Worship of Murugan
The worship of Lord Murugan is ancient among the Tamils. Murugan or Skanda-Kumara is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and brother of Lord Ganesha. Murugan in Tamil refers to youthfulness. Murugan is otherwise known as Kartikeya, Subrahmanya, Thendayudhapani, Shanmuka, etc. based on various myths associated with him. Murugan is popularly depicted as having six faces.
Created to be the commander of the army of the gods, He is also worshipped for his supreme knowledge of the Brahman. He was born for the sole purpose of destroying Soorapadman, an asura (demon) who was giving immense trouble to devas (divine beings) and rishis (sages). Murugan is famous for His victory over Soorapadman where the asura king assuming the form of a mango tree is cut into two by Murugan’s vel. The split halves of Soorapadman took the forms of a peacock and a cockerel. The cockerel became the symbol of Murugan’s flag and the peacock His vehicle.
Vel – Spear of Murugan
The Vel of Murugan, which is identical with Him is a mystic divine weapon with which He destroyed the asuras. It is the object of worship in some of the shrines of Murugan.
The very word Vel has the mystic powers of invoking the grace of Murugan and therefore His devotees chant “Vel Vel”, “Veera Vel”, “Vetri Vel”, “Gnana Vel”, Shakthi Vel” in their worship rituals.
Arupadai Veedu – Six Camps of Murugan
The Six Abodes of Murugan are six temples situated in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. The god is known by different names such as Karthikeya, Skanda, Vadivela and Muruga at various temples. The six most sacred abodes of Murugan became the most celebrated holy places to all worshippers of Murugan. The six camps are:
- Thiruchendur (Alaivaai)
- Thiruvavinankudi (Palani)
- Thiruveragam (Swamimalai)
Devotees of Murugan travel to the above-mentioned shrines to worship and receive His blessings.