The unique nature of Lord Murugan

The unique nature of Lord Murugan

Lord Murugan is a very special deity in South India as indeed in other parts of the world.

He is the Lord of beauty and  wisdom. As the younger son of Lord Shiva; (the elder is Lord Ganesha), he is known by several other names including Karthikeya, Kumaran, Saravana, Dandayudhapani, Shiva Kumara, Shanmukha, Palaniandavar and Swaminatha.

He is sometimes depicted with six faces and in this manifestation he is known as Lord Arumugam. His mount is the peacock. He is known to have six abodes and these include Thiruparakundram; Tiruchendur; Palani; Swamimalai, Tiruthani and Palamudhircholai. He assumes a different form in each of these abodes.

In Tiruparakundram; he is worshipped as Lord Subramanyam. He is reputed to have wedded Deivayanai; daughter of Indra in this place. The innermost shrine is carved out of a single rock. In Tiruchendur, he is worshipped as Kumara in royal splendour. The temple is located on the sea shore in contrast to the other abodes on hilltops.

In Palani, he is worshipped as Lord Dandayudhapani with a staff in his hand. He is portrayed as a mendicant and a renunciate and the deity is made from the nine metals.
Thaipoosam is celebrated with great pomp and glory in this temple.

In Swamimalai, the Lord acquires the name of Swaminatha and it is derived from his expounding the meaning of the pranava mantra to his father Lord Shiva.

Legend has it that Lord Shiva was deprived of his memory thanks to a curse by the Sage Bhrigu. He asks his son the meaning of the pranava ma-ntra and Lord Murugan insists that his father become his disciple before he expounded the meaning. Lord Shiva accedes to this request and Lord Shiva regains knowledge of the sacred mantra from his son.

In Tiruthani, the Lord is reputed to have married Valli in this shrine. It is said that on worshipping Lord Murugan here Vasuki, the King of serpents had his wounds healed as a result of the churning of the milky ocean. In Palamudhircholai, the beautiful shrine is surrounded by hills, woods and forests. The Lord stands with both his spouses Valli and Deivayanai.

Despite its simplicity, it is the most elegant of the shrines. The six shrines are also said to represent the six subtle yogic chakras present in every human being marking the passage from ignorance to liberation.