Om Saravanabhava
Welcome to the official website of
SRI SUBRAHMANYASWAMY DEVALAYAM
(SRI SUBRAMANYASWAMI TEMPLE)
Skandagiri, Kamakotinagar, Padmarao Nagar, Secunderabad 500061
 
Festivals

 

 

1. SIGNIFICANCE OF AADI KRITHIGAI FESTIVAL

 

Aadi Krithigai is an important festival celebrated on the day of Krithigai Nakshatra  day in the month of Aadi ( fourth month in Souramana) of Tamil calendar- Aashada month of Telugu calendar, derived from Sanskrit word – Aash-adi. This day assumes special importance because of the commencement of the southwardly movement of the Sun ( Dhakshinayana punyakalam). This festival is dedicated to Sri Subrahmanyaswamy- - The Supreme Almighty – the ruler of this Universe ( Senathipadhi), an epitome of grace and valour, embodiment of power wisdom love and bliss - The Presiding Deity of our temple in Skandagiri. He is Knowledge –incarnate and Master of Kundalini (coiled serpant power). He is considered the Guardian of six specific areas in our life viz. Wisdom, Power, Health, Victory, Relationship and Prosperity.

 

The number six plays a significant role in the worship of Sri Subrahmanya – Kowmaram.

 

Aadi Krithigai has a special significance for our temple…….. A seed was sown for the construction of now famous temple on the hillock at Skandagiri in Padmaraonagar, Secunderabad way back in the year 1961 when SRI SUBRAHMANYASWAMY AADI KRITHIGAI LAKSHARCHANA COMMIITEE was formed by a group of enthusiastic and ardent followers of Sri Subrahmanyaswamy.

In Sanskrit `su’ means good natured or beautiful. `Brahmanya’ means one who has realized Brahman.

Sri Subrahmanya or Kartikeya is the second son Lord Shiva and Goddess Mother Parvathi. His birth and numerous feats, which are interesting and inspiring are elaborately described in `Skanda Puranam’ Goddess Parvathi did penance and married Lord Shiva. The union of Shiva and Parvathi signifies the `knowledge’ and `grace’ coming together to deliver `Bliss’ in the form Subrahmanya. When all devas pleaded with Lord Shiva to put an end to the cruel deeds of the demon Soorapadman, Lord Siva, with His Yogic vision felt the necessity of the birth of Lord Subrahmanya. Lord Shiva took a form with six faces (i.e., Sathyojatham, Vamadevam, Thathpurusham, Eesanam, Aghoram and Atho). According to Skanda Purana, Lord Subrahmanya took birth from each of the third eye of the six faces of Lord Shiva as six flames. Lord Shiva commanded Vaayu (God of wind) and Agni (God of fire) to carry the six fire sparks to the Ganges River. Later Ganga took them to Saravana pond in a reed forest where Karttikeya- `Saravanabhava’ ( Shara – Janma) was born. The six fire sparks became six beautiful babies on six red lotus flowers. When Goddess Parvati embraced them together, they merged to one form with six faces, twelve hands and was named Shanmuga.  He was also named Karttikeya since six Karthiga nymphs took care of the Divine child. In praise of the services rendered by the Kartika nymphs Shiva and Parvathi granted a boon that Krithika Nakshatra will be a significant day for worship of Lord Subrahmanya. Astronomically, Krittika is a group of 6 stars and their Thathwa is Fire


The six heads of Lord Subrahmanya represent the six Chakras. They also represent the five senses and the mind. They represent the six attributes of Bhagavan: Jnana (wisdom), Vairagya (dispassion), Bala (strength), Kirti (fame), Sree (wealth) and Aisvarya (divine powers). They indicate that He is the source for the four Vedas, Vedangas; that He has controlled the five Jnana Indriyas and the mind. They signify that His head is turned everywhere (Viswathomukha); they indicate that He is omnipotent. The six faces indicates that His presence shines on all the four sides and also above and below.

Valli, Devasena and the Vel mean respectively Ichcha Shakti, Kriya Shakti and Jnana Sakti, signifying Desire, Action, and Knowledge. The fact that desire and action forces are kept on either side of Him and that Jnana Shakti or the knowledge alone is kept with Him point out that Knowledge is the most important of them all and that it never gets separated from Him.

Shanmukha’s Vahana, the peacock, shows the shape of the Pranava letter OM.  When the peacock has spread out its tail, it has the round shape of the Pranava. Within it is the Parabrahma Jyoti which is the form of Subrahmanya. The subordinated serpent kept in check under the peacock’s feet shows a complete overpowering of the Maya by the Pranava.

Significance of Kavadi : Sage Agasthya  wanted to take two hills – Sivagiri and and Sakthigiri – to his abode in the South and commissioned his disciple  who was an ardent devotee of Lord Subrahmanya, to carry them from Mount Kailash  range.

Idumban bore the two hills slung across his shoulders in the form of Kavadi , one on each side. When he reached Palani and felt fatigued, he placed the Kavadi down to take rest. When he resumed his journey, he found that he could not lift the Kavadi of both hills, as Lord Subrahmanya, had made it impossible for him to carry it. Upon the hilltop Idumban spotted a little boy wearing only kowpeenam  and demanded that he vacate at once so that Idumban could proceed with his task. The boy at his abode in Palani, refused and in the fierce battle that followed Idumban was slain but was later restored to life by Lord Subrahmanya.

Idumban on realizing that the boy as none other than his Ishta Devata  Sri Subrahmanya Swamy, prostrated and prayed to Him that  whosoever carried on his shoulders the Kavadi signifying the two hills should be blessed by Lord Subrahmanya and he (i.e Idumban) should be given the privilege of standing at the entrance to the hill. Hence we have Idumban shrine half- way up the hill where every pilgrim is expected to offer obeisance to Idumban before entering the temple      

 

  2. Significance of Skanda Sashti

 

 Skanda  in Samskritam means The King Prince.. intelligent and learned.. attacker .. and is associated with valor. Skanda can also means flow of nectar.. and dharmapathaH.. i.e., the righteous path.

Verse 36 of the Vishnu Sahasranamam, reads 

 

स्कन्द: स्कन्दधरो धुल्यो वरदो वायुवहन:
वसुदेवो ब्रुहत्भानुरादिदेव: पुरन्दर:
 

 "skandah skanda-dharo dhuryo ...".  Delving deep into meaning, Adi Sankara's interpretations, Skanda also can mean one who melts like butter when it comes to helping His devotees, or flows like nectar in the thoughts of His bhaktas - skandati iti skandah (This is a reference to the flow). Similarly, Skanda-dhara could mean either just the supporter of Skanda (the commander in chief) the follower of the righteous path.

".... Of the Army Generals I am Skanda " declares Bhagwan Shri  Krishna in Bhagavad Gita, Ch. 10:24.

 

पुरोघसा च मुख्य मा विध्दि पार्थ ब्रुहस्पतिम् !
सेनानीनामह स्क्न्द: सरसामसिम् सागर: !

 

 

Skanda Sashti is the name given to the annual astronomical positioning of the six stars that brings to the Earth plane, a cluster of energies, the Power of 6. viz., 1. Higher wisdom & intelligence, 2. Power & courage, 3. Self-Realization, 4. External & internal control for right actions & thoughts, 5. Attraction & charisma  and   6. Soul serenity & mental peace

Skanda Sashti is the powerful time to quickly increase your vibrations for power, new perceptions, perfect body and health. Beginning on the day after the New Moon in October-November, and continuing through to the sixth day of the Waxing Moon, you can readily connect and utilize the energy from the Pleiades ( Krithika stars).

There are several devotees of Sri Subrahmanya who see the Vratam as an opportunity to clean the body and get rid of unwanted toxic elements. Such devotees confine to water, coconut water and other fruit juices. The fasting which commences on the first day after the new moon ends on the sixth day.

It must be noted that ‘Vrata’ or ‘Vratam’ in Sanskrit means ‘vow.’ Vratam should not be misunderstood as mere fasting. By observing a Vratam a person is trying to purify his mind through meditation, worship and by sticking to some ‘vow’ that he/she has taken. Now, this vow can include fasting, not telling lies, not getting anger etc. A vratam should be seen as a deliberate attempt on your part to bring back discipline into your life.

Skanda Purana, deriving its name from Skanda, son of Lord Shiva, is the largest of all the Puranas. This Mahapurana, recited by Sage Vyasa, contains eighty eight thousand and one hundred Shlokas (stanzas) in seven parts- Maheshwar, Vaishnava, Brahma, Kashi, Avanti, Nagar and Prabhasa. The main theme of the purana is the reason, purpose and the effects of birth of Skanda.

Skanda Purana begins with Maheswara Kanda - the eulogy of Lord Shiva. Sage Shaunaka had performed a grand yagya at his hermitage in Naimisharanya forest during ancient times.  Many sages had thronged Naimisharanya to attend it. After the yagya was over, at the request of all Sages assembled at the hermitage Sage Lomesh narrated the Skanda Purana and the divine tales of Lord Shiva.

Soorapadman, Simhamukhasuran, and Tarakhasuran are surass born to Sage Kashyapa and an asura princess, Maya, who illusively enchanted Rishi Kashyapa into marrying her. The three brothers were said to have received a boon from Lord Shiva that protected them from death in the hands of  beings apart from a one manifested from Lord Shiva Himself. This, they believed would grant them immortality. As such, they began tormenting all the good souls and rishis.

 

On representation from Devas about the atrocities of the Asura brothers, Lord Shiva with His Yogic vision felt the necessity of the birth of Lord Subrahmanya. According to Skanda Purana, Lord Shiva took a form with six faces (i.e., Sathyojatham, Vamadevam, Thathpurusham, Eesanam, Aghoram and Atho) and created Lord Subrahmanya from the flames emanating from each of the Third Eye on the forehead (symbolizing the eye of wisdom) as six flames, thus creating a new Deity. Sri Shivakumara (Lord Muruga) was assigned the task of destroying the Asuras and save Rishis  and Devas by  Sri Maheswara and Goddess  Parvathi.

 

We are told that Tejas burst forth from the Ajna Chakra of Lord Siva, which assumed the form of Lord Skanda. Thus He is the Jnana Jyoti. A very significant fact is there that ultimately He was taken out of six lotuses by Goddess Parvati from the Saravanappoigai, the lake where reeds were growing. We know that the supreme spiritual experience or the Aparoksha Anubhuti is attained, in Yogic parlance, through Shat-Chakra-Bheda or by piercing the six plexus. It is the emerging out of the six lower lotuses that finds the Jiva ultimately in a state of perfect (Purna) Yoga or Wisdom in the Sahasrara Chakra. Thus, in Skanda we have the ultimate product of an emergence out of the six lotuses or Shat-Chakras and this we know to be Supreme Wisdom. Therefore, Lord Skanda is a mass of ultimate transcendental Supreme Knowledge that has to destroy nescience, Ajnana or darkness, represented upon the plane of manifest cosmos in the form of the Asuric hosts.

According to siddhas the birth of Skanda or Kartikeya symbolizes the rising of energy from the base of the spine to the pituitary gland, to awaken Gods and Goddesses consciousness. His energy will enable our strands of DNA to make the shift into the fifth dimension to prepare our self into higher intelligence /seventh sense being status.

The six heads represent the six rays or attributes, namely, wisdom, dispassion, strength, fame, wealth and divine powers. They indicate that He is the source of the four Vedas, the Vedangas and the six schools of philosophy. They also indicate His control over the five organs of knowledge as well as the mind. They denote that He is the Supreme Being with thousands of heads and hands. His head turned in all directions signifies that He is all-pervading. It indicates that He can multiply and assume forms at will.

 

Sri Subrahmanyaswamy (Devasena - adhipathi) set off with the blessings of the Divine Couple, Uma - Maheswara to destroy Soorapadman and his brothers. He took with him twelve weapons, eleven of which were given by Lord Shiva and  Shakti Vel, (Divine Spear) presented by Goddess Parvathi for destruction of evil demons.

He engaged the armies of Simhamukha, Soorapadman and Tarakasura on a six day battle and vanquished all of them. After the fall of his brothers Taraka and Simhamukha, Soorapadman himself comes to the battlefield. He tries all his devices and finds that none of these could stand the onslaught of the divine Vel (Spear) of Lord Skanda. Then he takes different forms and fights with the Lord, sometimes visible and sometimes invisible. But the Lord destroys all his illusory tricks and makes him stand bereft of his chariot, etc. Soorapadma gives up the struggle and in the last assault rushes upon the Lord in his true form—simple ego. Once again, he is met by the divine Spear of Skanda and there is the annihilation of Soorapadma, and the Lord alone shines there in all His triumphant glory.

It is said that Sashti is the day the Lord Subramanya defeated the demon  Soorapadman. He threw his weapon at him and Soorapadman was split into two halves. One half became a peacock, which he took as his vaahana. The other became a cock and was transformed into his flag.

It is of a great significance to note that Lord Skanda is benevolent and does not punish the individual but only destroy the evil in him. Soorapadman, a great devotee of Lord Shiva when he surrenders at His feet, is not killed but transformed devoid of evils,  into Peacock to become His vahana and cock to become His flag thereby serving Him and enjoying His Grace eternally. 

The peacock (on which Sri Subrahmanya rides) is the most beautiful of all the birds. It is the one bird which can reveal its inner joy by dancing and displaying its gorgeous plumage. When it does so, it evidences its perfect balance—for it is a very heavy bird and it has to keep its balance on its two very slender feet. All these points relating to the peacock are utilized for illustrating the ideas concerning the inner significance of the Subrahmanya mythology. We can interpret the peacock as symbolizing mental equipoise—the predominance of Sattva over Rajas and Tamas.

Sri Subrahmanya’s cock-banner symbolizes the approach or the dawn of Knowledge—it is the cock that proclaims the coming of the sun in the eastern horizon. The sun is the heavenly body that dispels darkness.

The sixth day (Sashti) of the waxing moon( sukhla) in the month of Ashada ( Oct. / Nov.), the day of Soorasmaharam, is celebrated as Skanda Sashti. Skanda Shashti is the joyous occasion for us to worship the Lord in His triumphant, all-conquering aspect, when He annihilates the last remnants of the Ajnana of the Jiva and signals the final, conclusive victory of the Divine over the undivine, of Light over darkness, of the ultimate Reality by experiencing which we transcend all that is evanescent, ephemeral, transitory and unreal.

The inner life of the spiritual aspirant is precisely such a constant struggle between the divine and the demoniacal aspects in him. The seeker’s Sadhana is this determined battle against the Asuric forces that try to drag him down into deeper darkness and take him away from his ideal. At times he becomes so totally helpless under the violent attacks of his lower nature that it seems as if all hope of progress is doomed to failure. He feels that he has fallen, never to rise again. But, let all Sadhakas take heart that the compassion and grace of the Divine Lord is never-failing. It will never let you down. ‘Nil desperandum’ should be your guiding motto, for, the eternal law is “darkness cannot stand before light.”

Therefore Lord Karttikeya is the very embodiment of the Divine Grace. He is the personification of the Daya Sakti, or Kripa Sakti of the Lord. The grace of the compassionate Lord, when prayerfully and sincerely invoked, manifests as irresistible Divine Power. The Lord’s Grace is the ultimate resort and unfailing support in the inner warfare of everyone’s spiritual life, of all struggles. The significance and the spiritual message embodied in Skanda Avatara is the message of Supreme importance of self-surrender, the Supreme efficacy of sincere prayer and the unfailing compassion of the Lord.

Observing Skanda Shasti fasting is one of the easiest but the most powerful techniques to attune yourself to Sri Subrahmanya's frequency. Once when your frequency and His (Pleiadean .. i.e., Krithika Stars) frequency match you will start to enjoy His blessings to the extreme for your overall well being for both in material and spiritual dimension.

The Asuras were annihilated and the Devas were liberated. Indra was restored to his kingdom. Devendra gifted his daughter Deivayanai alias Devasena in marriage to Skanda, which take place in Thiruparankundram, in great acknowledgment of heroism and valor displayed by Muruga as the supreme commander. Deva Senapathi (General of the Gods) thus became Devasena Pathi (Husband of Devasena).

At Sri Subrahmanyaswamy Devalayam, Skandagiri Secunderabad, devotees of Sri Subrahmanyaswamy celebrate Skanda Sashti followed by the Lord’s wedding with Sri Devasena on the next day  with the traditional rituals and certainly it is an event not to be missed.

May Sri Subrahmanya, the Presiding Deity of Skandagiri shower His blessings and His Divine Grace on all of you and your family. May His blessings grant you peace, bliss and prosperity!

Om Saravanabhava

 

 

 

                 3. SIGNIFICANCE OF SRI SUBRAHMANYA SHASTI

 

 

PROSTRATIONS  to Lord Subrahmanya, the Supreme, who is the ruler of this universe, who is the indweller of our hearts, who is the second son of Lord Shiva, who is the beloved of Valli and Devasena, who bestows boons easily on His devotees, who is an embodiment of power, wisdom, love and bliss. In Sanskrit `su’ means good natured or beautiful. `Brahmanya’ means one who has realized Brahman.

 

The Skanda Purana describes the legend associated with the avatar of Lord Subrahmanya.

 

Goddess Parvathi did penance and married Lord Shiva. The union of Shiva and Parvathi signifies the `Knowledge’ and `Grace’ coming together to deliver `Bliss’ in the form Subrahmanya. When all Devas pleaded with Lord Shiva to put an end to the cruel deeds of the demon Soorapadman, Lord Siva, with His Yogic vision felt the necessity of the birth of Lord Subrahmanya. Lord Shiva took a form with six faces (i.e., Sathyojatham, Vamadevam, Thathpurusham, Eesanam, Aghoram and Atho). According to Skanda Purana, Lord Subrahmanya took birth from each of the third eye of the six faces of Lord Shiva as six flames. Lord Shiva commanded Vaayu (God of wind) and Agni (God of fire) to carry the six fire sparks to the GangesRiver. Later Ganga took them to Saravana pond in a reed forest where Karttikeya- `Saravanabhava’ ( Shara – Janma) was born. The six fire sparks became six beautiful babies on six red lotus flowers. When Goddess Parvathi embraced them together, they merged to one form with six faces, twelve hands and was named Shanmuga.  He was also named Karttikeya since six Karthiga nymphs took care of the Divine child. In praise of the services rendered by the Kartika nymphs Shiva and Parvathi granted a boon that Krithika Nakshatra will be a significant day for worship of Lord Subrahmanya.

The six heads of Lord Subrahmanya represent the six Chakras. They also represent the five senses and the mind. They represent the six attributes of Bhagavan: Jnana (wisdom), Vairagya (dispassion), Bala (strength), Kirti (fame), Sree (wealth) and Aisvarya (divine powers). They indicate that He is the source for the four Vedas, Vedangas; that He has controlled the five Jnana Indriyas and the mind. They signify that His head is turned everywhere (Viswathomukha); they indicate that He is omnipotent. The six faces indicate that His presence shines on the four sides and also above and below.

Sri Valli, Sri Devasena and the Vel mean respectively Ichcha Shakti, Kriya Shakti and Jnana Sakti, signifying Desire, Action, and Knowledge. The fact that desire and action forces are kept on either side of Him and that Jnana Shakti or the knowledge alone is kept with Him point out that Knowledge is the most important of them all and that it never gets separated from Him.

 

Shanmukha’s Vahana, the peacock, shows the shape of the Pranava letter OM.  When the peacock has spread out its tail, it has the round shape of the Pranava. Within it is the Parabrahma Jyoti which is the form of Subrahmanya. The subordinated serpent kept in check under the peacock’s feet shows a complete overpowering of the Maya by the Pranava.

In the month of Karthika, Poornima i.e., full moon day coincides with the Krithika Star. The next month is Margasira.  Sri Krishna says in Bhagavath Gita “Maasaanaaam Margasirshoham” i.e., among the months I am Margasira.  So this is a very sacred month.  The sixth day of this month – Shasthi – is celebrated as Subrahmanya Shasthi, the birth day of Lord Subrahmanya. Sashti Viratham Or Shashti Vrat is observed on the sixth Day of the waxing phase of moon Shukla Paksha  in a Hindu month as per traditional calendar

In each month on Shasthi day the Lord is worshipped.  Each Shasthi day is given names like Kumara Shasthi, Skanda Shasthi, Mallara Shasthi etc.. with religious fervour.

Sri Subbaraya Sashti or Sri Subrahmanya Shashti is observed on Margashira Shashti in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Margasira Subramanya Sashti falls on Thursday the November 27th this year. Lord Subramanya, also known as Kumara, Skanda, Murugan or Shanmukha is worshipped during this festival. Sri Subrahmanya Sashti is observed with utmost enthusiasm and devotion in all temples of Sri Subrahmanya Swamy. It is one of the major festivals celebrated in the month Margashira in South India.

In Skandagiri Subramanya temple located in Hyderabad, Subramanya shasti is an eye-catching event.

The Swayambhu Moorthis of Lord Subrahmanya are on hill-tops like Thirupparankunram, Palani,  Swamimalai, Tirutani, Palamudhircholai in Madurai etc.  It is our good fortune that Sri Subrahmanya Swami is in Secunderabad on Skandagiri which is also a small hillock. The various religious celebrations to this God are being performed for the past four decades with religious fervor and following strictly the Agama Shastras.  Sri Subrahmanya Shasthi is being celebrated here and it is our good fortune to take part in these celebrations and have the Darshan of Sri Subrahmanya Swami. Devotees are requested to participate in large numbers and receive the Divine Blessings.

 

 

4.  SIGNIFICANCE OF THAI POOSAM

OM SARAVANABHAVA NAMAHA

SA – CONFERS SHAKTI, RA – GIVES  KNOWLEDGE, VA – BESTOWS HAPPINESS,

NA – PROTECTS FROM ALL EVIL FORCES, BHA – CONFERS MORALITY, VA – CONFERS BLISS

 

PROSTRATIONS  to Sri Subrahmanya, The Supreme Almighty – The Presiding Deity of our temple, the ruler of this universe,  indweller of our hearts,  the second son of Lord Shiva,  beloved of Sri Valli and Sri Devasena, bestows boons easily on His devotees,  an embodiment of power, wisdom, love and bliss. In Sanskrit `su’ means good natured or beautiful. `Brahmanya’ means one who has realized Brahman.

 

 "Thai Poosam" falls every year around the full moon day in the Tamil month "Thai" (January / February). On this day the full moon is in transit through the bright star "Poosam "in the zodiac sign cancer. The special significance is that the star Pushya (Poosam) is considered to be the most auspicious star for spiritual development.  Pushya means "nurture" and is in the sign Cancer owned by the Moon, the Mother. The Deity associated with Pushya is also Brihaspati, the Guru or teacher and has the property of inspiring spiritual growth.

 

 It is thus a special day for worship of Sri Subrahmanyaswamy and is celebrated in a very grand manner at all Subrahmanyaswamy temples.

 

Soorapadman, Simhamukhasuran, and Tarakhasuran are auras born to Sage Kashyapa and an asura princess, Maya, who illusively enchanted Rishi Kashyapa into marrying her. The three brothers were said to have received a boon from Lord Shiva that protected them from death in the hands of  beings apart from a one manifested from Lord Shiva Himself. This, they believed would grant them immortality. As such, they began tormenting all the good souls and rishis.

 

On representation from Devas about the atrocities of the Asura brothers, Lord Shiva with His Yogic vision felt the necessity of the birth of Lord Subrahmanya. According to Skanda Purana, Lord Shiva took a form with six faces (i.e., Sathyojatham, Vamadevam, Thathpurusham, Eesanam, Aghoram and Atho) and created Lord Subrahmanya from the flames emanating from each of the Third Eye on the forehead (symbolizing the eye of wisdom) as six flames, thus creating a new Deity. Sri Shivakumara (Lord Muruga) was assigned the task of destroying the Asuras and save Rishis  and Devas by  Sri Maheswara and Goddess  Parvathi.    Sri Subrahmanyaswamy (Devasenadhipathi) set off with the blessings of the Divine Couple, Uma - Maheswara to destroy Soorapadman and his brothers. He took with him twelve weapons, eleven of which were given by Lord Shiva and  Shakti Vel, (Divine Spear) presented by Goddess Parvathi for destruction of evil demons. The Shakthivel vanquished Tharakasuran and hence Thai Poosam has a special significance in the worship Sri Subrahmanya and is celebrated in all Subrahmanyaswamy temples with religious fervour.

The eminent spear in the hand of Sri Subrahmanya has a lot of significance in the path of bestowing grace. The Vel is also called Jyoti (Light).  The Shakthi Vel is the spear of wisdom, penetrating the intellect, seeking ultimate reality. A deadly foe to the arrogant and the lower natured, it affords strength and protection to the awakened soul.

 

Sri Valli, Sri Devasena and the Shakthi Vel signify respectively, Ichcha Shakthi, Kriya Shakthi and Jnana Sakhti, namely Desire, Action, and Knowledge. The fact that desire and action forces are kept on either side of Him and that Jnana Shakti or the knowledge alone is kept with Him point out that Knowledge is the most important of them all and that it never gets separated from Him.

 

The Peacock representing His Vahana (vehicle) symbolizes His conquest of ego, vanity and pride. The Seval (Rooster) symbolizes the approach or the dawn of knowledge. It is the Seval that proclaims the coming of the Sun in the east. The Sun is the heavenly body that dispels darkness. The Seval on the banner announces the approach of knowledge which will destroy all ignorance.  

 By fasting, going to temple and praying, the devotees become spiritually charged and uplifted to carry their Kavadi.

Thai Poosam is celebrated with great gaiety and religious fervour with Laksharachana performed for a period of three days culminating on Thai Poosam day with Mahanyasa Poorvaka Ekadasa Rudrabhishekam, concurrently with Kavadiattam every year in Sri Subrahmanyaswamy Temple at Skandagiri located in Padmaraonagar, Secunderabad, an epitome of our cultural heritage. May abundant Divine Grace of Shri Subrahmanyaswamy be bestowed on all the devotees participating in the celebration of Thai Poosam festival.

 

  5. Significance of Pangunl Uthlram

The Panguni Uthiram is an important festival falls in the month 'Panguni' i.e. Palguna (March-April). This month is special because of the star 'Uthiram' usually falls on Pournami Day. Besides, it is on 'Panguni Pournami Uthiram" that the marriage of Goddess Parvathi and Lord Parameshwara, Sri Subrahmanyaswamy and Sri Valli, and Goddess Andal and Ranganathar took place. Also, Valmiki Ramayanam says it is on this day and star that Sita's marriage was celebrated. From Brahmanda Purana one learns that on Panguni Uthiram every holy water joins Thumburu Teertha, one of seven sacred tanks in Tirupati Tirumala.

The ancients chose Uthiram to convey to humans that it is underlining the glory of Grihasta Dharma (married life) that the Almighty manifests in the marital state as Uma-Maheshwara. Sita-Rama and Radha-Krishna - despite his changelessness, sans childhood or youth or old age. It is our pleasure to celebrate this day when the Lord in both Shiva and Vishnu temples, appears to devotees in their 'Nithya Kalyana Murthi Sthithi.

Panguni Uthiram is also the day of incarnation of Lord Ayyappa and considered most sacred by devotees of Lord Ayyappa.

According to a legend, sages Patanchali and Vyagrapada after having dharshan of Lord Natarja’s left padham (attributed to the Divine Mother Goddess in the ardhanaari swaroopam) during HIS cosmic dance at Chidambraram, were desirous to have dharshan of HIS right padham. It was on this auspicious occasion of Panguni Uthiram, Lord Shiva blessed the sages and offered dharshan of HIS right padam (Rudra padham dharshanam) in a sitting posture as somaskanda at Thiruvarur, where HE is known as Lord Thyagaraja.

 

Lord Muruga :

Murugan is a popular Hindu deity worshipped in South India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. Muruga as evidenced by the three first letters: MU – Mukundan (Vishnu), RU -- Rudra (Siva) and KA -- Kamalan (Brahma) - contains in himself the three divine eternal functions: creation (sristi), protection (sthithi) and destruction (samhara). `Muruga’ literally means – The Beautiful One. Love shines where there is Beauty and where there is love - truth radiates. When we seek truth we get liberated. Lord Muruga is the symbol of eternal youth, wisdom and liberation. Muruga’s three integral elements are his spear (Vel), peacock his mount and the cock adorning his banner. The Vel, signifies jnanasakti (power of wisdom); given by his mother Parvathi, wishing him victory over Surapadma. The peacock (represents bindu) displays the divine shape of Omkara when it spreads its magnificent plumes into a full blown circular form, while the cock (representing nadha) proclaims loudly the Pranava sound OM.

 

Sri Devayani:

 

Muruga’s consorts are Valli and Devayani. They represent Iccha Sakthi and Kriya Sakthi. In fact they are Sundaravalli and Amudavalli, born out of the tears of joy of Sri Narayana during his incarnation as Trivikrama. Both did intense penance with the object of attaining the status as Muruga’s consorts. Pleased with their prayers, Muruga appeared before them and ordained that Amudavalli be born in Devaloka as Indra’s daughter, while Sundaravalli would take birth on the earth in a hunter tribe. The Lord promised to marry both Valli and Devayani. The marriage of Muruga and Devayani took place at Tirupparankundram with full Vedic rites. Devayani was in fact gifted to Muruga by Devendra in great acknowledgment of heroism and valor displayed by Muruga as the supreme commander. Deva Senapathi (General of the Gods) thus became Devasena Pathi (Husband of Devasena).

 

Sri Valli

Thirumurugatrupadai, a religious poem par excellence sung by the great sage Nakkeerar, describes Sri Valli, the consort of Sri Subrahmanya as 'innocent daughter of the hunter-tribe with creeper-like waist, at whom one of the six faces of Murugan smiles in serenity'.

Sri Valli, a reincarnation of Sri Sundara valli, was brought up by King Nambi Rajah of Chitoor, the head of hunter tribe after he found the child in a cluster of Valli Kodi (a kind of creeper). The place where the child was found is known as Valli Malai (located in North Arcot district near Wallajah town about 25 Kms from Vellore)

In tune with the hunter tribe custom, her father sent her to ‘tinaippunam’ (tinai i.e. millet field) to keep vigil and protect the crop from birds until harvest. It was at this time that Valli attained guru diksha from sage Narada. Goddess Valli had her heart & soul to lord & always pray with fervent devotion & love to be with Him. The teenager Valli made a vrata or solemn vow to marry no mortal man but only the great Lord Murugan. According to the legend Sri Valli performed penance at Valli Thavapeetam in Sri Valli malai to have the hands of Sri Muruga.

Sri Valli Kalyanam:

Lord Muruga, after shedding His anger after defeating Surapadman was in repose mood at Thiruthanigai. (In the days that followed the name of this place is changed to Thiruthani.) Sage Narada then proceeded to nearby Tiruttani and reminded Skanda about His meeting with Sundaravalli in Kailasa and informed Him that she had been born as Valli, daughter to Nambirajan, the king of a hill tribe. He also reminded his promise to marry Sri Valli.

Sri Subrahmanya’s leela began now. He first appeared as a hunter and was rejected by Valli. The story goes that He then took the form of a trembling old man, pretending to be hungry, and ate millet flour and honey mixture offered by Valli. On eating the same He had hiccups and asked for water which was fetched from a pond, known as Kumari Theertham still exists till date. This pond, located on the western side of Thirupugazh Asramam in Valli Malai, does not get either sun or moon rays and water is perennial and is considered as Ganges water. Even today young women sprinkle water from this pond and pray to Sri Valli for a good husband.

He then proposed to marry her only to be chased away. Finally, Muruga invoked the blessings of his elder brother Sri Ganesha for the success of his mission. On his younger brother’s appeal, Ganesha appeared as a wild elephant in the forest and began to chase Valli. Terrified by the menacing advance, Valli ran for protection and ran straight into the arms of Muruga. The old man, however, when he had got Valli’s assurance that she would marry him, mysteriously sent the elephant away. Now that all danger was over, Valli treated the whole matter lightly and refused to keep up her promise: she argued that to frighten a girl and get a promise out of her in that condition was unfair and that morally she was not bound by such a promise at all. No sooner were these words out of her mouth than the dreaded elephant came charging again. Her terror was so acute that she willingly and solemnly promised to marry the old man, if only he would send the awful elephant away out of her sight. At the same moment, to her great astonishment and joy, she saw before her Lord Skanda with the Vel in His hand, exactly where the old man had stood courting her in such a strange fashion. Valli apologized to Him for her silly conduct and begged for His grace. Very much pleased with the intensity of her devotion, the Lord accepted her as His consort.

 

To the great joy of Nambirajan and the Devas and in the presence of Devarshi Narada, the wedding of Valli was celebrated. With Valli and Deivayanai as His consorts, the Lord retired to the Thiruthani Hills which is one of the Arupadai Veedu (the six battle camps) of the Lord on his way to Kailasa. Acceptance of Valli by Murugan is a reaffirmation of the benevolence of the Lord towards the human who trusts Him.

An opportunity to witness the performance of divine kalyana mahotsavams is considered auspicious and a great blessing. Enactment of celestial weddings is also intended to underline the glory of gruhasta-dharma (married life of a householder). These traditions retell the principles of God-consciousness to the younger generation while enriching our daily lives.

The divine force of Panguni Uthiram can blow away the misunderstandings and troubles in a marriage that paves way for a happy married life.

At Sri Subrahmanyaswamy Devalayam, Skandagiri Secunderabad, devotees of Sri Subrahmanya celebrate Panguni Uthiram with the traditional rituals of the Lord’s wedding with Sri Valli. The ambiance of Temple sannidhi would be that of a real Hindu wedding.

Glory to Lord Subrahmanya! Glory to His consorts Valli and Deivayanai ! Glory to the Divine Weapon Velayudha ! Glory to the peacock, the Vahana of Skanda ! Glory to the cock on his banner! Glory to Lord Siva by whose grace everything is done! Glory to all who read and hear this story of Lord Subrahmanya and His Lilas !  May the blessings of Lord Subrahmanyaswamy be upon all of us !

Om Saravanabhava

 

 

 

  6. Significance of Mahashivarathri

The word `Shiva’ means Sham mangalam karoti iti Shiva.  Sham means mangalam, Shubham, happiness, fortunate, prosperity: karoti means that which creates mangalam,  or in other words His auspicious presence sanctifies the whole space.

His  manifestation as Lord Nataraja in cosmic dancing posture is  Divine Aananda. 

Lord Shiva represents the three shakthis viz..Ichcha shakthi, Kriya shakthi and Gyana shakthi.

Rathri means darkness.. the darkness of ignorance within us. We have to destroy the darkness within us …by invoking Lord Shiva i.e. Ichcha Kriya and Gyana Shakthis into our lives.

Hence Shivrathri festival is celebrated essentially to bring in mangalam i.e. happiness, prosperity in our lives by destroying the rathri the darkness within us, by invoking Lord Shiva representing the three Shakthis as mentioned above.

The image of Lord Shiva seem to reveal something of inner self blessed to know about Him and blessed to be able to worship Him.

He is a powerful Deity, who does not adorn jewels, cloths or surround himself with luxuries. He dresses in tiger skin just bare-basic attire, no ornaments, no gold, gems or crowns. His first outright message is to disengage the mind from distractions of wealth, temporary beauty image and luxury that maya traps us. His message to refrain from getting too materialistic and to understand that simplicity is a sign of power. He is so powerful, yet so humble and simple in His persona.

His half open and tied tresses show how He does let His hair-down, stay calm, enjoy surroundings and He wants to live each day as it comes, enjoying the moment, yet his half tied tresses, indicate that we should continue to do our duty, at our pace. His tied hair continuously saves the Earth from the powerful flow of river Ganga.

So it indicates a middle path of doing one’s duty continuously, inside us, the quest to seek the divine should never die. Keep the thirst and quest on, keep doing your duties to others, yet, enjoying the beauty and joys that surround us.

The moon on His head might indicate that He lives on the highest point on Earth, Mt. Kailash, that He lives close to us and every night the moon transiting the night sky.

The neelakanth or His blue neck, with the story of His drinking hala-hal visham from the samudra manthanam, could tell a human, that vaani / speech can be like a visham or poison, and should always be under check. the snake in his neck is a motivation for us to arouse our kundalini shakthi. The three and half coiled snake, we see so many times, is that bhjangini shakthi – kundalini shakthi, that can activate the sleeping parts of the brain, elevating us from the current level and helping us reach the Divine God.

Vanamalaa or garland in His neck, indicates His love for nature, His love for Dance, music, and beauty, which shows His artistic sides. It also indicates His soft side within.

His trident or Trishul with three spears could be an indicator or symbol of destroying all three gunas viz. Rajo, Tamo and Sattva Guna.  He is the master of all three gunas and holds them in total control in His hands. He is motivating us to try and rise above the ebb and flow of the three gunas. The Trishul can also mean He wants us to reach for moksha by killing the present past and future, which are symbolized by the three spears of trishul.

His third eye is activated Ajna chakra, send the message to mediate and with the opening of this pineal gland chakra shall all our karmas, mohs, lobh, krodh and kaam be destroyed.

His damru ( hand drum) is like a wakeup call asking us to wake up from this muddle of maya, that it is high time, we humans utilize this yoni, yog, opportunity and get out of this endless cycle of sufferings to go back to Aananda state and start working towards the real goal of life.

Lord Shiva is seated on a tiger skin. The tiger stands for vision, power and aggression. The tiger is not distracted while focusing on the prey symbolically indicating that we should be focused with a power of commitment without any distraction while aggressively attacking our ignorance.

The bells on His waist are a reassuring signs that when we walk through the dark jungle of tapas of meditation we will not walk alone through the sides, by our side, He will walk with us through it. His presence will be felt deep in the state of Samadhi He will make us feel it.

Nandi – the Bull – can indicate the male energy. The cow is the most precious possession for mankind and the Bull is thus the male other half of this nurturing cow.

Finally, the Lingam, is the matter part of Deepak jyothi. Mata Shakthi can be the ghee / oil that will nourish the jyothi, but unless the cotton lump that takes the form of Linga or a conical upright form, the creation of heat and light to nourish, nurture and guide humans cannot be created. We stare at it, create the essence of the universe everyday in our puja, yet we do not grasp the secrets it is showing us. The Linga of  Lord Shiva tells us, how matter and energy have combined to create light – knowledge- which should help us free ourselves from this Maya and provide heat – which is nurturing and nourishing us.

Maha Shivaratri  is celebrated every year on the 13th night/14th day of the Maagha month of  Hindu. It is celebrated in the dark fortnight or Krishna Paksha (waning moon) of the month of Maagha.  The festival is principally celebrated by offerings of Bael or Vilva leaves to Lord Shiva, daylong fasting and an all night long vigil.

 

 

The Story Of King Chitrabhanu

Once upon a time King Chitrabhanu of the Ishvaku dynasty, who ruled over the whole of Jambhudvipa (India), was observing a fast with his wife, it being the day of Maha Shivaratri. The sage Ashtavakra came on a visit to the court of the king.

The sage asked the king the purpose of his observing the fast. King Chitrabhanu explained that he had a gift of remembering the incidents of his past birth, and in his previous life he had been a hunter in Varanasi and his name was Suswara. His only livelihood was to kill and sell birds and animals. The day before the new moon, while roaming through forests in search of animals, he saw a deer, but before his arrow flew he noticed the deer’s family and their sadness at its impending death. So he let it live. He had still not caught anything when he was overtaken by nightfall and climbed a tree for shelter. It happened to be a Bael (vilva) tree. His can leaked water, so he was both hungry and thirsty. These two torments kept him awake throughout the night, thinking of his poor wife and children who were starving and anxiously waiting for his return. To pass away the time he engaged himself in plucking the vilva leaves and dropping them down onto the ground.

The next day he returned home and bought some food for himself and his family. The moment he was about to break his fast a stranger came to him, begging for food. He served the food first to stranger and then had his own.

At the time of his death, he saw two messengers of Lord Shiva, sent to conduct his soul to the abode of Lord Shiva. He learnt then for the first time of the great merit he had earned by unconscious worship of Lord Shiva during the night of Shivaratri. The messengers told him that there had been a Shiva Lingam at the bottom of the tree. The leaves he dropped had fallen on the Lingam, in imitation of its ritual worship. The water from his leaky can had washed the Lingam (also a ritual action), and he had fasted all day and all night. Thus, he unconsciously had worshipped the Lord. As the conclusion of the tale the King said that he had lived in the abode of the Lord and enjoyed divine bliss for a long time before being reborn as Chitrabhanu. This story is narrated in the Garuda Purana.

Tripundram refers to the three horizontal stripes of holy ash applied to the forehead by worshippers of Lord Shiva. These stripes symbolize spiritual knowledge, purity and penance, so also they represent the three eyes of Lord Shiva.

Wearing a rosary made of rudrakshas (said to have sprung from the tears of Lord Shiva) when worshipping Lord Shiva is ideal

On Shivaratri, only cold water and bael leaves are offered to the Lingam. Other traditional offerings, such as bathing Him in milk and Panchamrutha (milk, curd, ghee, sugar and honey -symbols of sustenance) one after the other, or anointing Him with vermilion (kumkum) or white consecrated rice (Akshata) (symbols of fertility, or creation), are done on this day, when Lord Shiva is worshipped as the deity of dissolution. Chanting the Rudram is considered very auspicious.

According to the Shiva Purana, the Mahashivaratri worship should incorporate six items: offering vilva leaves to the deity after giving it a ceremonial bath, which represents purification of the soul; applying vermilion paste on the linga after bathing it, which represents virtue; offering food, which is conducive to longevity and the gratification of desires; lighting incense, which yields wealth; lighting an oil lamp, which signifies the attainment of knowledge; and offering betel leaves, which marks satisfaction with worldly pleasures. These six items form an indispensable part of the Mahashivaratri worship, be it a simple ceremony at home or grand temple worship.

Mahashivaratri is celebrated widely in the temples all over India. Shiva is considered the Aadi (first) Guru from whom the yogic tradition originates. According to tradition, the planetary positions on this night are such that there is a powerful natural upsurge of energy in the human system. It is said to be beneficial for one’s physical and spiritual wellbeing to stay awake throughout the night. On this day, artists from various fields such as music and dance perform the whole night.

Mahasivarathri festival is celebrated at Skandagiri in a grand manner. Mahanyasa Poorvaka Ekadasa Rudra Abhishekam is performed in the morning followed by four-kala pooja at 6.00 P.M. 9.00 P.M. 11.00 P.M. and 1.00 A.M.

                                                    Om Namah Shivayah.

 

 

शेनानीनामहम् स्कन्द:सरसामस्मि सागर:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Significance of Aarudhra Dharsanam

 

 Aarudra Dharshanam, the day of festivity dedicated to Lord Shiva celebrates the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva – the Supreme Almighty - as Shri Nataraja. The word `Shiva’ means Sham mangalam karoti iti Shiva.  Sham means mangalam, karoti means that which creates mangalam  or in other words His auspicious presence sanctifies the whole space.

The image of Shri Nataraja is expressive of the highly evolved arts of our ancient culture. It depicts the fivefold activity of Shri Shiva and the Shiva-Shakthi concept involving the fusion of His static and dynamic states. The Ananda Thandavam of Shiva is said to symbolize the five Divine acts (”Pancha Krityas”) Creation, Protection, Dissolution, Embodiment and Bestowment of grace. In essence, it symbolizes the continuous cycle of creation and destruction. This cosmic dance takes place in every particle and is the source of its energy. Hence, Arudra Dharshanam is celebrated in appreciation of the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva.

The Divine blessings are received by those who are fortunate to have the glorious “Darshanam” of  Shri Nataraja with His consort Shri Sivakama Sundari profusely decorated with ornaments and colourful flowers, coming in procession after the Maha Abhishekam on the holy festival day of “Aarudra Darshanam” celebrated in Shiva temples in the sacred month of Maarghasira  (December-January) on the  “Aarudra Nakshatram” day every year. It takes place on the full moon night of Maarghazhi.  Aarudhra signifies golden red flame. The rituals are held in the pre-dawn hours, when the moon is still shining brightly and several ceremonies are performed amid the reverberating holy chants. Prayers and rituals are performed to Lord Shiva on this great fiesta to wipe away our karmic slate. 

Of all the several manifestations of Lord Shiva in different Divine forms like Dakshinamurthy, Mrutyunjaya moorthy, Kalyana Sundarar, Bhikshadanar, Linga moorthy, and so on, described in various puranas, Shri Nataraja Murthy, the Lord of Cosmic dance assumes the supreme position. Chidambaram, the sacred town in Tamil Nadu is the famous place of worship wherein the glorious temple enshrines the Lord Nataraja, in cosmic dance pose with alluring charm.   He is also described as ‘Aananda Thandaveswaraya Moorthy’.  All the discipline and rituals prescribed in ‘Agama Shastra’ for the daily archana of Lord Nataraja have their origin in Chidambaram temple, based on Maharishi Pathanjali’s Pooja vidhanam.  They are adopted for the worship of this Supreme Deity in almost all the Shaivite temples where a separate sannidhanam is exclusively provided with “Pancha Loha idols” of this Divine Cosmic dancer, who is also called “Sabha Nayakar”  along with Mother Goddess Sivakama Sundari.

The Maha Abhishekam of Lord Nataraja at Chidampbaram is performed only on six days in a year viz.  ` Aarudra Nakshatram day in the month of Maargazhi (Dec.-Jan.), Shukla paksha - Chaturdasi in the month of Maasi (Feb.- Mar.), Thiruvonam Nakshatram in the month of Chithirai ( April-May), Uthira Nakshatram – Aani Thirumanjanam - in the month of Aani (June – July), Shukla paksha Chaturdasi in the months of Aavani (Aug.- Sep.) and Purattasi (Sep.-Oct.). Of these ‘Arudra Darshanam’ and ‘Aani Thirumanjanam’  have special significance.

The dharshan of Lord Nataraja with his consort bestows all the benevolent favours to the devotees to lead a happy, peaceful, healthy and prosperous life.  His Graceful Posture fills our mind with limitless joy.  The sound instrument called ‘Udukkai’ in the right hand is the basis for all sound theory giving the benefit for ‘Nadopasana’ for the devout people.  His ‘Abhaya Mudra’ in another right hand gives courage and confidence essential in life.  The depiction of fire flame in the left hand helps to remove Kama and Maya.  The other left hand points out to the slightly lifted left leg (Thookiya Thiruvedi) to show that his ’Thiru Paadam’ is the place of eternal bliss.  The leg on the body of demon shows the destruction of ego.  When one has the dharshan of Lord Nataraja all that is essential for happy life is showered on him.

Aarudhra Dharsanam is celebrated with great gaiety and religious fervor in Sri Subrahmanyaswamy Temple at Skandagiri in Padmaraonagar, Secunderabad, an epitome of our cultural heritage.

May the abundant Divine Grace of Shri Nataraja and Goddess Mother Sivakama Sundari be bestowed on all the devotees participating in the celebration of Arudra Darshanam festival.