Thursday 28 January 2021

Muruga - The Form Of Agni

Lord Muruga as a deity has many interesting aspects to Him.The contemporary depiction of Muruga is often devoid of the facets attributed to Him in the past.
For instance,one of Lord Muruga's vehicle is the ram ( male sheep ).He shares a parallel to Lord Agni who also has a ram.

Lord Muruga mirrors Agni more than having a common vehicle.The reference for Skanda is scarcely found in the Rig Veda.Today,various verses from the Rig and Yajur Veda which contain words like Subrahmanya and Kumara are collected and used in Muruga worship in South Indian temples.

For instance,there are a few Sukta-s in the Rig Veda which actually speak of 'Kumara'.These Sukta-s are recited for Lord Muruga in most Tamizh Nadu temples.

Image above : Skanda as a Boddhisattva as per Mahayana Buddhism.

We do not actually know if the Kumara-s that appear throughout the Rig Veda specifically denote Lord Muruga.They most probably don't.

The clip below is a recitation of the 'Kumara Suktam' of Rig Veda by my student Shravanthi.This Sukta finds place in the 4th Mandala of Rig Veda.The Kumara mentioned in this Sukta actually refers to the son of King Sahadeva,the son of Somaka.You can find the word 'Kumara' brought along Sahadeva Somaka in the verses.

My Whatsapp Veda Learner reciting the  15 Sukta,4th Mandala of Rig Veda

Nevertheless,this Sukta is today defaulted as 'Kumara Suktam' and is recited for Muruga.Nothing wrong in it because the Vedas are based on the underlying cosmic vibrations.They are the truths which reverberate as the very cosmos,which were heard and experienced by the past sages.In this example,the Rishi who heard the mentioned 'Kumara Suktam' is Sage Vamadeva Gautama.

There is no rule that can limit the usage of a particular portion of the Vedas.

For instance,the Durga Suktam of Yajur Veda which finds prime position in Shri Vidya Sampradaya has most of its verses on Agni.Throughout this Sukta,only two verses speak on 'Durga'.

Another reference comes in the 5th Mandala,2nd Sukta of Rig Veda.This sukta speaks of Kumara - who is described as a young boy with gold tooth and fair complexion.He is said to hurl weapons.Is this Kumara the same as Skanda ? In fact,the Rig Veda cannot be compressed with intellect.They are only to be recited and realised.As such,no fixed answer exists to satisfy our queries.

Anyways,interestingly,all the Sukta-s of Rig Veda which describe Kumara seem to have many verses on Agni.The Kumara Suktam itself begins on Agni.

Muruga,for His fiery nature is associated with Agni.This is similar to Mother Durga who finds reference along with Agni in Durga Suktam because Kriya Shakti is the fiery aspect of energy - Agni.

Muruga being born from Shiva,is carried by Agni.In some texts,Muruga is said to be the very son of Agni.

May the fiery aspect of the warrior-god grace us this Thaipusam :)

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  1. Wonderful article, as always. You might be interested in this.

    Particularly, the part of Shivopasana mantram 'sadyojatam..bhavodbhavaya namaha' seems to be referring to Skanda

    1. Yes it can be taken that way because Skanda is an expansion of Paramashiva too