Lord Murugan, the God who is also known as Subramanya, Kartikeya, Shanmuga, Swaminathan and Skanda, has as his weapon the Vel (spear). The Vel has real as well as symbolic powers.
- The Vel was handed over to Muruga by his mother Ma Parvati.
- It was with this spear that he defeated the Asura (demon) Surapadman.
- One of the most popular songs associated with Sr î Muruga is Vel Vel Shakti Vel!
- It is believed that the Vel is Shakti Incarnate.
- It contains all the powers of Mother Goddess Maha Shakti.
- The spear of Lord Murugan is treated with reverence, and in many temples, the Vel is worshiped with as much fervour as the murti of Subrahmanya
- Popular belief says that daily worship of the Vel will help redemption of sins.
- It will also help overcome fear of death.
- Murugan Vel worship will help kill unwanted desires.
- Some argue that symbolically Vel represents knowledge or learning.
- The long shaft of Vel represents many years of learning.
- The large part of Lord Murugan Vel represents the enlargement of the mind with the knowledge gathered – such is the effect of true knowledge that the spirit sees Brahman or the ultimate truth in everything.
- The tip represents a sharp devotion.
- It also represents special attention.
- It also represents a sharp ambition.
- All our efforts should merge into one point – self-realization that will destroy all pains and fears.
It also embodies the depth of thought, the height of perception, the extent of vision and the sharpness of intellect.
Thaipusam is the celebration of the event of Ma Parvati bestowing the Vel on Lord Murugan, this is a holiday in many parts of South India and the diaspora.