Lord Kartikeya Cribbing for a Mango
Once in Kailasha, Lord Shiva was resting peacefully with Devi Parvati.
Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya were also present.
Suddenly, Narada Muni appeared with a beautiful mango in his hand.
He prayed and bowed before the universal mother and father.
As soon as he arrived, he gave the divine mango to Lord Shiva.
Narada muni told the Lord that this is a divine mango, and whoever eats this can gain eternal knowledge.
So, Lord Shiva began to cut this mango into 4 pieces, for his entire family.
But, Narada muni stopped the Lord and said that only one person can eat the mango.
This condition made the Lord a little sceptical about Narada’s intentions.
The 2 brothers, Lord Kartikeya and Lord Ganesha wanted to eat the fruit and prove their superiority.
They wished to claim the mango.
Now, Lord Shiva became worried, as He did not want to be partial to any one of his sons.
Narada muni gave a smile and then told the young gods, that whoever successfully circumambulates the 3 worlds thrice will get the mango.
Hearing this condition, Lord Kartikeya became happy and confidently flew on His peacock named Parvani, to complete the goal.
However, Lord Ganesha’s approach was quite different.
He circumambulated His parents, Uma-Shankar.
Now, this scene confused Narada Muni.
So, to rid himself of his doubts, he approached the Lord of wisdom and keenly awaited to learn the reason behind this act.
Then Lord Ganesha revealed that His parents represent the whole universe.
Hence, encircling them thrice shall satisfy the condition to consume the mango.
How did Murugan get the name Palani?
When Murugan came after circulating the universe, he saw his brother Ganesha eating the mango.
This made him feel dejected and as a result, Lord Kartikeya renounced the world.
However, Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati started pacifying him.
His mother adressed him as the fruit of wisdom – ‘pazham nee’.
This became another name of Lord Murugan, Palani and there is a temple in His honour.
Kartikeya Pesters Sri Brahma
There is mention about this story in the Skanda Purana.
When Lord Kartikeya was very young, Lord Shiva being a concerned parent, thought of sending his son for high education.
So, He summoned Lord Brahma and asked him to teach Kartikeya all his knowledge of Vedas.
Lord Brahma became happy and took Kartikeya with him.
Brahma started Murugan’s lessons, but the young boy displayed disinterest to learn the basic alphabets.
Instead, Lord Kartikeya straightly asked Brahma the Meaning of Om.
On being asked thus, Brahma smiled and told Murugan to first learn the alphabets.
But, Kartikeya was adamant. He wanted to learn the highest first.
This confused Brahma, and he tried to answer Murugan.
But, every time Brahma gave his answer, Murugan shook his head away from him.
At last Kartikeya declared that a person who cannot explain the meaning of Om can never be his teacher.
This frustrated Brahma and He took Murugan to Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva becomes a student
In Kailasa, Sri Brahma complained of Murugan’s adamacny and finicky behaviour.
Sri Brahma, narrated the whole incident to Lord Shiva, and told him that he would want to resign from the responsibility of imparting knowledge to Skanda.
Now, Lord Shiva looked at his son and asked weather he knew the meaning of Om.
Kartikeya with a smile on his face told his father that he knows the meaning of Om.
This took Lord Shiva by surprise and he asked his son to explain the meaning.
But, Murugan told his father that if He teaches Him the meaning of om, He shall become the Guru.
Therefore, following the curom would mean that Lord Murugan would have to sit on a higher pedestal than Shiva.
To Lord Shiva’s delight, he took Kartikeya on his shoulder and folded his palms to learn.
Lord Kartikeya explained to his father the whole vastness of Om mantra.
Even Devi Parvati heard the beautiful explanation.
She told her son that he is the Swami (Guru) of her Natha (Lord).
Hence, came another name of Lord Murugan, Swaminatha.
Devotees, Gods and Pride
Lord Kartikeya’s stories are different from other Gods.
In one story he acts like a small baby, in second he becomes a guru, and in other he removes the ego of his devotees.
Avvaiyar was a great devotee and poet.
She dedicated her life for the lord, and people describe her as an old woman holding a stick.
The Supreme Lord never likes pride in his devotees.
Lord Shiva destroyed the pride of Ravana, Lord Rama destroyed the pride of Hanumana, Lord Krishna destroyed the pride of Arjuna and thus, Lord Skanda decided to destroy the pride of His beloved devotee Avvaiyar.
Lord Kartikeya Destroys the Pride of Avvaiyar
Once Avvaiyar was travelling by foot, and soon she became tired.
She saw Jamun tree and sat under it.
Avvaiyar at that time gained a lot of recognition and fame because of her amazing poetry, writing skills, and this instilled pride and ego in her.
So, Lord Murugan took the form a common boy and asked her weather she will have Jamun.
She was hungry so she said yes.
Now the boy asked weather she will have Sutta Pazham (cooked or hot fruit) or Sudatha Pazham (uncooked fruit).
Avvaiyar thought the boy to be an illiterate.
She replied: ” Sutta Pazham (hot fruit)”.
So, Lord Kartikeya in the form of the commonboy, shook the tree, and some jamuns fell down on the ground.
The ground was dirty.
So, Avvaiyar took the jamuns and gently blew to remove the dust stuck on the fruit.
Now, The boy asked: “Were the Jamuns too hot.”
Avvaiyar realised the meaning of Sutta Pazham and Sudatha Pazham, it meant ripe fruits and unripe fruits respectively.
When she looked up the boy was missing.
Soon, she realised that it was Lord Murugan in the form of a common boy who came to destroy her pride.
She came to know, that one should never think the other to be less intelligent.
With full repentence, she invoked Lord Murugan and was blessed to have his darshan.
Adi Shankara Composes Subramanya Bhujangam
Thoug Adi Shankara is a Jnana, this episode shall reveal to you the Emotion of Bhakti hidden in the greatest Jnani.
Subramanya Bhujangam is a beautiful hymn written by Adi Shankara for Lord Subramanya or Kartikeya.
This hymn describes the supremacy of Lord Muruga, the son of Lord Shiva.
Adi Shankara in a row defeated many great scholars who were following different school of thoughts.
This made some scholars jealous of the great Adi Shankara.
One of his haters became so jealous of Adi Shankara’s fame, that he casted an evil spell on him.
As a result, severe stomach aches attacked Adi Shankara.
He tried his best to avoid the pain, but he thought it to be a prarabhdha karma.
But the Lord of compassion, Kartikeya could not see His Adi Shankara in pain.
So He immediately appeared in his dream and told him to visit the Tiruchendur Temple (a famous temple of Murugan in Tamil Nadu).
Following the instructions, Adi Shankara went to the temple, and got darshan of the rarest forms of Lord Murugan.
He saw Murugan standing and Adi Shesha spreading his hoods over the Lord.
This is the most rare form of Muruga, which Adi Shankara got to see.
Seeing this form Adi Shankara began to sing and describe the glorious form.
The graceful movements of the snake and the charming face of the lord made Adi Shankara sing the Subrahmanya Bhujangam.
As he sung hymns in praise of the Lord, his disease immediately fled and Adi Shankara restored to health.
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