CHENNAI: The eternal philosophical truths contained in the scriptures become easily accessible to the common man when perceived through the motifs of the Puranas. Devotional literature pertaining to Lord Muruga has drawn sustenance from the references to this deity in the scriptures and the Puranas and He is celebrated as a deity who combines beauty, prowess, grace, compassion and knowledge in infinite measure. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says that He is Skanda among the army (Sena) leaders. Adi Sankara extols the glory of Lord Muruga at Tiruchendur in the famous hymn Subrahmanya Bhujanga and vouches for the Lord’s grace to cure ailments. Saints and the devout have poured forth their personal experiences of the Lord’s boundless compassion when He has endeared Himself as friend, preceptor and guide to many who have sought His help. Their hymns thus serve to instil devotion and gradually the desire for salvation, said Sri Mathivannan in a lecture.

The Tamil version of Skanda Purana, Kanda Puranam, describes the numerous ways in which Muruga’s grace flows to His devotees. Its author, one Kachiappa Sivachariar of Kumara Kottam at Kanchipuram, exemplifies this truth for he claims that it was through the inspiration and guidance of Lord Muruga, the deity in the temple where he offered worship, that this sacred work came into existence. Such manifestations of God’s grace are symbolic of the many ways by which He initiates to uplift the ignorant and suffering Jivatma towards the path of salvation. The Kanda Puranam describes the descent of Skanda as Karthikeya, and gives detailed accounts of His valorous deeds, such as the conquest over the demons Taraka, Soorapadman and Simhamukan, who seemed invincible to the celestials. Karthikeya was born of Siva’s third eye and is worshipped for His valour, knowledge and greatness, as much as for His concern for His devotees.

Lord Muruga also dons the unique role as a preceptor imparting the sacred Pranava Mantra to His father Lord Siva. The Pranava Mantra is the primal sound that predates even the Vedas and outlives the dissolution of the entire universe, and is symbolic of the Supreme Truth.