Lord Kartikeya is an important Hindu deity.
Other than him, people even worship his 2 wives Devasena and Valli in the South.
Lord Kartikeya’s first and prime wife Devasena represents the power of action.
Devi Valli is the 2nd consort and she represents willpower and aspiration.
Devi Devasena from the very beginning had affiliation with the Gods and Goddesses, which was not the case with Valli.
Valli was born in a tribal family and after marrying Lord Kartikeya, she became a Devi.
The marriage of Devasana and Kartikeya was an arranged alliance, with the Devatas participating in the wedding cermony.
Literally, Devasena means an army of gods.
Hence, Lord Kartikeya has another name, Devasenapati as He is the coomander in chief of the Devatas.
Surprisingly, the name also translates as, the Husband of Devasena.
When it comes to worshipping Lord Kartikeya with one of his wives, devotees often worship the idol of Valli.
Lord Muruga is impartial to his devotees and his wives.
But, devotees consider Valli to be closer to Lord Kartikeya. This is because she was in admiration of Lord Kartikeya.
So, to fulfill her desire, Lord Kartikeya engaged in sweet pastimes with her, and later on, married the Tribal princess.
So, Lord Kartikeya had both an arranged as well as a love marriage!
Origin of Devasena
Devi Devasena resides in Skandaloka (The residence of Lord Skanda).
She is the first consort of of Lord Muruga and her mount is a peacock.
In some Vedic references Devi Devasena is the daughter of Lord Indra, who arranged her marriage with Kartikeya.
However, some other notes say that Devasena is the daughter of Daksha Prajapati, the son of Brahma.
Firther the reference reveals that Devasena has a sibling by the name Daitysena (meaning army of Demons).
Devasena and Daityasena
Once the 2 daughters of Daksha Prajapati were enjoying water sports in the Manasa river.
Suddenly a Demon named Keshi abducted the 2 sisters and forced them to marry him
Daityasena agreed but Devasena rejected the proposal.
Meanwhile, In swargaloka, the Devatas miserably lost the war that ensued between them and the demons.
So, they were in search of a suitable Commander in chief for their army.
While searching, Lord Indra accidentally came across the spot where Devasena was held captive.
Devasena requested Lord Indra to rescue her.
Seeing her pitiful condition he became a emotional and thus adopted her as his daughter.
Soon, the Lord of the Devas defeated the demon and rescued Devasena from his clutches.
After this she requested Lord Indra to find a powerful and suitable husband for her who is capable of defeating the gods, demons and Yakshas.
To fulfil the desires of his daughter, Lord Indra discussed this matter with Lord Brahma.
After looking from all perspectives Lord Brahma exclaimed that the son of Agni Devata shall be suitable groom.
He can also be a good commander and can even be a suitable husband for Devasena.
So Lord Agni had to create a son for the betterment for the world.
This son was none other than Kartikeya who from all angles surpassed the Devatas, Daityas and Yakshas.
Then Lord Indra announced Lord Kartikeya as the commander in chief of his army and got Devasena to marry him.
Birth Story of Valli Devi
There are many stories that revolve around Devi Valli.
Some say that Devi Valli was born to the chief of the Kuravar hunter family, named Nambi Rajan, after his incessent prayers to Lord Murugan.
But some other sources narrate a different story.
The story goes like this…
Once a Rishi was meditating and as he opened his eyes, he spotted out a deer.
His glance was so potent that it made the deer pregnant with a human child (female).
So, this is a very common folk story, which many tend to disbelieve.
Valli and Murugan
From her childhood itself, Valli had great devotion and love for Kartikeya.
The chief of her tribal community (her father, Nambi Rajan) once proposed the idea of developing a Foxtail miles in their territory.
To bring the plan to action, he appointed Valli to protect the field against pests.
On the other hand, Lord Murugan was moved by the devotion of Valli.
He thought of playing some pranks on her and thus disguised as a hunter who lost his way while hunting, Lord Murugan approached her.
This form is the ‘Veduvan Kolam’ of Lord Kartikeya, in the form of a handsome, young hunter.
Devotees worship this very form at the Palaniapaar temple at Belukurichi.
When Kartikeya came in that form in front of Valli, she could not recognise him.
So she straightforwardly told the hunter to leave.
Meanwhile from far, Lord Muruga saw the chief of the tribes coming with honey and fruits for Valli.
Immediately Muruga transformed himself into a tree.
After the chief and his followers left, the lord regained his form as a hunter and proposed to Valli.
Valli who had already given her heart to Muruga, became furious, and lashed out the proposal.
Kartikeya’s Pranks on Valli
In some time again the chief came there and so lord Kartikeya took the form of a old man.
Seeing the old man, Valli’s father asked her to serve the aged man, till his hunting party arrive.
The old man (Kartikeya) was hungry and so Valli provided him with a bowl of millet-flour mixture and honey.
After completing his meals, Valli gave him a glass of water to quench His thriest.
Now, instead of appreciating her deliberate mood of service, the Lord taunted Valli by saying the following words.
“Valli, you quenched my thirst. But, what about my thirst for companionship?”
Now, Lord Murugan had crossed his limits, she thought.
How could Valli, who surrendered herself to Kartikeya accept the proposal of any other man.
She immediately distanced herself and ran in the opposite direction.
Kartikeya was in a fix as whatever he did to get a yes from her, she would down down the proposal.
So, he sought help from his brother, Ganesha.
Lord Ganesha took a form of a wild elephant and started running behind Valli.
Being chased by the wild elephant, Valli sought refuge under the old man.
This gave Murugan a golden opportunity to play his card.
He said: “If you want me to protect you, say yes for the marriage.”
Having left with no other option, Valli said yes.
The moment Valli said Yes, the old man disappeared and the Son of Uma, Lord Kartikeya stood before Valli, in all splendor.
Valli was spellbound. She could not believe that her good fortune has dawned upon her.
After this, she thought herself to be the most fortunate woman as she spent so much time with her beloved lord.
Marriage of Kartikeya and Valli
The Pastimes of Lord Murugan are unique.
The Millet harvest was over. So Valli returned home, with her father.
Again Murugan assumed the form of the old man and spent some time with Valli, away from her home and family.
But, soon Nambi Raja realised the absence of Valli. This made him furious.
The entire community went in search of Valli.
The tribes soon found Valli, but they also found Murugan.
Unaware of the lord’s real identity, the tribes shot arrows at Him.
But the arrows could not touch him. Instead, Valli’s father and brothers fell lifeless.
Valli could not see her near and dear ones lying lifeless on the floor. She requested the Lord to restore their lofe.
Murugan smiled and told Valli, that she was capable of reviving her beloved ones.
Valli became a little confused. But, when hinted by the Lord, she touched the body of her people.
Astonishingly they regained life.
Nambi Raja realised that the old man was of a Godly caliber. He begged for forgiveness.
The Lord as always blesses his devotees as well as the ignorant beings.
Soon the chief got his daughter Valli married to Murugan.
Even today, the place where the Lord played His sweet pastimes exists as Vallimalai.
After the wedding the newly wedded couple moved to Thiruthani.
The Relations Between Devasena and Valli
In some South Indian scriptures it is said that Devasena and Valli are the daughters of Vishnu.
The Skanda Purana reveals that the relations between Devasena and Valli were harmonious.
But, some Tamil litterateurs, stories and folklores mention conflicts, mistrust and quarrel between the 2 co-wives.
In one such traditional story Valli is the younger sister of Devasena.
Though tradition declares that the elder sister must first get married, here, Valli tries to impress Lord Muruga, before her elder sister, Devasena married.
Because of violating the rules of the tradition, Devasena cursed Valli to take birth on earth.
As a result Valli was born on earth, in a tribal family.
In another version the Lord condemns Valli and asks her to descend on Earth as an atonement, for mocking at her elder sister Devasena.
There is a mention in Sri Lankan Folklore about lord Kartikeya and Valli.
After their marriage the couple stayed in the forest and this agitated Devasena, the cief queen.
She tried her best to persuade her husband, but all in vain.
So, she herself decided to settle there with her husband.
Whatever, conclusions or stories the localites might churn up, however the fact is that both the wives were dear to Lord Kartikeya.
Hence, we must trust and believe legitimate sources like Skanda Purana.
Thanls for reading!