The supreme divine incarnation of Lord Muruga took place in the Tamil month of Vaigasi (mid May – mid June) on a Full Moon day in the asterism or nakshatra `Vishaka`. The auspicious Vishaka nakshatra is a combination of three stars that shines brightly in the sky. It is the sixteenth nakshatra of the 27. This year it falls on 28th May.
Birth of Muruga
Lord Muruga incarnated to destroy the demons – Surapadma, Tarakasura, and Singamugha. They were causing untold misery to the Gods by keeping them enslaved for ages. The Gods beseeched Shiva for help. Lord Shiva meditated and six sparks of fire emanated from his third eye, hence he is called Skanda. The fiery sparks were too unbearable and so was carried to the sacred River Ganges by Agni and Vayu, who dropped them there. Mother Ganges carried the fiery sparks to pond Saravana, which was covered by water reeds. The sparks transformed and Lord Muruga manifested here as six babies on six lotuses that bloomed from the pond. The six babies were nursed by the six nakshatras called six Krittikas, who are the stars of the constellation Pleiades. Hence he is called Kartikeya, son of krittakas.
Six faces of Muruga
Then Goddess Parvati embraced the six babies and made it as one with six heads and 12 hands. So he is called Shanmuga. The six faces of Muruga stand for: creation, preservation, destruction, involution, supreme grace, and primal source of wisdom. He is the God of all knowledge and imparted the meaning of the primordial cosmic word OM to his father, Lord Shiva.
Festival of Vaigasi Visakam
- It was on this day that Lord Muruga manifested to destroy the dark forces and establish dharma and grant supreme protection and wisdom.
- Many Muruga temples hold the 10 day Brahmotsavam festival on Vaigasi Visakham.
- Devotees carry Pal kudam (milk pots) to do milk abisekam to Muruga and vow to carry kavadi ( a decorated yoke) on their shoulders in procession to the temple of Muruga .
- On this day, in temples special pooja, homa, aarti and abisekam are done to Muruga to seek his blessings.
- The divine wedding of Muruga to Valli is conducted on this day in many temples. It is very auspicious to conduct or see this wedding as all problems relating to marriage will be solved and happiness and auspiciousness would be conferred upon by the Lord.
How to pray at home
- Lord Muruga is the embodiment of purest and highest knowledge and power. Praying to him on this day will relieve one of past sins and grant purification.
- At home, we can prepare sweet pongal as food offering to Muruga and recite Subramanya Bhujangam of Adi Sankara, Thirupughazh of Saint Arunagirinathar and other hymns in praise of him.
- Sage Agasthya in his writings tells us to offer red oleander flowers and not less than six nagalinga flowers to lord Muruga on this day. When offering nagalinga flowers he urges us to donate food to the needy as a must.
- Visit to Muruga temple on this day would confer immeasurable merit and earn the grace of the supreme Lord.
Lord Muruga is worshipped for all problems relating to Planet Mars, especially those with kuja dosha or manglik dosha. He can also be invoked by reciting the six syllable fire mantra: SA RA VA NA BA VA. Reciting the mantra protects us from all evil and grants good merit. Lord Muruga incarnated for a divine purpose on Vaigasi Visakam day as a young and ever resplendent one in all glory. Saint Arunagirinathar says we should bear this in mind, draw strength and power to think of Muruga today at least for half a minute and meditate on his beautiful form with eyes closed to be blessed by his grace. The saint says that he is the infinite reality residing in the cavern of our heart, who will protect us and lead us in the path of wisdom and light.