The month of Vaikasi (May-June) has great significance for Tamil Hindus, especially those who are devotees of Muruga. On a Pournami or full moon day in this Tamil month, an incarnation of Muruga was born to fulfill the mission of destroying the evil forces which were causing havoc in heaven and on earth.
Vishaka nakshatra is a fusion of 3stars. It is the 16th of the 27 Nakshatras or stars. Muruga’s aim was to re-establish dharma and bestow protection and wisdom. His nuptials with Valli will be performe in temples on this day.
Significance of Vaikasi Visakam
The 10-day Brahmotsavam festival is the highlight at Muruga temples on Vaikasi Visakam. Many devotees can be seen carrying Paal kudams or milk pots to do Abishekam to Murugan. They also carry Kavadi ( a decorated yoke) on their shoulders during the procession. Special Poojas, havan, Aarti, and Abishekam are also performed to seek Muruga’s blessings.
Devotees believe that it is very auspicious to perform or witness the divine wedding. All problems related to marriage, like delayed marriages, estrangement, fights, etc., can be resolved, they believe. In astrology, Murugan is the deity who is usually worshipped to eliminate problems caused by Planet Mars, like, for instance, Kuja Dosha or Manglik dosha.
Legend behind Vaikasi Visakam
Muruga incarnated to kill the demons, Soorapadma, Tarakasura, and Singamugha. All 3 were brothers. When their atrocities proved intolerable, the Gods approached Shiva for help. Six sparks of fire burst forth from his third eye. The Fire God, Agni, and the wind god, Vayu, carried these sparks to the Ganga, which deposited them on a bed of reeds in a pond called Saravana Poigai. Six babies were born from the six sparks.
The six Kritikas, who are the stars of the constellation Pleiades, raised the infants. Hence, Murugan is also called Kartikeya (“son of the Krittikas”). Parvati took the six babies and embraced them, and they became one baby with six heads and twelve hands. This is how Murugan got the name, Shanmuga. The 6 faces of Murugan signify creation, preservation, destruction, involution, grace, and source of wisdom. He is the god of all knowledge and also taught the meaning of the primordial cosmic sound ‘OM’ to his father, Shiva.
Murugan was made the commander of the gods’ army, and he went into battle against the demons. Shiva gave eleven weapons to Murugan, while Parvathi gave him the Vel (spear). The battle raged for ten days, and finally, Murugan defeated Soorapadman and his siblings. Soorapadman turned into a huge mango tree to escape Muruga. Muruga’s Vel cut the tree into two parts. One part became a peacock, and another, a cock. Muruga made the peacock his vehicle and the cock the emblem on his flag.
Rituals of Vaikasi Visakam
Muruga embodies knowledge and power. Worshipping him on Vaikasi Visakam will relieve one’s sins. This is also a powerful day for performing remedies to get relief from the adverse effects of afflicted Mars.
- Cook sweet Pongal and offer it to Murugan.
- Recite Subramanya Bhujangam, Thirupughazh, and other hymns that sing his praises
- Offer red oleander flowers and at least six Nagalinga flowers to Muruga.
- Donate food to the needy on this day.
- Visit Muruga temples.
- Listen to or chant the Skanda Shashti Kavacham to gain good health and protection.
- To remove negativity, chant the Mantra Aum Subramanyaya Namah 108 times during Jupiter hora.
- Light a lamp at sunset.
- Chant the Mantra Saravana Bhava as many times as you can. It has the power to get rid of obstacles, debts, and diseases and bestow prosperity, good health, and happiness.
- Donate to war veterans or policemen who are in need of help.
Vaikasi Visakam 2023 is on June 2.