November 24th 2019 marks the 8th day of Karthikai- month of Lord Balmurugan (lord of war).
The karthikai month is the 8th month as per the Tamil calendar. The number 8 talks to me about the present energies which are facilitating us to tap into abundance and instant manifestations. Karthikai Masam (month) is also famous for the row of lights that are lit in the month. Houses and streets are decorated on the Karthigai star day in the month with lamps and it is known as Karthigai Deepam (December 10, 2019). This month marks the movement of the moon in conjunction with the constellation Karthika (Pleiades) and pournami (full moon).
This constellation appears as a group of six stars. The constellation corresponds to the open star cluster called Pleiades in western astronomy; it is one of the clusters which make up the constellation Taurus.
In Kerela (sounth of India), this day is celebrated to welcome Goddess Shakthi.
Several Hindu festivals are dedicated to Lord Muragan. Thaipusam is celebrated in the Tamil community during the month of Thai, which corresponds to a time in January or February depending on the year. The festival is a celebration and remembrance of when Parvati gave Murugan the divine spear with which he slayed evil demons. Visakam is another Tamil holiday, and is the birthday of Murugan.
Lord Murugan, the son of Shiva and Parvati, is a much revered deity of Hindus especially in South India. He is known by various names like Murugan, Shanmukha (Shanmuga), Subramanian, Shadanana, Guha, Senthil, Saravana, Kumaraswamy, Vadivelu and Skanda. Murugan is characteristically brave, intelligent, and perfection personified because of which he is worshiped as the god of war and victory. He is also the brave leader of god’s forces and was created to destroy demons, symbolizing negative tendencies of human beings.
SYMBOLISM OF LORD MURUGAN
Murugan rides a peacock, which is also the national bird of India. The god of war mounts a peacock symbolizing piety and subjugation of all sexual desires and destruction of bad habits and negative influences symbolized by the serpent that is clutched in the peacock’s claws. Murugan represents power and strength and worshiping him can get rid of woes and give the worshiper strength.
The divine spear (Vel- also called Shakthi since it was given by his mother Parvathi with all the power to the spear to slay the dark forces) represents Murugan’s far reaching protection he offers to the people.
Often, Murugan is depicted holding other weapons, and each is a pointer toward a better way of life.
His six heads correspond to the six attainments (siddhis) yogis aspire to along their spiritual path to enlightenment. Each of the heads stands for five senses and the mind. The six heads also help him keep an eye in all directions so that he can combat problems coming from any direction. As war god with six faces, Murugan also teaches his devotees to battle through life fighting off bad people who could lead you to the wrong path of lobha(greed), kaama (sex), krodh (anger), moha (passion), mada (ego), and matsarya (jealousy).
IMPORTANCE OF THE NAME OF THIS MONTH.
It is a highly auspicious month for the Lord Balmurugan devotees as the month is named after the six Krithka stars. Muruga was born as different babies (that’s why called by another name Shanmugha) and was looked after by the Six Kritika stars. Later Goddess Parvati joined the six babies to give birth to Kartik or Muruga.
The story behind the six stars:
The six stars/ six celestial nymphs nurtured the six babies which were later fused to form the six faced Murugan. The names of six stars are Dula, Nitatni, Abhrayanti, Varshayanti, Meghayanti and Chipunika.
Stories tell lord Shiva created Muruga from his 3rd eye of six primary faces (Tatpurusam, Aghoram, Sadyojatam, Vamadevam, Eesanam, Adhomukam). While merging he also formed into a six faced (Arumugam and twelve handed god). The Lord muruga is also portrayed with his six plays and worshiped. As the six nymphs helped in growing the six child, lord Shiva blessed immortality to the six nymphs as ever living stars on the sky. Any worship performed to this six stars is equal to worshiping lord Muruga himself.
Murugan became the supreme general and led the army of devas to victory against the demons. The six sites at which Karthikeya sojourned while leading his armies against Surapadman are Tiruttanikai, Swamimalai, Tiruvavinankudi (Palani), Pazhamudirsolai, Tirupparamkunram and Tiruchendur. These six sites collectively came to be known as "Arupadai Veedu" meaning the six battle camps of the Lord.
They are worshiped by lit up with rows of oil lamps (Deepam) in the evening of the festival day around the souses and streets. Karthikai Deepam (10th December 2019) is also known as Kartikeya, or Muruga's birthday.
SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE OF KARTHIGAI DEEPAM
The functioning of lamp implies a great spiritual notion. The wick in the lamp symbolizes our ego and the oil that is used to light the lamp denotes our innate nature that is responsible for the ego to thrive. The flame, the spiritual knowledge has the capacity to blaze our ego, the wick by emptying our innate tendencies. This is the significance of Karthigai Deepam.
Lights symbolize the victory of the good over the evil. People light their houses to protect themselves and the house they reside in from the dark forces. This act, we believe, bring in peace and prosperity in the families for life. Lamps can give the power to shed of fear and bring in victory in the lives of people.
JUST FOLLOW THE LIGHT AND BE LOVE
Sending love and light
Zita, Charu, Daira
Best friends in Service