Lord Muruga

Also Known as Subramanya, Kartikeya, Skanda

Lord Muruga (Subramanya) is a most venerated Hindu god especially in the Tamil speaking regions in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and so on. He is the symbol of eternal youth and knowledge.

Muruga was born as the son of Lord Shiva, the younger brother of Lord Ganesh and the nephew of Lord Vishnu. The elaborate legend about the birth of Muruga has been immortalized by Kalidasa in his poetic work Kumarasambhava. Muruga is also called Lord Kartikeya, Kumara and Skanda. It is said that the name 'Muruga' stands for the three divine functions - sristi (creation), sthithi (protection), and samhara (destruction), for 'Mu' represents Mukunda (Vishnu), 'Ru' Rudra (Shiva), and 'Ka' for Kamala ( Brahma).

In pictorial depictions Muruga appears with a vel (spear), and the peacock as his mount. The vel, which was presented by his divine mother Parvati, represents his jnanashakti (power of wisdom). The peacock represents the divine shape of Omkara when it spreads its plumes.

Thaipusam is a major festival in veneration of Muruga. Of the numerous Muruga temples in Tamil Nadu, the most famous is perhaps the Palani Hill Temple.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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