Vaikasi Visakam (Vishakam), which falls in the month of Vaisaki, according to the Hindu calendar, will be celebrated usually in the month of May-June. The auspicious day marks the birth anniversary of Lord Muruga or (Skanda or Karthikeya or Subramanya). Devotees celebrate this day with great glory and reverence to Lord Muruga by performing pooja and carrying out various rituals. Besides India, Vaikasi Visakam festival is celebrated in a grand manner with pomp and glory, across the globe, especially in places where Tamils have a considerable presence, like Sri Lanka, Maldives, Canada, USA, Singapore and Malaysia.
Significance of Vaikasi Visakam
Vaikasi Visakam is celebrated in the Hindu month of Vaisaki and on a particular day, the Nakshatra Vishaka coincides with Poornima (Full moon). Lord Muruga is born out of Lord Shiva’s third eye and in the form of fire sparks. As the fire sparked out of Lord Shiva was massive with great intensity of heat, the fire spark was dunked in a river for it to cool down. The river named Sarvana Poigai separated the single Big spark into 6 sparks so that the intensity of the heat is brought down.
However, each sparkle formed out of the big spark was incarnated into a newborn. Goddess Parvati integrated all the 6 newborns from 6 fire sparks, into one single child, and He was Lord Muruga, and hence, Lord Muruga has twelve hands and six faces (Shanmuga). And all the six faces denote different personalities.
Six different faces of Lord Muruga denote six different attributes.
• First Face: Emits glorious rays of light to remove the darkness that encapsulates the Universe.
• Second Face: Bestows devotees gracious blessings with benevolence.
• Third Face: Protects tradition by monitoring Brahmins, Scholars and other priests performing rituals thereby protecting Sanathana Dharma
• Fourth Face: Signifies the mystical knowledge and wisdom which governs the world
• Fifth Face: The amulet, which protects the people from evil and negative inclinations.
• Sixth Face: Shows love, mercy, compassion and and kindness towards all his devotees.
Lord Muruga was emanated from Lord Shiva’s third eye for one major reason and that is to destroy the demons, Soorapadman, Singamuhan, and Tarakan. The demons possessed exceptional powers and only Lord Shiva’s special power could defeat them which is through his third eye, out of which Lord Muruga was born. Lord Muruga is the combined power of Lord Shiva and Mother Parvathi as He was born out of Lord Shiva’s third eye and was again fused by the Goddess. Lord Muruga also receives a unique and powerful weapon from his mother which was the mighty “Vel”. It is an amulet which destroys the evil and protects people against any odds of life. The ‘Vel’ eradicates bad karma of devotees. Thus Lord Muruga, posess both —the power of Lord Shiva and the special armament and powers of his Mother, Goddess Parvati, making Him an immaculate power source.
Vaikasi Visakam is celebrated with great pomp and it has great religious importance in India, especially in Tamil Nadu. Devotees carry out various processions including carrying milk pots to temples and later the milk is used to carry out ‘Abhishekam’ at the temples. Many devotees gather at temples and participate in various poojas, rituals and customs seeking Special blessings from Lord Muruga.
Some People celebrating the day indoors, observe fast, and resort to taking only milk and fruits as meals for the day. They also chant prayers, mantras, and sing hymns of Lord Muruga with supreme devotion. Many even practise meditation on the day and distribute prasadam as a part of the Vaikasi Visakam’s rituals.
Benefits of Celebrating Vaikasi Visakam
Lord Muruga showers his infinite and special Grace on all his devotees who celebrate Vaikasi Visakam with utmost faith and supreme devotion. The benefits of celebrating the festival include:
• Removal of problems, tensions litigations and confusions in the family
• Fostering Unity among the couple and promoting peace within the family
• As an amulet, Lord Muruga protects His devotees against malefic effects of planets and karmic impacts.
• Lord Muruga Grants offspring for couples, and bestows descendants to enhance the lineage
• He Restores peace in lives, and enforces positivity and hope among the family members
• Lord Muruga strengthens planet Mars (Kuja or Sevvai) in the devotee’s birth chart to grant valour, virility, strength and courage and also mitigated the malefic effects of the planet. If Mars is unfavourably placed in the horoscope or if the native has a Manglik dosha or Kuja dosha, they should worship Lord Muruga to reduce the malefic effect of planet Mars.
In many parts of the country, Devotees would walk a long distance from their home to the temple. Then, the temple chariot is taken in a grand procession on the streets along with devotees.
A number of temples hold the 10-day Brahmotsavam festival on Vaikasi Visakam. Special puja, Japa/ homa, arti, and abhishekam are also performed at home. The divine wedding of Muruga to Vali is also organised on this day in temples. It is believed that it is highly auspicious to conduct or witness this wedding as it has the potential to solves all marriage related problems in one’s life. The entire day of Vaikasi Visakam is filled with special mantras chanting, singing hymns to praise the Lord, special offerings of honey, milk, fruits along with the cooked delicacies as a tribute to Lord Muruga. After performing special homa and aarti, prasadam is distributed among devotees. It is a great day celebrated with full of enthusiasm, devotion and joy by the devotees.