from Moor. Image used by permission.
Basic Description: Kartikeya
is shown as an adolescent with one or six heads, two or twelve arms, dressed
in red, holds a bow and some arrows, a sword, thunderbolt and an ax. Also,
Kartikeya has a spear, which never misses a mark, and returns to his hand after
killing its enemies.
Alternate Names: Skanda,
With the different names also come different iconographic representations and legends, making it virtually certain that the present figure is the amalgamation of a number of pre-Aryan deities who were fairly loosely absorbed into the one person.
Kartikeya is worshipped almost exclusively
in Southern India as Subrahmanya. In some areas women are not allowed to worship him
because he is known as a misogynist and a bachelor. In other areas, women come to the temple with large amounts of milk that are poured over him at puja.
Kartikeya is said to have 6 heads to drink
the milk of the six Pleides. The main purpose of his birth is said to
have been the leadership of the god's army.
Some of the most important myths regarding
Kartikeya revolve around his birth.
Riding Animal: Peacock
It is commonly said that the army of the
god is his only wife. However, other traditions have him married to
Sena, Devasena, and wooed by Siddhi and Buddhi. He could have been the
husband of several wives.
Danliélou, Alain. The Myths and Gods of India. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions International, 1991.
Thomas, P. Epics, Myths
and Legends of India. Bombay, India: D. B. Taraporevala Sons &
Co. Private Ltd, 1961.