|Vel Muruga..Image credit: By |
Phalinn Ooi CC-BY via flickr
Have you thought that Thai Pusam is the birthday of Lord Muruga like me? No, it is not the birthday of Sri Muruga. It is the special occasion during which Parvati gave Muruga a spear(vel) to vanquish an Asura (demon). That is why the song ‘Vel vel vel vel vel Muruga vel’ is sung on the day of Thai Pusam that falls on the full moon day of Tamil month ‘Thai’.
Skandapuranam and Thirupugal of Tamil literature state that Sri Muruga is the light of Lord Shiva. He is venerated as the god of wisdom. Thai Pusam festival is celebrated to get rid of the bad traits one has by praying to Sri Muruga.
Kaavadi Attam is the main ritual associated with this festival. Kaavadi is a semi-circled structure supported by a wooden rod to carry. It gets decorated with artificial colorful flowers thickly packed. Devotees carry it on their shoulders and perform a dance rhythmic to the Pandi Melam (regional drum beat). It is believed that one can implore Sri Muruga for cleansing the sins by carrying a kaavadi.
Kaavadi aattam in Palani temple of Tamil Nadu is very famous and it is estimated that about 10,000 kaavadis reach the temple on Thai Pusam day. Today is Thai Pusam that reminds me of Mannam Sri Subrahmania Swamy temple of my native place.