Skanda Shashthi, a sacred day in Hinduism, holds immense significance for devotees who observe fasting and worship Lord Kartikeya. This auspicious occasion occurs on the Shukla Paksha’s sixth day of every month, as per the Hindu calendar. It is believed that by adhering to the prescribed rituals and regulations on this day, seekers can attain their desired fruits and blessings.
The origin of Skanda Shashthi is rooted in the birth of Lord Kartikeya, also known as Skanda or Murugan. Devotees worship Lord Kartikeya on this day with utmost reverence and devotion. According to the Panchang, the Shashthi Tithi falling in the Shukla Paksha of May 2023 will occur on the 25th of May.
While the worship and fasting of Lord Kartikeya are prevalent throughout India, it is more commonly observed in South India. In the southern region, Lord Kartikeya is revered as Murugan. As per Hindu beliefs, Lord Murugan holds the esteemed position of the gods’ commander-in-chief and swiftly rescues his devotees from dire situations.
To conduct the worship ceremony on Skanda Shashthi, devotees rise before sunrise and commence their day with a bath and meditation. Afterward, they consecrate the idol or image of Lord Kartikeya, often depicting him as a child, with water. Various offerings such as flowers, sandalwood, incense, lamps, fruits, sweets, and clothes are presented to the deity. Additionally, devotees engage in reading the sacred story of Skanda Shashthi Vrat and offer prayers to Goddess Parvati and Lord Mahadev along with Lord Kartikeya. To conclude the puja, an aarti (ritual of waving lighted lamps) is performed, and devotees express their wishes while seeking forgiveness for any inadvertent mistakes made during the ceremony.
One remarkable aspect of worshiping Lord Kartikeya on Skanda Shashthi is the preference for peacock feathers. As the peacock is Lord Kartikeya’s vahana (vehicle), offering peacock feathers holds deep symbolism and devotion. Therefore, devotees are encouraged to include peacock feathers as a special offering during the worship ritual.
In conclusion, Skanda Shashthi is a significant day for Hindus, particularly those devoted to Lord Kartikeya. By observing fasting and performing the prescribed rituals with sincerity and devotion, devotees seek the fulfillment of their desires and blessings from the divine. The worship ceremony involves rising before sunrise, bathing, meditating, and consecrating the idol of Lord Kartikeya. Offering various items such as flowers, sandalwood, incense, lamps, fruits, sweets, and clothes is an integral part of the puja. Remembering Goddess Parvati and Lord Mahadev along with Lord Kartikeya adds to the sanctity of the occasion. As a symbol of Lord Kartikeya’s association, peacock feathers hold a special place in the worship ritual.