Skanda Shashti Puja
Subrahmanya or Skanda Shshati is about Skanda janan as described in the Mahabharatha, Shiva Purana, Valmiki Ramayan and is retold in Kalidasa’s Kumara Sambhavam. Chandogya Upanishad identifies Skanda as Sanat Kumara. Tormented by the asura Tarakasura, the devas with Indra at their head went to Lord Brahma and the Creator said only the spark of Shiva can produce the hero who will defeat the powers of the evil. Unfortunately, Shiva, The king of yogis was lost in a deep state of meditation and samadhi. None of the Devas dared to disturb him, least of all convince him to create a progeny.
Upon Brahma’s suggestion, they sought the help of Parvati and Kama (the god of love). Parvati agreed to help and engaged herself in severe penance to attract Shiva’s attention. Kama also agreed to help and engaged himself in the suicidal mission of arousing Shiva from His state of Samadhi. Kama shot his arrows of love at Shiva who was eventually disturbed and the fire of anger from Shiva’s third eye burnt Kama into ashes.
The penance of Parvati and the sacrifice of Kama paid off. Shiva was aroused from his Samadhi. However, none could bear the sparks of His fiery seed. It fell into the mouth of Agni, and afterwards was received by Ganges, who in turn threw it into Sara Vana (forest of arrow like grass). Thus, Saravanabava was born. He was also Skanda – Shiva’s power of chastity preserved through penance.
Skanda was raised by the six mothers of the divine constellation of Krithika. Hence the name Karthikeya who divided himself into six babies to be nursed by six mothers. When Parvati came and gathered all the six babies, He became Shanmukha – the one with the six faces and one body.
Puja of Skanda or Subrahmanya is to beget progeny and also for prospecrity of children.