Collection Of All Spiritual Stuffs.

The Birth Of Skanda (Kumara) - Sri Ramanin Padhayil

with 0 Comment
The Birth Of Skanda (Kumara) - Sri Ramanin Padhayil
In the last article we saw Sage Vishwamitra narrating his own story to Lord Rama and Lakshmana on the banks of river Son. Next Vishwamitra started to narrate the significance of Ganga. While talking on Ganga, He remembers Aparna - the sister of Ganga also known as Uma Devi, Lord Shiva's wife and tells the story of how Skanda (Kumara) was born to Shiva and Parvati.

The daughter of Mount Meru, was Mena or Menaka. She got married to Himavat, a great king in the Himalaya mountains and gave birth to two daughters - Ganga Devi and Aparna (also known as Uma Devi and Himaputri).

Parvati Longs to Marry Shiva:

One day, when Parvati was only eight years old, her father, Himavan, took her to see Lord Shiva. From birth, Parvati had always been very spiritual. She always wanted to know about God, so she was thrilled to see Lord Shiva. But Lord Shiva was in a meditative consciousness and he did not pay any attention to the little girl.

After that first encounter, Parvati used to come every day to see Lord Shiva. She would offer him fresh flowers, hoping that one day he would open his eyes and speak to her. In the back of her mind, she had formed the idea that this was the man she wanted to marry.

The days became years and Parvati grew into a beautiful young woman. Still Shiva remained absorbed in his eternal trance. How could anybody disturb Shiva’s trance? Once he enters into trance, he enjoys the highest and deepest bliss. So why should he come back?

One day, Parvati confided to her father, “I really want to marry Lord Shiva. He is meditating and meditating. How I wish that I could also meditate like him!”

Himavan was very sad that Shiva was not paying any attention to his beautiful daughter, who was so spiritual in every way. He decided to play a trick on Shiva: he invoked the god of love to disturb Shiva’s meditation. The name of this particular god was Kamadeva. Kamadeva had a bow and some arrows that were made of flowers. He used to shoot these arrows at his victims and then they would be filled with feelings of emotional love.

At Himavan's request, Kamadeva aimed his arrows at Lord Shiva and the arrows fell as flowers at Shiva’s feet. Suddenly, Shiva opened his third eye and caught sight of the god of love standing with his bow in his hands. Shiva immediately burned this unfortunate god to ashes because he had disturbed Shiva’s meditation.

Meanwhile, Parvati was standing nearby with a most beautiful garland in her hands, but Lord Shiva did not pay any attention to her. It was as if she did not even exist. He simply closed his eyes again and went into trance.

Parvati’s parents had witnessed the whole scene and they were furious with Lord Shiva. They felt that he had insulted their dearest daughter. “You cannot marry him, Parvati,” they said. “This Shiva has been insulting you for so many years now. You must not waste your time on him any longer.”

But Parvati would not budge. “I am going to stay here,” she declared. “From now on, I shall eat only leaves, wet leaves.” With heavy hearts, Parvati’s parents returned home without their daughter.

For several years, Parvati stayed near Shiva, eating only wet leaves. Then she started eating only dry leaves. After a few more years, she gave up eating leaves altogether. When she gave up eating leaves, her name became Aparna, which means “one who does not eat even a leaf.” Parvati became the goddess Aparna at that time because of her extreme tapasya, or spiritual discipline.

She got the name Uma, meaning "O (child), do not (practice austerities)!" which was addressed to Parvati by her mother.

As time passed, Parvati went one step further. She stopped drinking water. She was living on nothing but air. Himavan saw that his daughter was becoming very weak. He knew that it was only a matter of time before she would die. So Himavan went to Lord Shiva and said, “Can you not see what you are doing to my daughter? All her life, she has wanted only one thing, and that is to marry you. But you have never even looked at her. If you are determined not to marry her, at least look at her. Otherwise, she will surely die.”

Shiva condescended to look at Parvati, but to himself he said, “Let me test her one last time before I marry her.” Poor Parvati had endured so many tests and still Shiva wanted to test her love and devotion. He took the form of an ordinary man and approached her. “You are such a beautiful girl,” he said. “Why are you wasting your time here? I have heard that you want to marry Shiva, but what kind of man is he? He spends all his time in the cremation ground in the company of his ghost-friends. The garland around his neck is made of skulls. How can you marry someone as frightening as Shiva? Forget about him! Marry a normal man, like me.”

Parvati’s eyes burned. “What you are saying is untrue. Go away from here and leave me alone! I know who Shiva is. Do not throw your doubts and suspicions into me. I will never marry you, never! I will marry only my Lord Shiva. If you do not leave me alone this instant, I shall curse you!”

At that moment, Shiva assumed his true form once more. Parvati was so moved and overwhelmed to see him standing before her. Shiva said to her, “Any boon that you want, I shall give you.”

“You do not know by this time what boon I want?” asked Parvati. “I want only to marry you.”

“Granted,” said Shiva.

After Shiva and Parvati were married, Parvati came to know that she had been Shiva’s wife in her previous incarnation. Her name then was Sati and she immolated herself because her father, Daksha, insulted Shiva. But that is another story!

The Birth Of Skanda:

(Valmiki Ramayana, Bala Kanda, Sargam 36)
Once Siva and Parvati started the marital act and it did not come to a close even after a hundred divya - years, with the result that the world shook like anything. Frightened at this the Devas requested Siva to stop the act and he obliged them. Then he asked them who would bear the semen which had been discharged and they replied, "Let earth itself bear the semen." Accordingly it was discharged on the earth. It filled and over-flowed forests and mountains. What next was the problem. Ultimately the Devas asked Agni (fire) to consume it. When Agni consumed and burnt it down absolutely, the ashes thereof formed into a white hill and it became a forest. Parvati did not at all relish the action of the devas and spoke to them thus: "You prevented my sexual intercourse entered into with the desire to have a son. Therefore, in future you will not have children by your wives." Parvati cursed the earth also as follows: "You will become one of various forms and also a wife to many people. You, who prevented me from having a son, will not enjoy happiness from children."

Because of the power of Siva's semen consumed by Agni, his glow began getting diminished. Agni complained of it to the Devas who sent him over to Brahma. On his way to Brahma, Agni met Gangadevi whom he told thus: "I can in no way bear this semen of Siva and if I get rid of it, it will burn the entire world. So, you please take charge of it so that you will have a noble son. Ganga 's reply to this was simply to ask Agni to throw the semen into her waters and Agni did so. As the semen had remained with Agni for nearly 5000 years, his flesh, blood hair, eye etc. had become golden in colour and hence Agni came to be called from that day onwards Hiranyaretas.

Time passed by and the semen of Siva became a burden to Ganga. She complained about that to Brahma. Brahma asked her from whom she had received the semen. Ganga detailed her story to him and concluded by saying that though it was 5000 years since Siva's semen was put into her, she did not deliver yet. Then Brahma told her as follows: "You go to the Udaya mountain (where the sun rises). There is a forest there, a forest hundred crores of yojanas in extent, where Sara, a particular variety of grass (Saccharam munja Roxb) grows. You deposit the semen there and a male child will be born after 10,000 years. As directed by Brahma, Ganga went to the Udaya mountain and deposited the foetus there through her mouth.

By the power of Siva's semen all the trees and animals and birds in the forest became golden in colour. When 10,000 years were completed a child, as effulgent as the rising sun, was born and Skanda was the child. The child cried in a thunderous voice and six divine Kritikas who came that way saw the child and taking pity on it vied with one another to breast-feed it. Since the child looked at the six Kritikas one after the other it developed six faces and since it was breast-fed by Kritikas it came to be named Karthikeya as well.

Brahma informed Agni about the birth of the child and the latter, in great happiness, hastened to it on a fast goat. Ganga who met Agni on the way and asked him about his hurried trip was told about the birth of the child and between the two developed an argument about the ownership of the child. Mahavishnu who came that way just then listened to the above argument and directed them to Siva for settlement of their claims. Agni and Ganga asked Siva to which of them the child really belonged. Siva then told Parvati "Fortunate, fortunate." Only after seeing the child could it be decided as to whose it was and so Siva, Parvati, Agni and Ganga proceeded together to the forest where they saw the child in the lap of the Krttikas. Siva then said "Let us see whom the child looks at before settling its parentage." Understanding the ideas of the visitors the child, by its yogic power, assumed four bodies called Kumara, Visakha, Sakha and Naigameya. Kumara looked at Siva, Visakha at Parvati, Sakha at Ganga and Naigameya at Agni and all of them felt immensely happy. The Krttikas asked Siva whether Sanmukha (child with six faces) was his son to which Siva answered as follows : "Let him be your son under the name Karttikeya; Ganga's son under the name Kumara; Parvati's son under the name Skanda; my son under the name Guha and Agni's son with the name Mahasena and under the name Saravana Saravana's (the forest where it was born) son. He is a great yogi and will be known by these various names. As he possesses six faces he will become famous as 'Sanmukha' also.

After having spoken thus Siva thought of the Devas and under the leadership of Brahma and Vishnu all the Devas appeared there. They looked at the child to their hearts' content and then told Siva thus : "Oh! Lord! You made Agni serve the purpose of Devas. Let us immediately start for Aujasa tirtha and crown Sanmukha at Sarasvati in Kuruksetra. Let him flourish as army-chief of Devas, Gandharvas and Kinnaras and let him kill the terrible Mahisasura and Tarakasura."

Skanda means 'that which is spilled or oozed'. Saravanap Poigai is the name of a pool in the Himalayas, from whose waters the divine child, Muruga, is believed to have emerged. Hence the name Saravana. Because of His magnificent beauty He is known as Muruga (Muruga means beauty). He was made the Head of the God's army, hence He was known as Deva Senapathi. With various names as mentioned above, the birth of Lord Muruga took place. All these stories were said by Sage Vishwamitra to Lord Rama and Lakshmana at the banks of river Son.

We all saw the story of Sage Vishwamitra and birth of Lord Muruga in this and previous articles. In the upcoming articles, we will be seeing the birth of river Ganga. The River Ganga has been the cradle of Indian civilization and symbol of purity to millions. It is treated as one of the most holy rivers of the world. The Ganga is the largest river of the Indian sub-continent. The Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna river basin covers only 0.12% of the total landmass of the Earth yet about 10% of the world's population reside there. It serves the needs of more than 400 million populations. The Ganges is regarded by Hindus as the most sacred river in the world. Many important religious ceremonies are held in cities on its banks, including Varanasi, Haridwar, and Allahabad. The ganges is a source of divine purification for Hindus who travel by the millions every year to bathe in its waters and to submerge the cremated remains of their dead.

Holy Ganga
The mighty Ganges is great on several counts, including its origin. The sources of this holy river are the pristine, icy glaciers of the Himalayas. The origin of river Ganges lies at the height of 13,800 feet in the mountain ranges of Himalayas, near Gangotri. It emerges from an ice cave in the Himalayas at the altitude 10,300 feet.

Gangotri is the place of origin of the Majestic Ganges river, known to Hindu's as Ganga Maa (Mother Ganges). The supreme amongst Indian rivers, is the longest river and greatest waterway in India. The Ganges has been declared as India's National River. Ganges is the source of sustainment of life in the great Indian plains and it is at Gangotri that the journey begins. River Ganges gets water from the melting snow of Nanda devi, Gurla, Mandhata, Dhaulagiri, Gesaisthan, Kanchenjunga and Mount Everest. Many small and big rivers merge with the Ganges in the Himalayan region. The Ganges river flows through Bangladesh, but the greater part of it flows through India. The river flows across the northern corner of India. The Ganges flows across India and Bangladesh until it empties out into the Bay of Bengal. The great river provides water to many places, and many places rely on it.


Post a Comment