November 05, 2008


Skanda Shasti or Kanda Shasthi Vrata

Kanda Shasthi Vratam is an important observance to LORD KARTHIKEYA. It is observed in the Tamil month of Aippasi ,after Deepavali( October - November) and most devotees fast during the 6-day period.

In addition to the Skanda Sashti, devotees of Lord Subramanya observe weekly and monthly days in His honour. Every Friday, or the Kartigai Nakshatram day every month, or the sixth day of the bright fortnight,-all these are sacred days for His devotees. The sixth day of the month of Tulam (October-November) is the most auspicious of them all. This is the Skanda Sashti day.

There is no common method of Skanda Shasti fasting. Different devotees observe it differently. But there are some basic rules followed by all the devotees.Non-vegetarian food is completely avoided during the period. Those who are observing the fast make it a point to read scriptures related to Lord karthikeyan ( Kanta Shasti Kavasam or Subramaniya Bhujangam,kandaguru kavasam,kanda puranam.)Most devotees also visit Skanda temples during the period.

Sashti: Sashti is the sixth phase of moon. This is an auspicious day for lord Muruga. According to the legend, Lord Muruga slayed the demon Soorapadman on sashti and every sashti is devoted to Lord karthikeya. This vratham is observed by all devotees of Lord karthikeya. This vratham is observed to get progeny

Kanda Shasti fasting, some devotees only take a single meal a day. Some take the meal at noon and others at night. Some devotees take only fruits and juices ,coconut water and lime juice,during the 6-day period.

The Shasti fasting begins with sunrise. The fast is broken on the next day morning after praying to Lord Surya (Sun God).Most people observing the fast make it a point to visit Murugan Temple on this day. It is a complete fast in many places. But this might not be quite possible for many people due to job, health and other reasons. So many people take some sort of vegetarian food on this day – this is usually a single meal in the afternoon or night.
Many people take for a fruit diet on the day. Some avoid solid food.In several Kerala Muruga temples, many devotees eat a single rice meal at noon given from the temple. The cooked rice is consumed without any major side dishes.The method of fasting differs from region to region. But all non-vegetarian food is avoided on the day.
Devotees listen to stories related to Skanda and reading of Skanda Purana. Another activity during the day is the reciting of Kanta Shasti Kavasam.
Fasting is not just abstaining from food but it also an attempt to instill positive thoughts. Many people use fasting as a means to fight against anger, lust, impatience and other negative tendencies. All Vratas associated with Hindu religion is an attempt to realize the Brahman.
Kanda Shasti Vratam is observed once a year in the month of ‘Aippasi’ (October–November) starting from the ‘piratamai’ the 1st phase of the brightening moon.Of all Kanda temples it is the one in Tirunchendur in Tamil Nadu, India that draws the largest number of Kanda devotees. All roads, at the time of the Vratam, seem to lead to Tirunchendur. Beside the temple by the sea there appears to be a sea of heads. The Kantan's Tiruvilaiyaadal (divine sport) Soora Samharam is enacted during the sixth day of the festival. This is a drama to grant a great boon to Curapatman by Kantan. Curapatman is given the honour of becoming Kantan's vehicle mayil vahanam (peacock vehicle) and ceval kodi (the rooster on Kantan’s flag).Skanda shasti means trimph of lord Subhramanya over the evil sura padma.The son of lord Siva killed the demon sura padma with his holy spear(vel) and brought relief and joy to the suffering demi Gods and humanity.Allegorially the vel represents Jana sakti(Power of wisdom) of the lord. Sura padma the demon of ego and ignorance with in us. Lord subhramanya is hence considered to be the personification of wisdom itself. The five days prior to skanda shashti are days of severe austerities for the devotees of Muruga. The day after skanda shshti is celebrated as Deva sena Kalyanam

This is celebrated with great eclat in temples, especially in the six places sacred to Muruga .
(Aaru padai veedu, in Tamil) -

Tiruchendur, http://tiruchendur.org/
Tirupparankunram, http://murugan.org/temples/parankundram.htm
Pazhamudir solai, http://www.templenet.com/Tamilnadu/m003.html
Palani, http://palani.org/
Swamimalai, http://murugan.org/temples/swamimalai.htm
and Tiruttani. http://murugan.org/temples/tiruttani.htm
The glory of Lord Muruga from one of the six scriptures in His praise, namely: Tirumurukarruppadai, Kandar Kalivenba, Kandar Anubhuti, Kandar Alankaram, Kanda Sashti Kavacam and Kanda Puranam.

Sattiyila irundha agapayil varum( this proverb is mostly misunderstood like only if something is there in the vessel it would come in the spoon) actually the proverb means if u follow sashti viratham ( it comes twice in a month) one would concieve.sashti viradhamirundhal agapai(uterus) il varum.




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