Raja Ravi Varma Painting Themes – Shanmugha Subramanyaswami

Raja Ravi Varma Painting Themes - Shanmugha Subramanyaswami

This painting by Raja Ravi Varma is named Shanmugha Subramaniya Swami or Lord Muruga.  Shanmugha is a popular deity in Tamil Nadu. Shanmugha is also known by many other names – most of them are of Tamil origin. He is worhshipped as Muruga, Arumugha, Skanda, Vela, Karthigeya, Shadanana, Kumara, Senthil, Mayilvahana, Guha, Velayutha, Swaminatha, and Saravana bhava.

As per the Legend,  Shanmugha is the son of Shiva and Parvati. He was born of the six rays that emerged from Shiva which fell on the reed grass on the river forest near Ganges.  The six rays  became six babies and the reed grass  with the six babies were carried to the Ganges by Vayu and Agni. The babies were spotted by six Karthika sisters,who looked after the babies. Later when Parvati held the babies in her hand, the six babies were turned into one with six faces,

Shanmugha rides on a peacock and carries a weapon called the lance (vel).  He married Valli, who was a daughter of a tribal chief and Deivayanai, who was the daughter of Indra.

The Skanda Sashti festival in the month of Aippasi (November)  and Thai poosam in the month of Thai (January)  are the popular festivals for Shanmuhga. Vaikasi (May) Vishakam is Shanmugha’s birthday


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