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Sri Kanda Sashti

Sri Kanda Sashti is an auspicious pooja conducted for Lord Murugan (Subramanian). Sashti is the day Lord Subramanya defeated the demon Soorapadma and saved the earth from his evils. The kind Lord went on a war against Soorapadman for six days and defeated the asura.

During these days, Abishegam Aarathanai, Letcha Archanai, Shanmugar Archanai are being conducted in the morning and evening lignting up deepam and Kanda Sashti Kavasam Parayanam is also being held for lord Murugan. On the Sixth day, Surasamharam and Eduman Pooja is conducted. Last but not least Thirukkalyanam for Lord Murugan is conducted grandly on the seventh day, followed by Anathanam. All Devotees are cordially invited to receive the blessings and holy Prasatham from Lord Murugan.

Meaning

Skanda: Skanda is an ancient deity mentioned in stone inscriptions and shown on coins (1st cent. to 5th cent CE). The story of Skanda is found among others in the Mahabharatha, Śiva Purana and is retold in Kalidasa’s Kumara Sambhavam. Chandogya Upanishad identifies Skanda as Sanat Kumara. In Tamil, Arunagiri’s Thiruppugazh, Nakkeerar’s Thiru Murugātrupadai, and scores of other literatures praise the glory of Muruga in devotional poetry.

Story

The Story of Skanda Shasti is the story of the birth of Skanda or Kumara and the fulfillment of the purpose of His divine incarnation. “Tormented by the asura (demon/anti God) Tarakasura, the devas with Indra at their head went to the world of the self born the creator” (Kumara Sambhava 2.1)

Lord Brahma the Creator said ” only the spark of Shiva can produce the hero who will defeat the powers of the evil” Unfortunately, Shiva The king of yogis was lost in a deep state of meditation and samadhi. None of the Devas dared to disturb him… least of all convince him to create a progeny.

Upon Brahma’s suggestion, they sought the help of Parvathi and Kama (the god of love). Parvathi agreed to help and engaged herself in severe penance to attract Shiva’s attention. Kama also agreed to help and engaged himself in the suicidal mission of arousing Shiva from His state of Samadhi. Kama shot his arrows of love at Shiva who was eventually disturbed and the fire of anger from his third eye burnt Kama into ashes.

The penance of Parvathi and the sacrifice of Kama paid off. Shiva was aroused from his Samadhi. However, none could bear the sparks of His fiery seed. It fell into the mouth of Agni, and afterwards received by Ganges, who in turn threw it into Sara Vana (forest of arrow like grass). Thus Saravanabava was born. He was also Skanda – Shiva’s power of chastity preserved through penance.

Skanda was raised by the six mothers of the divine constellation of Krithikai (pleiades) . Karthikeya divided himself into six babies to be nursed by six mothers. When Parvathi came and gathered all the six babies, He became Shanmukha – the one with the six faces and one body.

Shanmukha became Kumara – the powerful virile adolescent who was also the beautiful and the handsome (Muruga) . He was made the General (Deva Senapathi) of the God’s army. “….Of the army generals I am Skanda.”..(The Gita). Skanda received from his mother Parasakthi an all powerful Vel (lance). Hence He is also Sakthi Velan. He engaged the armies of Simhamukha, Surapadman and Tarakasura on a six day battle and vanquished all of them on the sixth day. The Asuras were annihilated and the Devas were liberated. The sixth day (Sashti) of the waxing moon (sukhla) in the month of Ashada (Oct/Nov) is celebrated as Skanda Sashti.

Indra was restored to his kingdom and gave his daughter Deivayanai or Devasena in marriage to Skanda. In order not to discriminate between the rich and the poor, Muruga also married Valli the gypsy damsel.

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