e-book: for free circulation


By Tamarapu Sampath Kumaran

About the Author: Mr T Sampath Kumaran is a freelance writer. He regularly contributes articles on Management, Business, Ancient Temples, and Temple Architecture to many leading Dailies and Magazines. His articles are popular in “The Young World section” of THE HINDU His e-books on nature, environment, festivals and different cultures of people around the world are educative and of special interest to the young. His e-books – Guide to 108 Divya Desams, Guide to 275 Siva Sthalams, Ganesha, Pilgrimage to Narasimhaswami shetrams, Tirupati Gangamma, Vision of Sri Madhwacharya and Guru Raghavendra, The Path of Ramanuja, Guide to Kancheepuram and Hinduism in a nutshell have been well received in the religious circle. He was associated in the renovation and production of two Documentary films on Nava Tirupathi Temples, and Tirukkurungudi Temple in Tamilnadu.

Acknowledgement: I wish to express my gratitude to the authors from whose works I gathered the details for this book, and Courtesy, Google for some of the photographs. Special thanks to www.scribd.com for hosting my e-books.

Muruga, also referred as “Tamizh Kadavul” (God of Tamils), is a popular Hindu deity worshipped primarily among Tamil Hindus in Southern India. Like most Hindu deities, He is known by many other names, including Senthil, Saravana, Kartikeya (meaning 'son of Krittika' ), Arumugam, Sanmuga Shadanana (meaning 'one with six faces'), Kumara (meaning 'child or son'), Guhan or Guruhuha (meaning 'cavedweller'), Skanda (meaning that which is spilled or oozed, namely seed in Sanskrit), Subrahmanya, Velan. His other names include Mayilvaganan, Kaangeyan, Vishagan, Devasenapathy, Vallimanallan, and Soorasankaran. ‘Murugu’ means ‘beauty’; hence ‘Murugan’ means ‘Beautiful one’. Where there is beauty, love shines; where there is love, truth sparkles. When we seek the Truth, we get liberated. Lord Muruga is considered very handsome, brave. Even though he was seen as a playful youngster, he was also extremely knowledgeable – enough to test Lord Brahma himself. When reprimanded by Lord Siva, he justified his action by telling Siva the meaning of the OM -“pranava mantram”. He is therefore known as Swaminathan, one who preached even to Siva. It is written in Skanda Puranam that Saint Vasista has said that if one worships Lord Muruga on Friday and fasts on that day, all his wishes will get fulfilled. Lord Muruga was brought up by Karthigai maids. By

Worshipping Him on the Karthigai star day and observing a fast, one’s problems will be removed and one will be liberated. This was a wish granted by Lord Shiva Himself to the Karthigai maids He is the patron deity of the Tamil land; He is worshipped by Tamils all over the world and in particular in Singapore, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mauritius and Reunion Islands. Murugan worship was prevalent at least as early as 10th century B.C, as per the Archaeological findings in Adichanallur in Tamil Nadu. Tolkappiyam, written by the most ancient Sangam poet Nakkeerar, dated 3rd century BC, glorified Murugan," the red God seated on the blue peacock, as "the favoured god of the Tamils." Tamil Sangam Literature mentions Murugu as a nature spirit worshipped with animal sacrifices and associated with a nonBrahminical priest known as a Velan, a name later used to refer to the deity himself. The references to Murugan in Sanskrit literature can be traced back to the first millennium BCE. There are references to Subrahmanya in Kautilya's Arthashastra, in the works of Patanjali, in Kalidasa's epic poem the Kumarasambhavam and in the Sanskrit drama Mricchakatika. The Kushans, who governed from what is, today Peshawar, and the Yaudheyas, a republican clan in the Punjab, struck coins bearing the image of Skanda. The deity was venerated also by the Ikshvakus, an Andhra dynasty, and the Guptas. In the Bhagavad-Gita (Ch.10, Verse 24), Krishna, while explaining his omnipresence, says: "Among generals, I am Skanda, the lord of war." The Skanda purana narrates that Shiva first wed Dakshayani (also named Sati), the grand daughter of Brahma, and the daughter of Dhaksha. Daksha never liked Shiva, who, symbolizing destruction and detachment, begs for

food, dances in a graveyard smeared with ashes, and has no possessions, not even good clothes for himself. Once Daksha publicly insults Shiva in a Yagna ceremony, and Dakshayani unable to withstand her father’s action immolates herself at the Daksha Yagna, which was later destroyed by Shiva. Shiva withdrew himself from the universe and engaged himself in yogic meditation in the Himalayas. Sati was reborn as Uma, or Parvati the daughter of the mountain king Himavaan (the Himalayas). In the meanwhile, Surapadman (an asura) ravaged the earth and tormented its beings. It was realized by the gods that only the son born of Shiva could lead the gods to victory over, Surapadman, Tarakasuran and their companions. They plotted with Kamadeva, to shoot a flower arrow at Shiva, as he sat in meditation, so as to make him fall in love with Parvati. When Kama aimed his arrow, Shiva opened his third eye and burned Kama to ashes instantly. The sparks of the fiery seed of Shiva were unbearable. Even the fire God Agni could not bear them while this fire was then transported by the river Ganga into the Saravana forest into a pond called the Saravana Poigai (located at the mouths of river Ganga). The sparks turned into six children, who were raised by the six Krittika or Kartika - the stars that make up the Pleiades, earning the name Karthikeya. Parvati combined these six babies into one with six faces, i.e. Shanmukha or Arumugan. Since he was born in the Saravana he was also called 'Saravanabhava'. In this form Lord Muruga is known as Shanmukha or Arumuga Swami. The three integral elements of Muruga's personality are spear (vel) in His hand, peacock as His mount and cock adorning His banner. Vel signifies Gnanasakti (power of wisdom); this was given to Muruga by His Divine Mother Parvati wishing Him victory over asuras led by the tyrannous Surapadma. The glittering spear of Muruga is venerated by devotees as Sakti Vel or Veera Vel signifying its extraordinary power and strength.

Cock and peacock represent nada and bindu. The peacock displays the divine shape of Omkara when it spreads its magnificent plumes into a fullblown circular form, while the cock proclaims loudly the Pranava sound OM. Muruga shines as the very essence of the Vedas and mantras. Muruku in Tamil denotes divineness, handsomeness, youthfulness, happiness, fragrance and sweetness. The Lord is the very manifestation of handsomeness, robust youthfulness, masculinity, fragrance and unmatched valour and the abode of happiness. One would be endowed with everlasting youthfulness only when he or she is not getting old. Human beings take birth in this earth, pass through different stages such as childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age and ultimately meet with the inevitable death. They are again born in this world not necessarily in the same form as they were in their previous births. This process goes on endlessly. Muruga, on the other hand, has neither a beginning nor an end. Age does not wither Him away. This explains His evergreen youthfulness. As the sun is not visible to us temporarily at night and for this reason one cannot conclude that the sun has ceased to exist. When darkness engulfs a part of the globe, the sun is shining bright somewhere else. We come to know of its existence when it rises again in the morning. Muruga's 'appearance' on this planet is analogous to this eternal phenomenon.

The epic Skanda Purana, one of the eighteen puranas created by Veda Vyasa, vividly narrates the

circumstances which led to the divine 'appearance' of Muruga, His glory and heroic achievements. Muruga became the supreme general of the demi-gods and escorted by devas, led the army to victory against the asuras. The six sites at which Karthikeya sojourned while leading his armies against Surapadman are Tiruttanikai, Swamimalai, Tiruvavinankudi (Palani), Pazhamudirsolai, Tirupparamkunram and Tiruchendur. All these sites have ancient temples glorified by the Tamil poems of Tirumurugaatruppadai of the Sangam period. And these six sites collectively came to be known as "Arupadai Veedu", in Tamil which means the six battle camps of the Lord Kartikeya symbols are based on the weapons - Vel, the Divine Spear or Lance that He carries and His mount the peacock. He is sometimes depicted with many weapons including: a sword, a javelin, a mace, a discus and a bow although more usually he is depicted wielding a sakti or spear. This symbolizes His purification of human ills. His javelin is used to symbolize His far reaching protection, His discus symbolizes His knowledge of the truth, His mace represents His strength and His bow shows His ability to defeat all ills. His peacock mount symbolizes his destruction of the ego. His six heads represent the six siddhis bestowed upon yogis over the course of their spiritual development. This corresponds to his role as the bestower of siddhis. His six heads represent the five sense organs and the mind, which co-ordinates their activities. When these are controlled, refined and sublimated, man becomes a superman. This is the implication of the symbology. According to Yoga psychology, there are six centers of psychic energy of consciousness, in the human body, designated as Chakras. They are Mulaadhaara (at the anus), Svaadhisthaana (at the root of the sex organ), Manipura (at the navel), Anaahata (at the region of the heart), and Visuddha

(at the throat), Ajna (between the eyebrows) and Sahasraara at the top of the head which is the destination for this energy. When the Yogi successfully raises his psychic energy to this topmost centre, he has a vision of SivaSakthi. Though it is the same energy that flows through all the six centers, in the case of an ordinary human being, it is concentrated in the three lowest centers. In a perfect being the flow is so refined and uniform, that practically all the centers have been elevated to the highest level. Subrahmanya represents this perfected state of spiritual consciousness. Muruga has continued to be popular with all classes of society right from the Sangam age. This has led to more elaborate accounts of his mythology in the Tamil language, culminating in the Tamil version, called Kandha Puraanam, written by Kacchiappa Sivachariyar (1350-1420 AD.) of Kumara Kottam in the city of Kancheepuram.

Muruga is considered to have married to two deities, Valli, daughter of a tribal chief and Devayani (also called Devasena), the daughter of Indra. During His bachelorhood, Lord Murugan is also regarded as Kumaraswami (Bachelor God), Kumara meaning a bachelor and Swami meaning God. Muruga rides a peacock and wields a bow in battle. The lance called Vel in Tamil is a weapon closely associated with him. The Vel was given to him by his mother, Parvati, and embodies her energy and power. Murugan is venerated throughout the Tamil year. There is a six day period of fast and prayer in the Tamil month of Aippasi known as the Skanda

Shasti. He is worshipped on Thaipusam, near the full moon of the Tamil month Thai, being celebrated by Tamil communities worldwide. This commemorates the day he was given a Vel or lance by his mother in order to vanquish the asuras. Thirukarthigai or the full moon of the Tamil month of Karthigai signifies his birth. Each Tuesday of the Tamil month of Adi is also dedicated to the worship of Murugan. Tuesday in the Hindu tradition connotes Mangala, the god of planet Mars and war. The Holy Vel - Spear of Murugan

The Vel of Murugan, which is identical with Him, is a mystic divine weapon with which He destroyed the Asuras. The Vel, which is Wisdom-Absolute, also annihilates the inner Asuras or Enemies of Avidya, Karma and liberates the Jiva (Soul) from transmigration. The Vel is a mysterious divine power and is referred to by Saint Arunagirnathari as the Mantra Vel in one of his Thiruppugazh (Songs of praise of God or the Glorious One). It is not surprising therefore that the emblem of this divinity, Vel, is the object of worship in some of the shrines of Murugan. Devotees carrying kavadis also use Vel. The very word vel has the mystic powers of invoking the grace of Murugan and therefore devotees chant "Vel, Vel", "Veera Vel", "Gnana Vel", "and Shakthi Vel".

Murugan is popularly depicted as having six faces and twelve arms. The poets like to address Him as "Arumugan" - Lord of Six Faces. The sacred functions of Murugan as having six faces are described as:

One face sheds rays of Light and removes the dense darkness shrouding the world; One face with gracious look lovingly showers boons on his devotees who praise Him with Love and Joy; One face watches over the sacrifices of the Brahmans who perform them without deviating from the strict Vedic traditions; One face like full moon, which brightens all the quarters of the world, lights the sages' minds to enable them to search for hidden Truth; One face with raging heart performs battle-sacrifice-destroy His enemies and One face smiles lovingly on His young consort, the pretty daughter of the hunting tribe

Fasting is being observed while worshipping Muruga, as it keeps the mind alert, and to gain greater control over the involuntary muscles. Through fasting one can improve his discipline and increase his will power. It also helps him to be pure in thought. The person who carries the kavadi should be in a state of extra ordinary purity attained by means of fasting for a certain period of time. It is often said that a forty-eight day (mandalam) fast is required but most devotees fast for lesser periods. The devotee should be on a strict vegetarian diet abstaining from all kinds of pollution (theetu) such as abstaining from sex, sleeping on the floor and eating from his own private utensils. He should not shave and if inauspicious events such as death were to occur he should not even participate in the function as the pollution would cling to him however vigorous his fast had been. Fasting is thus not just limited to the intake of food but include the temporary renunciation of all physical pleasures and luxuries. Through his abstinence the devotee disciplines his body and mind and enters into a whole realm of spiritualism. It is a personal experience between him and Lord Murgan.

Offering Kavadi to Lord Muruga is of great significance as it brings peace and good luck. The myth of taking Kavadi is associated with Lord Murugan testing Idumban of his determination and duty towards his Guru. The Kavadi that each devotee carries symbolizes his/her burden like the two hills carried by Idumban. It is believed that the burden in the life of a devotee who carries Kavadi is lessened by Murugan.

Taking Kavadi to Murugan temples during Thaipusam is considered highly auspicious. The usual Kavadi is a small wooden structure with an arch covered with a piece of cloth and is held on shoulders. The two sides of the Kavadi are covered with feathers of peacock – the vehicle of Lord Muruga. The sides also contain two bags to carry offerings to the Lord. Some devotees beg at houses to collect the offerings to the Lord. But today most people fill the bags on their own. The person who takes the Kavadi should observe certain austerities. The austerities start with food. Most Kavadi bearers avoid non-vegetarian food, liquor and other intoxicating objects. Orange and yellow are the preferred dress color. These colors are associated with Lord Muruga. The person on the day of journey holds a cane in his hand.

Some Kavadi bearers insert ‘vel’ (small lances) and hooks on the body. No reference of such practice is found in any holy scriptures. But people do such antics to please Lord Muruga. Today, artistic talent comes to the fore when it comes displaying Kavadis and the shape and structure of Kavadis have undergone sea change. Different types of Kavadi are offered by devotees at the Batu Cave Temple in Malaysia. And some of latest Kavadis are mindboggling.

People piercing their body with hooks, skewers and (vel) small lances of all these changes, even today one finds people taking the simple traditional Kavadi and begging in South India to go to Palani Temple in Tamil Nadu,

is a common sight. In the beginning people only used to pierce their tongue with a small vel - this was a means to meditate by keeping silent. The vel was used to create a forceful means for Mauna Vratam - remaining silent. In the beginning it was a simple innocent offering done by Muruga Devotees. But today in some instances, Lord Muruga devotees pull heavy chariots with hooks attached to their bodies - this is a very recent trend. Such practices are not mentioned in Hindu Holy Scriptures. In Holy books, body is quite often mentioned as the temple in which Brahman resides. ‘Vel’ was presented to Lord Muruga by Mother Parvati to vanquish the demons and not to pierce his body. Even the stories associated with taking Kavadi have nothing to with body piercing.

But piercing cheeks and tongue with ‘vel’ is a common practice by devotees of Lord Muruga. Piercing of the tongue is done to stop the speech and thereby to concentrate fully on the Lord. Most people perform such piercing to fulfill their wishes. They believe that Muruga will be easily pleased, if the degree of such antics is increased. Ignorance of the basic tenants of Hinduism is the reason behind such practices. People get nothing but mental satisfaction and body pain from such piercing

But these practices have been taking place for thousands of years and several symbolisms have been attached to these practices. In Malaysia, it goes a step forward and some devotees pull heavy objects up the BatuCaves using hooks attached to the body.

Most devotees enter into a trance during the piercing mainly due to the excessive drumming and chanting. They claim that they experience no pain during piercing and even after the ritual. Adi Shankaracharya speaks about rituals like this: Rituals are like blankets that veil the truth. They are nets to trap our intellect, forcing us to confine our consciousness to the superficial values of the manifest world. The thinking of a person who believes exclusively in ritual practices becomes confined to this little world. Subtle thoughts of the mind and tender feelings of heart become outward oriented. Such a person begins to believe that everything can be accomplished with the help of rituals. Most of the Murugar temples are located on top of small hills and he is also known as the Kundra Kadavul (Lord who is seated on a hill, kundru - hill). Muruga's abodes are countless. The main temples of Murugan are located in Southern India. They include the Aru Padaiveedu (six houses - rather, military camps in his campaign against asuras) - Thiruchendur, Swamimalai, Pazhamudircholai, Thirupparangunram, Palani (Pazhani), Thiruthani - A vivid portrayal of these six sacred places is found in the opera Tirumurugatruppadai composed by Nakkeerar, the famed poet.

Sri Subramaniya Swami Temple is located at Thiruparangundram, a small town near Madirai of Tamilnadu. Tiruparankundram temple is the sixth century rock-cut temple, which is dedicated to Lord Subramanya. It is one of the six abodes (Arupadai Veedu) of the Lord.

Here, Subramanya married Deivayanai, the daughter of Indra, after the victory over Surapadman. Subramanya with his consort is said to have worshipped His parents Lord Parangirinathar and Avudainayaki at this shrine. The main shrine is an early cave temple situated at a height of 1050 feet.

At the entrance to this shrine, there are 48 pillars with artistic carvings. A seven tier gopuram above the Kalyana Mandapam is sculpturally beautiful. In the sanctum, there are five cells, each enshrining a deity. In the central shrines, we worship Muruga, Durga and Vinayaka. Brahma, Indra, Surya and Chandra are depicted above these images. In the two cells facing each other, there are images of Vishnu with Sridevi and Bhoodevi and a Lingam respectively. At the top of the hill, there is a shrine dedicated to Kasi Viswanatha. An image of Nakkeerar, the Tamil poet, is seen here standing in reverence. The Saivite Saint poets Sundarar and Sambandar as wellArunagirinathar have sung the glories of this temple.

Sri Balasubramaniya Swami Temple is located at Thanigaimalai at Tiruttani, near Chennai. Legend has it that, Lord Subramanya married Valli who belong to the Vallimalai nearby. Another legend associated with this temple is that Skanda bore a discus thrown by the furious asura Tarakasuran, on his chest, and hence there is a hole in the chest region of the image of Subramanya in this temple. It is believed that Skanda gifted the discus to Vishnu. Legend also has it that Indra the king of the Gods gave his daughter Deivayanai in marriage to Skanda, and along with her presented his elephant Airavatam as part of his dowry offering. Upon Airavatam’s departure Indra found his wealth waning. Subramanya is said to have offered to return the white elephant. However Indra bound by protocol refused to accept a gift that he had made, and insisted that that the elephant face his direction, hence the image of the elephant in this temple also faces the east.

Another legend has it that Indra presented a sandal stone as a part of his daughter’s dowry. The sandal paste made on this stone is applied to the image of Subramanya and the applied paste is said to acquire medicinal value. This temple has been mentioned in the Sangam period work Tirumurugaatruppadai composed by Nakkeerar.The hill temple here is reached by a motorable road, and is also accessed through a flight of 365 steps. It has 4 prakarams and a series of towers. There is a shrine to Aabat Sahaaya Vinayakar who is said to have come to the aid of Skanda in winning Valli’s hand in marriage. After a prolonged and fierce fight with asuras, the anger of Muruga was cooled down as He reached Tiruttani. At nearby Vallimalai, Muruga married Valli, the tribal girl who worshipped him and later he came to Tiruttani. Marriage of Muruga to Valli: Amrita (Amuda) Valli and Sundara Valli were the two daughters of the great God Maha Vishnu. They desired to marry Subrahmanya. With this desire in their minds, they went to Saravana Poikai, a lake where Muruga was born and engaged in intense austerities. Pleased with their tapas, the Lord Subrahmanya appeared before them and granted their wishes, which He promised will be fulfilled in their later births. In due time, Amrita Valli was born as Indra’s foster-daughter Devasena. Nambi Rajah, the tribal chieftain of Vallimalai had seven sons, but no daughter. He wished intensely to have one. As an ardent devotee of Muruga, he started some penances for this. Siva Muni was a sage living in the same forest. Once, while he was walking in the forest, he happened to see a deer. As inevitable turn of fate would have it, by the mere sight of the Seer, the deer conceived a female human child. Nambi, who was hunting in the forest with his sons was surprised to see a cute baby girl in the wilderness. The kind tribal king was, however glad and

considered that he had been blessed by the Lord Himself with this precious child. With tender care, he took the baby and brought her up. Since she was found among the creepers (valli), she was named Valli. Due to the impressions left of her past life, Valli developed a deep devotion to Muruga from her young age. When she was a beautiful young woman, her whole mind was occupied with the thoughts of Muruga and she decided that she will marry him alone and none else. As his foster daughter now approached the age of marriage, Nambi sent her to perform ‘tinaippunam’, a custom among the tribals. The girl, as per this custom, had to sit in a rostrum high above the ground and scare away birds and other animals that tried to destroy the crops till the harvest time. Narada, the divine sage knew the past, present and future. The clever Seer came to Valli and told her that she should marry Muruga and none else. The words of the sage were like nectar to the innocent girl, but she didn’t know how to find her bridegroom. Narada, the creator of destiny for many a divine event, lost no time and met Muruga who was relaxing at Tiruttani after his long battle with the asura Soorapadman at Tiruchendur. The sage reminded Muruga of his promise to the two maidens Amruta Valli and Sundara Valli and added that Sundara Valli was now living at Vallimalai as a tribal maiden Valli. He told the young god that the beautiful girl was living only to get married to Him and this was right time to seek her hand in marriage. Muruga sensed it was time for Him to honour his promise and soon started to Vallimalai. He appeared before Valli as a hunter. The girl’s mind was absorbed in Muruga and failed to recognize the disguised hunter! At this time, Nambi came there, and it was quick for Muruga to transform himself into a venkai tree. Soon he understood he had to be cautious. This time he transformed himself into an old man and approached Valli. “I am hungry, give me some food”, asked the old man. The kind girl offered him some

flour mixed with honey. “Will you marry me?” asked the old man. It was too much for poor Valli. She wanted Muruga and here was an old man proposing to her! She turned away.

Muruga now knew he had to change tactics. He asked his brother Ganesh to help. Hearing his brother’s pleading for help, Ganapati soon appeared there as a huge elephant and began to chase the frightened Valli. Soon she had to go to Muruga disguised as the old man and she fell into his arms. Valli promised the old man that she will give him anything he wanted if he would save her from the wild elephant. Muruga now asked her hand in marriage. Understanding who the old man really was, Valli agreed. The matter was soon informed to the kurava king Nambi and his sons. They all agreed to this holy union. Muruga soon married Valli at Vallimalai.

The seashore temple of Subrahmanyam at Tiruchendur is one of the delightful spots sanctified and venerated by every Hindu. As one of the first spiritual centres for the salvation of man, His shrine has been an attraction for Hindus for ages. This sacred house of God is in the extreme southwest of the Indian peninsula. The rising sun bows in adoration of it each morning as he rises from the rippling expanse of the ocean, and spreads light and life over every living object.

Lord Muruga’s association with Tiruchendur is highly significant. It is described in extenso in His epic, the Skanda Puranam. The young Muruga as the Devasenâpati vanquishes evil in the form of Surapadman. The Tamils have ever since been celebrating the event as an annual festival during Skanda Sashti. Tiruchentil means as it does, the House of Victory. It borders the sea and has all the natural charm of a hero’s fortress. It is verily a haven of Peace and Bliss. The Tamils in this part of the peninsula have such an attraction for the place and its presiding Lord Arumuga Nayinar.

Swami Malai
Swamimalai is a sylvan village, situated about five kilometers west of Kumbakonam on the banks of a tributary of river Cauvery. Mythologically Swamimalai is considered fourth among the six padai veedu or sacred shrines dedicated to Lord Muruga. The presiding deity here expounded the meaning of the Pranava mantra OM to his own Father Lord Siva Himself. Mythology says that saint Bhrugu before commencing an rduous penance; got the boon that anybody disturbing his mediation will

forget all his knowledge. Such was the power of the penance that the sacred fire emanating from the head of the saint reached up to the heavens, and the frightened devas surrendered to Lord Siva praying for his grace. The Lord extinguished the sacred fire by covering the saint’s head by hand. With the saint’s penance thus disturbed the Lord became oblivious of all his knowledge and is said to have regained them by learning the Pranava mantra from Lord Muruga at this shrine. Once when Brahma, the lord of all creations was proceeding to Kailasa, the ever-playful child Lord Muruga asked him for the meaning of the Pranava OM. When Brahma admitted his ignorance, the Lord imprisoned him. With Brahma imprisoned, all creations came to a standstill and the devas prayed to Lord Siva to get Brahma released. When Muruga insisted that the imprisonment was a just punishment for the ignorance of Brahma, Lord Siva asked him whether he himself knew the meaning of the primordial Pranava OM. Lord Muruga said that he knew the meaning of OM and can expound it to the latter only if he can accept him as guru and listen to the exposition as a devoted disciple. As Lord Siva acceded to the request of Lord Muruga and heard the exposition of OM as a disciple, the place came to be known as Swamimalai and the presiding deity as Swaminathan.

Midway up the steps is a life-sized icon depicting Lord Muruga imparting the Pranava Mantram to his divine father Lord Shiva who assumes a posture of folded hands and bowed head before his guru. In the sanctum sanctorum the presiding deity is represented by a six foot tall granite icon in a standing posture offering darshan to all his devotees The temple is built on an artificial hillock of about sixty feet height with sixty beautifully laid stone steps representing the Hindu cycle of sixty years – leading to the Lord. In the ground floor there are temples dedicated to Lord Sundareswarer and Goddesss Meenakshi. Hymns in praise of the presiding deity have been sung by saint Nakkeerar in Tirumurukatrupadaiand by Saint Arunagirnathar in Tiruppukazh. The presiding deity Lord Sadaimudinathar and Goddess Perianayaki have been sung by Tirugnanasambandar and Tirunavukkarasar in Tevaram. A unique feature of this temple is the presence of Sveta Vinayagar or White Pillaiyar made of the sea foam formed at the time of churning of the Milky Ocean by the devas and asuras to get the nectar. The sacred Cauvery River flowing nearby herself has turned around in a right semicircle around this shrine and hence the name Valanchuli or right twist.

This shrine is located on the northern outskirts of Madurai in a pleasant wooded hill not far from Alagar Visnu Kovil, a fortified temple complex revered as one of the 108 abodes of Vishnu glorified by the hymns of the Alwars. At the top of the hill, is Noopura Ganga, a perennial waterfall with a temple dedicated to Raakkayi Amman. The Noopura Ganga atop the hill is said to

originated from the anklet of Tirumal or Visnu and hence the name of the spring. It is said that sitting in the madavi mandapa near the spring saint Ilangovadigal wrote one of the five mahakavyas in Tamil, viz., Cilappatikaram. Even today the place is very fertile with many trees and different flora and fauna, a standing testimony to the vivid description of the place’s natural beauty as found in Tirumurugattruppadai of Nakkeerar.

This hill is also known as Vrishabhadri or Idabagiri. Atop the hill Lord Muruga stands majestically in the temple as the Lord of the Hills popularly known as Kurinji Nilakkizhavan in Tamil. Pazhamutircōlai is mentioned as the sixth of Lord Murugan’s Aarupadai Veedugal. The great Tamil poet and saint Avvaiyar had been tested by Lord Murga here. In order to play with Avvaiyar who was one of the very famous devotees of Lord Muruga, the Lord played a drama. One day Avvaiyar became tired while travelling because of very hot summer and so came under the shadow of a fruit tree. She was very hungry and thirsty. At that time, a small boy who was sitting on the tree asked her whether she wanted fruits from the tree. Avvaiyar told that she wanted fruits. At that time the boy asked Avvaiyar whether she wanted roasted fruits or unroasted fruits. Avvaiyar who was a famous Tamil poet, litterateur and having in-depth knowledge in Tamil thought,” Is there any roasted fruit in the world?" and

decided that the small boy didn't have knowledge even about a fruit. But, as she was very tired, she didn't want to argue with the small boy and asked him to pick roasted fruits for her. The boy shook the tree and so fruits fell under the tree. The mud under the tree had stuck on the fruit. Avvaiyar took the fruits and blew on the fruit to remove the mud. It was observed that as the fruits were roasted and had become warm, Avvaiyar had blown the fruits to cool them. At that time, the small boy asked Avvaiyar whether the fruits were warm? Avvaiyar was astonished, "How had a small village cowboy played such an intelligent drama? She had thought that the small boy had no knowledge about fruits and how the fruits in the tree may become roasted fruits. But blowing the air on the fruit to remove the mud is like blowing air to reduce the heat as the fruit is roasted. What a beautiful comparison. Such a beautiful comparison would not have risen in her mind even though she had gained rich knowledge in Tamil." She asked the small boy, "Who are you actually?" The small boy disappeared and in his place, Lord Muruga appeared. Now Avvaiyar realized that it was a play of God and she understood that there were more and more things that she had to learn. She bowed to Lord Muruga and requested him to bestow her with bountiful knowledge Though the sthala is of ancient origin, the temple as in existence today was constructed only recently. From days of yore Vel has been worshipped as the moolavar or main deity. The idol of Lord Muruga in a standing posture has a single face and four hands with Valli and Teyvayanai on both sides. The Vel made up of stone is of special significance and is worshipped with a great veneration by devotees.

The temple at Palani is an ancient one, situated at an elevation of 1500 feet above sea level. The deity of Palani Murugan is known as Dandayudhapani Swami, the Lord having the Staff in his Hand.

One also gets to see the “Pathala Vinayakar” temple and the Meenakshi Sundareshwarar temple enroute the hill top. There are two broad Praharams in the hill top temple. Idols of Vallabha Vinayakar, Subramanya Vinayakar, Nakkerar, Arunagirinathar can be seen in the second Praharam that houses the Nayakkar Mandapam. The Rajagopuram is composed of five tiers. Bypassing the Paravel Mandapam and Navaranga Mandapam, one can approach the sanctum sanctorum of Dhandayuthapani. It is believed that a siddha named Bhogar, a younger contemporary of Agastyar, created the icon of the Lord which is enshrined in the sanctum sanctorum. It was made from nine different medicinal minerals, and all materials coming in contact with the icon gained curative properties. However, in recent years it was discovered that certain parts of the icon were wasting away and hence all abishekams are performed to another icon placed in the main sanctum. There is a sannidhi for Bhogar who was a saint who dedicated himself to Lord Muruga and contributed immensely. There is a legend how Lord Murugan came to this sacred spot. Narada Muni, brought a golden mango to the divine court of Lord Siva when Lord Siva

was seated with his consort Parvati and His children Lord Vinayakar and Lord Subrahmanya. Narada gave the fruit to Lord Siva and implored Him to eat since it was a rare, miraculous gnanapazham - the fruit of wisdom. As a loving husband, Lord Siva gave it to Parvati and requested her to eat. As a loving mother, she wanted to give the fruit to her children. As there was only one fruit and it should not be cut, they announced a contest and said that the winner whoever completes one round of the globe first, will be given the fruit. Lord Subrahmanya immediately mounted His peacock to go around the world. Lord Vinayakar circumambulated around His parents, symbolising the world, and got the fruit. On return, Lord Subrahmanya found that He was cheated. In anger, He renounced His family and came to this spot to settle forever. Lord Siva and Parvati came to pacify Him. They said, “Pazham Nee” (‘You are the Fruit’). Hence the name Palani is a popular syncopation of the two words mentioned.

Legend has it that Idumban, a disciple of Sage Agasthayar, while carrying two hillocks by the name Sivagiri and Sakthigiri, on his shoulders as Kavadi, (tied on two sides of a pole and carried on one sholder) wanted to rest for a while and placed these hillocks on the ground. Lord Muruga, mischievously immobilized these hillocks and Idumban could carry the Kavadi no further. Following this as a tradition, the Muruga Bakthas carry Kavadis of milk, Sandalwood, Flowers etc.

Lord Murugan presides by the name of “Kulandai Velayuthaswamy” at the Thiru Avinanguidi temple located at the foot of the hills at Palani. Climbing a flight of steps leads to the Palani hill temple which is approximately at a height of 450 feet over the ground level. Palani Aandavar awaits majestically at the hill top temple to bless the thousands of Murugan devotees who come to worship him. Other important shrines are Mayilam, Sikkal, Marudamalai, Kundrathur, Vadapalani, Kandakottam, Thiruporur, Vallakottai, Vayalur, Thirumalaikoil, Pachaimalai and Pavalamalai Lord Subramanya is the major deity among the Thiyyas of northern Kerala. There are many temples dedicated to Lord Subramanya in Kerala.

Amongst them, the most important ones are Payyannur Subramanya Swamy temple in Payyanur and the Subramanya temple in Haripad Payyanur Shri Subramanya Swami temple is considered as mini-Palani. The astrology and Ganitha, Prashna Shastra Jyothish developed here, all because of Subramanya swami, who is also called "Jyotishathin-Kaadaleee" meaning the Lord of Astrology. Best Known astrologers of this day are from payyanur.

Lord Subramanya is worshipped with utmost devotion in districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi in the state of Karnataka. Rituals like nagaradhane are unique to this region. In Tulu Nadu there is the temple called Kukke Subramanya Temple. There Lord Murugan is worshipped as the Lord of the serpents. Aaslesha Bali, Sarpa Samskara with nagaprathista samarpa are major prayers here.

I In Sri Lanka, Hindus as well as Buddhists revere the sacred historical Nallur Kandaswamy temple in Jaffna, and the temple at Kathirgamam located in the southern peninsula, where he is known as Katragama Deviyo (Lord of Katragama).

There are several temples dedicated to Lord Murugan in Malaysia, the most famous being the Batu Caves near Kuala Lumpur. There is a 42.7 m-high statue of Lord Murugan at the entrance to the Batu Caves, which is the largest Lord Murugan statue in the world. In the Murugan temples in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Malays and Chinese enthusiastically join in the celebrations during Thaipusam festival .

Sri Thandayuthapani Temple in Tank Road, Singapore is a major Hindu temple where each year the Thaipusam festival takes place with devotees of Lord Muruga carrying Kavadis seeking penance and blessings of the Lord.

In United Kingdom, Highgate Hill Murugan temple is one of the oldest and most famous. In London, Sri Murugan temple in Manor Park is a well known temple. In Midlands, Leicester Shri Siva Murugan Temple is gaining popularity recently. There is place in Wales named as "Skandavel", where the primary deity is Lord Murugan.

In Australia, Sydney Murugan temple in Parramatta (Mays Hill) and Perth Bala Muruguan temple in Mandogalup are major Hindu temples for all Australian Hindus and Murugan devotees. In New Zealand, there is a Thirumurugan Temple in Auckland and a Kurinji Kumaran Temple in Wellington, both dedicated to Lord Murugan. In the USA, Shiva Murugan Temple in Concord, Northern California and Murugan

Temple in North America are popular. In Toronto, Canada, Canada Kanthasamy Temple is known amongst many Hindus in Canada. In Dollard-des-Ormeaux, a suburb of the city of Montreal in Canada, there is also a monumental temple of Murugan. The Sri Sivasubramaniar Temple, located in the Sihl Valley in Adliswil, is the most famous and largest Hindu temple in Switzerland

Hindus have great faith in light as the supreme symbol of God who dispels darkness, which is associated with evil, fear and ignorance. The light of the camphor, as it dispels this darkness, signifies the overcoming of evil through virtue, fear through courage and ignorance through knowledge. As the camphor burns itself out, so we pray that our own ego is burnt up likewise and that we should be redeemed from all our sins, problems, mental and physical stress and shall be left with everlasting peace, joy and bliss.

The Hindus believe that the coconut is the purest form of offering that one can render unto God. The fruit is unique in many respects. The sweet, nectar-like water that it holds is pure and untouched by the human hand. The tree draws from its very base to its highest level. The

coarsely knit outer fibers of the coconut represent the jealousy, greed, lust, selfishness and other vices of man, which must be broken up and removed if one is to penetrate and reach the white inner purity and thereafter taste the sweet untouched nectar of spiritual purity and bliss. No other fruit has the three distinct eyes of the coconut. These symbolise the Trinity of Evolution - Creation, Preservation and Dissolution. The eyes also represent the three eyes of man - the two physical eyes plus the third or 'inner eye' can penetrate the false, outer facade and reach the ultimate truth. It alone distinguishes right from wrong. The composition of the coconut is characteristic of the three elements of man. The hard, outer shell, with its coarse fibers, represents the physical composition. The inner white fruit represents man's psychological element, and the untouched water signifies his spiritual composition. Having been offered to God by way of prayer, the coconut is then eaten by Hindus as blessed food or prasadh in the belief that it has now received divine vibrations from God and will therefore give us good health and prosperity. Nothing in this world is everlasting. Everything is perishable. Even this physical body of ours ceases to function some day and is said to be dead. Our mortal remains are then cremated and turn to ashes, or buried, which then rot and become dust The Hindus place ashes on their foreheads to remind themselves, of this universal truth - nothing is everlasting ... the ultimate is dust. The Ashes serve to remind one to cast aside his petty jealousies, suspicions, selfishness and other evil qualities, and to live in harmony with one another - to love, respect and serve his fellow beings while he can.

The holy ash is so prepared that it richly abounds in medicinal properties and contains high curative qualities. It can be placed on the forehead, rubbed over the body or taken internally to relieve pains, illnesses and anxiety. When used in prayer with the manthras, it becomes highly potent, wards off evil, overcomes problems and brings happiness, peace and harmony to the individual as well as the household. Its power is truly dynamic. The ash is the creation of the element fire, which dissolves everything. Thus the sacred ash dissolves all our ills and brings us good health, peace and prosperity. Kanda Shasti Kavacham is a famous Tamil hymn in praise of Lord Murugan composed by Devaraja Swamigal. This is a rare and valuable treasure that helps one to be successful in day-to-day life. Sashti is the day the Lord Subramanya defeated the demon Soorapadma and saved the Earth from his evils. The devas, who were tormented by Soorapadman, rejoiced - they praised the Lord and prayed to him for six days. In Kndasashti Kavacham the author prays to Lord Muruga to shower His grace. It is certain that by regular chanting of this kavacam all the

predicaments of life are resolved. Prosperity and plenty will abound. Peace will prevail at home. The devotee who reads it will enjoy every good fortune under the sun. As a warrior going to battle puts on armour to protect himself, the Kanda Sasti Kavacam also helps one to be safe in day-to-day life.

* An attempt is made to present the Tamil txt in roman script, together with English translation. Kaappu / Venpa Thuthiporkku val vinai pom, thunbam pom Nenjil pathiporkku selvam palithu kadithongum Nishtayum kaikoodum Nimalar Arul kanthar sashti kavacham thanai amarar idar theera amaram purintha kumaranadi nenjeh kuri. Protection The sufferings great will vanish for those who pray, The riches will increase for those who paste it in their mind, All penance will surely bear fruit,

By this Sashti Kavacham written by the grace of God. Mind, oh mine, meditate On the feet of that Young God, Who waged the war, To end the problems of devas, great. Kavacham sashtiyai nokka saravana bavanaar sishtarukku uthavum sengkathir velon paatham irandil panmani sathangai geetham paada kinkini yaada maiya nadam seiyum mayil vahananaar Kayil velal ennai kakavendru uvandu Vara vara vela yuthanar varuga varuga varuga miyoloan varuga Indiran mudhala Endisai potra mandira vadivel varuga varuga Armour Welcome to thee Oh, Lord, Who rides on the peacock, Who comes to help his devotees, Who comes accompanied by sweet songs, Who comes with pleasing sound of ringing anklets, Made by numerous bells tied to your feet. And I pray Lord Saravana Bhava, To bless this poem on Sashti. vaasavan maruhaa varuha varuha nesak kuramahal ninaivon varuha aarumuham padaitha aiyaa varuha neeridum velavan nitham varuha sirahiri velavan seekkiram varuha

Come, come son in law of Indra, Come darling of the lady of mountain, Come my master who has six faces, Come daily he who holds the Vel, And who applies the ash, Come with speed, Oh Lord of Sira Mountain, Come with speed, Of holder of the Vel. saravana bavanaar saduthiyil varuha rahana bavasa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra rihana bavasa ri ri ri ri ri ri ri vinabava sarahana veeraa namo nama nibava sarahana nira nira nirena Oh Lord Saravana bhava, Come with speed, rahana bavasa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra rihana bavasa ri ri ri ri ri ri ri vinabava sarahana, Salutations and salutations to the great hero, vasara hanabava varuha varuha asurar kudi kedutha aiyaa varuha yennai yaalum ilaiyon kaiyil pannirendu aayutham paasaan gusamum parantha vizhihal pannirandu ilanga Come, come friend who lives within me, Come lord who spoiled the lives of Asuras, Come with the wide open twelve graceful eyes, Come with weapons and pasa and angusa in your twelve hands, Come, Oh young lord, who rules over me. virainthu yenaik kaakka velon varuha aiyum kiliyum adaivudan sauvum

uyyoli sauvum uyiraiyum kiliyum kiliyum sauvum kilaroli yaiyum nilai petrenmun nithamum olirum Come Oh, Lord of Vel to protect me fast, Let Aaim, Klim and Saum which reach to you, The Saum with its brilliant light, The Klim which is like the soul, And Klim, Saum and the sweet sounding Aaim, Stand and shine before me. shanmuhan neeyum thaniyoli yovvum kundaliyaam siva guhan thinam varuha aaru muhamum animudi aarum neeridu netriyum neenda puruvamum panniru kannum pavalach chevvaayum Come Oh, Six headed one, With your brilliant light, Come daily without fail, great Lord, Who has attained the Kundalini, And come with thine six faces with six crowns, With holy ash applied on your forehead, With your long eye brows, And with your twelve eyes and coral like mouth. nanneri netriyil navamanich chuttiyum eeraaru seviyil ilahu kundalamum aariru thinpuyathu azhahiya maarbil palboo shanamum pathakkamum tharithu nanmanipoonda navarathna maalaiyum Come Oh Lord, With decorations of nine gems in your forehead, With pretty ear rings shining in your twelve ears, With several ornaments and pendant shining.

In thine, handsome trunk with twelve arms, And with the garland of nine gems inlaid with precious stones. muppuri noolum muthani maarbum sepppazhahudaiya thiruvayir unthiyum thuvanda marungil sudaroli pattum navarathnam pathitha nartchee raavum iru thodai azhagum enai muzhanthalum Come Oh Lord, With the holy three stringed thread, With your chest decorated with pearls, With your very pretty abdomen which has been praised, With silken sash and girdle around your waist, And with nine gems chain adorning your silken robes, with the beauty of the two thighs and adjoining knees, thiruvadi yathanil silamboli muzhanga seha gana seha gana seha gana segana moga moga moga moga moga moga mogana naha naha naha naha naha naha nahena digu kuna digu digu digu kuna diguna ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri du du du du du du du du du du du du du du du dagu dagu digu digu dangu dingugu vinthu vinthu mayilon vinthu Come Oh Lord, With anklets in thine holy feet, Which make jingling sounds, like, Oh Lord who rides the peacock, come quickly. munthu munthu muruhavel munthu yenthanai yaalum yehraha selva

mainthan vehndum varamahizhnth thuthavum laalaa laalaa laalaa vehshamum leelaa leelaa leelaa vinothanendru Rush Oh rush, my Lord who has the Vel, Oh Lord of Swami Malai, who rules over me, Who is so prettily dressed, And who is so playful. Grant this boon with smile to your son, unthiru vadiyai uruthi yendrennum yen thalai vaithun yinaiyadi kaaka yennuyirk uyiraam iraivan kaaka panniru vizhiyaal baalanaik kaaka adiyen vathanam azhahuvel kaaka Please save me, who has firm faith in thine feet, And who has placed his head on your feet, Oh God who is my soul of souls protect, Please protect this child with your twelve eyes, Let your pretty Vel protect my face. podipunai netriyaip punithavel kaaka kathirvel irandu kanninaik kaaka vithisevi irandum velavar kaaka naasihal irandum nalvel kaaka pesiya vaaythanai peruvel kaaka Let your pure Vel protect my ash adorned forehead Let your shining Vel protect my two eyes, Let he holds the Vel protect my two ears, Let your good Vel protect my two nostrils, Let your great Vel protect the mouth, which speaks.

muppathirupal munaivel kaaka seppiya naavai sevvel kaaka kannam irandum kathirvel kaaka yennilang kazhuthai iniyavel kaaka maarbai irathna vadivel kaaka Let your sharp Vel protect my thirty-two teeth, Let your perfect Vel protect my tongue, which tells, Let your shining Vel protect my two cheeks, Let your sweet Vel protect my tender neck, Let your gem studded Vel protect my chest. serila mulaimaar thiruvel kaaka vadivel iruthol valamberak kaaka pidarihal irandum peruvel kaaka azhahudan muthuhai arulvel kaaka pazhu pathinaarum paruvel kaaka Let your holy Vel protect my chest, Let your straight Vel protect my two shoulders, Let your great Vel protect my two napes, Let your graceful Vel protect my back, Let your youthful Vel protect my sixteen ribs. vetrivel vayitrai vilangave kaaka sitridai azhahura sevvel kaaka naanaam kayitrai nalvel kaaka aan penn kurihalai ayilvel kaaka pittam irandum peruvel kaaka Let your victorious Vel protect my abdomen, Let your pretty Vel protect my thin waist, Let your good Vel protect my waist thread,

Let your pretty Vel protect the reproductive organs, Let your big Vel protect my two kidneys. vattak kuthathai valvel kaaka panai thodai irandum paruvel kaaka kanaikaal muzhanthaal kathirvel kaaka aiviral adiyinai arulvel kaaka kaihal irandum karunaivel kaaka Let your big Vel protect my round colon, Let your heavy Vel protect my two thighs, Let your bright Vel protect the two knees and calves, Let your graceful Vel protect my two feet, Let your merciful Vel protect my two hands. munkai irandum muranvel kaaka pinkai irandum pinnaval irukka naavil sarasvathi natrunai yaaha naabik kamalam nalvel kakka muppaal naadiyai munaivel kaaka Let your strong Vel protect my two forearms, Let Goddess Lakshmi reside in my arms, Let Goddess of knowledge reside in my tongue, Let your good Vel protect my belly button. Let your sharp Vel protect the three nerve currents. yeppozhuthum yenai yethirvel kaaka adiyen vasanam asaivula neram kaduhave vanthu kanahavel kaaka varum pahal thannil vachravel kaaka arai irul thannil anaiyavel kaaka

Let your great Vel always protect me, Let your golden Vel come fast, To protect me as long as I am alive, Let your diamond Vel protect me in day time, Let your glittering Vel protect me in darkness. yemathil saamathil yethirvel kaaka thaamatham neeki chathurvel kaaka kaaka kaaka kanahavel kaaka noaka noaka nodiyil noaka thaakka thaakka thadaiyara thaakka Let his flowing Vel protect me all the sections of the night, Let his craft Vel protect me from delays, Let the golden Vel protect and protect, Let it be seen quickly and quickly, Let it strike and strike and remove all my problems. paarka paarka paavam podipada billi soonyam perumpahai ahala valla bootham valaashtihap peihal allal paduthum adangaa muniyum pillaihal thinnum puzhakadai muniyum kollivaayp peihalum kuralaip peihalum penkalai thodarum bramaraa chatharum adiyanaik kandaal alari kalangida. Please see and see that my sins are powdered, Let the black magic and great enmity go away, Let great devils and those who shake their tails, Let the uncontrollable Muni, which creates problems, Let the back yard Muni which eats babies, Let the ghosts with fire in their mouth,

Let the ghosts which steal my speech, And let the Brahma Rakshasas which follow ladies, Run away screaming when they see me. irisi kaatteri ithunba senaiyum yellilum iruttilum yethirpadum mannarum kana pusai kollum kaaliyodu anaivarum vittaan gaararum migu pala peihalum thandiyak kaararum sandaalar halum yen peyar sollavum idi vizhunthodida. Let the Irusi Katteri and Idumba sena, Let Mannar who is seen every where in the night Let Kali and all others, who kill us on meeting, Let Vittan Karar and other ghosts and devils, Let Thandai Karar and debased humans, As soon as they hear my name, Run away as if struck by thunder. aanai adiyinil arum paavaihalum poonai mayirum pillaihal enpum nahamum mayirum neenmudi mandaiyum paavaihal udane pala kalasathudan manaiyil puthaitha vanjanai thanaiyum ottiya paavaiyum ottiya serukkum kaasum panamum kaavudan sorum othu manjanamum oruvazhi pokum adiyanaik kandaal alainthu kulainthida maatran vanjahar vanthu vanangida kaala thoothaal yenai kandaal kalangida Dolls with spells, placed in our home, Hairs of cat, bones of babies,

Claws, hairs, skulls with long hairs, Dolls placed in several pots, Buried in different parts of the house, Dolls pierced, pierced shapes, Coins and money, cooked rice, with vegetables Spell cast yellow-black balms, which travel in one direction’ Let all these get confused and be afraid on seeing me, Please make them shiver on seeing me always, And make strangers and bad men salute me. anji nadungida arandu purandida vaay vittalari mathi kettoda padiyinil mutta paasak kayitraal kattudan angam katharida kattu katti uruttu kaal kai muriya Make all of them afraid of me, Make them roll in the floor out of fear, May them shout loudly and get mad, Let them dash their head on my door steps, Tie them with your Pasa rope, Tie them tight, Roll them after tying, And break their hands and legs. kattu kattu katharida kattu muttu muttu muzhihal pithungida sekku sekku sethil sethilaaha sokku sokku soorpahai sokku kuthu kuthu koorvadi velaal patru patru pahalavan thanaleri thanaleri thanaleri thanalathuvaaha viduvidu velai verundathu oda.

Tie and tie them, till they loudly cry out, Dash and dash them till the joints split, Step on them, step on them, till they break in the mud, Pierce and pierce them with your Vel. Catch and catch the fire of the Sun, Set fire, set fire till they wilt in the fire, Throw and throw your Vel till they scare and run. puliyum nariyum punnari naayum yeliyum karadiyum inithodarnthu oda thelum paambum seyyaan pooraan kadivida vishangal kadithuyar angam yeriya vishangal yelithudan iranga Let the tiger, fox, wolf, rat and bear, Continue to run away from me, Let the poisons of scorpion, snake, millipede, Which has entered in and will stay in my body After being bitten by them, Come out of my body with great speed. olippum sulukkum oruthalai noyum vaatham sayithiyam valippu pitham soolai sayam kunmam sokku sirangu kudaichal silanthi kudalvip purithi pakka pilavai padarthodai vaazhai kaduvan paduvan kaithaal silanthi parkuthu aranai paru arai yaakkum yellap piniyum yendranaik kandaal nillaa thoda nee yenak arulvaay Let wounds, sprains, one sided head ache, Arthritis, cold fever, fits and bile,

Piles, fistula, carbuncles, strains, Diseases of intestines, itching of the skin, Partial paralysis, ring worm, skin ailments, Biting of cat, dog and spider, Tooth ache and all the diseases and attacks, Vanish and run away, As soon as they see me, Please Lord bless me always so that, All these do not tarry and run away from me. eerezhulagamum yenak uravaaha aanum pennum anaivarum yenakkaa mannaal arasarum mahizhnthura vaahavum Let the seven worlds be my friends, Let gents and ladies, and kings who rule, Become my relations with pleasure and happiness. unnai thuthikka un thirunaamam saravana bavane sailoli bavanee thirupura bavane thigazholi bavane paripura bavane pavamozhi bavane arithiru maruhaa amaraa pathiyai kaathu thevarkal kadum sirai viduthaay kanthaa guhane kathir velavane kaarthihai mainthaa kadambaa kadambanai idumbanai yendra iniyavel muruhaa Let me praise your holy names, He who originated from Saravana, He who originated from flashing light, He who was born to Tripura, He who originated from holy sound, He whose feet is adorned with anklets,

He who severs the cords of attachment, He who is the nephew of Vishnu and Lakshmi, He who protected the army of devas, He who released them from prison, He who is called Skanda and Guha, He who holds the resplendent Vel, He who is the son of Karthika maidens, He who lives in Kadamba forest, He who is Muruga with the sweet Vel, Who defeated Idumba and Kadamba asuras. thanihaa salane sangaran puthalvaa katirkaa mathurai kathirvel muruhaa pazhani pathivaazh baala kumaaraa aavinan kudivaazh azhahiya vela senthil maamalai yuryum sengalva raayaa samaraa purivaazh shanmuha tharase Hey lord who lives on Thiruthani mountains, Hey lord who is the son of Lord Shiva, Hey Lord Muruga, with shining Vel, Hey Lord, Who lives in Kathirgamam, Hey young Kumara who lives in the city of Pazhani, Hey pretty Vela, who lives in Thiruvavingudi, Hey, Sengalva raya who lives on Senthil mountains, Hey king, Shanmuga who lives in Samarapuri, kaarar kuzhalaal kalaimahal nandraay yennaa irukka yaan unai paada yenai thodarnthu irukkum yenthai muruhanai padinen aadinen paravasa maaha aadinen naadinen aavinan poothiyey

When the Goddess of knowledge, With her dark black tresses, Placed herself on my tongue, I did sing about you, And I sang about my father Murugan, Then Danced, went in to ecstasy, And sought the company, Of the great Lord of Thiruvavinkudi. nesamudan yaan netriyil aniya paasa vinaihal patrathu neengi unpatham perave unnarulaaha anbudan rakshi annamum sonnamum metha methaaha velaayu thanaar sithi petradiyen sirappudan vazhga. When I adorned with love, my forehead with your sacred ash, The ropes attaching me to the fate were untied, And I reached your feet to attain your grace. So please protect me with love, give me food and wealth, Oh Velayudha slowly and gracefully. Bless me with your grace, And let me live in a great manner. vaazhga vaazhga mayilon vaazhga vaazhga vaazhga vadivel vaazhga vaazhga vaazhga malai guru vaazhga vaazhga vaazhga malai kura mahaludan vaazhga vaazhga vaarana thuvasam vaazhga vaazhga yen varumaihal neenga Long live, long live, the rider of peacock, Long live, long live, the holder of Vel, Long live, long live, the god of mountains,

Long live, long live, he with the mountain girl, Valli. Long live, long live, he with the flag of a cock, Long live, long live, Let my poverty be driven out, yethanai kuraihal yethanai pizhaihal yethanai adiyen yethanai seiyinum petravan neeguru poruppathu unkadan petraval kuramahal petravalaame pillai yendranbaay piriya malithu mainthan yenmeethu unmanam mahizhntharuli thanjam yendradiyaar thazhaithida arulsey kanthar sashti kavasam virumbiya You are my father and teacher, Goddess Valli is my mother, And it is your duty to pardon, Any number of errors that I make, Any number of mistakes that I make, Without parting away from this your child, With Happiness love this son of yours, And give protection to all devotees, who seek, And love this Skanda Sashti Kavacham. baalan theva raayan paharn thathai kaalaiyil maalaiyil karuthudan naalum aasaa rathudan angam thulakki nesamudan oru ninaivathu vaahi kanthar sashti kavasam ithanai sindhai kalangaathu thiyaani pavarhal orunaal muppathaa ruru kondu othiyeh jebithu uhanthu neeraniya ashta thikkullor adangalum vasamaay thisai mannar yenmar seyalathu (sernthangu) arulvar

maatrala rellaam vanthu vananguvar navakol mahizhnthu nanmai alithidum navamatha nenavum nallezhil peruvar enthanaalum eerettaay vaazhvar kantharkai velaam kavasa thadiyai Daily in the morning and evening, All those who clean themselves, With religious fervor and read, Thirty six times a day This Skanda Sashti Kavacham, Which has been composed, By the young Deva Rayan, And meditate on that god with concentration, And wear the sacred ash, Will get the great blessings, Of all the devas from all eight directions, And the guardians of the eight directions. All strangers would come and salute them, The nine planets will become happy, And shower their blessings, They would shine in prettiness. They would happily live on all days, If they recite this Kavacham, Which is equivalent to a Vel. vazhiyaay kaana meiyaay vilangum vizhiyaal kaana verundidum peigal pollathavarai podi podi yaakkum nallor ninaivil nadanam puriyum sarva sathuru sankaa rathadi

If seen as a way, this Kavacham would show the truth, If seen of Ghosts by their eyes, they will get scared, It would powder bad people, And the good people would dance with joy, And all their enemies will be exterminated arintha yenathullaam ashta letchmihalil veera letchmikku virun thunavaaha soora bathmaavaith thunithagai yathanaal iruba thezhvarkku uvan thamuthalitha gurubaran pazhani kundrinil irukkum chinna kuzhanthai sevadi potri Oh Lord, Let my mind that has understood you, Pray Veera Lakshmi among the Ashta Lakshmis My salutations to the feet of Small baby of Pazhani, Whose hands killed Soora Padman, Who gave deathless nectar for the twenty-seven, And who is my teacher on the Pazhani Mountain yenai thadu thaatkola yendrana thullum meviya vadivurum velava potri thevargal senaa pathiye potri kuramahal manamahizh kove potri Salutations to the Skanda with the Vel Who has occupied my mind, So that I am always His, Salutations to commander of the devas Salutations to the darling of Valli, Who is the daughter of a mountain tribe. He whose form is strong and dazzling, Praise be to Thee! He who conquered Idumba, Praise be to Thee!

niramihu thivya thehaa potri idumbaa yuthane idumbaa potri kadambaa potri kanthaa potri vetchi punaiyum veleh potri uyargiri kanaha sabaikor arase Salutations to the ablest of Gods, Who has a very holy form, Salutation to him, who conquered Idumba, Salutations to him who wears Kadamba flowers Salutations to him who is Kanda, Salutations to the Vel which wears Vetchi flowers, Salutations to the king of the golden hall of the mountain. mayilnada miduvoy malaradi saranam saranam saranam saravanabava Om saranam saranam shanmuhaa saranam saranam saranam shanmuhaa saranam I surrender to flowery feet of my Lord, Who travels on the peacock, I surrender, surrender and surrender to the Saravanabhava, I surrender, surrender and surrender to the Shanmuga.

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