Sri Subrahmanya Swami Devasthanam, Tiruchendur, South India

The Puranic Account

Muruga is born to vanquish Curapatman. Click on image to see the entire illustrated Kanda Puranam

Muruga, the earliest and sublimest Tamilian concept of Godhead has been as long cherished and venerated in the Tamil land as its Sanskritised concept Subrahmanyam, which means "the all pervading spirit of the Universe, the essence from which all things are evolved, by which they are sustained and into which they are involved."

He, in gracious pity for humanity takes form sometimes as the youthful God of Wisdom—Swāminātha; God also of war when wicked Asuras have to be destroyed: Kārttikeya; sometimes as the holy child Muruga, the type of perennial tender beauty, always and everywhere at the service of his devotees.

The puranic account runs thus: The Devas were hard pressed by the asuras Surapatuma and his brothers. Śiva in Mount Kailāsa was appealed to by the Devas for deliverance. Six sparks of fire issued from the frontal eye of Śiva and answered their prayers. These divine sparks of grace were received by Agni, the God of fire, and cast into Ganges from which they passed into the Himalayan lake Saravana.

Here they were transformed into six babes. These were suckled by the six Krittikā nymphs of the constellation Pleiades, and, became one by name Skanda; on being fondly clasped into one by Pārvati, the divine inseparable sakti of Śiva. He came to be called Shadānana, Shanmukha, and Arumukha as being six faced, and on account of his youthfulness, beauty and godliness.

Purana continued