Day 6 of Kandha Sashti
Today is the final day of Kandha Sashti, when Skanda succeeded in finally defeating Padmasura, allowing the return of peace across the universe.
Hopefully, you have used the time productively and pro-actively to kick start any new ventures or as a period of intense introspection and meditation to neutralise your own inner ‘demons’.
The Subramanya/Shanmugha Gayatri Mantra
You can continue to worship Skanda even after Kandha Sashti using the following Gayatri Mantra.
“Om Tat Purushaya vidmahe,
Tanno Shanmugha prachodayat”
“We know that being (man)
We meditate on the Supreme Commander
May the Six-faced one inspire us.”
- Powerful leadership qualities
- Relief from a malefic Mars in horoscope (Mangal dosha)
- Enthusiasm, energy, drive and ambition
- Devotion to Skanda
- Hastens marriage
- Hastens conception of a baby
Day 3 of Kandha Sashti
In the prior posts, mantras and potential sadhanas were presented to the reader.
But what are the benefits and attributes of praying to Lord Skanda over the Kandha Sashti period?
There are 6 main boons provided by Skanda:
1. Wisdom and Intelligence. The young Skanda is said to have initiated his own father Shiva into the secrets of the Pranava mantra – Om! You can be blessed with such spiritual wisdom and intelligence when praying to Him.
2. Powers of Attraction. Along with Sri Krishna, Skanda is known as an extremely attractive and charismatic God to His devotees. Praying to him as the all attracting one will allow one to gain the blessings of a magnetic personality.
3. Courage and strength. Skanda is known as the God of War – a fierce warrior ready to do battles against the demons within and without. Pray to Him for courage in your day to day life and help in making big bold decisions.
4. Peace. Peace is a scarce commodity in these days and times. Allow yourself to become a channel of Skanda’s peace.
5. Self-control. One cannot lead without setting an example to your co-workers and subordinates. Master yourself and gain discipline by praying to Skanda for help.
6. Moksha. Skanda is known as a deity with the full authority of Heaven to deliver aspirants to Moksha (release from birth and death). The true spiritual aspirant will have this as the ultimate goal and sole purpose of their prayers.
Day 1 of Kandha Sashti
There are many ways to benefit from Skanda’s grace during Kandha Sashti, including fasting and japa.
Japa is the focus of this blog. In starting a coherent plan of action for Kandha Sashti, two paths are suggested (which are in reality not mutually exclusive).
1. Recite the Kandha Sashti Kavach 36x per day for 6 days. A lighter version of this sadhana is to recite it 6 times per day, totalling 36x by Sashti.
2. Chant malas of Om Saravanabhavaya Namaha. Attempt at Laghu Anusthan – ie 27,000 counts. This is equivalent to 4,500 times per day or about 42 malas.
There are many meditations on Skanda
One take time over Kandha Sashti to meditate on the various attributes of Skanda – the contrasting themes of his extreme benevolence to devotees and playful nature relative to his reputation as the God of War and master strategist.
The repetition and mundane nature of modern living often drives into a rut of boredom! This can hinder our progress toward both material and spiritual benefits in our lives.
Rather than be trapped in a cycle of boredom, regret and depression, here are 5 rousing mantras and stotras to drive your enthusiasm, motivation and inspiration!
Breathe in the fire of passion!
Fire embodies the nature of passion, power and activity – tap into these energies through worshipping the deities associated with fire: Durga, Skanda, Agni and Hanuman!
All of these four have a number of things in common – they are all worshipped on Tuesdays, favour the colour red and are prayed to for greater momentum and impetus in life.
- Clear the path! Ganesha is added to the list as the first point of call in any auspicious effort! A mala (rosary round) of a Ganesha mantra can well clear the obstacles from your life and get you out of a rut. Click here to see the Ganesha Gayatri.
- Fight and slay your inner demons! Durga is the embodiment of the Shakti of the Gods. Praise her using the Gayatri as the Divine Mother to receive help in getting mentally fighting fit to battle your inner demons – ie low tendencies such as procrastination, laziness and a lack of motivation. See the Durga Gayatri here.
- Start a Journey to find your way. Skanda is the son of Shiva and Parvati and the General of the Gods. He is closely associated with travel and closely protecting his devotees; if you are looking to move either career or abroad then worshipping Skanda is an excellent method of making change happen in your life! Hear the Kanda Sashti Kavacham here and learn the Saravanabhava mantra here.
- Allow the Divine light to point the way. Agni is the God of Fire Himself. He is lauded as one of the three most important deities in the Veda (the Ancient Hindus’ sacred texts). He is the messenger of the Gods and carries oblations made into the sacred fire into Heaven. He is the physical representation of light and heat on earth. Pray to Agni by listening to or chanting the Agni Suktam – click here to hear it. Praising the God of Fire will allow your voice to be heard in Heaven and for your path to be lit by Him. In other words, deep contemplation on Agni will allow you to seek your own way through introspection.
- Stay enthusiastic and see God in everything you do! Hanuman is known as the ultimate bhakta or devotee. See my prior posts here on Hanuman and his mantras.
Such a routine can be used in any situation – to add that burst of energy and confidence, or simply as a refreshing mental boost.
One interesting point from these mantras – and particularly for those of Durga and Agni – is that when you begin with great concentration and also as you near the point of mantra siddhi (or complete control of the mantra), you will literally feel a great heat emanating from within your body when you chant the mantra.
The pre-requisite to turning thought into action: Divine Grace!
I have previously written on how real power is the ability to turn focused thought into action.
Let’s move onto procrastination. How many of us suffer from such an ailment? I would venture that all of us have at some point been victims of this development!
Whilst willpower is a key pre-requisite, there are excellent supplementary mantras which can help. The Kala Bhairava Ashtaka is one such stotra with tremendous mantra-shakti.
Who is Kala Bhairava?
Bhairava is a fierce form of Shiva. Kala literally means time. Kala Bhairava is therefore the form of Shiva in charge of time; a very similar deity to the Greek Titan Kronos (the root of the word Chronological or Chronograph for watches!) .
Shiva is called the God of Time because of His role as the destroyer of the universe at the end of Time. Secondly, he is one who has conquered death and is invoked through the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra to ward of untimely death through misfortune or illness. Thirdly, he is mentioned in the Yajur Veda as the God of Thieves, and in the same chapter, the Thief of Time.
It is clear from these paragraphs that he is the Lord of Procrastination! Pray to him to aggressively reclaim your time on earth by letting him fight your demons! Optimise you time and create true efficiency in your life!
Let the Kala Bhairava Ashtaka revolutionise your life!
Find a link to hear the Ashtaka by clicking here. It is a powerful stotra which you should listen to the FIRST thing in the morning or the LAST thing at night.
I would also recommend that while listening, you write list of things to do with strong conviction behind each point. This should condition your brain to prioritise these tasks for you subconsciously in the early or late part of the day when your mind is particularly malleable! Secondly, it aligns your energy with the God of Time to easily get things done.
I would greatly recommend this Time Technology described above in conjunction with the prayers to Ganesha and Skanda described in my prior article – click here.
Action is true Power
What is power to you? Is it physical or political prowess? The ability of a musician to hold a concert hall full of people spell-bound? The authority of a nation’s leader?
The dictionary definition is beautifully succicnt:
“Power: The ability to act.”
This is the definition we will work with.
Power has two halves
If power is the ability to act, is it not sufficient to ‘act powerful’ to get your way? Of course, things are never so simple. The prospect (or threat) of action, must be backed by something tangible. For example, in war, this is an army or arsenal of weaponry, for politicians, this is making good on the promises from their election campaigns, for musicians, its that hit single that lingers in the charts.
How is this relevant to the ordinary person?
We have spoken in metaphors thus far, but getting to the point, the idea to be conveyed is that: action is critical to make sure our dreams become reality.
A person may think they know what to do to achieve their dreams, make detailed plans and talk about their ideas to everyone, but are poor in execution: they just dont do the things that are required to get them there!
A great example is the smoker. He wants to stop smoking. Has the support of his friends and family, feels he must, lest he fall victim to lung cancer, knows it is bad for him, has purchased nicotine patches, but refuses to try to stop smoking!
What is within the realms of possibility is simply theory until knowledge is applied.
How is this relevant to mantra and prayer?
There is theory and practice in both mantra and prayer, just like in the real life example described above.
For mental ability, will power, intelligence and foresight, all of us pray to the great Ganesha. And our prayers will undoubtedly be fruitful in enhancing our abilities in these regards. Click here for the Ganesha Gayatri Mantra.
But when it comes to execution and carrying out our thoughts with actions, one must pray to Lord Skanda, the brother of Ganesha and the God of War, General of Heaven’s Armies and Patron of Marriage and Child Birth. He is also called: Muruga, Kartikeya, Kumara, Saravanabhava and Shanmukha.
Don’t just be a person of theory
How many times have we caught our friends lying to themselves about what is realistic? How many people we know are ‘all talk’ and no action? Are we not guilty of procrastination?
Resolve to act. Here is a powerful mantra to help energise and enthuse you into action!
“Om Sarabhavaya Namaha”
“Prostrations to Saravanabhava”
The number 6 is very auspicious to Skanda. Try to chant the mantra in multiples of 6. Tuesday is the best day to pray to Skanda.
- Energy, enthusiasm and vigour
- Hastens marriage
- Increases your chances of being blessed with children
- Lessens enemies
- Nullifies the malefic effects of Mars