In the Hindu calendar Vaikasi is known as the Vrishabha month occurring in the month of May/June which is the second Solar month. Visaka Nakshatra is the 16th Star in line with the 27 stars. When the Vaikasi month coincides with the Visaka Nakshatra( Full Moon or Pournami) that day is celebrated as the birth of Lord Murugan.
From time immemorial to protect our Sanatana Dharma, to uphold the Truth and to ascertain Dharma’s victory over Adharma, world has been witnessing God manifesting. Lord Muruga too was born for the same purpose. The descent of Muruga is referred to as Shanmugha Avataram.
Lord Muruga is adoringly called as Karthikeya, Subramanyan, Arumugan and Saravanabhava. This Avataram was a result of the prayer of Devas to end the Adharma caused by the 3 Asura Brothers Soorapadman, Shanmughan and Tarakan. Tarakasura got a boon that he will be killed only by Shiva’s son. Tarakasura knew well that Lord Shiva was an ascetic and would not marry. The brothers obtained great powers through penance and all the Devas appealed to Shiva to help them.
Saint Tirumular, in Tirumanthiram says,“Ame pirAn mukamainthodu mAruya RAme pirAnuk kathomukamArula.”
It is said there were six fire sparks from Lord Shiva’s forehead which was carried by Agni to the Saravana Poigai Lake. The lake was filled with lotuses and from each of the six spark, a divine baby was born. Goddess Parvati embraced the six babies and made it as one with six heads and 12 hands. Since, Lord Muruga has six faces, he is known as Shanmuga or Arumugan.
Another great devotee who was born on this Vaikasi Visagam day was Nammazhwar. Nammazhwar was one of the 12 Azhwars, who were the foremost to show the path of Bhakti in this Kali Yuga. Nammazhwar was born on a Friday on Vaikasi Visakam in
Thirukurugoor or Azhwarthirunagari to kAri and Udhayanangai. Unlike other babies, he did not move or eat. The grief-stricken parents took him to Adinatha temple. And, as they sat under the tamarind tree, the small child crawled into the hole in the tamarind tree and sat cross-legged with closed eyes and hands forming a chin mudra. Nammazhwar stayed that way for 16 years. It was only when, Madhurakavi Azhwar came, Nammazhwar opened his mouth for the first time to answer his disciple’s question.
Nammazhwar has sung beautiful ‘pasurams” known as “Tiruvai mozhi” which are part of the 4000 Divya Prabandha and are usually in the Nayika bhava.
This year, Vaikasi Visagam falls on June 4, 2020. On the auspicious day of Vaikasi Visakam, let us pray to Lord Karthikeya and Nammazhwar to bless us with more and more Bhakti and Satsang.
By Nithya Ravi, Dallas, TX
Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kalamegaperumal1_(2).jpg