha – He who adorns six faces.
Tarakantaka – Destroyer of Tarakasura.
Senani – A knight and a mighty warrior.
Brahma-Shasta – Teacher of Brahma.
Valli-Kalyana-Sundara – The beautiful being who loved and married Valli.
Bala – Child with extraordinary energy.
Krouncha-Bhetta – He who destroyed Mount Krouncha, which shielded the forts of Shurapadma.
Shikhi-Vahana – He whose vehicle (Vahana) is a Peacock.
Click Here for our exclusive video containing rare and powerful mantras which can be used to meditate upon Shanmukha (Six Face Muruga).
Happy Skanda Sashti!