Another myth connected with his birth states that gods appealed
to Shiva for
help in repelling the attack of the demons. Shiva responded
and assumed six faces,
each with a central eye from which six sparks sprang forward. These sparks fell
into a lake situated some fifty miles northwest of Madras. These
sparks were transformed into six infants, nursed by the six mothers who comprise the Pleiades,
the six Krittikas. Shiva's wife Parvati took the six infants
into her arms. She hugged them affectionately but in the process squeezed the
six children so strongly that they turned into one single body but with six heads. Reared by the six Pleiades
(Krittikas), he is mostly called by the name of Kartikeya.
|SIX SPARKS FORM THE SIX FACED SHIVA RESULTED IN THE BIRTH OF KARTIKEYA
The story of the birth of Kartikeya and the manner in which he fiercely and bravely
annihilated the two Asuras Taraka and Shurapadma is legendary and goes thus:
Shiva had married Dakshayani whose father, Daksha, hated him. Because of this
dislike, Daksha did not invite his own daughter and son-in-Law to a sacrifice
(yajna), which he performed. When Dakshayani went to the yajna by herself, he
did not treat her with love and respect.
Dakshayani, who felt humiliated, jumped
into the fire and died. Later, she was born a daughter to Parvataraja. She had
the name of Parvati. Parvati was determined to marry Shiva. But Shiva was performing
severe penance at that time.
|SHONITAPURA - THE CITY RULED BY TARAKASURA
|TARAKA - THE ASURA
[SON OF VAIRANGA AND VARAANGI]
Brahma's son was Marichi who had a son by name Kashyapa. Of
the two wives Kashyapa
had, ADITI gave birth to Indra and other gods. They lived in heaven. Kashyapa's
other wife DITI gave birth to DAITYAS or Rakshasas (Demons). These were wicked
persons and hated the gods.
VAIRANGA was one of the sons of Diti. His wife
was VARAANGI who bore him a son, TARAKASURA. Another Rakshasa who was born to
Diti married Surasa, also known as Maya. Their children were SHURAPADMA, SIMHAMUKHA
When Taraka was born, it appears, there were many terrible omens as if to indicate
that he would cause a lot of trouble to the world. The whole earth trembled.
A storm arose. The oceans were disturbed and the very mountains shook. Wild beasts
made terrible sounds. These bad omens plunged all good men into grief. Taraka
and Shurapadma grew up. They were very courageous and strong. Taraka became the
Rakshasa Emperor in SHONITAPURA and similarly Shurapadma in VEERAMAHENDRA.
Taraka was determined to conquer the Devas (gods). It was not an easy task. It
was a very difficult, even for an extraordinarily strong person like Taraka.
So he resolved to propitiate Brahma, get a boon from him that there would be
no death for him, and then challenge the Devas. So he began his tapas (penance)
in, the Madhuvana forest. For some days he took only water as food. Later only
the air was his sustenance. He continued his vigorous meditation in different
ways. He stood in water. He stood only on the thumb of his foot. Later he supported
himself on his hands on the ground and continued the penance with his feet upwards.
The more delay there was in Brahma's appearance before him, the more rigorous
was Taraka's penance.