Skanda, an epic tale of Lord Muruga, by Natya Kalalayam Academy of Dance & Music in the Indian Classical form of Bharata Natyam. Bringing the full beauty of the Kavadi Festival with colourful folk dancing. Choreographed, Directed and Presented by Srimathi Kantharuby and Natya Sudhamayi Yshrene Moodley. Both dance teachers have had their training in India under great Masters of dance. A real treat not to be missed.
For further details contact :
- Kantharuby Munsamy – 082 9717537 / 033 3913208
- Yshrene Moodley – 0825774878
Background: The story of the war god of Hindu Mythology is fascinating for many reasons. SKANDA worship in India has many interpretations, the multiple origin stories and the wildly conflicting accounts of his life and exploits that are found all over India are, in a sense, reflective of the process of Hinduism itself. Skanda’s popularity now, is felt at all ages young and old around the world.
His existence at a very early stage of Indian history shows him as a popular war god who lived on forested hills, was fond of hunting and fighting. He was young, handsome and a spear-wielding bravo. He went by many names in different parts of India and in vast areas of the south of India the god was known as Malai Kilavan the Lord of the hills in ancient Tamil. His other name was Murugan. Indeed that is what he is still known as and worshipped around the world.
Skanda the son of Shiva has become an enduring part of the Indian imagination He is known as – the eternal youth, representing an attitude of optimism and joyful vigor.
According to the Tamil devotional work, Thiruppugazh, “Murugan never hesitates to come to the aid of a devotee when called upon in piety or distress”. In another work, Thirumurukkarrupatai, he is described as a god of eternal youth;
Kartikeya symbols are based on the weapons – Vel, the Divine Spear that he carries and his mount the peacock His peacock mount symbolizes his destruction of the ego.
He is sometimes depicted with many weapons including: a sword, a javelin, a mace, a discus and a bow although more usually he is depicted wielding a sakti or spear. This symbolizes his purification of human ills. His javelin is used to symbolize his far reaching protection, his discus symbolizes his knowledge of the truth, his mace represents his strength and his bow shows his ability to defeat all ills.
He is married to two deities, Valli, a daughter of a tribal chief and Deivayanai (also called Devasena), the daughter of Indhra. During His bachelorhood, Lord Murugan is also regarded as Kumaraswami (or Bachelor God), Muruga rides a peacock and wields a bow in battle. The lance called Vel in Tamil is a weapon closely associated with him. The Vel was given to him by his mother, Parvati, and embodies her energy and power. His army’s standard depicts a rooster. In the war, Surapadman was split into two, and each half was granted a boon by Murugan. The halves, thus turned into the peacock (his mount) and the rooster his flag, which also “refers to the sun”
Like most Hindu deities, Murugan is known by many other names, including Senthil, the red or formidable one Vēlaṇ, Kumāran (meaning ‘prince or child or young one’), Swaminatha (meaning ‘smart’ or ‘clever’), Saravaṇa, Arumugam or Shanmuga (meaning ‘one with six faces’), Dhandapani (meaning God with a Club), Guhan or Guruguha (meaning ‘cave-dweller’), Maal-Marugan, the son-in-law of Vishnu. Subrahmanya, Kartikeya and SKANDA (meaning ‘that which is spilled or oozed) “But for thy grace beatific, love and virtuous deeds.”
Murugan is worshipped throughout the Tamil year. There is a six-day period of fast and prayer in the Tamil month of Aippasi known as the Skanda Shasti. He is worshipped at Thaipusam, celebrated by Tamil communities worldwide near the full moon of the Tamil month Thai. This commemorates the day he was given Vel or lance by his mother in order to vanquish the asuras. Thirukarthigai or the full moon of the Tamil month of Karthigai signifies his birth. Each Tuesday of the Tamil month of Adi is also dedicated to the worship of Murugan., God Kartikeya was immensely popular in the Indian subcontinent. One of the major Puranas, the Skanda Purana is dedicated to him. In the Bhagavad-Gita Krishna, while explaining his omnipresence, names the most perfect being, mortal or divine, in each of several categories. While doing so, he says: “Among generals, I am SKANDA, the lord of war.”