Skanda Shashti Message (1945)
Sri Swami Sivananda
This article is a chapter from the book Lord Shanmukha and His Worship.
Children of Immortality!
Hindu festivals and celebrations have more in them than meets the eye. In fact, Hinduism, the cradle of all the religions of the world, presents us with a Divine Kaleidoscope: Spiritual Truths, ideas and ideals are expressed in an impressive, easily assimilable and striking manner, capable of being looked at from different angles according to the differences in temperament and taste between man and man, affording withal equal opportunities of drawing inspiration from it to one and all.
In the eyes of the Lord, even the oldest amongst us is but a child. What is a hundred years or even more for one who is Eternity itself, for whom thousands of human years would pass in a mere winking of the eye? Yet, look at His compassion for us! He directs the Drama of Life here in such a way that everything that happens all about us has, besides the momentary entertainment that it offers us, bears in its bosom great lessons which would be invaluable aids in our march to Immortality. I have in mind the Puranas specially, when I say this. All the stories related therein are true. They are inspiring, elevating and interesting; they contain object lessons for us to learn and profit by. Read them again and again with zeal, faith and an open mind; you will soon cross this Samsara.
The Skanda Purana describes the glorious deeds of Lord Subrahmanya. The Lord is an Avatara of Lord Siva necessitated by the miserable plight in which the Devas found themselves in their encounter with the Asuras. Lord Murugan assumed the role of the Commanding General of the Deva Army and easily conquered the Demons with the help of His Vel.
The Puranic demons are mere nobodies in strength and valour when compared to the anti-Adhyatmic ones which an aspirant has to encounter every day and every second of his spiritual life. Who but he who has resorted to the Lord for succour and who has surrendered himself at His Lotus-Feet can conquer passion, anger, greed and their diabolic comrades?
Lord Skanda’s grace is easily obtained. Saint Arunagiri says in his soul-stirring Tiruppugazh songs that even if the word MURUGA is uttered but once with Bhava, the Lord’s Grace descends on the devotee. Once the aspirant obtains the Lord’s Grace, the Demons take to their heels; and he is at once admitted into the realms of Immortality and Eternal Bliss.
Pray to Him fervently with faith and devotion. You will very soon cross this vast ocean of Samsara. Subrahmanya is the Pratyaksha Devata (visible God) of this Kali Yuga. Worship of Him bestows instant fruits on the devotee. It is a very rare privilege to take part in the Laksharchana celebrations. The Lord’s Names are very, very powerful. Their utterance or listening to them will destroy sins committed in all one’s countless births.
May the Grace of Lord Skanda be upon you all!