Om Saravanabhavaya Namah!
Om Namo Bhagavate Sivanandaya!
Om Namo Bhagavate Chidanandaya!
Om Namo Bhagavate Krishnanandaya!
Skanda Shashti Message (Delivered in 1946)
by Sri Swami Sivananda
Beloved Immortal Selves!
Skanda Shasthi is the six-day-worship of Lord Skanda or Karttikeya. He is the spiritual son of Lord Siva. Lord Skanda is worshipped with intense devotion by a very large section of people throughout Southern India and Sri Lanka as well.
The origin of Lord Skanda, the purpose of His Avatara and its significance are of much importance to all seekers after Truth. During the battle between the Asuras and the Devas, the latter were defeated several times by the former. The Devas were unable to resist the onslaught of the Asuric forces. Then, in despair, they approached Lord Siva and entreated Him to give them an able Leader under whose heroic lead they might obtain victory over the Asuras. They surrendered themselves completely and prayed to Lord Siva sincerely. The gracious Lord granted their request by creating the Mighty Divine Warrior, Lord Skanda, out of His Divine Power or Achintya Sakti. This great son of Lord Siva at once assumed leadership of the celestial forces, originated them, inspired them and attacked the Asuric forces. The Asuras were routed and a glorious victory was gained by the Devas. Thus it was through the able guidance and leadership of Lord Skanda that the Divine forces obtained victory over the demoniacal.
The inner life of the spiritual aspirant is precisely such a constant struggle between the divine and the demoniacal aspects in him. The seeker’s Sadhana is this determined battle against the Asuric forces that try to drag him down into deeper darkness and take him away from his ideal. At times he becomes so totally helpless under the violent attacks of his lower nature that it seems as if all hope of progress is doomed to failure. He feels that he has fallen, never to rise again. But, let all Sadhakas take heart that the compassion and grace of the Divine Lord is never-failing. It will never let you down. ‘Nil desperandum’ should be your guiding motto, for, the eternal law is “darkness cannot stand before light.” Make a whole-hearted surrender at the feet of the Divine even as the Devas surrendered to Lord Siva. And like them pray earnestly with Bhava and sincerity. The divine help will surely come, and in your heart there will spring up the routing torrent of Divine Sakti. The Lord’s grace will become manifest to you in the form of inner Soul-force. This power is the Skanda manifest in inner being to aid in your battle against the lower Asuric self with its devilish minions like passion, anger, greed, jealousy, falsehood, deceit, cruelty and thousand other aspects of evil. No more are you helpless! The descent of the Divine Grace with this Atma Bala, with this Skanda Sakti, will vanquish all the undivine forces that attack you on the spiritual path and emerge triumphant and victorious. You achieve your life’s goal.
Therefore Lord Karttikeya is the very embodiment of the Divine Grace. He is the personification of the Daya Sakti, or Kripa Sakti of the Lord. The grace of the compassionate Lord, when prayerfully and sincerely invoked, manifests as such irresistible Divine Power that all Asuric forces fly away in holy terror at its mere approach. The Lord’s Grace is the ultimate resort and unfailing support in the inner warfare of everyone’s spiritual life, of all struggles. The significance and the spiritual message embodied in Skanda Avatara is the message of Supreme importance of self-surrender, the Supreme efficacy of sincere prayer and the unfailing compassion of the Lord. If you truly surrender yourself to the Lord with Bhava, He will at once shower His Grace upon you. No real prayer from the bottom of your heart will remain unanswered. If you obtain the Lord’s grace, you will certainly succeed and overcome all obstacles and annihilate the force of darkness, that stand against you. There is no force that can stand against the Supreme Power of Divine Grace.
Take shelter at the Lord’s feet Pray to Him earnestly and invoke His aid and obtain His grace and compassion. Emerge triumphant and victorious. Attain the lofty and glorious spiritual state of freedom, perfection and bliss. Upon this joyous occasion of Skanda Shashthi, when you are all celebrating the victory of the Lord over the demon, Tarakasura, the powerful leader of the Asuras, remember these great truths and be courageous. Surrender yourself afresh at His feet.
May the glorious Lord, Skanda, inspire you all and infuse in you with inner spiritual strength! May He lead you all to victorious triumph against the demons of nescience and worldliness!!
May He bless you all!!!
November 5th is Skanda Shashti day.
An article by Sri Swami Krishnanandaji have been posted at Sri Swamiji's site:
Yours in the service of Gurudev,
Lord Shanmukha and His Worship
By Swami Sivananda
The Advent of Lord Skanda or Karttikeya, the purpose of His incarnation as an Avatara and its significance should be of great importance and of immense value to seekers after Truth. Lord Skanda, also known as Shanmukha, is adored and worshipped with intense faith and devotion throughout South India and Sri Lanka. And naturally it will be of great interest to all His devotees, in particular, to know more about Him, the significance of His birth and His life and career as a victorious General.
Sri Swami Sivanandaji, the author of this book, graphically describes the above-mentioned subjects in his usual style,—inspiring and direct, instructive and illuminating, soul-elevating and at once impressive. It is needless to introduce him to the readers, who is so very well-known as a versatile genius in all the spiritual subjects and as an author of many an immortal and monumental work that breathes the spirit of ancient wisdom and of direct and intuitive realisation of the Supreme.
We consider the book as a masterpiece production and that it ranks with the other prominent works of Sri Swami Sivanandaji.
For more information, please see: Lord Shanmukha and His Worship
EVER READY TO LEARN: Referring to his early days as a student of medicine, the Master once said, “I really do not know what it is to do things by halves. I always used to do everything fully and properly. The usual sort of eleventh hour preparation, so common among you youth of the present day, was unknown to me. I was ever ready to sit for an examination in any subject without previous intimation. Even now I feel just like a student about to sit for an examination. This kind of constant vigilance and readiness has become my habitual trait. I know no rest. I am always alert and occupied. You should all try to look upon life in this manner, as an eternal student. Ever be keenly on the look-out to learn something new each day, even each hour. Be like me - an intellectual scout. You can learn something from everyone. Everything in this universe has some lesson to give to one who is receptive. Do not pass by any experience lightly. Draw instruction and inspiration from every great example in the world.
“Thus, perhaps, a chance word of admonition, lost in the subconscious mind, might come up at some critical juncture in one’s life and save one from disaster or change the course of one’s life. Extract something from everything and treasure it in your mind. Carelessness about minor details is not an expression of dispassion but a Tamasic habit of neglect.
“Do you affix a postal stamp to a cover or are you paring a pencil? Well, do it with the same care and minute attention as a jeweller would in setting a diamond to a ring meant for royalty; or as an opthalmic surgeon would in executing a delicate eye operation. Do everything that you do - eating, cleaning the teeth, reading, writing, and even cleaning a shoe, - with your whole mind and attention. Then concentration will develop most effectively.”
"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." - Swami Sivananda
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