|God of War and Victory
Commander of the Gods
Kartikeya or Murugan is the philosopher-warrior god of Hinduism, variously represented.
|Abode||Arupadaiveedu (Six Abodes of Murugan)|
|Weapon||Vel, Bow and arrow|
|Consort||Devasena and Valli|
|Part of the series on|
Kartikeya (IAST: Kārttikēya), also known as Murugan, Skanda, Kumara, and Subrahmanya, is the Hindu god of war. He is the son of Parvati and Shiva, brother of Ganesha, and a god whose life story has many versions in Hinduism. An important deity found all over the Indian subcontinent in its history, Kartikeya is particularly popular in South India, such as among the Tamil people.
Kartikeya is an ancient god, traceable to the Vedic era. Archaeological evidence from 1st-century CE and earlier, where he is found with Hindu god Agni (fire), suggest that he was a significant deity in early Hinduism. He is found in many medieval temples all over India, such as at the Ellora Caves and Elephanta Caves.
The iconography of Kartikeya varies significantly; he is typically represented as an ever-youthful man, riding or near a peacock, dressed with weapons sometimes near a rooster. Most icons show him with one head, but some show him with six heads reflecting the legend surrounding his birth where six mothers symbolizing the six stars of Pleiades cluster who took care of newly born baby Kartikeya. He grows up quickly into a philosopher-warrior, destroys evil in the form of demon Taraka, teaches the pursuit of ethical life and the theology of Shaiva Siddhanta. He has inspired many poet-sants, such as Arunagirinathar.
Kartikeya, as Murugan or Subrahmanya, is found as a primary deity in temples wherever communities of the Tamil people live worldwide, particularly in Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and Réunion. Three of the six richest and busiest temples in Tamil Nadu are dedicated to him. The Kataragama temple dedicated to him in Sri Lanka attracts Tamils, Sinhalese people and the Vedda people. He is also found in other parts of India, sometimes as Skanda, but in a secondary role along with Ganesha, Parvati and Shiva.
- 1 Etymology and nomenclature
- 2 Textual references
- 3 Iconography
- 4 Legends
- 5 Theology
- 6 Worship
- 7 Temples
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Etymology and nomenclature
Kartikeya is known by numerous names in ancient and medieval texts of the Indian culture. Most common among these are Murugan (Muruga), Kumaran (Kumara), Skanda, and Subrahmanyan (Subrahmanya). Others include Aaiyyan, Cheyon, Senthil, Vēlaṇ, Svaminatha ("ruler of the gods", from -natha king), Saravanan ("born amongst the reeds"), Arumugam or Shanmuga ("six-faced"), Dandapani ("wielder of the mace", from -pani hand), Guha (cave, secret) or Guruguha (cave-teacher), Kadhirvelan, Kandhan, Vishakha and Mahasena. In ancient coins where the inscription has survived along with his images, his names appear as Kumara, Brahmanya or Brahmanyadeva. On some ancient Indo-Scythian coins, his names appear in Greek script as Skanda, Kumara and Vishaka. In ancient statues, he appears as Mahasena, Skanda and Vishakha.
Skanda is derived from skanḍr-, which means to "spill, ooze, leap, attack". This root is derived from the legend of his unusual birth. The legend, translates Lochtefeld, states "Shiva and Parvati are disturbed while making love, and Shiva inadvertently spills his semen on the ground". This semen incubates in River Ganges, preserved by the heat of god Agni, and this fetus is born as baby Kartikeya on the banks of Ganges. The "spill" epithet leads to the name Skanda.
Kartikeya means "of the Krittikas". This epithet is also linked to his birth. After he appears on the banks of the River Ganges, he is seen by the six of the seven brightest stars cluster in the night sky called Krittikas in Hindu texts (called Pleiades in Greek texts). These six mothers all want to take care of him and nurse baby Kartikkeya. They argue. Baby Kartikkeya ends the argument by growing five more heads to have a total of six heads so he can look at all six moms, and let them each nurse one.
Another legend explains his various names as the result of competition by many to seek and claim him. He loves everyone, and takes many names and forms to be with them. For example, Kumara spends time with goddess Ganga as her son, Skanda as the son of goddess Parvati, Karttikeya as son of Shiva, while Guha as the son of fire god Agni.
References to Murugan can be traced back to the first millennium BCE.
There are ancient references which can be interpreted to be Kartikeya, Skanda, Kumara, or Murugan in the Vedic texts, in the works of Pāṇini (~500 BCE), in the Mahabhasya of Patanjali and in Kautilya's Arthashastra. For example, the term Kumara appears in hymn 5,2 of the Rig Veda.[note 1] The Kumara of verse 5.2.1 can be interpreted as Skanda, or just any "boy". However, the rest of the verses depict the "boy" as bright-colored, hurling weapons and other motifs that later have been associated with Skanda. The difficulty with interpreting these to be Skanda is that Indra, Agni and Rudra are also depicted in similar terms and as warriors.
The Skanda-like motifs found in Rig Veda are found in other Vedic texts, such as section 6.1-3 of the Shatapatha Brahmana. In these, the mythology is very different for Kumara, as Agni is described to be the Kumara whose mother is Ushas (goddess Dawn) and whose father is Purusha. The section 10.1 of the Taittiriya Aranyaka mentions Sanmukha (six faced one), while the Baudhayana Dharmasutra mentions a householder's rite of passage that involves prayers to Skanda with his brother Ganapati (Ganesha) together. The chapter 7 of the Chandogya Upanishad (~800–600 BCE) equates Sanat-Kumara (eternal son) and Skanda, as he teaches sage Narada to discover his own Atman (soul, self) as a means to the ultimate knowledge, true peace and liberation.[note 2]
According to Fred Clothey, the evidence suggests that Kartikeya mythology had become widespread sometime around 200 BCE or after in north India. The first clear evidence of Kartikeya's importance emerges in the Hindu Epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata where his story is recited. In addition to textual evidence, his importance is affirmed by the archeological, the epigraphical and the numismatic evidence of this period. For example, he is found in numismatic evidence linked to the Yaudheyas, a confederation of warriors in north India who are mentioned by ancient Pāṇini. They ruled an area consisting of modern era Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh (extending into Garhwal region, Uttarakhand). They struck coins bearing the image of Skanda, and these coins are dated to be from before Kushan Empire era started. During the Kushan dynasty era, that included much of northwest Indian subcontinent, more coins featuring Kartikeya were minted. He is also found on ancient Indo-Scythian coins, where his various names are minted in Greek script.[note 3]
Kartikeya was revered in major cultural centers of ancient India. For example, he was a major god for the Ikshvakus, an Andhra dynasty, as well as for the Gupta Empire. In south India, eight of the early Pallava dynasty rulers (300-550 CE) were named after Skanda or Kumara, suggesting the significance of Kartikeya by then. Kalidasa's epic poem the Kumārasambhava features Kartikeya.
In Tamil literature
The Tolkāppiyam, one of the most ancient texts of the Tamil literature, mentions cēyōṉ "the red one", who is identified with Murugan, whose name is literally Murukaṉ "the youth"; the three other gods referred to in the Tolkāppiyam are Māyōṉ "the dark one" (identified with Vishnu), Vēntaṉ "the sovereign" (identified with Indra) and Koṟṟavai "the victorious" (identified with Kali). Extant Sangam literature works, dated between the third century BCE and the fifth century CE glorified Murugan, "the red god seated on the blue peacock, who is ever young and resplendent," as "the favoured god of the Tamils."
In the Tirumurukāṟtruuppaṭai, he is called Muruku and described as a god of beauty and youth, with phrases such as "his body glows like the sun rising from the emerald sea". It describes him with six faces each with a function, twelve arms, his victory of evil, and the temples dedicated to him in the hilly regions.
Kartikeya is mentioned in Shaiva Puranas. Of these, the Skanda Purana is the largest Mahāpurāṇa, a genre of eighteen Hindu religious texts. The text contains over 81,000 verses, and is part of Shaivite literature, titled after Skanda, a son of Shiva and Parvati, who is also known as Kartikeya and Murugan. While the text is named after Skanda, he does not feature either more or less prominently in this text than in other Shiva-related Puranas. The text has been an important historical record and influence on the Hindu traditions related to war-god Skanda. The earliest text titled Skanda Purana likely existed by the 6th-century CE, but the Skanda Purana that has survived into the modern era exists in many versions.
Buddhism and Jainism
According to Richard Gombrich, Skanda has been an important deity in Theravada Buddhism pantheon, in countries such as Sri Lanka and Thailand. The Nikaya Samgraha describes Skanda Kumara as a guardian deity of the land, along with Upulvan (Vishnu), Saman and Vibhisana. Similarly, the 16th-century Siamese text Jinakalamali mentions him as a guardian god. There are Buddhist Sinhala shrines such as at Kataragama dedicated to Skanda which have historically been officiated by Hindu priests, which attracted Buddhist devotees and enjoyed royal support. Since the 1950s, states Brian Morris, the Kataragama shrine of Skanda has attracted over half a million devotional pilgrims every year, most being Buddhists.
In Chinese Buddhism, Skanda has been portrayed as Weituo, a young heavenly general, the guardian deity of local monasteries and the protector of Buddhist dhamma. According to Henrik Sørensen, this representation became common after the Tang period, and became well established in the late Song period. Skanda was also adopted by Korean Buddhism, and he appears in its woodblock prints and paintings.
According to Asko Parpola, the Jain deity Naigamesa, who is also referred to as Hari-Naigamesin, is depicted in early Jain texts as riding the peacock and as the leader of the divine army, both symbols of Kartikeya.
Ancient coins of the Yaudheyas, dated to 1st and 2nd century CE, show Kartikeya as a warrior with either one or six heads. Kushan coins show him with one head. In general, single head is far more common regardless of which dynasty minted them. The earliest statues discovered in Punjab and Kashmir show him with either one or six heads. The oldest sculptures such as those found in Mathura show him with one head, while six head iconography is dated to post-Gupta Empire era. All Kushan Empire era artwork show him with one head, even though there are Kushan deities such as a goddess who is shown with multiple heads.
The Kushan Empire era statues of Kartikeya, dated to 1st and 2nd-century CE, have been found at various sites in the Indian subcontinent, particularly at Mathura and Gandhara. They show him as a warrior dressed in dhoti (sheet wrapped at waist, covering the legs), armour like a warrior, spear in his right hand and a bird (rooster) in his left. There is some difference between his ancient iconography in Mathura and Gandhara artwork. The Gandhara arts show him in more a Scythian dress, likely reflecting the local dress culture prevalent in those times. Further, it is in the oldest Gandharan statues where he is shown with a bird that looks like a chicken or cock. According to Richard Mann, the bird may symbolize Kartikeya's agility and maneuverability as a warrior god, and may be a Parthian influence. His iconography symbolizes his attributes as a hunter, warrior and philosopher.
Kartikeya iconography shows him as a youthful god, dressed as a warrior, carrying the weapon called Vel. It is a divine spear, often called sakti. He is sometimes depicted with many weapons including: a sword, a javelin, a mace, a discus and a bow although more usually he is depicted wielding the sakti or spear. His vahana (vehicle, mount) is a peacock. He has either one head or six, depending on the region or artist.
The Epic era literature of ancient India recite numerous legends of Kartikeya, often with his other names such as Skanda. For example, the Vana Parva of the Mahabharata dedicates chapters 223 to 232 to the legends of Skanda, but depicts him as the son of Agni and Svaha. Similarly, Valmiki's Ramayana dedicates chapters 36 and 37 to Skanda, but describes him as the child of god Agni and goddess Ganges.
The legends of Kartikeya vary significantly, sometimes within the same text. For example, while the Vana Parva of the Mahabharata describes Skanda as the son of Agni, the Shalya Parva and the Anushasana Parva of the same text presents Skanda's legend as the son of Maheshvara (Shiva) and Parvati.
In Vana Parva, the circumstances behind Kartikeya's birth legend do not involve Shiva and Parvati. Rather it is deity Agni who goes to a hermitage of seven married Rishis (sages). He is sexually attracted to all seven, but none reciprocate. Svaha is present there and she is attracted to Agni, but Agni is not. According to the legend, Svaha takes the form of six of the wives, one by one, and sleeps with Agni. She does not take the form of Arundhati, Vasistha's wife, because of Arundhati's extraordinary virtuous powers. Svaha deposits the semen of Agni into the reeds of River Ganges, where it develops and then is born as six headed Skanda.
A totally different legend in the later books of the Mahabharata make Shiva and Parvati as the parents. They were having sex, but they are disturbed, and Shiva inadvertently spills his semen on the ground. Shiva's semen incubates in River Ganges, preserved by the heat of god Agni, and this fetus is born as baby Kartikeya on the banks of Ganges.
Some legend state that he was the elder son of Shiva, others make him the younger brother of Ganesha. This is implied by another legend connected to his birth. Devas have been beaten up by Asuras led by Taraka, because Taraka had a boon from ascetic celibate yogi Shiva that only Shiva's son can kill him. Devas learn about this boon, and plan how to get Shiva into a relationship. So they bring Parvati into the picture, have her seduce yogi Shiva, and wed Parvati so that Skanda can be born to kill Taraka.
According to Raman Varadara, Murugan or Kartikeya was originally a Tamil deity, who was adopted by north Indians. He was the god of war in the Dravidian legends, and became so elsewhere in the Indian subcontinent too. In contrast, G. S. Ghurye states that according to the archeological and epigraphical evidence, the contemporary Murugan, Subrahmanya and Kartikeya is a composite of two influences, one from south and one from north in the form of Skanda and Mahasena. He as the warrior-philosopher god was the patron deity for many ancient northern and western Hindu kingdoms, and of the Gupta Empire, according to Ghurye. After the 7th-century, Skanda's importance diminished while his brother Ganesha's importance rose in the west and north, while in the south the legends of Murugan continued to grow. According to Norman Cutler, Kartikeya-Murugan-Skanda of South and North India coalesced over time, but some aspects of the South Indian iconography and mythology for Murugan have remained unique to Tamil Nadu.
Kartikeya's legends vary by region. For example, in the northern and western Indian traditions Kartikeya or Skanda is the perpetual celibate bachelor who never marries, but in the Tamil legends he was two wives, Valli and Devasena. Many of the major events in Murugan's life take place during his youth, and legends surrounding his birth are popular in Tamil Nadu. This has encouraged the worship of Murugan as a child-God, very similar to the worship of the child Krishna in north India. Kartikeya's youth, beauty and bravery was much celebrated in Sanskrit works like the Kathasaritsagara. Kalidasa made the birth of Kumara the subject of a lyrical epic, the Kumārasambhava.
There is extensive Hindu symbolism and theology associated with Kartikeya. Regardless of the variance among the legends, his birth is in difficult circumstances, he is born through a surrogate after being left near a river. He is raised not by his natural mother but a host of mothers, but later he is a part of his biological family. Kartikeya symbolizes a union of polarities. He is handsome warrior and described as a celibate yogi. He uses his creative martial abilities to lead an army against Taraka and other demons, and described as a philosopher-warrior. He is a uniter, championing the attributes of both Shaivism and Vaishnavism.
His theology is most developed in the Tamil texts, and in the Shaiva Siddhanta tradition. He is described as teyvam (abstract neuter divinity, nirguna Brahman), as katavul (divinity in nature, in everything), as tevan (masculine deity), and as iraivativam (concrete manifestation of the sacred, saguna Brahman).
According to Fred Clothey, as Murugan (also referred to as Murukan, Cheyyon), he embodies the "cultural and religious whole that comprises South Indian Shaivism". He is the philosopher and exponent of Shaiva Siddhanta theology, as well as the patron deity of the Tamil language.
|This section needs additional or better citations for verification. (February 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Murugan is worshiped primarily in areas with Tamil influences. Subramanya is also a major deity among the Hindus of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Rituals like Nagaradhane are unique to Uttara Kannada region of Karnataka. Kataragama Sri Lanka temple is another important Murugan center.
In Sri Lanka and India, Murugan is popular with more elaborate accounts of his mythology in the Tamil language, culminating in the Tamil version of Skanda Purana, called Kandha Purānam. It was written by Kacchiappa Sivachariyar (1350–1420 AD.) of Kumara Kottam in the city of Kanchipuram. During His bachelorhood, Murugan is also regarded as Kumaraswami (or Bachelor God), Kumara meaning a bachelor and Swami meaning God. Muruga rides a peacock and wields a bow in battle. The lance called Vel in Tamil is a weapon closely associated with him. The Vel was given to him by his mother, Parvati, and embodies her energy and power. His army's standard depicts a rooster. In the war, Surapadman was split into two, and each half was granted a boon by Murugan. The halves, thus turned into the peacock (his mount) and the rooster his flag, which also "refers to the sun".
Kartikeya is revered during the Kartik Puja festival, observed in November in eastern states of India.[note 4] During Durga Puja in Bengal, Kartikeya is featured as a son of Durga (Parvati) and Shiva, sitting along with his brother Ganesha.
Kumara Purnima, which is celebrated by girls and newly married women on the full moon day after Vijayadashami. It is dedicated to Kartikeya in Odisha. The festivities bring girls together, they sing and dance, and play a game called Puchi. The prayers on the day are aimed with hopes of getting a husband similar to Kartikeya. Kartikeya is worshipped during Durga Puja in Odisha as well as in various Shiva temples throughout the year. Kartik puja is celebrated in Cuttack along with various other parts of the state during the last phases of Hindu month of Kartik.
- Himachal Pradesh
Kartikeya is the main deity at Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. The temple of Kartikeya in Kugti village is visited every year by thousands of devotees when the trek is opened in the month of March–April.
Murugan is one of the most important deities worshipped by the Tamil Hindus in Malaysia and other South-East Asian countries such as Singapore and Indonesia. Thaipusam is one of the important festivals celebrated. Sri Subramanyar Temple at Batu Caves temple complex in Malaysia is dedicated to Murugan. Batu Caves in short also referred as 10th Caves or Hill for Lord Muruga as there are 6 important holy shrines in India and 4 more in Malaysia. The 3 others in Malaysia are
- Kallumalai Temple in Ipoh
- Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple, Penang
- Sannasimalai Temple in Malacca
Karthikeya is worshipped by Sri Lankan Tamils as Muruhan also by the Sinhalese as Kataragama deviyo, a guardian deity of Sri Lanka. Numerous temples exist throughout the island. He is a favourite deity of the common folk everywhere and it is said he never hesitates to come to the aid of a devotee when called upon. In the deeply Sinhalese south of Sri Lanka, he is worshipped at the Kataragama temple, where he is known as Kathiravel or Kataragama deviyo. Local legend holds that Murugan alighted in Kataragama and was smitten by Valli, one of the local girls. After a courtship, they were married. This event is taken to signify that Murugan is accessible to all who worship and love him, regardless of their birth or heritage. The Nallur Kandaswamy temple, the Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple and the Sella Channithy Temple near Valvettiturai are the three foremost Murugan temples in Jaffna. The Chitravelayutha temple in Verukal on the border between Trincomalee and Batticaloa is also noteworthy as is the Mandur Kandaswamy temple in Batticaloa. The late medieval-era temple of the tooth in Kandy, dedicated to the tooth relic of the Buddha, has a Kataragama deiyo shrine adjacent to it dedicated to the veneration of Skanda in the Sinhalese tradition. Almost all Buddhist temples house a shrine room for Kataragama deviyo reflecting the significance of Murugan in Sinhala Buddhism.
By the 16th century, the Kataragama temple had become synonymous with Skanda-Kumara who was a guardian deity of Sinhala Buddhism. The town was popular as a place of pilgrimage for Hindus from India and Sri Lanka by the 15th century. The popularity of the deity at the Kataragama temple was also recorded by the Pali chronicles of Thailand such as Jinkalmali in the 16th century. There are number of legends both Buddhist and Hindu that attribute supernatural events to the very locality. Scholars such as Paul Younger and Heinz Bechert speculate that rituals practiced by the native priests of Kataragama temple betray Vedda ideals of propitiation. Hence they believe the area was of Vedda veneration that was taken over by the Buddhist and Hindus in the medieval period.
|This section needs additional or better citations for verification. (February 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
The main temples of Murugan are located in Tamil Nadu and other parts of south India. The Aru Padaiveedu (six abodes) (Tamil: Āṟupaṭai vīṭu) are six temples situated in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Other important shrines like Mayilam, Sikkal, Marudamalai, Kundrathur, Vadapalani, Kandakottam, Thiruporur, Vallakottai, Viralimalai, Vayalur, Thirumalaikoil, Chennimalai, Sivanmalai, Thindalmalai, Pachaimalai and Pavalamalai near Gobichettipalayam.
There are many temples dedicated to Subramanya in Kerala. Amongst them are Atiyambur Sri Subramanya Temple in Kanhangad Kasaragod, Subramanya Swamy temple in Payyanur, Panmana Subramanya Swamy temple in Panmana and the Subramanya temple in Haripad. There are temples in Skandagiri, Secunderabad, Bikkavolu in East Godavari district and Mopidevi in Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh and Telengana. In Karnataka, Kukke Subramanya Temple is dedicated to Murugan where he is worshipped as the Lord of the serpents. Malai Mandir, a prominent temple complex in Delhi and Pehowa temple in Haryana are amongst the few temples dedicated to Murugan in North India.
The key temples in Sri Lanka include the sylvan shrine in Kataragama (Kadirgamam) in the south, the temple in Tirukovil in the east, the shrine in Embekke in the Kandy and the Nallur Kandaswamy temple in Jaffna. There are several temples dedicated to Murugan in Malaysia, the most famous being the Batu Caves near Kuala Lumpur which has a 42.7-m-high statue of Murugan at the entrance, the largest Lord Murugan statue in the world. Sri Thandayuthapani Temple in Singapore is a major Hindu temple.
In the USA, Shiva Murugan Temple in Concord, Northern California and Murugan Temple of North America in Maryland, Washington DC region are popular. Kanthasamy Temple in Toronto, Canada and Murugan temple in Val-Morin, a suburb of the city of Montreal are popular temples in Canada. In the United Kingdom, Highgate Hill Murugan temple, Sri Murugan Temple in Manor park, London, Shri Siva Murugan Temple in Leicester and Skanda Vale are popular temples. In Australia, Sydney Murugan temple in Parramatta (Mays Hill), Perth Bala Muruguan temple in Mandogalup and Kundrathu Kumaran temple in Rockbank, Melbourne are major temples. In New Zealand, there is a Thirumurugan Temple in Auckland and a Kurinji Kumaran Temple in Wellington, both dedicated to Murugan. Sri Sivasubramaniar Temple, located in the Sihl Valley in Adliswil is the largest Hindu temple in Switzerland.
- कुमारं माता युवतिः समुब्धं गुहा बिभर्ति न ददाति पित्रे । अनीकमस्य न मिनज्जनासः पुरः पश्यन्ति निहितमरतौ ॥१॥ कमेतं त्वं युवते कुमारं पेषी बिभर्षि महिषी जजान । पूर्वीर्हि गर्भः शरदो ववर्धापश्यं जातं यदसूत माता ॥२॥ हिरण्यदन्तं शुचिवर्णमारात्क्षेत्रादपश्यमायुधा मिमानम् । ददानो अस्मा अमृतं विपृक्वत्किं मामनिन्द्राः कृणवन्ननुक्थाः ॥३॥ क्षेत्रादपश्यं सनुतश्चरन्तं सुमद्यूथं न पुरु शोभमानम् । न ता अगृभ्रन्नजनिष्ट हि षः पलिक्नीरिद्युवतयो भवन्ति ॥४॥ (...) Hymn 5.2, Wikisource;
English: "The youthful Mother keeps the Boy in secret pressed to her close, nor yields him to the Father. But, when he lies upon the arm, the people see his unfading countenance before them. [5.2.1] What child is this thou carriest as handmaid, O Youthful One? The Consort-Queen hath bome him. The Babe unborn increased through many autumns. I saw him born what time his Mother bare him. [5.2.2] I saw him from afar gold-toothed, bright-coloured, hurling his weapons from his habitation, What time I gave him Amrta free from mixture. How can the Indraless, the hymnless harm me? [5.2.3] I saw him moving from the place he dwells in, even as with a herd, brilliantly shining. These seized him not: he had been born already. They who were grey with age again grow youthful. [5.2.4]
– Translated by Ralph T.H. Griffith, Wikisource
- Verse 7.26.2 states Kumara is Skanda, but there are stylistic differences between this verse and the rest of the chapter. This may be because this verse was interpolated into the text at a later date.
- Richard Mann states that Skanda-Kumara may be composite deity linked to Greek deities pair called Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux), given the numismatic overlap in their iconography and similar warrior-god mythologies.
- In the central, northern and western states, Krishna and Radha are revered during the Kartik Puja.
- Fred W. Clothey 1978, pp. 1-2.
- Constance Jones & James D. Ryan 2006, p. 228.
- James G. Lochtefeld 2002, p. 377.
- Asko Parpola 2015, p. 285.
- James G. Lochtefeld 2002, pp. 655-656.
- G Obeyesekere (2004). Jacob Kẹhinde Olupona, ed. Beyond Primitivism: Indigenous Religious Traditions and Modernity. Routledge. pp. 272–274. ISBN 978-0-415-27319-0.
- T. A. Gopinatha Rao 1993, p. 40.
- Mohan Lal 1992, p. 4339.
- Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed. India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 80.
- Fred W. Clothey 1978, pp. 1, 22-25, 35-39, 49-58, 214-216.
- Richard D. Mann 2011, pp. 104-106 with footnotes.
- Edward Thomas (1877). Jainism: Or, The Early Faith of Aṣoka. Trübner & Company. pp. 60, 62 (see e.g. coin 11).
- Richard D. Mann 2011, pp. 123-124.
- Fred W. Clothey 1978, pp. 49, 54-55.
- Doris Srinivasan 1997, pp. 302-303, 333-334.
- Fred W. Clothey 1978, pp. 49-53.
- Fred W. Clothey 1978, pp. 49-51.
- Fred W. Clothey 1978, pp. 46-51.
- Fred W. Clothey 1978, pp. 48-50.
- Fred W. Clothey 1978, pp. 50-51.
- Fred W. Clothey 1978, pp. 49-50.
- The Thirteen Principal Upanishads, Robert Hume, Oxford University Press, pages 250-262
- The Thirteen Principal Upanishads, Robert Hume, Oxford University Press, page 262 with footnote 3
- Fred W. Clothey 1978, pp. 45-46.
- Richard D. Mann 2011, pp. 101-105 with footnotes.
- Benjamin Fleming; Richard Mann (2014). Material Culture and Asian Religions: Text, Image, Object. Routledge. pp. 234–246. ISBN 978-1-135-01373-8.
- Richard D. Mann 2011, pp. 101-103.
- Ratna Navaratnam; Karttikeya, the divine child:the Hindu testament of wisdom, 1973, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
- Fred W. Clothey 1978, p. 22.
- Kanchan Sinha, Kartikeya in Indian art and literature, Delhi: Sundeep Prakashan (1979).
- The Smile of Murugan on Tamil Literature of South India, by Kamil Zvelebil (1973), E.J. Brill, pages 125-127
- Ganesh Vasudeo Tagare (1996). Studies in Skanda Purāṇa. Published by Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1260-3
- Hans Bakker 2014, pp. 4-6.
- Rocher 1986, pp. 114, 229-238.
- KK Kurukkal (1961), A Study of the Karttikeya Cult as reflected in the Epics and the Puranas, University of Ceylon Review, Vol. 19, pages 131-138
- Richard D. Mann 2011, p. 187.
- Hans Bakker 2014, pp. 1-3.
- Doniger 1993, pp. 59-83.
- Robert E. Buswell Jr.; Donald S. Lopez Jr. (2013). The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton University Press. p. 452. ISBN 978-1-4008-4805-8.
- Richard Francis Gombrich; Gananath Obeyesekere (1988). Buddhism Transformed: Religious Change in Sri Lanka. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 176–180. ISBN 978-81-208-0702-0.
- Brian Morris (2006). Religion and Anthropology: A Critical Introduction. Cambridge University Press. pp. 68–69. ISBN 978-0-521-85241-8.
- Kevin Trainor (2004). Buddhism: The Illustrated Guide. Oxford University Press. pp. 123–124. ISBN 978-0-19-517398-7.
- Richard D. Mann 2011, p. 32 with footnote 24.
- Angela Falco Howard (2006). Chinese Sculpture. Yale University Press. pp. 373, 380–381. ISBN 0-300-10065-5.
- Henrik Sørensen (2011). Charles Orzech, Henrik Sørensen, Richard Payne, ed. Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras in East Asia. BRILL Academic. pp. 124–125, 654–655 with footnotes. ISBN 90-04-18491-0.
- Richard D. Mann 2011, pp. 111-114.
- Richard D. Mann 2011, pp. 113-114, 122-126.
- Richard D. Mann 2011, pp. 122-126.
- Doris Srinivasan 2007, pp. 333-335.
- Richard D. Mann 2011, pp. 124-126.
- S. Xavier Alphonse (1997). Kanthapura to Malgudi: Cultural Values and Assumptions in Selected South Indian Novelists in English. Prestige. p. 167. ISBN 978-81-7551-030-2., Quote: "He [Skanda] has been hunter, warrior, philosopher. He is the teacher and inspiration of literature and arts. He is the eternal child, as old as time itself, yet as young as every new beginning. He is the handsome hero and lover, the wise Primordial One."
- Richard D. Mann 2011, pp. 123-126 with footnotes.
- Doris Srinivasan 2007, pp. 333-336, 515-516.
- John Guy (2014). Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia. Metropolitan Museum of Art. pp. 176–178. ISBN 978-1-58839-524-5.
- Fred W. Clothey 1978, p. 51.
- Fred W. Clothey 1978, pp. 51-52.
- Fred W. Clothey 1978, pp. 54-56.
- Raman Varadara 1993, pp. 113-114.
- Govind Sadashiv Ghurye (1977). Indian Acculturation: Agastya and Skanda. Popular Prakashan. pp. 152–167.
- S. Devadas Pillai (1997). Indian Sociology Through Ghurye, a Dictionary. Popular Prakashan. pp. 159–160. ISBN 978-81-7154-807-1.
- Norman Cutler (2008). Gavin Flood, ed. The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. John Wiley & Sons. p. 146. ISBN 978-0-470-99868-7.
- Kālidāsa; C.R. Devadhar (Translator) (1985). Kumara-Sambhava of Kalidasa. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. iii–viii. ISBN 978-81-208-0012-0.
- Kamil Zvelebil (1973). The Smile of Murugan: On Tamil Literature of South India. BRILL Academic. p. 243. ISBN 90-04-03591-5.
- Fred W. Clothey 1978, p. 3.
- Fred W. Clothey 1978, pp. 3-4.
- Fred W. Clothey 1978, pp. 10-14.
- James G. Lochtefeld (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 450. ISBN 978-0-8239-3179-8.
- Vijaya Ramaswamy (2007). Historical Dictionary of the Tamils. Scarecrow Press. pp. 152–153. ISBN 978-0-8108-6445-0.
- Subhadra Sen Gupta (2001). Devi-devata: The Gods & Goddesses of India. Rupa & Company. pp. 194–195. ISBN 978-81-7167-530-2.
- Tracy Pintchman (2007). Women's Lives, Women's Rituals in the Hindu Tradition. Oxford University Press. pp. 55–56. ISBN 978-0-19-803934-1.
- Kinsley, David (1988). Hindu Goddesses: Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Traditions. University of California Press. p. 95. ISBN 0-520-06339-2.
- "Kumar utsav" (PDF). www.odisha.gov.in/. Govt of Odisha. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- "Swami Kartikeya Temple (Kaylong Temple) Kugti". Bharmour View. Bharmour View.
- Pathmanathan, S (September 1999). "The guardian deities of Sri Lanka: Skanda-Murgan and Kataragama". The journal of the institute of Asian studies. The institute of Asian studies.
- Bechert, Heinz (1970). "Skandakumara and Kataragama: An Aspect of the Relation of Hinduism and Buddhism in Sri Lanka". Proceedings of the Third International Tamil Conference Seminar. Paris: International Association of Tamil Research.
- "Welcome To LordMurugan.com Home Page".
- "Lord Muruga Names - 108 names of Lord Muruga with meanings".
- நக்கீரதேவநாயனார். "திருமுருகாற்றுப்படை".
- gmail.com, kaumaram @. "முருகன் Murugan Devotees - Lord Muruga - அடியார்கள் - முருகபக்தர்".
- Fred Clothey (1972), Pilgrimage Centers in the Tamil Cultus of Murukan, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Oxford University Press, Vol. 40, No. 1 (Mar., 1972), pp. 79-95
- "Hinduismus :::: Religionen in der Schweiz / Religions en Suissse :::: Universität Luzern". 2 June 2009. Archived from the original on 15 February 2015.
- Hans Bakker (2014). The World of the Skandapurāṇa. BRILL Academic. ISBN 978-90-04-27714-4.
- Fred W. Clothey (1978). The Many Faces of Murukan̲: The History and Meaning of a South Indian God. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 978-90-279-7632-1.
- Doniger, Wendy (editor) (1993). Purāṇa Perennis: Reciprocity and Transformation in Hindu and Jaina Texts. Albany, New York: State University of New York. ISBN 0-7914-1382-9.
- Constance Jones; James D. Ryan (2006). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8160-7564-5.
- Richard D. Mann (2011). The Rise of Mahāsena: The Transformation of Skanda-Kārttikeya in North India from the Kuṣāṇa to Gupta Empires. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-21886-4.
- Asko Parpola (2015). The Roots of Hinduism: The Early Aryans and the Indus Civilization. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-022691-6.
- T. A. Gopinatha Rao (1993). Elements of Hindu iconography. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-0878-2.
- Mohan Lal (1992). Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature. Sahitya Akademi. ISBN 978-81-260-1221-3.
- James G. Lochtefeld (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: N-Z. The Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-8239-3180-4.
- Rocher, Ludo (1986). The Puranas. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 978-3447025225.
- Mani, Vettam. Puranic Encyclopedia. 1st English ed. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1975.
- G. V. Tagare, Dr. The Skanda-Purana (23 Vols.), Motilal Banarsidass. 2007.
- Kaur, Jagdish (1979). "Bibliographical Sources for Himalayan Pilgrimages and Tourism Studies: Uttarakhand". Tourism Recreation Research. 4 (1): 13–16. doi:10.1080/02508281.1979.11014968.
- Doris Srinivasan (2007). On the Cusp of an Era: Art in the Pre-Kuṣāṇa World. BRILL Academic. ISBN 90-04-15451-5.
- Doris Srinivasan (1997). Many Heads, Arms, and Eyes: Origin, Meaning, and Form of Multiplicity in Indian Art. BRILL Academic. ISBN 90-04-10758-4.
- Raman Varadara (1993). Glimpses of Indian Heritage. Popular Prakashan. ISBN 978-81-7154-758-6.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Murugan.|