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Aru Padai Veedu: Six Battle Camps of Lord Karthikeya

The most famous temples of Lord Muruga as called the Arupadai Veedu which in Tamil means the
Six Battle Camps. The six temple/temple towns renowned for the worship of Lord Subramanya are as
Tiruthani or Thiruthanikai as its also known is one of the crown jewels of Lord Murugas temples. The
name translated literally means that by visiting this shrine of the Lord (Thiru) and going around it
with a pious heart we are blessed with mental peace and bodily happiness. Lord Skandas anger
and righteous indignation towards the asuras (demons) for their cruelty is said to have been quelled
and cooled at this place, which is, therefore, also known as Shantipuri (Abode of Peace). The Lord is
known by the name Thanikeshan in this hill town and the hill is called Thanikachalam.
It is believed whosoever worships at this shrine with unswerving faith and intense devotion their
wishes are instantly fulfilled.
In Treta Yuga, Lord Rama, after putting an end to Ravana, worshipped Lord Siva at Rameshwaram, at
whose request Rama came to Tiruthani and found perfect peace of mind by worshipping our Lord
Subrahmanya here. In Dwapara Yuga, Arjuna got the blessings of Lord Subramanya here by offering
prayers to Him on his way to the South for Teertha Yatra (pilgrimage to take sacred immersion). Lord
Vishnu also prayed to Lord Thanikeshan at this place and got back His powerful Chakra (sacred
wheel), Shanku (sacred conch), which were forcibly seized from Him by Tarakasura, brother of
Soorapadma, whom the Lord Muruga defeated in an epic battle (the reason for the Lord Karthikeyas
birth, see the February 7
post THE STORIES OF LORD KATHIKEYA I, Birth of Lord Karthikeya).
Lord Brahma propitiated Muruga here at the holy spring after his imprisonment by Karthikeya for his
failure to explain the Pranava (Om mantra) and got back his creative function of which he was
deprived by Lord Muruga due to his egotistic impudence in neglecting to worship Subrahmanya on
his way to Mount Kailash to worship Lord Siva.
Sage Agasthya worshipped Lord Muruga at Thanikai and was blessed with the rare divine gift of the
ever-sweet peerless Tamil language, the beauty of which has been extolled by all the great saints
and poets of Tamil Nadu.

In the quest for the celestial Fruit of Knowledge Lord Subramanya mounted his peacock and went
around the Universe, while Lord Ganesha won by his circumambulation of his parents Shiva and
Parvathi on the premise that Shiva and Parvathi stood for the Universe. Angered by this denial,
Subramanya left Kailash and took up his own abode at Palani and refused to return to Kailash.
[See August 18
post, THE STORIES OF LORD KARTHIKEYA VIII, The Fight over the Fruit of
Knowledge (Gnanapazham) for the full story.]
The presiding deity is known as Swamynathan. Its here that Muruga, as Lord Sivas Guru, expounded
the meaning of the Pranava mantra OM to his own Father (see March 7
LORD KATHIKEYA II, Om: The Wise Child-Guha-Teaching His Father).
Sage Bhrigu, before commencing arduous tapas, got the boon that anybody disturbing his mediation
will forget all his knowledge. Such was the power of the penance that the sacred fire emanating
from the head of the saint reached up to the heavens, and the frightened Devas surrendered to Lord
Siva praying for his grace. The Lord extinguished the sacred fire by covering the saints head with His
hand. With the saints penance thus disturbed the Lord became oblivious of all his knowledge and is
said to have regained them by learning the Pranava mantra from Lord Muruga at this shrine.

Tiruparamkundram referred to as the Southern Himalaya where the Gods assemble in many Tamil
classics is a cave temple thats significant because it is here that the marriage of Lord Subrahmanya
with the daughter of Indra, Devayani, was solemnized (See the April 30
KATHIKEYA IV, Devasenapathy: From innocent youth to commander of the Armed Forces of the
Gods). According to legend, Tiruparamkundram is also the place where the sun and moon abide.
Three statues are found in the sanctum sanctorum of this Temple, Lord Subramanya with Goddess
Devayani/Devasena to his left and the sage Narada to his right solemnizing their wedding.
For centuries Tamilians (people resident in Tamil Nadu and those whose mother tongue is Tamil)
have considered it the most auspicious place for their own marriages, especially during the time of
the Panguni-Utharam (Tamil month and star based on the lunar cycle), the festival of marriage held
in late March.
This is the only temple of Lord Muruga located on the seashore. His shrines are mostly situated amid
mountains and forests, for these places are considered dear to Him. The reason for this seashore
shrine is that it is the place of Lord Karthikeyas final battle in which he accomplished his divine
mission to free the devas by vanquishing evil in the form of the Demon lord Surapadma and his allies
in their mid-ocean fortress.
The day is celebrated annually as Surasamharam and at this time the sea actually recedes near the
temple to accommodate the lakhs of devotees who throng the temple of the warrior god in the form
of Thiru sendhil andavar (corrupted to form the temple town name Thiruchendur or the town of the
This sylvan hill shrine is also known as Vrishabhadri or Idabagiri. Atop the hill Lord Muruga stands
majestically in the temple as the Lord of the Hills. This shrine is venerated in Skanda Purana.
The vel the Lords weapon is worshipped here as the symbol of him. The Lord appearing in the
midst of the spearhead of the vel is called Cholaimalai Muruga (See the April 3
OF LORD KATHIKEYA III, Kumara and His Vel: The Young God and His Divine Spear).
September 14, 2014, Sunday
A symmetrical date:
(14 September 2014)
(14 Sept. 14)