Kartik-swami / Skandha

All-male creation of Shiva


Shiva and Shivaa have two sons, Skandha and Ganesh.

Shivaa as Sati, daughter of Daksha prajapati, died at her father's yagna.  Born as Parvati, she performed austerities to obtain Shiva as a husband.  Devas were desperate for her to marry Shiva as only a son born of the divine couple could defeat their nemesis Tarakasur.  Devas called on Kama - god of love - to disturb Shiva's meditation.  Though successful, Kama was burned by the fiery gaze of Shiva.  Initially Shiva was unwilling to get married again - Sati's death weighed heavy on his heart.  Eventually, devas were able to convince Shiva that Parvati was Sati incarnate.  Having convinced himself that Parvati's love for him was genuine, Shiva married her.

Divine couple celebrated their honeymoon on divine scale with colossal time scales to match.  Their love making went on for so long, devas despaired of ever seeing Shiva's son before Tarakasur would annihilate them.  When they came to speak to the divine couple, Nandi, Shiva's guard stopped them at the gate and described to them the lovemaking of the divine couple.  Sage Shvetaketu, the son of Uddvalaka, wrote a portion of this conversation in his Kama Shastra.  Later sages produced abridged versions of the original.  What we now have Kamasutra of Vatsyayana is a fraction of the original ! 

Devas, ever impatient, wanted to disturbed the divine couple and sent Agni as their messenger.  Agni was wide eyed and open mouthed at the sight of Shiva and Shivaa in loving embrace.  At that very inopportune moment, Shiva ejaculated and his sperm fell in the mouth of Agni (in other versions it falls on the earth and Agni scoops it up).  Shivaa (Parvati) was furious as this was her only opportunity to get pregnant with Shiva's seed.  She cursed Agni and the other gods for their impatience.  In the meantime, Agni was unable to hold on to the fiery seed of Shiva and took it to Ganges to cool it.  Ganges was also unable to bear the power of the divine seed.  She deposited the seed amongst reeds on her bank.  Being the sperm of Shiva, it was bound to result in an all powerful child, no matter where it fell.  A divine child was born of Shiva's amogha-virya (amazing/indestructible sperm).  Six nymphs (collectively called Krutikas) were bathing nearby and picked up the child with hopes of nursing him.  Divine child took six forms / faces to suckle his six foster mothers.  In the meantime, Shiva and Shivaa came to the banks of the Ganges to reclaim their son.  Parvati was happy to have the son she always wanted.  Gods now had their army commander to defeat Tarakasur.  But as Agni, Ganga and the nymphs also had a hand in child's birth, he picked up several names to remember their contributions in him being born. 

Skandha = as he was born of oozing / spurting sperm of Shiva
Mahasena = as Agni bore him
Kumar = as the youthful son of Ganga
Saravanabhava = as he was born amongst sara reeds.
Kartikeya = as he was nursed six divine mothers from the constellation of Krittika
Shanmukha / Shadamukha = as he created six faces to suckle his six foster mothers.

Skandha’s birth is unique in that he is born from the sperm of Shiv without ever having being united with the egg of any female.  Though Agni, Ganga and the Krutikas handled the divine seed, none of them had an active part in the creation of Skandha.  Skandha is thus an all male creation.  Shakti accepted Skandha as her own son and showed her generosity of spirit and absolute love and faith in Shiva.

Similarly, Ganesh is an all female creation, born of Shakti without any input from Purusha.

Shiva Shivaa’s family is unique in that each person seems totally and diametrically opposed to the other, yet they are all one.

* Shiva is an ascetic, wears whatever he finds in the charnel ground.  He rides a bull, has serpents crawling on his body and sports a mighty trident.
* Shivaa is a beauty queen.  She is feminine to the max, rides a lion / tiger and loves dainty flowers.  When required though, she sports weapons to kill various demons. 
* Ganesh has an elephant’s head and human body, loves to eat and dress well.  He keeps mice as pets.
* Skandha has six heads, is strong, muscular and flys about on a peacock !

Lions, tigers, bulls, peacocks, mice, snakes do not generally get on with each other.  Yet, in this divine family, they all live in harmony.  What could easily be dysfunctional, functions because of the loving nature of Shiva and Shivaa.  Shiva and Shivaa have that calming effect on everyone that comes to them !


© Bhagwat Shahah   
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