Welcome to the World of Saravanabhava....
Now we are getting Filtered in to one particular direction or path of SUCCESS and HAPPINESS. This is the Favourite Mantra of Shri Subramanya and is most commonly used in South India. The temples of TamilNadu and Karnataka are known for the Glory of Shri Subramanya.
In TamilNadu, HE is also called "Kartikeya" or "Muruga" or "ShanMugha". In Karnataka, HE is popularly known as "Subramanya". Shri Subramanya is the Deity who hails from Palani Hills in Tamil Nadu.
One of the Meanings of "Saravanabhava" is a small bush that grows abundantly around lakes and marshes (called Naanal in Tamil). Lord Muruga's divine birth took place in a lotus-pond that was enclosed by these reeds. The divine seed of Lord Shiva created this heavenly child. Thus he became known as Saravanabhava (the one born in the reeds).
means the Lord with six-faces. It is a name of Lord Muruga. Feeling compassion for the predicament of the devas (gods) who were forced to live as slaves to the asuras (demons), Lord Shiva resolved to create an all-powerful deity who would not only defeat and destroy evil but who would become a universal teacher of the highest knowledge. Lord Shiva meditated and ejected sparks of divine fire from His third eye (representing the element of space, or akasha). The fire God, Agni, (representing the element of fire) and the wind God, Vayu, (element of wind or air) carried them and dropped them into the sacred River Ganges, who is no other than the Divine Mother in the form of flowing water (element of water). Mother Ganga carried these divine rays to Lake Saravana and left them in the Saravana Lake where they were transformed into six baby boys lying on lotus flowers. Here lotus flowers sprang from the mud and thus the lake represents the element of earth. The Goddess Parvati, consort of Shiva, gathered the babies into Her arms and they became one beautiful child with six heads. Thus Lord Shanmuka was created from five divine elements(Pancha Bhootas) as well as divine shakti in the form of the Divine Mother. It is the sixth factor of divine shakti that gave Him the supreme wisdom. In Lord Shanmugha we see the loftiest combination of spiritual forces, ready to combat even the most powerful evil force.
Saravanabhava - Actually stands for...
Sa- Tejas(Bright Flame)
Va - Satchidananda(Eternal Happiness)
Bhava - Bestow
In Tamil Nadu, Lord Muruga has his existance in 6 Hills...viz.,
1. Palani Malai(Palani) - Once in Thirukailayam, Narada Muni brought a mango fruit to Lord Shiva. It was a very rare mango so there was a fight between Lord Ganapati and Lord Muruga to get the fruit. Lord Shiva said that the one who can first go around the world would get the fruit. Lord Muruga immediately took his vehicle peacock and flew around the world. Lord Ganapati went around Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati (Shakti) and said that they are the world and won the game and took the fruit. When Lord Muruga came he saw the fruit in Lord Ganapati’s hand, He got angry and went and stood on top of this mountain in Thiruaaavinankudi.. He was wearing only a loincloth. In this form, He actually shows the importance of detachment. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati came in search of Him and said “you yourself are the fruit [of knowledge]. Why do you need another fruit”. This name ‘pazham nee’ (‘pazham’ means ‘fruit’, ‘nee’ means ‘you’) later became Palani.
2. Tiruchendur(60 Kms from Tirunelveli) - This is also known as Thirucheeralaivai. Before going to war, Lord Muruga stayed with his army at this place. He worshipped Lord Shiva here. For worship of Lord Shiva, Lord Muruga created a spring with holy water named SkandaPushkarini with His spear. This is now known as ‘Naazhikinaru’. Thousands of devotees come here and take the water from this spring and bathe, but still the level of water has not reduced. It is always the same. By bathing here, all kind of diseases are also destroyed. Such is the greatness of this sacred water.
3. Tiruppurankundram(Near Madurai)- Saint Nakeerar, along with thousands of poets, was kept in prison in a cave on top of this mountain by a demon. Saint Nakeerar sang a beautiful song ‘Thirumurugatruppadai’ on Lord Muruga. The Lord was very much pleased by this and with His spear, split the cave and saved them all.
It is said, Lord Muruga married Lord Indra’s daughter, Devayanai, at this place.
4. Swamy Malai(Near Kumbakonam at Tanjore Dist) - Once in Kailash, Bala (‘child’) Murugan was playing. Lord Brahma came to visit Lord Shiva, but he did not bother to bow before Lord Muruga, thinking that He was just a child. Lord Muruga called Him and asked why He did not give the due respect. Brahma said, He is the creator and need not give respect to all. Lord Muruga asked Him to recite the Vedas, when Lord Brahma started ‘Om’, Lord Muruga asked Him the meaning of ‘Om’, Lord Brahma was unable to answer, so He was put in a jail. The Creation work was then taken over by Lord Muruga. Lord Shiva hearing this went to Lord Muruga and asked whether He knew the meaning of ‘Om’. Lord Muruga said that “if You listen like a disciple, then I will tell like a Guru.” So Lord Shiva kneeled down and Lord Muruga explained the meaning of ‘Om’ to Lord Shiva. As a result of this incident, He was named Swaminathan, Gurunathan and Thagapan Swami. Since Lord Shiva himself received knowledge from Lord Muruga at this location, this place is famous for bestowing Knowledge to the devotees.
5. Thiruttani (Near Arakkonam(close to Chennai)) - After destroying the demon Soorapadman, Lord Muruga came here and stood. His anger subsided in this place. It was known as Cherukani (anger subsided), and now it is known as Thiruthani. Just getting a vision of the hill from far away or just saying the name of the hill also will destroy all the sins one has done in his previous births.
6. Pazhamudhir Cholai(Close to Madurai) - Once Saint Avaiyaar was traveling by foot she got tired and sat under a java plum (naaval) tree. She had written a lot of poems and had developed a big ego. Lord Muruga wanted to remove this. He appeared like a shepherd. He was sitting on top of the tree. He asked Avaiyaar, “Grandma, you look so tired; do you want some naaval fruits?” When she answered yes, He asked, “Do you want Sutta pazham or Sudatha pazham?” (Sutta has two meanings: one "cooked" and the other "hot".) She laughed and thought this boy is kidding. How can a fruit on the tree be cooked? So she just said give me cooked fruit, i.e., Sutta pazham. When the boy shook the tree, the fruits fell all over the ground. Avaiyaar picked the fruits and started blowing off the sand that was stuck to the fruit. Immediately the boy asked, “What grandma, are the fruits very hot?” She was shocked to hear this. She came to know that he was not an ordinary boy. She bowed before Him and Lord Muruga took His form and blessed her. The implied meaning of this story is as follows: When an embodies soul takes birth in this world, like sand, worldly bondage gets stuck to it. To remove this bondage, just worldly education (knowledge) will not be enough. Knowing the real thing, i.e., God realization, only will be able to remove this bondage.