Puraan | 13-Skand Puraan | Shiv Rahasya
Shiv Rahasya-3 in Om Namah Shivaya Group [11/21/09]
In common with all Hindu mythological accounts and stories, the descriptions of the legends about Subrahmanya also embody various esoteric truths. Subrahmanya has six faces. He holds a Spear or Vel, and he rides on a peacock. A cock is his banner. He has two wives, Vallee and Daivayanaai. He is the son of Shiv Jee. He came out of Shiv's third eye, in the form of Fire or Light Jyoti. His achievements consisted of the destruction of the great Asur Surapadm, who, with his assistants, was enslaving Indra and other Devtaa. He married Daivayanaai, the daughter of Indra. On the advice of Naarad, he married Vallee also, the foster-daughter of the hunter king Naambee, after testing her devotion pretty severely.
Even as a boy, Subrahmanya imprisoned Brahmaa Jee for his ignorance of the meaning of the Pranav Mantra Aum and released him only at the request of Shiv. Incidentally he also expounded to Shiv the same Mantra.
All these accounts are the interesting details greatly appreciated and cherished by deeply devoted Subrahmanya's Bhakt. The worship of Subrahmanya is more or less confined to South India though he is not unknown to the Hindoo of the rest of India as Kaarttikeya. He is also worshipped by a large section of people in Sri Lankaa too. The Tamil people have a living faith in Subrahmanya and are as fond of his Leelaa as the North Indians and the South Indian Vaishnavites are of Krishn's sports.
From the esoteric point of view, Subrahmanya is the Lord who incarnated himself to illumine the intelligence of human beings and liberate them from ignorance of various kinds, which hides the truth from them. Since human beings are in different stages and levels of development, Subrahmanya has to meet them on their own level for fulfilling his mission of enlightenment. This he does in a unique way.
His six heads are symbolical of the six Praanik or Vital centers the six Chakras of nervous activity in the human body, located in the spinal cord and at the junction of the eyebrows. It is through concentration on these centers that the Yogee acquires capacity to subordinate his lower nature, to sublimate it, and to utilize all his energy for establishing his identification with the one Lord of the universe, who is Existence-Knowledge - Bliss Absolute. Therefore, to say that Lord Subramanya's six heads represent these six vital centers is only to say that whenever an aspirant attempts to rise above his human limitations and experience oneness with the Eternal, Subrahmanya gives him all the strength he requires for conquering the evil inside him and for the acquisition of the final Truth.
This statue is over 130 feet (42.7-meter high) is located at the Sri Subramaniar Temple at the foot of Batu Caves in Malaysia.
The Spear or Vel is the weapon which pierces through the demon of ignorance. This is the Ekaagra Chitta or concentrated mind so much insisted upon in Raaj Yog without which progress is impossible for a Yogee. It is the preliminary for concentration, meditation and absorption (Dhaaranaa, Dhyaan and Samaadhi) all of which together constitute the Yaugik Saamya. In the legend, it is Surapadm, the Asur who is slain by the Vel. That Asur is none other than Ignorance.
That Subrahmanya came out of Shiv's third eye is symbolic of his being the incarnation of Pure Intelligence, for Shiv's third eye is known to be the eye of Wisdom or Gyaan. The peacock (on which Subrahmanya rides) is the most beautiful of all the birds. It is the one bird which can reveal its inner joy by dancing and displaying its gorgeous plumage. When it does so, it evidences its perfect balance for it is a very heavy bird and it has to keep its balance on its two very slender feet. All these points relating to the peacock are utilized for illustrating the ideas concerning the inner significance of the Subrahmanya mythology. We can interpret the peacock as symbolizing mental equipoise, the predominance of Sattwa over Rajas and Tamas. That tranquility or mental balance, when once attained, produces contentment and happiness. Such a mental condition reveals itself in a superior sort of self-satisfaction state similar to that of the peacock which spreads out its beautiful plumage. It is this predominating Sattwa that is the prerequisite for the acquisition of True Knowledge the knowledge symbolized by Subrahmanya himself.
Subrahmanya's cock-banner symbolizes the approach or the dawn of Knowledge, it is the cock that proclaims the coming of the sun in the eastern horizon. The Sun is the heavenly body that dispels darkness. Likewise the cock on Subrahmanya's banner announces the approach of Knowledge which will destroy all ignorance.
Murugan promises to marry both sisters Sundar Vallee (Vallee) and Amrit Vallee (Daivayanaai) in a future life.
The two wives, Daivayanaai and Vallee, symbolize the two types of devotees among those who strive for Moksh or Liberation through union or oneness with the Supreme. One type consists of those who rigidly and sincerely observe the injunctions and follow the teachings of the Vaidik scriptures and are thus the followers of Vaidik Karm. That type is represented by Daivayanaai, whom Subrahmanya married in the regular orthodox way. The other type consists of the ardent Bhakt who attach more importance to right mental feeling and emotion than to rules and regulations. This type is symbolized by Vallee, who grows as the foster-daughter of the hunter king, Naambee Subrahmanya marries her in the combined Gandharv and Paishaach modes of marriage. He manifests love in wooing her and uses force in fighting against her relations who try to obstruct him.
Subrahmanya legends also reveal that he is the God of the hill and other tribes whose modes of worship are primitive, crude and barbarous. That shows that Subrahmanya incarnated himself only for the purpose of conferring knowledge upon all, whatever be their level of understanding or attainment. All the details relating to Subrahmanya legends can be interpreted correctly if we bear in mind the underlying truth that Subrahmanya is Supreme Consciousness in an embodied form.
Subrahmanya as Swaameenaath
This is amply borne out by the story about Subrahmanya having been the Guru of even his own father. The story goes that once he questioned Brahmaa Jee about the meaning of Aum and when Brahmaa Jee revealed his ignorance of it, Subrahmanya put him into prison. When the matter reached Shiv, He was naturally amused and playfully challenged Subramanya to interpret the Mantra Himself. But child Subrahmanya would not do so unless Shiv became his disciple. Shiv was fond enough of his child to assume the attitude of a disciple and got the explanation from his boyish lips. That incidentally won for Subrahmanya the name of Swaameenaath. Here, too, we see that Subrahmanya symbolizes Pure Consciousness which includes in it the meaning of even OM, the highest of all Mantra.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 06/24/13