Today is Skanda Shashthi, a festival when Lord Murugan rides really close to Earth.
Lord Karttikeya, Skanda, is the first guru and Pleiadean master of kundalini yoga and was born of God Siva’s mind. His dynamic power awakens spiritual cognition to propel souls onward in their evolution to Siva’s feet. He is the God of yoga, of renunciates, of government leaders, and of healing.
It is appropriate that new monks are initiated today, and that His festival comes a day before an important moment for the world.
We began this morning with a powerful homa. Yogi Jivanandanatha was the pujari. Lord Murugan’s vel, from His shrine, was brought forth next to the homakunda, and Murugan was invoked into a large kumbha full of water and herbs, representing the water and other elements that make up the body.
Nandi was decorated with a toranam mala and lamps. He was by far the largest, most imposing devotee present.
After the homa was finished, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami (true to his name) brought the vel up to the Muruga shrine, where it received abhishekam along with Murugan’s lifesize black granite murti.
Milk begins the abhishekam.
Vibhuti abhishekam. Each of the offerings that is poured interacts with the shakti emanating from the murti in its own subtle way. Each thus sends forth a different blessing to those present.
We performed sandalwood abhishekam just as it is done in Swamimalai in Tamil Nadu. The powder is mixed thick so it rests on the stone, allowing everyone to clearly see the contours of Lord Murugan’s remarkably beautiful face. This murti was carved by the renowned Neelamegham Sthapati of Swamimalai, known for the faces on his murtis. Vetri Vel Muruganukku, Haro Hara!
The letter "Ya" in the Panchakshara Mantra, Namasivaya, stands for the soul. Bodhinatha uses the Panchakshara Mantra to show how the soul is initially drawn by Siva's veiling grace, which leads the soul to maturity through experience in the world. Then comes Siva's revealing grace. When we've had enough of the world, Siva's grace pulls us toward God. The mantra also has the simple, two-syllable form. Si- Reflecting on God the Transcendent Absolute, Va-God as the All Pervading Consciousness