“The Hindu Gods have to be understood. Any Hindu God needs to be understood
in terms of Adhidaivica, which is a narrative that consists of a story of the God.”
– Dr. Pillai
Dr. Pillai emphasizes the importance of understanding Hindu Gods through their Adhidaivica – their history and mythology – to connect with them at deeper levels. Since the 6 Days of Muruga (Skanda Shasti) are near, it is a prime time to broaden your understanding of Muruga’s mythology to more fully access his negativity-destroying warrior power in your life.
A significant portion of Muruga’s history and mythology relates to the Six Abodes of Muruga (Arupadai Veedu), given the important events that took place at each location. Presented below is a brief overview of the Muruga mythology behind each of the Six aarupadai veedu(temples) to aid you in understanding Muruga in terms of his mythology.
The Palani Murugan Temple in Pazhani is one of the most visited temples in Tamil Nadu, India, and is one of the most revered shrines of Muruga.
It is said that Sage Narada once visited the celestial court of Lord Shiva at Mount Kailash to present a fruit, the gyana-palam (literally, the fruit of knowledge), that held in it the elixir of wisdom. When Lord Shiva expressed his intention of dividing the fruit between his two sons, Ganesha and Muruga, the sage counseled against cutting it.
So, Shiva decided to award it to whichever of his two sons first circled the world thrice. Accepting the challenge, Muruga started his journey around the globe on his mount peacock. However, Ganesha, who surmised that the world was no more than his parents, Shiva and Shakti combined, circled them three times. Pleased with their son’s discernment, Lord Shiva awarded the fruit to Ganesha. When Muruga returned, he was furious to learn that his efforts had been in vain. He then left Kailash and took up his abode in the Palani hills in South India. It is believed that he felt the need to mature from boyhood, hence he chose to remain a hermit, discarding his robes and ornaments and going into meditation to learn more about himself.
The great Tamil poet and saint Avvaiyar was tested by Lord Muruga at Pazhamudircholai Temple. In an episode of Divine Play with Avvaiyar, one of the most famous devotees of Lord Muruga, he enacted the following drama:
One day, Avvaiyar sought refuge under the shadow of a fruit tree, when a boy sitting nearby asked her whether she wanted fruits from the tree. When Avvaiyar told him that she did, the boy asked her if she wanted roasted fruits or unroasted fruits.
Avvaiyar, who was incredibly knowledgeable, scoffed silently at the very thought of the existence of a “roasted fruit” and decided that the boy didn’t have knowledge even about a fruit. However, tired as she was, she decided that she didn’t want to argue with the boy and asked him to pick unroasted fruits for her, which he then did. Several fruits fell out of the tree, and Avvaiyar picked them up and blew on them to remove the sand. Smiling, the boy asked Avvaiyar if she was blowing on his “roasted fruits” to cool them down.
Avvaiyar was amazed at how a small village boy could have played such an intelligent drama. Blowing on the fruit to remove the sand was indeed poetically comparable to an attempt to cool “roasted fruits.” Humbled by the immense poetic knowledge and clever wordplay of the boy, Avvaiyar begged him to reveal his true identity, unable to reconcile herself with the fact that a simple cowherd could have such profound thoughts.
The boy then disappeared and, in his place, Lord Muruga appeared. The stunned Avvaiyar bowed in obeisance and prayed to Lord Muruga to bless her and continue bestowing his Infinite Grace on her to aid her endless quest for knowledge.
The history of the temple at Swamimalai is called the “Sthala Puranam:” Lord Brahma, creator of living beings, disrespected Muruga, son of Lord Shiva. The child Muruga got angry and questioned him about his creating procedure. Lord Brahma answered that he was creating living beings with the help of the Vedas (Hindu scriptures). Upon hearing his reply, Lord Muruga asked Lord Brahma to recite the texts from the Vedas. Brahma started by reciting the holy word “Om,” the Pranava Mantra. When Muruga asked him the meaning behind the word “Om”, Lord Brahma did not have a solid explanation. The annoyed Muruga punished him with imprisonment and took over the role of creation himself.
Shiva came to Muruga and asked him to release Brahma from imprisonment. Muruga refused on the grounds that Brahma was unaware of the meaning of the Pranava Mantra. Shiva asked Muruga to explain the meaning of the Pranava Mantra, and so he did. Shiva behaved like a student to a teacher, listening with rapt attention to his son, and giving Muruga the name “Swaminatha Swami,” “The Teacher of Shiva.” Following the legend, the shrine of the son Muruga is atop the hillock, while the father Shiva’s shrine is located at the basement.
Tiruthani represents the site of Muruga’s marriage to Valli. It is also said that Sri Muttuswami Deekshitar, who lived 200 years ago, had his inspiration in Tiruthani, when Muruga (in the disguise of an old man) met him on the steps of the temple and sweetened his tongue with the temple’s Prasad, which inspired him to sing his first song on Lord Muruga of Tanikai.
The temple at Thiruparamkundram offers a mystic beauty. It is carved in rock and is monstrous in size for such architecture. According to the legend, it is where Muruga married Deivayanai, the divine daughter of the king of heaven, Indra, and he is said to have worshipped Shiva here as Parangirinathar.
According to mythology, the six-headed Muruga emerged as six sparks of flame from the Third Eye of Lord Shiva to command the divine forces in the fight against evildoers on the earth plane.
When the child Muruga grew into a young god, Lord Shiva asked him to destroy the evil forces (asuras) and free the angels (devas) from their cruel bondage. Lord Muruga reached Tiruchendur with his huge army and encamped there. He sent his lieutenant Veerabahu to the asuras as an emissary to ask Surapadma to release the devas. When Surapadma turned down the request, a war began.
The intense battle continued for six days. During the first five days of the war, the brothers of Surapadma and all the other asuras perished. On sixth day, during the battle between Lord Muruga and Surapadma, the Vel (lance) of Lord Muruga pierced Surapadma, whose broken pieces transformed themselves into a mighty peacock and a chanticleer (rooster). Muruga took the peacock as his vehicle (vahana) and the chanticleer on his banner.
After the Destruction of Surapadma (Surasamharam), Lord Muruga desired to worship his father Lord Siva, so the Divine Architect, Mayan, constructed the shrine at Tiruchendur.
Muruga: A Friend to Humanity
“So this is the will of Muruga, to reveal himself as a friend to humanity, to help you evolve from a flesh-and-blood-based consciousness to a consciousness which is Pure Light.”
– Dr. Pillai
Because Muruga had a hand in the creation of living beings on the earth plane, he has a vested interest in human evolution and enlightenment. He is a fierce celestial warrior whose mission is to slay the demons that prevent light from entering the earth plane.
Besides reading or listening to Murugan mythology, here are other things you can do to reach out and connect more deeply with Muruga during Skanda Shasti:
- Chanting the quantum sounds ‘Muruga’ (Moo – Roo – Gah)
- Practicing midbrain tapping
- Pouring water over a Vel during Mars hours (goat’s milk and natural red juice are bonuses)
- Sponsoring Vedic technology to strengthen your connection with Muruga
- Receiving initiation into secret Muruga techniques through Pillai Center Academy’s Awakened Warrior program or Miracle School.
“Muruga will show himself to people, but then you have to open your heart first. Without opening the heart, nothing is going to happen.”
– Dr. Pillai