Though there are several prayers in praise of Lord Muruga, the Kanda Sashti Kavacham stands out because of its uniqueness.
It was an emotional moment when Baladevaraya Swami composed the Kanda Sashti Kavacham. He had been suffering from severe stomach pain. He tried all kinds of treatments and remedies, but nothing worked. Frustrated, he reached Thiruchendur with the intention of ending his life by jumping into the sea.
At the time of his arrival there, the Kanda Sashti Festival was being celebrated. An ardent devotee of Muruga, Baladevaraya Swami felt a little better as he witnessed the celebrations. He decided that he would commit suicide after the festival and undertook a fast for Kanda Sashti.
After taking a holy bath in the Senthur Sea and praying to Muruga, he sat in meditation in the mandapam of the temple. Lord Muruga appeared before him and blessed him with the ability to compose the Kanda Sashti Kavacham.
The next minute, devotion overflowed in Baladevaraya Swami’s already worshipful heart.
‘Sashtiyai Nokka Saravana Bavanarsishtarukkuthavum Senkathi Velon’ – he wrote these lines about Thiruchendur Muruga. In the next five days, he wrote in praise of the remaining ‘five army divisions’ (Arupadai Veedu) of Muruga – Thirupparankundram, Palani, Swami Malai, Thiruththani and Pazhamuthirchcholai.
By the time he completed composing the six Sashti Kavachams, the stomach pain that had tortured Baladevaraya Swami, vanished.
He realised that the Lord had made him suffer only so that he may compose the Kanda Sashti, felt ennobled and danced in ecstasy.
If Thiruvachagam melts hearts, Sashti Kavacham wins hearts. That is how powerful it is.
Paamban Swami would often become lost in chanting Kantha Sashti Kavacham. One such day, when chanting the Kanda Sashti, he also wanted to compose something on Muruga. He composed Shanmuga Kavacham.
It is to be noted that like the Kanda Sashti Kavacham, the Shanmuga Kavacham also contains six Kavachams.
The appropriate fasting for Muruga is Sashti, undertaken for six days. Starting on the first day of the waxing moon in the Tamil month of Aippasi, it is completed on the sixth day. This year (2019) Kanda Shasti starts on Oct 28 and ends on Nov 2.
Muruga has six faces. He has six army divisions. He was brought up by six Karthigai women. The special chant for Muruga – Saravana Bhava – is also made up of six syllables. Normally, the sixth house in the horoscope indicates enmity, debts, diseases, enemies, etc. Lord Muruga can overcome all these.
So apart from singing the usual kavacham dedicated to the Thirchendur Temple, it is good to chant the rest of the five kavachams in praise of the other five divisions as well.
The Benefits of Chanting the Sashti Kavacham!
If one chants the Sashti Kavacham every day, he will be free of diseases, stress and depression; he will never want for anything and will live a long life. The nine planets will bless them with prosperity as well as progeny. That such benefits will accrue has been indicated in the Sashti Kavacham itself.
Hail Muruga! Glory to Muruga!
Listen to Sri Skanda Shasti Kavacham in the following link: