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Son of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva is a principal deity in South India known as Murugan.


Kartikeya



Unique Attributes : Lord of War, wisdom
Other Names : Murugan, Muruganswami, Skanda, Mayilvahanan, Subramaniam, Guha, Sanmukha, Shadanana, Kumara
Primary Scriptures : Skanda Purana, Satapatha Brahmana, Chandogya Upanishad, Baudhayana Dharmasutra, Mahabharata,
Consort : Valli and Devayani
Vahan (Vehicle) : Peacock

Known as Lord Murugan in South India and Kartikeya in the northern part of the country, the lord of war is the son of Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati. The text Skanda Purana is entirely dedicated to the narrative of Lord Kartikeya. As Muruganswami he is principally prayed to in the Tamil land. He is known to be the head figure of the Sangam Tamil Literature and poetry and hence the one who promoted the language. Lord Murugan or Skanda is deeply revered in South India and has several grandiose temples dedicated to the lord in contrast to the lesser number of shrines in northern India.

The worship of Lord Murugan is not just confined to India. He is deeply revered in the island country of Sri Lanka. Lord Kartikeya is also referred to as Shadanana for bearing six heads on his shoulders. Kartikeya has held immense reverence amongst the warrior clans for being the lord of war and has been invoked by them when going on a war. Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagwat Gita told Arjun that as a warrior he takes the form of 'Skanda' - the lord of wars. Muruga in Tamil means beauty and hence Murugan is known as the beautiful one. As Kumara he is the youthful one.

Murugan in the religious scriptures is shown as riding his vahan peacock and holding a spear in his hands. The lord is painted as a young beautiful boy who is often in the middle of his two consorts Valli and Devayani. The six heads of the lord and his mount peacock stamping a snake underneath his foot is a reflection of overcoming one's desires and ego. The vices which principally ought to be overcome are kaama (sex), lobha (greed) and krodha (rage). It is a Hindu belief that once Lord Ganesh the 'Vighnaharta' removes all impediments from a believers life then his brother Lord Kartikeya bestows him with spiritual solace and knowledge. The festival dedicated to the lord is Thaipusam specially celebrated by the Tamils. The festival is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Murugan. It is celebrated not just in India but in Singapore, Malaysia and Mauritius with equal fervor and spirit.