Friday, October 28, 2011

Kandhar Sashti Kavasam by Sri ThEvarAya SwAmigaL

"Kanda Shasti Kavasam is composed by Devaraya Swamigal. This is a rare and valuable treasure that helps one to be successful in day-to-day life.

In Kanda Sasti Kavacam the author prays to Lord Muruga to shower His grace. It is certain that by regular chanting of this kavacam all the predicaments of life are resolved. People without children will enjoy .. Prosperity and plenty will abound. Peace will prevail at home. The devotee who reads it will enjoy every good fortune under the sun. As a warrior going to battle puts on armour to protect himself, the Kanda Sasti Kavacam also helps one to be safe in day-to-day life."

A few words about Sashti

Sashti is the day the Lord Subramanya defeated the demon Soorapadma and saved the Earth from his evils. When the devas couldn't tolerate the evil doings of this demon, they approached the younger son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. The kind Lord went on a war against Soorapadman. The war was waged for six days, at the end of which the Lord vanquished the asura. 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.

The devas, who were tormented by Soorapadman, rejoiced - they praised the Lord and prayed to him for six days. Devotees usually narrate the kanda sashti kavacham, during this period. Whoever fasts for these six days of Skanda Sashti and prays to Lord Muruga steadfastly, it is said that they would get the blessings of Lord Muruga. Those who are unable to fast for a whole day for a six-day duration, can eat just one meal during this period.

Kural Venpa ... Prayer

Thuthiporkku val vinai pom, thunbam pom
Nenjil pathiporkku selvam palithu kadithongum
Nishtayum kaikoodum
Nimalar Arul kanthar sashti kavacham thanai
The sufferings great will vanish for those who pray,
The riches will increase for those who paste it in their mind,
All penance will surely bear fruit,
By this Sashti Kavacham written by the grace of God.

Kaappu ... Protection

amarar idar theera amaram purintha
kumaranadi nenjeh kuri. 

Mind, oh mine, meditate
On the feet of that Young God,
Who waged the war,
To end the problems of devas, great.

The Kavacham .. Armour

sashtiyai nokka saravana bavanaar
sishtarukku uthavum sengkathir velon
paatham irandil panmani sathangai
geetham paada kinkini yaada
maiya nadam seiyum mayil vahananaar (5)

Kayil velal ennai kakavendru uvandu
Vara vara vela yuthanar varuga
varuga varuga miyoloan varuga
Indiran mudhala Endisai potra
mandira vadivel varuga varuga (10) 

Welcome to thee Oh, Lord,
Who rides on the peacock,
Who comes to help his devotees,
Who comes accompanied by sweet songs,
Who comes with pleasing sound of ringing anklets,
Made by numerous bells tied to your feet.
And I pray Lord Saravana Bhava,
To bless this poem on Sashti.

vaasavan maruhaa varuha varuha
nesak kuramahal ninaivon varuha
aarumuham padaitha aiyaa varuha
neeridum velavan nitham varuha
sirahiri velavan seekkiram varuha (15) 

Come, come son in law of Indra,
Come darling of the lady of mountain,
Come my master who has six faces,
Come daily he who holds the Vel*,
And who applies the ash,
Come with speed, Oh Lord of Sira Mountain,
Come with speed, Of holder of the Vel.

saravana bavanaar saduthiyil varuha
rahana bavasa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra
rihana bavasa ri ri ri ri ri ri ri
vinabava sarahana veeraa namo nama
nibava sarahana nira nira nirena (20) 

Oh Lord Saravana bhava, Come with speed,
rahana bavasa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra
rihana bavasa ri ri ri ri ri ri ri
vinabava sarahana,
Salutations and salutations to the great hero,
nibava sarahana nira, nira, nirena

(Some words are reproduced, because they are the interplay of the letters that make “Saravana Bhava” written in Tamil and have been added to make the verse musical. They may have hidden meaning, which this translator is not aware of).

vasara hanabava varuha varuha
asurar kudi kedutha aiyaa varuha
yennai yaalum ilaiyon kaiyil
pannirendu aayutham paasaan gusamum
parantha vizhihal pannirandu ilanga (25) 

Come, come friend who lives within me,
Come lord who spoiled the lives of Asuras,
Come with the wide open twelve graceful eyes,
Come with weapons and pasa and angusa in your twelve hands,
Come, Oh young lord, who rules over me.

(Pasa is the rope and Angusa is a weapon to control).

virainthu yenaik kaakka velon varuha
aiyum kiliyum adaivudan sauvum
uyyoli sauvum uyiraiyum kiliyum
kiliyum sauvum kilaroli yaiyum
nilai petrenmun nithamum olirum (30) 

Come Oh, Lord of Vel to protect me fast,
Let Aaim, Klim and Saum which reach to you,
The Saum with its brilliant light,
The Klim which is like the soul,
And Klim, Saum and the sweet sounding Aaim,
Stand and shine before me.

(Aaim, Klim and Saum form the part of the Bhija manthra (seed invocation) that denotes Lord Skanda).

shanmuhan neeyum thaniyoli yovvum
kundaliyaam siva guhan thinam varuha
aaru muhamum animudi aarum
neeridu netriyum neenda puruvamum
panniru kannum pavalach chevvaayum (35) 

Come Oh, Six headed one,
With your brilliant light,
Come daily without fail, great Lord,
Who has attained the Kundalini,
And come with thine six faces with six crowns,
With holy ash applied on your forehead,
With your long eye brows,
And with your twelve eyes and coral like mouth.

(Kundalani is the thousand-petal lotus in the bottom of the brain. It is believed that on opening it, all knowledge will automatically be yours).

nanneri netriyil navamanich chuttiyum
eeraaru seviyil ilahu kundalamum
aariru thinpuyathu azhahiya maarbil
palboo shanamum pathakkamum tharithu
nanmanipoonda navarathna maalaiyum (40) 

Come Oh Lord,
With decorations of nine gems in your forehead,
With pretty ear rings shining in your twelve ears,
With several ornaments and pendant shining.
In thine, handsome trunk with twelve arms,
And with the garland of nine gems inlaid with precious stones.

muppuri noolum muthani maarbum
sepppazhahudaiya thiruvayir unthiyum
thuvanda marungil sudaroli pattum
navarathnam pathitha nartchee raavum
iru thodai azhagum enai muzhanthalum 

Come Oh Lord,
With the holy three stringed thread,
With your chest decorated with pearls,
With your very pretty abdomen which has been praised,
With silken sash and girdle around your waist,
And with nine gems chain adorning your silken robes,
with the beauty of the two thighs and adjoining knees,

thiruvadi yathanil silamboli muzhanga
seha gana seha gana seha gana segana
moga moga moga moga moga moga mogana
naha naha naha naha naha naha nahena
digu kuna digu digu digu kuna diguna (50)

ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra
ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri
du du du du du du du du du du du du du du du
dagu dagu digu digu dangu dingugu
vinthu vinthu mayilon vinthu 

Come Oh Lord,
With anklets in thine holy feet,
Which make jingling sounds, like,
seha gana seha gana seha gana segana
moga moga moga moga moga moga mogana
naha naha naha naha naha naha nahena
digu kuna digu digu digu kuna diguna

ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra
ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri
du du du du du du du du du du du du du du du
dagu dagu digu digu dangu dingugu
Oh Lord who rides the peacock, come quickly.

munthu munthu muruhavel munthu
yenthanai yaalum yehraha selva
mainthan vehndum varamahizhnth thuthavum
laalaa laalaa laalaa vehshamum
leelaa leelaa leelaa vinothanendru (60) 

Rush Oh rush, my Lord who has the Vel,
Oh Lord of Swami Malai*, who rules over me,
Who is so prettily dressed,
And who is so playful.
Grant this boon with smile to your son,

unthiru vadiyai uruthi yendrennum
yen thalai vaithun yinaiyadi kaaka
yennuyirk uyiraam iraivan kaaka
panniru vizhiyaal baalanaik kaaka
adiyen vathanam azhahuvel kaaka (65) 

Please save me, who has firm faith in thine feet,
And who has placed his head on your feet,
Oh God who is my soul of souls protect,
Please protect this child with your twelve eyes,
Let your pretty Vel protect my face.

podipunai netriyaip punithavel kaaka
kathirvel irandu kanninaik kaaka
vithisevi irandum velavar kaaka
naasihal irandum nalvel kaaka
pesiya vaaythanai peruvel kaaka (70) 

Let your pure Vel protect my ash adorned forehead
Let your shining Vel protect my two eyes,
Let he holds the Vel protect my two ears,
Let your good Vel protect my two nostrils,
Let your great Vel protect the mouth, which speaks.

muppathirupal munaivel kaaka
seppiya naavai sevvel kaaka
kannam irandum kathirvel kaaka
yennilang kazhuthai iniyavel kaaka
maarbai irathna vadivel kaaka (75) 

Let your sharp Vel protect my thirty-two teeth,
Let your perfect Vel protect my tongue, which tells,
Let your shining Vel protect my two cheeks,
Let your sweet Vel protect my tender neck,
Let your gem studded Vel protect my chest.

serila mulaimaar thiruvel kaaka
vadivel iruthol valamberak kaaka
pidarihal irandum peruvel kaaka
azhahudan muthuhai arulvel kaaka
pazhu pathinaarum paruvel kaaka (80) 

Let your holy Vel protect my chest,
Let your straight Vel protect my two shoulders,
Let your great Vel protect my two napes,
Let your graceful Vel protect my back,
Let your youthful Vel protect my sixteen ribs.

vetrivel vayitrai vilangave kaaka
sitridai azhahura sevvel kaaka
naanaam kayitrai nalvel kaaka
aan penn kurihalai ayilvel kaaka
pittam irandum peruvel kaaka (85) 

Let your victorious Vel protect my abdomen,
Let your pretty Vel protect my thin waist,
Let your good Vel protect my waist thread,
Let your pretty Vel protect the reproductive organs,
Let your big Vel protect my two kidneys.

vattak kuthathai valvel kaaka
panai thodai irandum paruvel kaaka
kanaikaal muzhanthaal kathirvel kaaka
aiviral adiyinai arulvel kaaka
kaihal irandum karunaivel kaaka (90) 

Let your big Vel protect my round colon,
Let your heavy Vel protect my two thighs,
Let your bright Vel protect the two knees and calves,
Let your graceful Vel protect my two feet,
Let your merciful Vel protect my two hands.

munkai irandum muranvel kaaka
pinkai irandum pinnaval irukka
naavil sarasvathi natrunai yaaha
naabik kamalam nalvel kakka
muppaal naadiyai munaivel kaaka (95) 

Let your strong Vel protect my two forearms,
Let Goddess Lakshmi reside in my arms,
Let Goddess of knowledge reside in my tongue,
Let your good Vel protect my belly button.
Let your sharp Vel protect the three nerve currents.

yeppozhuthum yenai yethirvel kaaka
adiyen vasanam asaivula neram
kaduhave vanthu kanahavel kaaka
varum pahal thannil vachravel kaaka
arai irul thannil anaiyavel kaaka (100) 

Let your great Vel always protect me,
Let your golden Vel come fast,
To protect me as long as I am alive,
Let your diamond Vel protect me in day time,
Let your glittering Vel protect me in darkness.

yemathil saamathil yethirvel kaaka
thaamatham neeki chathurvel kaaka
kaaka kaaka kanahavel kaaka
noaka noaka nodiyil noaka
thaakka thaakka thadaiyara thaakka (105) 

Let his flowing Vel protect me all the sections of the night,
Let his craft Vel protect me from delays,
Let the golden Vel protect and protect,
Let it be seen quickly and quickly,
Let it strike and strike and remove all my problems.

paarka paarka paavam podipada
billi soonyam perumpahai ahala
valla bootham valaashtihap peihal
allal paduthum adangaa muniyum
pillaihal thinnum puzhakadai muniyum (110)
kollivaayp peihalum kuralaip peihalum
penkalai thodarum bramaraa chatharum
adiyanaik kandaal alari kalangida. 

Please see and see that my sins are powdered,
Let the black magic and great enmity go away,
Let great devils and those who shake their tails,
Let the uncontrollable Muni, which creates problems,
Let the back yard Muni which eats babies,
Let the ghosts with fire in their mouth,
Let the ghosts which steal my speech,
And let the Brahma Rakshasas which follow ladies,
Run away screaming when they see me.

(Muni is an evil spirit in Tamil Nadu. It also indicates a sage in a different context).

irisi kaatteri ithunba senaiyum
yellilum iruttilum yethirpadum mannarum (115)
kana pusai kollum kaaliyodu anaivarum
vittaan gaararum migu pala peihalum
thandiyak kaararum sandaalar halum
yen peyar sollavum idi vizhunthodida. 

Let the Irusi Katteri and Idumba sena,
Let Mannar who is seen every where in the night
Let Kali and all others, who kill us on meeting,
Let Vittan Karar and other ghosts and devils,
Let Thandai Karar and debased humans,
As soon as they hear my name,
Run away as if struck by thunder.

(These are ghosts believed to roam especially at night. Each of them will have story of origin attached to them).

aanai adiyinil arum paavaihalum (120)
poonai mayirum pillaihal enpum
nahamum mayirum neenmudi mandaiyum
paavaihal udane pala kalasathudan
manaiyil puthaitha vanjanai thanaiyum
ottiya paavaiyum ottiya serukkum (125)
kaasum panamum kaavudan sorum
othu manjanamum oruvazhi pokum
adiyanaik kandaal alainthu kulainthida
maatran vanjahar vanthu vanangida
kaala thoothaal yenai kandaal kalangida (130) 

Dolls with spells, placed in our home,
Hairs of cat, bones of babies,
Claws, hairs, skulls with long hairs,
Dolls placed in several pots,
Buried in different parts of the house,
Dolls pierced, pierced shapes,
Coins and money, cooked rice, with vegetables
Spell cast yellow-black balms, which travel in one direction’
Let all these get confused and be afraid on seeing me,
Please make them shiver on seeing me always,
And make strangers and bad men salute me.

(These are supposed to be signs and symbols of black magic done by your enemies).

anji nadungida arandu purandida
vaay vittalari mathi kettoda
padiyinil mutta paasak kayitraal
kattudan angam katharida kattu
katti uruttu kaal kai muriya (135) 

Make all of them afraid of me,
Make them roll in the floor out of fear,
May them shout loudly and get mad,
Let them dash their head on my door steps,
Tie them with your Pasa rope,
Tie them tight,
Roll them after tying,
And break their hands and legs.

kattu kattu katharida kattu
muttu muttu muzhihal pithungida
sekku sekku sethil sethilaaha
sokku sokku soorpahai sokku
kuthu kuthu koorvadi velaal (140)
patru patru pahalavan thanaleri
thanaleri thanaleri thanalathuvaaha
viduvidu velai verundathu oda. 

Tie and tie them, till they loudly cry out,
Dash and dash them till the joints split,
Step on them, step on them, till they break in the mud,
Pierce and pierce them with your Vel.
Catch and catch the fire of the Sun,
Set fire, set fire till they wilt in the fire,
Throw and throw your Vel till they scare and run.

puliyum nariyum punnari naayum
yeliyum karadiyum inithodarnthu oda (145)
thelum paambum seyyaan pooraan
kadivida vishangal kadithuyar angam
yeriya vishangal yelithudan iranga 

Let the tiger, fox, wolf, rat and bear,
Continue to run away from me,
Let the poisons of scorpion, snake, millipede,
Which has entered in and will stay in my body
After being bitten by them,
Come out of my body with great speed.

polippum sulukkum oruthalai noyum
vaatham sayithiyam valippu pitham (150)
soolai sayam kunmam sokku sirangu
kudaichal silanthi kudalvip purithi
pakka pilavai padarthodai vaazhai
kaduvan paduvan kaithaal silanthi
parkuthu aranai paru arai yaakkum (155)
yellap piniyum yendranaik kandaal
nillaa thoda nee yenak arulvaay
puliyum nariyum punnari naayum
yeliyum karadiyum inithodarnthu oda (145) 

Let wounds, sprains, one sided head ache,
Arthritis, cold fever, fits and bile,
Piles, fistula, carbuncles, strains,
Diseases of intestines, itching of the skin,
Partial paralysis, ring worm, skin ailments,
Biting of cat, dog and spider,
Tooth ache and all the diseases and attacks,
Vanish and run away, As soon as they see me,
Please Lord bless me always so that,
All these do not tarry and run away from me.

eerezhula hamum yenak uravaaha
aanum pennum anaivarum yenakkaa
mannaal arasarum mahizhnthura vaahavum (160)

Let the seven worlds be my friends,
Let gents and ladies, and kings who rule,
Become my relations with pleasure and happiness.

unnai thuthikka un thirunaamam
saravana bavane sailoli bavanee
thirupura bavane thigazholi bavane
paripura bavane pavamozhi bavane
arithiru maruhaa amaraa pathiyai (165)
kaathu thevarkal kadum sirai viduthaay
kanthaa guhane kathir velavane
kaarthihai mainthaa kadambaa kadambanai
idumbanai yendra iniyavel muruhaa 

Let me praise your holy names,
He who originated from Saravana,
He who originated from flashing light,
He who was born to Tripura,
He who originated from holy sound,
He whose feet is adorned with anklets,
He who severs the cords of attachment,
He who is the nephew of Vishnu and Lakshmi,
He who protected the army of devas,
He who released them from prison,
He who is called Skanda and Guha,
He who holds the resplendent Vel,
He who is the son of Karthika maidens,
He who lives in Kadamba forest,
He who is Muruga with the sweet Vel,
Who defeated Idumba and Kadamba asuras.

(Guha and Muruga are other names for Skanda. When he was born, he took the form of six babies who were looked after by the six Karthika maidens, He loves to live in Kadamba forest. He is supposed to have defeated two asuras called Idumba and Kadamba and made them his devotees).

thanihaa salane sangaran puthalvaa (170)
katirkaa mathurai kathirvel muruhaa
pazhani pathivaazh baala kumaaraa
aavinan kudivaazh azhahiya vela
senthil maamalai yuryum sengalva raayaa
samaraa purivaazh shanmuha tharase (175) 

Hey lord who lives on Thiruthani mountains,
Hey lord who is the son of Lord Shiva,
Hey Lord Muruga, with shining Vel,
Hey Lord, Who lives in Kathirgamam,
Hey young Kumara who lives in the city of Pazhani,
Hey pretty Vela, who lives in Thiruvavingudi,
Hey, Sengalva raya who lives on Senthil mountains,
Hey king, Shanmuga who lives in Samarapuri,

(Thiruthani, Kathirgamam, Pazhani, Thiruvavingudi, Senthil Mountains and Samarapuri are famous temples of Skanda. He is also known as Vela and Kumara).

kaarar kuzhalaal kalaimahal nandraay
yennaa irukka yaan unai paada
yenai thodarnthu irukkum yenthai muruhanai
padinen aadinen paravasa maaha
aadinen naadinen aavinan poothiyey (180) 

When the Goddess of knowledge,
With her dark black tresses,
Placed herself on my tongue,
I did sing about you,
And I sang about my father Murugan,
Then Danced, went in to ecstasy,
And sought the company,
Of the great Lord of Thiruvavinkudi.

nesamudan yaan netriyil aniya
paasa vinaihal patrathu neengi
unpatham perave unnarulaaha
anbudan rakshi annamum sonnamum
metha methaaha velaayu thanaar (185)
sithi petradiyen sirappudan vazhga. 

When I adorned with love, my forehead with your sacred ash,
The ropes attaching me to the fate were untied,
And I reached your feet to attain your grace.
So please protect me with love, give me food and wealth,
Oh Velayudha slowly and gracefully.
Bless me with your grace,
And let me live in a great manner.

vaazhga vaazhga mayilon vaazhga
vaazhga vaazhga vadivel vaazhga
vaazhga vaazhga malai guru vaazhga
vaazhga vaazhga malai kura mahaludan (190)
vaazhga vaazhga vaarana thuvasam
vaazhga vaazhga yen varumaihal neenga 

Long live, long live, the rider of peacock,
Long live, long live, the holder of Vel,
Long live, long live, the god of mountains,
Long live, long live, he with the mountain girl, Valli.
Long live, long live, he with the flag of a cock,
Long live, long live,
Let my poverty be driven out,

yethanai kuraihal yethanai pizhaihal
yethanai adiyen yethanai seiyinum
petravan neeguru poruppathu unkadan (195)
petraval kuramahal petravalaame
pillai yendranbaay piriya malithu
mainthan yenmeethu unmanam mahizhntharuli
thanjam yendradiyaar thazhaithida arulsey
kanthar sashti kavasam virumbiya (200) 

You are my father and teacher,
Goddess Valli is my mother,
And it is your duty to pardon,
Any number of errors that I make,
Any number of mistakes that I make,
Without parting away from this your child,
With Happiness love this son of yours,
And give protection to all devotees, who seek,
And love this Skanda Sashti Kavacham.

baalan theva raayan paharn thathai
kaalaiyil maalaiyil karuthudan naalum
aasaa rathudan angam thulakki
nesamudan oru ninaivathu vaahi
kanthar sashti kavasam ithanai (205)
sindhai kalangaathu thiyaani pavarhal
orunaal muppathaa ruru kondu
othiyeh jebithu uhanthu neeraniya
ashta thikkullor adangalum vasamaay
thisai mannar yenmar seyalathu (sernthangu) arulvar (210)

maatrala rellaam vanthu vananguvar
navakol mahizhnthu nanmai alithidum
navamatha nenavum nallezhil peruvar
enthanaalum eerettaay vaazhvar
kantharkai velaam kavasa thadiyai (215) 

Daily in the morning and evening,
All those who clean themselves,
With religious fervor and read,
Thirty six times* a day

(* alternate meaning: mu = three, paththu (pattru) = slags (impurities) i.e. ANavam - kanmam - mAyAi (arrogance, karma, delusion), ur = extinguishing. So it means - we should chant Kandha shashti Kavacham without any desire or malams).

This Skanda Sashti Kavacham,
Which has been composed,
By the young Deva Rayan,
And meditate on that god with concentration,
And wear the sacred ash,
Will get the great blessings,
Of all the devas from all eight directions,
And the guardians of the eight directions.

All strangers would come and salute them,
The nine planets will become happy,
And shower their blessings,
They would shine in prettiness.
They would happily live on all days,
If they recite this Kavacham,
Which is equivalent to a Vel.

vazhiyaay kaana meiyaay vilangum
vizhiyaal kaana verundidum peigal
pollathavarai podi podi yaakkum
nallor ninaivil nadanam puriyum
sarva sathuru sankaa rathadi (220) 

If seen as a way, this Kavacham would show the truth,
If seen of Ghosts by their eyes, they will get scared,
It would powder bad people,
And the good people would dance with joy,
And all their enemies will be exterminated

arintha yenathullaam ashta letchmihalil
veera letchmikku virun thunavaaha
soora bathmaavaith thunithagai yathanaal
iruba thezhvarkku uvan thamuthalitha
gurubaran pazhani kundrinil irukkum (225)
chinna kuzhanthai sevadi potri 

Oh Lord, Let my mind that has understood you,
Pray Veera Lakshmi among the Ashta Lakshmis
My salutations to the feet of Small baby of Pazhani,
Whose hands killed Soora Padman,
Who gave deathless nectar for the twenty-seven,
And who is my teacher on the Pazhani Mountain

yenai thadu thaatkola yendrana thullum
meviya vadivurum velava potri
thevargal senaa pathiye potri
kuramahal manamahizh kove potri (230) 

Salutations to the Skanda with the Vel
Who has occupied my mind,
So that I am always His,
Salutations to commander of the devas
Salutations to the darling of Valli,
Who is the daughter of a mountain tribe.

He whose form is strong and dazzling, Praise be to Thee!
He who conquered Idumba, Praise be to Thee!

thiramihu thivya thehaa potri
idumbaa yuthane idumbaa potri
kadambaa potri kanthaa potri
vetchi punaiyum veleh potri
uyargiri kanaha sabaikor arase (235) 

Salutations to the ablest of Gods,
Who has a very holy form,
Salutation to him, who conquered Idumba,
Salutations to him who wears Kadamba flowers
Salutations to him who is Kanda,
Salutations to the Vel which wears Vetchi flowers,
Salutations to the king of the golden hall of the mountain.

mayilnada miduvoy malaradi saranam
saranam saranam saravanabava Om
saranam saranam shanmuhaa saranam
saranam saranam shanmuhaa saranam (239) 

I surrender to flowery feet of my Lord,
Who travels on the peacock,
I surrender, surrender and surrender to the Saravanabhava,
I surrender, surrender and surrender to the Shanmuga.


PROSTRATIONS and humble salutations to Lord Subramanya, the Supreme Being, who is the ruler of this universe, who is the indweller of our hearts, who is the second son of Lord Siva, who is the beloved of Valli and Deivayanai, who bestows boons easily on His devotees, who is the embodiment of power, wisdom, love and bliss.
The great demon, Tarakasura, was oppressing the celestials. He drove them out from heaven. All the gods then went to Brahma to appeal for help.
Brahma said to the gods, "O Devas, I cannot destroy Taraka, as he has obtained My Grace through severe penance. But let Me give you a suggestion. Get the help of Cupid, the God of Love. Induce him to tempt Lord Siva, who remains absorbed in His Yoga Samadhi. Let Lord Siva unite with Parvati. A powerful son, Lord Subramanya, will be born to them. This son will destroy the demon that harasses you."
Indra, the chief of the gods, thereupon requested Cupid to go with his wife, Rati, and his companion Vasanta (the season of spring), to Mount Kailas, the abode of Siva. Cupid carried out the instruction at once, for it was already springtime. Standing behind a tree, Cupid shot his arrow of passion towards Siva, whilst Parvati was placing some flowers in His hands. The moment their hands met, Siva experienced a distracting feeling. He wondered what it was that disturbed His Yoga. He looked around and saw Cupid crouching behind the tree.
The Lord opened His "third eye", the inner eye of intuition, and Cupid was burnt to ashes by the fire that emanated from it. That is why the God of Love is also called Ananga, which means "bodiless".
After burning Cupid, the Lord ascertained by His Yogic vision that the birth of Lord Subramanya was absolutely necessary to destroy the powerful Taraka. Siva's seed was thrown into the fire which, unable to retain it, threw it into the Ganges, which in turn threw it into a reed forest. This is where Lord Subramanya was born; hence, He is called Saravanabhava--"born in a reed-forest". He became the leader of the celestial hosts and the destroyer of Taraka as Brahma had ordained.
Lord Subramanya is an incarnation of Lord Siva. All incarnations are manifestations of the one Supreme Lord. Lord Subramanya and Lord Krishna are one.
Lord Krishna says in the Gita: "Among the army generals, I am Skanda".
The Lord manifests Himself from time to time in various names and forms, for the sake of establishing righteousness and subduing wickedness.
Lord Subramanya is a ray born of the Divine Consciousness of Lord Siva. Valli and Deivayanai are His two wives. They represent the power of action and the power of knowledge respectively. He is a Godhead easily accessible in this dark age of ignorance and lack of faith. In this He is no different from Hanuman. He gives material and spiritual prosperity and success in every undertaking of His devotees, even if they show a little devotion to Him. He is worshipped with great devotion in South India. Lord Subramanya's other names are Kumaresa, Kartikeya, Shanmukha, Guha, Muruga and Velayudhan.
In His picture, Lord Subramanya holds a spear in His hand, just as Lord Siva holds the trident. This is an emblem of power. It indicates that He is the ruler of the universe. His vehicle is the peacock. He rides on it. This signifies that He has conquered pride, egoism and vanity. There is a cobra under His feet, which indicates that He is absolutely fearless, immortal and wise. Valli is on His one side, Deivayanai on the other. Sometimes He stands alone with His spear. In this pose He is known as Velayudhan; this is His Nirguna aspect, which is free from the illusory power of Maya.
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.
Lord Subramanya's temples can be seen in Udipi, in Tiruchendur, in the Palani Hills, in Ceylon, and in Tiruparankundrum. Lord Subramanya spent His days of childhood in Tiruchendur and attained Mahasamadhi at Kathirgamam. If you go to Kathirgamam with faith, devotion and piety, and stay in the temple there for two or three days, the Lord will grant you His vision. You will get rich spiritual experiences. A huge festival is held in the temple every year on Skanda Sashti. Thousands of people visit the place. Massive amounts of camphor are burnt on this occasion.
Skanda Sashti falls in November. It is the day on which Lord Subramanya defeated the demon Taraka. On this day elaborate festivals are held with great pomp and grandeur. Devotees organise Bhajan and Kirtan programs on a grand scale. Thousands are fed sumptuously. Many incurable diseases are cured if one visits Palani and worships Lord Subramanya there. In South India, the Lord's Lilas are dramatized on the stage.
In addition to the Skanda Sashti, devotees of Lord Subramanya observe weekly and monthly days in His honour. Every Friday, or the Kartigai Nakshatram day every month, or the sixth day of the bright fortnight,--all these are sacred days for His devotees. The sixth day of the month of Tulam (October-November) is the most auspicious of them all. This is the Skanda Sashti day.
In many places the festival commences six days prior to the Sashti itself and concludes on the day of the Sashti. During these days, devotees recite various inspiring hymns and read stories connected with Lord Subramanya. They worship the Lord and take Kavadi. They go on pilgrimage to the various Subramanya shrines.
The Tirumurukatrupadai has been composed in His praise by the famous Nakkerar. He who studies this eminent work daily with devotion and faith, gets certain success in life as well as peace and prosperity. The Tiruppugal is another well-known book in Tamil, which contains the inspiring devotional songs of Arunagirinathar in praise of Lord Subramanya. The Kavadichindu songs are also in praise of the Lord. The Skanda Sashti Kavacham is another famous hymn in praise of Lord Subramanya and is sung particularly on festive occasions.
Perhaps the most potent propitiatory rite that a devotee of Shanmukha undertakes to perform is what is known as the Kavadi. The benefits that the devotee gains from offering a Kavadi to the Lord are a million-fold greater than the little pain that he inflicts upon himself.
Generally, people take a vow to offer the Lord a Kavadi for the sake of tiding over a great calamity. Though this might, on the face of it, appear a little mercenary, a moment's reflection will reveal that it contains in it the seed of supreme love of God. The worldly object is achieved, no doubt, and the devotee takes the Kavadi; but after the ceremony he gets so God-intoxicated that his inner spiritual being gets awakened. This is also a method that ultimately leads to the supreme state of devotion.
The Kavadi has various shapes and sizes, from the simple shape of a hawker's storehouse (a wooden stick with two baskets at each end, slung across the shoulder) to the costly palanquin structure, profusely flower-bedecked and decoratively interwoven with peacock feathers. In all cases the Kavadi has a good many brass bells adorning it and announcing it as the Kavadi-bearer draws it along. As the Kavadi-bearer very often observes silence, the bells are the only eloquent signs of a Kavadi procession.
The two baskets hanging at each end of the Kavadi contain rice, milk or other articles that the devotee has vowed to offer the Lord. The more devout among them, and especially those who do it as a Sadhana, collect these articles by begging. They travel on foot from village to village, and beg from door to door. The villagers offer their articles directly into the basket of the Kavadi. The Kavadi-bearer continues begging until the baskets are full or the avowed quantity is reached, and then offers the Kavadi to the Lord. Some keen devotees undertake to walk barefoot from home to one of the shrines of Lord Subramanya, bearing the Kavadi all the way and collecting materials for the offering. He has to walk a hundred miles sometimes! The people who place the articles in the baskets also receive the Lord's blessings.
The Kavadi-bearer is required to observe various rules between the time he takes up the Kavadi, and the day of the offering. He has to perform elaborate ceremonies at the time of assuming the Kavadi, and at the time of offering it to the Lord. He also puts on the dress of a Pandaram, a Saivite mendicant. It consists of a saffron-coloured cloth, a conical scarlet cap, and a cane silver-capped at both ends. Lord Siva, the Supreme Pandaram Himself, loves to wear this dress. The Pandaram lives on alms only. The bare chest of the Kavadi-bearer is covered with several rudraksha malas.
The Kavadi-bearer observes strict celibacy. Only pure, Sattwic food is taken; he abstains from all sorts of intoxicating drinks and drugs. He thinks of God all the time. Many of the Kavadi-bearers, especially those who do it as a spiritual Sadhana, impose various forms of self-torture. Some pass a sharp little spear through their tongue, which is made to protrude out of the mouth. Others may pass a spear through the cheek. This sort of piercing is done in other parts of the body also. The bearer does not shave; he grows a beard. He eats only once a day. The spear pierced through his tongue or cheek reminds him of the Lord constantly. It also prevents him from speaking. It gives him great power of endurance.
The Kavadi-bearer enjoys a high state of religious fervour. He dances in ecstasy. His very appearance is awe-inspiring; there is divine radiance on his face. Devotees often experience the state of feeling union with the Lord. Sometimes the Deity enters them and possesses them for some time.
The Agni-Kavadi is the most difficult offering. With the Kavadi hanging on his shoulder, the devotee walks through a pit of burning coals. Hymns are sung in praise of the Lord by those assembled all around the pit. Drums are beaten and incense is burnt. The entire atmosphere is awe-inspiring. The true devotee enters into ecstasy and easily walks over the fire.
At the Sivananda Ashram in India, Skanda Sashti is observed for six days, preceding and including the Sashti day. Devotees of Lord Subramanya live on milk and fruit and do rigorous Sadhana. They get up at 4am during Brahmamuhurta and meditate on the Lord.
On each of the six days, all the participants do Japa of the Mantra, Om Saravanabhavaya Namah, as much as possible. They even greet one another with this Mantra.
Yogis and learned scholars deliver lectures on Subramanya Tattwa, or the divine sport of the Lord. During the evening Satsang, hymns in praise of Lord Subramanya are sung. Readings are taken from my book, Lord Shanmukha and His Worship. Devotees sing inspiring songs on the Lord.
An elaborate ceremonial worship is performed daily to the sacred image of Lord Subramanya. On the last day a grand havan is performed. The evening Satsang is devoted entirely to the adoration of Lord Subramanya.
Pray from the bottom of your heart: "O my Lord Subramanya, O all-merciful Lord, I have neither faith nor devotion. I do not know how to worship Thee in the proper manner, or to meditate on Thee. I am Thy child who has lost his way, forgotten the goal and Thy Name. Is it not Thy duty, O compassionate Father, to take me back? O Mother Valli, will you not introduce me to Thy Lord? Thy love for Thy children is deeper and truer than that of anyone else in this world. Though I have become Thy worthless and undutiful child, O beloved Mother Valli, pardon me! Make me dutiful and faithful. I am Thine from this very second; always Thine. All is Thine. It is the Mother's duty to correct, educate and mould Her reckless child when it strays aimlessly on the wrong path. Remove the gulf or the veil of delusion that separates me from Thee. Bless me. Enlighten me. Take me back to Thy holy feet. I have nothing more to say. This is my fervent prayer to Thee and Thy Lord, my beloved and ancient Parents."
May Lord Subramanya shower His Grace upon you! May His blessings grant you peace, bliss and prosperity!

Story of Shiva and Vishnu

“There are two mahaa-phala daayaka Vrukshas. One by the name Vaasudeva and the other by the name Vaamadeva. They differ only in their sumas (flowers) (‘su’ is replaced by ‘ma’ in their names), but both give the same phalas (fruits, which is moksham)”. It is also often said, “How much one does not see the difference between Shiva and Vishnu, that much his aayu will increase”.
One day, when Lakshmi and Vishnu were together in vihaaram, Lakshmi sees Ucchaishravam, her brother, the horse of Revanta who is the son of Surya. Engrossed in seeing her brother, she does not reply to the repeated calls of Vishnu. Seeing her attraction, Vishnu gives her shaapam to go to Bhulokam in the form of a horse and come back to Vaikuntam only after getting a son equal to Himself! She comes to Bhuloka to experience the shaapam and realizing that none other than her brother, Shiva can help her calm Vishnu, she immediately does a tapas for Him and Shiva appears to save her soodari. Lakshmi says “You and Vishnu are both same, the Paramaatma. Please help me!”. Shiva says “Soodari! How do you know that we both are same? All learned people know that. Who told you?”. Lakshmi says, “Once Mahavishnu Himself told me this. Seeing Him in deep Daiva-dhyaanam, I asked Him “During Samudramanthanam, I thought you were the greatest of all and hence chose you. Devaadideva! Who is better than you that you are in dhyaanam of Him?”. Mahavishnu replied “I am doing Shankara-dhyaanam. He is Eshwara. He is the same as Me. All learned people know that. If someone is my devotee but still hates Shiva, he will fall into naraka”.
Saying this, She asks Shiva to pursuade Vishnu to bless Her with a child. Shiva sends Chitrarupa as a duta to convince Vishnu. Vishnu immediately accepts and comes to Bhuloka and blesses Lakshmi with Ekaveera, who is equal to Vishnu Himself. From Ekaveera came forth the Haihaya dynasty, of which the most noted king is Kartavirya Arjuna (Ekaveera’s grandson).
Once when Naarada, the avatar of Vishnu, recited prayers glorifying Lord Shiva as the supreme controller of the universe, Lord Shiva, the best of Vaishnavas, at once covered his ears and angrily replied, “I am not the Lord of the universe, nor an object of Krishna’s mercy! I am just a poor aatma always hankering for the favor of the servants of His servants.” (Thus in this small story, Naarada, avataar of Vishnu, glorifies Shiva as the Paramaatma and Shiva glorifies Vishnu as the Paramaatma!)

The story of Hanuman, who is the 11th avataar of Shiva and Raama, the purna avataar of Vishnu also reveals the same. Both of them acheived great tasks:
  1. Restricting the great samudram, Raama along with His entire army crossed the satpa-samudras! Hanuman, in one small jump, crossed it!
  2. In the greatest, unparalleled ghora-yuddham, which was never seen before or will ever be seen, Raama killed Raavana! Hanuman killed Mairaavana, who was many times stronger than Raavana, with great ease!
  3. Krishna lifted Govardhana giri, balanced on his little finger and saved the lives of Gopaalas! Hanuman brought the Sanjeevani Parvatam from Himaalayas to Lanka and saved Lakshmana!
  4. Raama melted a stone, with the touch of His lotus feet, for Ahalya! Hanuman melted a stone with His sweet Gandharva gaanam!
Though they did great tasks like this, always Hanuman worshipped Raama, with great Vinayam. And Raama worshipped Shiva with unparalleled devotion. (If one closely observes, for Paramaatma these tasks are not at all difficult/big. For He does everything right from Shrushti to Layam. And He only resides in everyone and gives life. However, since we cannot even imagine His power, we praise Him for these “small” tasks only :) )

Impressed by the great tapas of Viṣhṇu for Paramaśiva, Śiva gave Viṣhṇu the Sudarshana Cakram.

Annamaacharya, the great Vaak-geya-kaaraka of Aandhra Pradesh, in one of his divya sankeertana “Enta maatramuna evvaru talichina ….” says:
How much ever one imagines that much only are You:
  • For Vaishnavas You are Vishnu
  • For Vedaantas You are Parabrahma
  • For Shaivas and other bhaktas You are Shiva
  • For Kaapaalikas You are Kaala-Bhairava
  • For Shaakteyaas You are Shakti
  • For people with alpa-buddhi You appear as alpam
  • For people who know Your Garima and have Ghana-buddhi You are a Ghana
  • For people who are Sharanaagati You are Venkateshvara
Once Shri Krishna, the avataar of Mahaavishnu, came to Upamanyu maharshi, when he was at Himaalayas. Shri Krishna said “Upamanyu muniindra! You are the greatest in the Shiva Bhaktas. I came here to do Tapas of Paramashiva to get santaanam. Please teach Me Shaiva-vidhi and vidhaanam”.
Upamanyu replied “O Shri Krishna! I know who You are. Shiva puuja is not new to You. Though You know it, to make everybody know, I will tell You …” Saying thus, Upamanyu told Shri Krishna how to do Shiva-aaraadhana.
This happened after the episode of Naarada, coming under Vishnu maaya, gives shaapam to Vishnu: (This is one of the reasons of Shri Raama avatar)
Naarada says “Svaami! Please forgive Me. I, coming under influence of Your maaya, got ahankaar and did Your ninda. Please tell Me what can save Me from this ghora-paapam”. Vishnu says:
“O Priya Naarada! You go and do paaraayana of Shankara Shatanaamams. Then You will get Shaanti. Shiva is whom I respect the most. Even by mistake dont forget this. One who doesnt have Shiva-anugraham cannot be My Bhakta. Believe this … Then My maaya wont affect you.”
Once Vyaasa Bhagavaan came under the influence of Shiva-maaya and started telling in his Pravachanams that Vishnu is greater than Shiva. Once Nandeeshvara also heard Vyaasa Bhagavaan saying this. Vishnu Murty then appeared before Veda Vyaasa and told Him “O Maharshi! Dont you know that I and Shiva are the same? Knowing this why are you telling like this in your pravachanams?” Veda Vyaasa then had great pashchaattaapam and asked Kshama from Nandeeshvara.
The phalam of Vishnu Pooja is Shiva Bhakti — the example is that of Arjuna. Arjuna ofcourse was the greatest Shri Krishna Bhakta. But it was Shiva who gave Arjuna moksham, when Arjuna was born as Bhakta Kannappa, in the great Kaalahastsi Kshetram.
Similarly the phalam of Shiva Pooja is Shri Raama Bhakti — the examples are stories of Kaaka Bhushundi and Valmiki Maharshi. Kaaka Bhushundi was a great Shiva Bhakta and hence Shiva grants him Raama Bhakti Saamraajyam. Valmiki did tapas for Shiva using the Panchaakshari mantram given to him by the great Saptarshis and as a result became the Aadi Kavi and wrote the great Raamaayanam.
Raasaleela. It was the day when the “punya-vruksham” of Gopikas delivered its ripe fruits, called Moksham. It was the day when the Aaraadhana of Gopikas was blessed by Lord Krishna. Gopikas realized Shri Krishna, the Sarvaantaryaami, everywhere. As a result of their Aaraadhana-bhakti they realized the paramaatma’s poorna-svaroopam with each one of them. Who could miss watching the Raasaleela, where the Lord showered His Karuna-jyotsna ? All the Brahma-aadi devatas were present.
Parama Shiva, the greatest bhakta of Shri Krishna, was also present in the form of a Gopika. Shri Krishna, who is always in nirantara-shiva-dhyaanam, searched for Parameshvara. Finally He realized that Shiva is none other than one of the Gopikas having sampoorna aanandam of dancing with Him. Shri Krishna paramaatma then does stuti of Eshvara and asks to bless them by staying there at Vrundaavanam by the name of Gopeeshvara.
Even today we can visit Lord Shiva, in the form of Gopeeshvara, at Vrundaavanam.
“Thiruthangal Uuranai”- Thirumangai aazhwar mangalasanam.
Banasuran was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. He once prayed to Shiva to bestow him with thousand arms so that he can play the mrudangam during his rudrathandavam. Shiva too did so. But instead of playing the instrument with his thousand arms he started fighting battles against one and all. Instigated by this malicious act Shiva said “ A person equal to me shall severe your thousand hands.” Usha was the daughter of Banasura. She once saw in a dream that a young prince played with her. She immediately wanted to know who he was. Chitralekha started drawing hundreds of pictures which did not yield the expected result. She then drew the pictures of Yadava rulers like Balarama, Krishna, Pradyumna and Anrudha. As soon as she sketched the picture of Anirudha Usha was only too excited. “It is he, It is he”- she exclaimed. Chitralekha being a yogini atonce brought Anirudha to her chamber even as he was sleeping atop his house. They then played there for a long time. Some spy who oversaw all this complained to Banasura who arrested Anirudha for no fault of his. Lord Krishna fought a tough battle. Banasura sought the refuge of Shiva who faught on his side. Lord Krishna severed all of Banasura’s hands except four. Krishna then told Shiva “ Iam you and you are me. Those who show hatred against me or you though a devotee of either shall attain hell. I as Brahma create, as Rudra destroy and as Vishnu protect. Your devotee is mine and my devotee is yours.I shall not kill Banasura, he being a descendent of Prahlada.” Thus Banasura was consoled and Anirudha was married to Usha. Rudra showed false anger at Banasura and asked him never to join his bhutaganas. A repenting Banasura asked for parihara when he said that a dip in the holy waters of Papavinashini teertha at Thiruthangal will cleanse him of his sin. Banasura did so and rejoined Rudragana. Thus those who visit this kshetra will beget their lost status and also beget a good groom. Victory be to him who visits this kshetra.

Morals in the Story:
  1. Shiva and Vishnu are the same.
  2. Both Raama and Hanuman did such super-human tasks, but they were never having even a bit of Ahankaar. They always were humble...

Great people are always humble

Lord Raama, the paramaathma, was ofcourse the greatest warrior ever. Lord Krishna in Bhagavadgita remarks “I am Raama among warriors”. He learnt all the Shastras and unparalled Dhanurvidya under the guidance of the great Vasishtha. He was also given super-human powers like bala, ati bala by the great Vishwamithra, the Rishi of Gayathri manthra. Vishwamithra maharshi also taught him all the secret astras that ever existed, which only he in this whole universe knew (he originally learnt it from Lord Shiva). In addition to these, Agasthya mahamuni gave him many additional powers.A few glimpses of Lord Raama’s valour:
  1. With one arrow Raama kills taataki, the mighty raakshasi.
  2. With two simultaneous arrows he kills subaahu and throws Maaricha seven seas away.
  3. Effortlessly lifts the Shiva dhanush, which was pulled to the court by around 50000 well built people.
  4. Raama kills Khara, Dhushana, their 1000 brothers and their army in 14 minutes single handed.
Despite being such a great warrior, he never displayed in strength on his own to show others. The anger on the samudra stands as a good example for this quality of Raama:
Raavana gives 30 days time to sita maata to decide if she will marry him, else will kill her. Bharata took word from Raama saying that if he does’nt return on the next moment of 14 yrs of aranyavaas, then he will sacrifice himself. Raama and his army reaches the shores of ocean with barely 30 days in hand. They have to cross the ocean, defeat Ravana & his army, take sita back to ayodhya in around 30 days time. With such a press for time and given the strength of Raama, Lakshmana suggests Raama not to spend time asking ocean God for way, but to order him.
What Raama does is unbelievable. Though he had the strength and power to control the ocean God, he did not do it. He did penance on the shores of the ocean for 3 long days to give them a way. Finally after 3 days Raama gets angry on the ocean and to make remember his duty, aims an astra at him and immediately ocean God appears and suggests a way of crossing him…
Morals in the Story:
  1. We, for our small petty achievements in life, are very proud (ahankaar) and given a chance, display our strengths. The way of great people is quite different as shown by Lord Raama.
  2. One must never use the strength or powers just because they exist with him, but judiciously use them for the benefit of everyone, upliftment of Dharma.
  1. Controlling one’s ahankaar is one the most difficult things. If it is controlled we will see a more peaceful world.
  2. Always people who are humble and obedient are only respected by others. If Lord Raama Himself is so humble, as mere normal human beings imagine how much obedient we must be to our elders and parents.-

Draupadi, an icon of a true Indian woman

Draupadi, the daughter of King Drupada, appears from the yagnyaagni as a full grown, in the bloom of her youth. One can observe that it is always Paramaatma who takes birth and avataaras (“Paritraanaaya sadhunam …”). However, always Yoga-Maaya (or Shakti) never takes birth, she just appears. It is the same case with Sita devi, Rukmini devi, Draupadi, Maatulungi etc. The following piece of story of draupadi shows the boundaries of following Dharma. May be none can be better!
Ashwatthaama, the chiranjeevi, does a daaruna krutyam after the Mahaabhaaratam. Unusual to his nature, He, without even little daya, beheads the sleeping babies of draupadi — the upa-paandavas. Draupadi realizes what happened. All her 10 sons, who were little baalakas, who were sleeping, who never did any kind of harm to Ashwatthaama and who cannot even react to the harm committed to them were lying in a pool of blood. Draupadi breaks down to tears and weeps in great sorrow. Arjuna very sad himself, consoles Her and says it does not look nice for a Veera maata to cry like this. He says that He will immediately avenge the act and kill Ashwatthaama. On killing him, she can take bath standing on his head. Immediately Lord Krishna and Arjuna set out on their Hanumadhdhvaja ratham to catch the fleeing Ashwatthaama.
Seeing that Arjuna is closing by his ratham and that his horses are a little exhausted, Aswaththaama sees Brahmaastra as the only way to save himself. Though not knowing the way of retrieving the astra, he immediately uses Brahmaastra on Arjuna, after stopping the ratham, doing aachamanam and purifying himself. Lord Krishna orders Arjuna to use Brahmaastra to counter Ashwatthaama’s. Arjuna also purifies himself, does achamanam, does a pradakshina to the Almighty and uses Brahmaastra. The two astras, one like Agni and the other like sun, fight each other and in no time the worlds start to burn under the influence of the astras. Krishna, the protector of the worlds, immediately orders Arjuna to take back both Astras, as only a Brahmachaari can take back a Brahmaastra!
Arjuna takes back both the Brahmaastras, showing clearly what a perfect Brahmachaari he was. Arjuna, who was the friend of the Askalita Brahmachaari Lord Krishna, obviously knows the shastras and the ways to maintain his Brahmacharyam, though married. Arjuna ties Ahswaththaama and takes him to Draupadi, like a Yagnya pashu is taken to the Yagnya shaala. The acts of Draupadi in this following episode make even Krishna praise Krishnaa (Draupadi) for her Dharma.
On seeing the killer of all her sons being brought by Arjuna, Draupadi, of the beauty of her nature out of compassion, does a namaskar to him and says as per the Vedas in the absence of the Guru, Guru-putra takes his place, so she is doing a namaskaar to Drona! It was unbearable for her having him brought being bound and she said: “Release him, for he is a brahmana, our Aacharya. Do not make his mother, Drona’s wife, cry the way I do in my chastity shedding tears constantly in distress over a lost child”. Yudhishtira, Arjuna, Nakula, Sahadeva, Saatyaki, Krishna and other queens supported the statements of Paanchaali as they were in accord with the principles of Sanaatana Dharma, of justice, merciful, without duplicity and glorious in equity. Krishna, amazed by the Dharmya vartana of Draupadi, praises her very much. However, Bhima also raised a valid point that a person who by nature has daya is a brahmana, is Ashwatthaama, who mercilessly killed the baalakas, worth being called one? Saying “surely death is the only punishment for such a person”, Bhima proceeds to kill Ashwatthaama, but the Lord, with His chaturbhuja’s stops Bhima and says the following with a smile:
Dhrmyam of Draupadi!
“The Guru-putra, a braahmana must not be killed – this both is by Me, certainly prescribed to be carried out abiding by the rules.” However, Arjuna has to keep to the truth as promised while pacifying his wife, and also act to the satisfaction of Bhima and Himself (by punishing the bad). So they remove the divya mani on the head of Ashwatthaama and remove his hair, as, for a veera, tonsuring is equivalent to killing him.
Morals in the story:
  1. The Dhramya vartana of Draupadi is well portrayed in the story. This shows us that, even at the time of great stress, sorrow, difficulty, one never must deviate from the path of truth, Dharma.
  2. Even though Ashwatthaama was great, in his momentary anger he committed an unpardonable crime. One must be very careful and need to think what is right and what is wrong before acting. This is what the pandavas do in the later part of the story, with the help of Krishna. They, though Kshattriyas, were not overwhelmed by revenge. They acted according to the words of Krishna, who is Dharma in human form.
  3. The importance given to keeping up one’s word is protrayed well. Arjuna promises Draupadi to kill Ashwatthaama, but according to Dharma is must not be killed. So they do an equivalent act of killing.
  4. The importance of cleanliness is also displayed. Both Ashwatthaama and Arjuna purify themselves, do aachamanam before chanting the mantras for Brahmaastra. They do this even when they were in such a great press for time.
  5. The power of Brahmacharyam is well shown through this story. Arjuna, who knew the Shatras, was a brahmachaari and hence could not only take back his, but Ashwatthaama’s astra too.
  6. The heart of a mother is well exposed when Draupadi comments “Do not make his mother, Drona’s wife, cry the way I do in my chastity shedding tears constantly in distress over a lost child“. She knows the pain of loosing children, so did not want another mother to experience it!
Message to present society:
Being Kshatriyas, people with lot of Shauryam, Paandavas thought so much (analyzing what is Dharmam, what is adharmam) before avenging their son’s death. Now-a-days even films show people mercilessly killing each other in the name of revenge.