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Monthly Skanda Shashti Vrat: Remedy for Diseases, Fear, Anxiety, and Conflicts

DateFebruary 10, 2023

Skanda Shashti Vrat, or fast, is a powerful ritual in honor of Muruga/Skanda/ Kartikeya, the son of Shiva and Parvati. He is the deity of the planet Kuja or Mars.

Hindus who face problems due to the unfavorable placement of Mars in their horoscope and those who are going through Kuja Dasa often perform this ritual to overcome the adverse effects. By observing Skanda Shasti Vrat, they hope to please Muruga and invoke his protection from the malefic effects of Mars.

Skanda Shashti Vrat

Symptoms of Mars Afflictions in Your Chart

1. Feeling tired and lethargic always
2. Feelings of anger and vengeance
3. Problems in relationships
4. Low self-confidence and lack of passion in life
5. Nameless fears and worries
6. Frequent accidents

Shasti denotes the 6th lunar day of both the waxing and the waning lunar fortnight. The 6th day of the waxing lunar phase is very auspicious for performing worship and austerities. So, Shasti has come to mean the 6th day of Shukla Paksha, the waxing lunar or the 6th waxing moon. The Shasti that falls on Shukla Paksha in the Hindu month of Kartik/Ashwin (Oct- Nov) is Skanda Shasti.

Skanda Shasti is an important day in the Hindu calendar, especially for Tamil Hindus. Skanda is the eldest son of Shiva and Parvati and the elder brother of Ganesha. The day is completely dedicated to Skanda and is also known as Kanda Shasti.

When Panchami Tithi ends, or Shasti Tithi begins between sunrise and sunset, both Panchami and Shasti are conjugated, and this day is chosen for the Vrat.

The Dharmasindhu and Nirnayasindhu mention this rule, which is also followed in the Murugan temples of Tamil Nadu. Soora Samharam day is observed a day before Shasti Tithi if the previous day, Shasti Tithi, is combined with Panchami Tithi.

Though all the Shasti Tithis are dedicated to Murugan, the Shukla Paksha Shasti during the month of Kartik is very important. On this day, devotees observe a six-day fast which continues on the day of Soora Samharam. The following day is Thiru Kalyanam.
Muruga was born on Shasti Tithi. Hence, people celebrate this day and observe a fast to honor him and invoke his blessings. The fast should begin from Panchami.

This fast is very important in mythology. King Sharyati and Saint Bhargava are also associated with the festival. Legend says that Saint Chyavan got back his eyesight on this day.

The Brahma Vaivarta Purana claims that a dead child can be restored to life due to this fast, such is its power. Skanda Shashti worship is given great importance in the Puranas. Skanda, who was born from Shiva’s energy, took 6 different forms at birth. The Puranas and Upanishads wax eloquent about the magnificence of Skanda.

Skanda Shashti Worship

Devotees worship Skanda, Shiva, and Parvati on this day. Skanda’s idol is installed, and lamps are lit. The idol is bathed and adorned with new clothes. Devotees offer food or sweets as well. One should avoid meat, alcohol, onion, and garlic on this day. Some devotees stay in a temple for all 6 days to avoid temptations. Saints observe a strict penance, which includes Maun vrat (vow of silence).

Legend of Skanda

Skanda took birth to destroy the demon Tarakasura and his brothers, Soorapadman and Simhamukhan, who were tormenting the Devas. Only a son of Shiva could kill them. For this purpose, Skanda was born. He was also the commander of the gods. Kartikeya killed the demons and restored peace in heaven.

Muruga Cures Adi Shankaracharya

Once, the great spiritual leader, Adi Shankaracharya, was suffering from an ailment. After receiving divine instruction to worship Murugan at Tiruchendur, he went there and was cured. After this, he composed the Subramanya Bhujangam. In it, he says that those who worship Muruga at Tiruchendur with true faith would gain health, happiness, and prosperity.
The Shasti vrat is usually observed for 6 days. It starts from the first lunar day after Amavasya in Karthik month and continues till the 6th lunar day.
But one can also perform this ritual every month during the Shasti Tithi (6th lunar day).

Rituals for Skanda Shasti Vrat

1. Honor Mars by maintaining silence. Do this for the entire day or during Mars hora.
2. You can observe a simple fast. Vrat is usually interpreted as fasting, but it also means ‘vow’ or adhering to certain self-imposed disciplines. It may or may not include a fast. You can also give up something you really like during this period.
3. Draw or paint a Vel (spear), the divine weapon of Muruga. If you have a vel at home, worship it at your altar.
4. Read some chapters from the Skanda Purana.
5. Listen to or chant the Skanda Shashti Kavacham, Subramanya Bhujangam, or Skanda Guru Kavacham.
6. Avoid non-vegetarian food.
7. Chant the Mantra, Om Saravana Bhava, 108 times or more.
8. You can also chant the Skanda Shasti Kavacham 36 times.
9. Offer 5 elements to Skanda – lamp, Chandan (Sandalwood paste), water, and a sweet dish for Neivedya, Incense, and flowers.
10. Avoid speaking ill of others.

Benefits of Skanda Shasti Vrat

As per the sacred texts, observing Skanda Shasti Vrat can bestow the following benefits:

  • Wards off negative energies
  • Helps to overcome obstacles
  • Achieve success in all endeavors
  • Chanting of Skanda Shasti Kavacham hymn can bestow good health and attract wealth
  • Murugan is the overlord of Mangal, or planet Mars, so worshipping him can remove Marsl afflictions in the birth chart
  • Gives courage and confidence to face problems in life


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