Vaikasi Visakam is the day of incarnation of Lord Muruga. This occasion remains an extraordinary day for Muruga worship. Vaikasi Visakam occurs when the full Moon coincides with the auspicious Vishaka star in the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May–June). It is celebrated with piety and enthusiasm.
Muruga is said to have appeared from the blazing flame that emerged out of the third eye of Lord Shiva, principally for annihilating evil and saving the universe from the atrocities of the mighty demon, Surapadma. He achieved the purpose of his avatar on the Skanda Shasti day when he quelled the might of the demonic forces.
Muruga is a rare combination of high valor and supreme intelligence, and his worship can bestow people with strength, self-confidence, and success. Devotees offer him worship, chant hymns in his praise and observe austerities on special occasions like Vaikasi Visakam and seek his blessings.
Observance of Vaikasi Visakam
This day of birth of the Lord is observed with great religious fervor at homes and in temples. Individual worships, poojas, abhishekams, alankarams, and austerities form part of such celebrations. People recite hymns like Skanda Sashti Kavacham, Subrahmanya Bhujangam, and Thiruppugazh in praise of Muruga and make offerings like sweet Pongal. Some fast on this day. Red oleander flowers or 6 numbers of Nagalinga flowers are also made as unique offerings.
Devotees also visit temples on Vaikasi Visakam, offer prayers to Muruga and participate in the special poojas performed. Many also carry milk pots, kavadis, to his temples, while some pierce their faces, tongues, and body with Vels (lances) and go on a padayatra to his abodes, by covering the entire distance on foot.
Vaikasi Visakam Celebrations in Renowned Temples
There are innumerable temples for Lord Muruga in many parts of our country, and especially in South and the state of Tamilnadu. Temples have also come up in many foreign lands, where our people have gone and settled in good numbers. Of the Muruga temples in our nation, six temples are considered especially significant and holy. These are believed to be connected to the various vital anecdotes of his life and are referred to commonly as Aarupadai Veedu, the six abodes of the Lord. These are -the hill temple of Pazhani; the hillock of Swamimalai; the seashore temple of Thiruchendur; Thirupparankundram; Thiruthani and Pazhamudhirsolai.
These apart, there are prominent and famous temples for Muruga built in countries like Malaysia and Singapore. These include the famous Batu Cave Murugan temple at Kuala Lumpur, the Nattukkottai Chettiar Murugan Temple at Penang, the Murugan Hill Temple and the Holy Tree Sri Bala Subramaniam Kovil. The last two are in Singapore.
Big celebrations take place in these temples during Vaikasi Visakam, which may include Brahmotsavam, the grand annual festival. Muruga’s marriage with Sri Valli is also celebrated on that day in some temples with enthusiasm. It is believed that participating in the divine wedding can solve marital problems and ensure family harmony.
Muruga’s avatar day of Vaikasi Visakam is a very auspicious and sacred day. It is believed that offering worship to the Lord on occasion with sincerity and faith can wipe out the sins of the devotees and lead them towards salvation.