Skanda Sashti Dates 2023, History and Significance You Must Know
In Hindu mythology, Skanda is popularly known by several nicknames, i.e., Kartikeya, Murugan, Kumar, Subramanya, etc., who is the son of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati. Skanda Sashti is a famous festival in Tamilnadu which falls in the middle of the month of Kartik (October-November), as per the Hindu calendar.
People worship Lord Skanda by keeping fast on the sixth day of Shukla paksha each month. This worship has a special significance in the month of Shravan because on every Monday of Shravan month; people worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. So, Skanda Sashti fasting doubles the virtue in the month of Shravan. You will understand the importance and the history of this festival.
History of Skanda Sashti
Once upon a time, there was a demon named Surapadma. He had two brothers, Simhamukha and Tarakasur. They had caused a lot of destruction to both deities and humans. Being troubled by the demons, the deities approached Lord Brahma and asked for a way to end such a severe dilemma. Brahma said that only Shiva could take control of those demons.
The deities sent Kamdev (Manmatha) to Lord Shiva, who was meditating on Mount Kailash. Kamadeva awakened Lord Shiva from his meditation. Lord Shiva became agitated due to the distraction in his meditation and opened his third eye, due to which Kamadeva's body was burnt to ashes.
Lord Shiva released six sparks to the ground inadvertently. A boy was born from that where the spark fell. Devi Parvati accepted that boy as her child and gave the name Skanda. That is why Parvati is also called Skandamata (mother of Skanda).
Skanda killed those demons on Sashti and created peace and prosperity in the universe. Since then, the day has been celebrated in the joy of victory and is known as Skanda Sashti.
Importance of Skanda Sashti in Hinduism
It is celebrated as an important festival by South Indian Hindus, often called Kanda Sashti.
Skanda Sashti is celebrated as the victory of Lord Skanda, well known as Soorasamharam or Sooranporu. On this day, Lord Skanda conquered evil by killing the demons- Tarakasura Surapadma and Simhamukha and brought happiness to Dharti lok (earth) and Swagelok (heaven).
Skanda Sashti is well known as Devotees used to keep fast today; they believe that keeping Skanda Sashti Vrat will bring happiness and prosperity to their family.
Women who wish for children keep this fast, as they believe that their wishes will be fulfilled by keeping this fast. Along with fasting, people also perform prayer and sing Sashti Kavacham.
The day of Skanda Sashti is very promising in Hindu mythology. Skanda Sashti Vrat depends upon the moon cycle. The fight between the three demons and
Lord Skanda was continued for six days, and the victory was achieved on the seventh day, So the fast of Skanda Sashti Vrat is for six consecutive days.
Skanda Sashti Vrat Vidhi
Worship for Skanda Sashti Vrat is straightforward, i.e., People wear fresh clothes after taking a bath in the morning. After that, they take water and resolve for Skanda Sashti fast. First, the statue or picture of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati is established with Lord Kartikeya. Then start their worship with the prayer of Lord Ganesha, followed by Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
They worship Lord Kartikeya methodically with incense stick, flower, lamp, Akshat, Fruits, etc. after that, the Kartikeya mantra is chanted, and Aarti is done for Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati along Kartikeya followed by offerings distribution among the people. The devotees of Lord Murugan keep fasting for the whole day or six days because Kartikeya was fought and conquered by the demons after six days, starting from the Prathama Tithi and concluding on the Sashthi Tithi.
Frequently Asked Questions
Skanda Sashti Fast is a Vrat mainly done in the tribute of Kartikeya- Lord Shiva and Parvati's son. Kartikeya killed demons and restored peace in the universe when the whole deities and human lives were endangered due to a monster called Surapadman and his two brothers, Simhamukha and Tarakasur. On this day, the devotees of Kartikeya keep fast for at least one day or six days and give thanks to lord Kartikeya by offering flowers, incense sticks, kumkum, and burning oil lamps.
Devotees used to visit Subrahmanya temple during the Vrat/fast and pray on this day. Some devotees take meals once a day, either dinner or lunch, while some are limited to having fruits and coconut water for the complete six-day.
On Skanda Shasti, the devotees of Lord Kartikeya keep full or partial fasting to appease Lord Kartikeya. This Vrat starts with sunrise and ends after offering partial or complete fasting to appease Lord Murugan. The Shasti Vrat begins at the time of sunrise with a prayer of lord Kartikeya along with Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva.