The current month called Vaikasi is the second month in the Tamil calendar.
Each month has got several significant days which are based on the astronomical positions of the planets and these days are celebrated as a festival or as an important day for a specific deity which is supported by mythological stories.
In the month of Vaikasi, when the nakshatra (star) visakam prevails the day is celebrated as the Avathar day or incarnation day of Lord Aarumugan or popularly known as Murugan. It comes during the month of May-June every year. Lord Aaarumugan is also known by other names such as Senthil, Kumaran, Gugan and Vadivelan.
Vaikasi Visakam day is celebrated by the Tamil people living all over the world. This year Vaikasi Visakam falls on Monday 28th of May. It is celebrated in a grand manner in all the Murugan temples.
Lord Muruga is the son of Lord Siva and Parvathi Devi. Once an asura ( demon) named Surapathman was doing arduous penance praying to Lord Siva who appeared before him to give him boon ( varam). Surapathman being greedy wanted a boon by which he cannot be killed by anyone. But Lord Siva told him that everyone has to die at some time or other and so he has to ask another varam. But Surapathman insisted that Lord Siva should give him a varam so that no one born from a women can kill him. Lord Siva also granted this boon. Surapathman thought that he was very clever and wanted to remain immortal. After this his atrocious deeds increased and both the demi Gods in Deva loga ( Devar world) and People on the earth suffered a lot. So the demi gods went to see Lord Siva and requested him to help them.
Lord Siva was very angry and wanted to stop Surapathman’s evil acts. So He created six sparks from his third eye and asked Agni (god of Fire) and Vayu (god of wind) to carry the sparks and put it in the river Ganges. The river ganges took it to a place called saravana Poigai. The six sparks became six children and were raised by six women called Karthikeya girls. Parvathi Devi combined all the six children into one beautiful child with six (aaru) faces (hence called aarumugan). Aaru is six and mugam is faces in Tamil. Murugan means beautiful. Lord Murugan fought with Surapathman and destroyed him. Surapathman was pardoned by Murugan and was transformed into a peacock who is the Vahana (vehicle for Lord Murugan.
Thus Murugan is the second son of Lord Siva and is very unique in being courageous, wise and had enormous power to destroy the evil force of Surapathman.
The main famous temples of Murugan in situated in Tamil Nadu are called Aarupadai Veedu ( six houses ) which include, Thiruchendur, Swamimalai, Pazhamudir solai, Thiruparangundram and Palani. The famous temples in SriLanka include the Kathikamam in south, Thirukoil in the east and Nallur Kandaswamy temple in Jaffna.
In all the Murugan temples, this day is celebrated in a grand manner all over the world. Special pooja, homam, abhishekam ,decoration of the deity and aarthi are conducted to get His blessings. People carry kavadi and Milk pots for abhishekam of the Lord. In some places, His marriage with Valli called Murugan Valli ThiruKalyanam is also done.
Some devotees fast during the day and have a light meal in the night. Chanting the songs and prayers of Muruga will bring happiness and prosperity in everyones life. Visiting Muragan temple will help us get the blessings of the God.
Saint Arunagirinathar explains the importance of praying to Lord Muruga on this day. He says that on this day of Vaikasi Visakam, we need think of Muruga and meditate upon his beautiful form with closed eyes whereby we will be blessed by his grace. The infinite reality residing in our heart will protect us and lead us in the path of dharma (righteousness) and Gyana (Wisdom).
One of the vaishnavite saints called Namaalwar was also born on a vaikasi Visakam day in 9th century. Namaalwar was one of the twelve aalwars(saints) who immersed themselves in the prayers of Lord Vishnu and compiled several songs which are collectively called Naalayira Thivyaprabhandham.
The Hindu Cultural Hub at Clayfield is a centre to congregate and promote spiritual, cultural and educational needs of local community and wider Hindu society in Brisbane. Devotees and friends assemble at the Bar-Jai Community Hall (178, Alexandra Road, Clayfield) last Friday of each month between 6.30pm to 9.00pm. If you are interested to get involved, please contact us on 0469016416 or 0427999129. More details can be found at our web site: http://www.hinduculturalhub.org/
Courtesy: Mrs. Sujatha Vasudevan