Even Outside the Tamil speaking world in the northern states of India and many countries abroad the worship of Muruga in the form of Skanda or Karthikeya has been prevalent from ancient times.
A comprehensive narrative that covers the entire spectrum of Muruga culture including iconography, aspects of mythology and philosophy, famous temple with a description o the myriad forms of Muruga would indeed be a rare treat to the Muruga devotees. The book that you hold in your hands now is such a rare offering provided by the brothers Dr. R. Ramaseshan and Sri Ra. Krishna, the well known devotees of Lord Muruga and his savant Saint Arunagiri.
They had authored an earlier book titled "Muzhudum Azhagia Kumaran" in Tamil which covered in detail the iconography of Muruga, largely drawn from the doctoral thesis of ‘Sekkizhar Daasan’ Dr. R. Ramaseshan. They had also brought out a classic book in Tamil that exhaustively describes all the temples that Saints Arunagirinathar visited and sang in praise of the Lord. The present book is in a more exhaustive form, encompassing puranic and philosophical aspects apart from detailed descriptions of the various forms of Muruga and his consort Valli and Devasena in famous temples and their festivals. For the discerning reader, information on intricate sculptural details has been offered wherever appropriate that provides additional intellectual pleasure.
Murugan represented the bliss and beauty, divinity, valor, gnana, everlasting youth and fragrance. He has been extolled as the Mahayogin, the Great Teacher and the Great Healer. He reflects the beauty of nature and is portrayed as the Lord of Hillocks. He represents nature which constantly renews itself; whoever worships beauty in nature, worship Murugan.
Murugan has been depicted in the early Tamil Literature as conferring joy and happiness. He is described as the guardian of the people who loved nature and who invoked him with music, dance and flowers.
This form of worship was peculiar to the Kurinchi (Hills) land. Love was the main theme of the people who worshipped Murugan. Lord Muruga expressed love to his consort Devayanai in the conventional (Karpiyal) from and to his consort Valli in the romantic (Kalaviyal) from and in this dual role the Sangam poets have extolled him.
The appearance of Lord Muruga happened in order to rescue Devas from the catches of ‘Surapadman’. Lord utilized the power and capabilities of Surapadman by converting him as his Bahaman (Vehicle), and flag without destroying him.
Of the sic faces of the God, five represent the five senses of man. The sixth represents the mind. The weapons wielded by him stand for the instruments of protection and weapons of war which mankind has invented and which it continues to improve constantly. The image of cock as his banner symbolizes the divine principle of light. The story of his assuming the role of teacher to his own father Lord Siva conveys the truth of the potential of any one to attain absolute divinity.
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