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Vaikasi Visakam: Sacred Observance

DateMay 3, 2024

The Significance of Vaikasi Visakam

Vaikasi Visakam is a Hindu festival that honors Lord Muruga. It is held in the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May – June). Muruga is a warrior god and the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

Mythology talks about the origin and observance of Vaikasi Visakam. According to legend, on this auspicious day, Muruga explained the meaning of the Pranava Mantra (Om) to Shiva. After this, he got the name “Skanda” and came to be revered as the one with profound knowledge. Vaikasi Visakam commemorates the day divine knowledge flowed from son to father. It is also the birthday of Muruga, according to some accounts.

Vaikasi Visakam: Sacred Observance

Legend of Vaikasi Visakam

A demon called Soorapadman and his brothers, Tarakasura and Simhamukhan, were harassing the gods with impunity. The gods were helpless as the demons had a boon whereby only a son of Shiva could kill them. However, Shiva was in deep meditation after the death of his wife, Sati. The gods sent Kamadeva (the god of love) to arouse Shiva and awaken feelings of love toward Parvati (an avatar of Sati), who wished to marry him. When Kamadeva’s flower-tipped arrow struck Shiva, he opened his 3rd eye and burned him to ashes.

The gods then requested Shiva to save them from the demons by siring a son. Shiva agreed, and 6 sparks of fire emerged from his 3rd eye. Agni and Vayu carried them to the Ganges river, which in turn carried them to Saravana Poigai. There, the sparks turned into 6 babies, which were raised by the Karthigai Pengal (Pleiades). Parvati embraced the 6 babies, and they merged into one child with 6 faces. This is how Muruga was born.

Muruga became the commander of the gods and led them into battle against the 3 demons and their army. He killed the demons and delivered the gods from their misery. Following this, Lord Indra married his daughter Deivanai to him.

The Benefits of Vaikasi Visakam

By undertaking rituals and prayers on this holy day, devotees can gain the blessings of Muruga. The celestial energies during Vaikasi Visakam are highly favorable for connecting with the deity.

  • Observing Vaikasi Visakam has many benefits, especially for those who keep a fast on this day. Let us see some of them:
  • It can remove one’s sorrows.
  • It helps one to overcome enemies and negativity.
  • It can help one get a good job and succeed in one’s endeavors.
  • Visakam is the star of knowledge. Hence, observing fast on Vaikasi Visakam and carrying Pal Kudam, Pal Kavadi, (offerings to Muruga) etc., can enhance one’s knowledge and academic skills.
  • It can protect one from troubles caused by evil entities.
  • It can remove negative karma from our past life.
  • It can bestow progeny blessings. Women who observe this Vaikasi Visakam fast can donate buttermilk, Paanagam (a cooling drink), and curd rice to the needy.
  • Worshipping Muruga on this day helps remove enmity and suffering. Those facing delays in marriage and those lacking progeny can donate items like umbrellas, slippers, buttermilk, Paanagam, curd rice, etc., to the poor on this day.

Vaikasi Visakam Rituals

Arise early in the morning at 4.30 am and have a bath.

Observe a fast for the entire day. Those who are unable to do this can take one meal.

People observing the fast can consume milk and fruits.

Chant Mantras for Muruga, like ‘Om Saravana Bhava’ and ‘Om Muruga.’ One can also recite Thiruppugazh or Skanda Shasti Kavasam.

Visit a Muruga temple and offer prayers. Light a lamp as well. If you are visiting one of the hilltop shrines of Muruga, it is very beneficial to do Girivalam (circumambulation) of the hill on which the temple is located.

Vaikasi Visakam fasting can bestow many kinds of wealth.

Astrological Practices for Vaikasi Visakam

Gemstone Offerings

Astrologers often recommend that people offer gem stones to Muruga on Vaikasi Visakam. One can offer yellow sapphire, which represents Planet Jupiter and can boost spiritual understanding. Pink coral can also be offered. Coral represents the warrior spirit that is associated with Planet Mars. This planet of war is ruled by Muruga. Offering these gemstones can help align your energies with the divine vibrations.

Poojas and Mantras

Performing Poojas and chanting Mantras increases the potency of the rituals. One can chant the Muruga Gayatri Mantra for knowledge and the Subramanya Bhujangam for protection and other blessings. Chanting such Mantras on the day of Vaikasi Visakam is very beneficial.

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