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Meaning of Kandha Sashti Kavasam

In line to the recent controversy cropped about the holy Skandha Sashti kavacham. I want to put the exact meaning and the English translation of the Sacred Verses. Though I wouldn't want to comment on the cheap and insane video which stirred up the nerves of Lord Muruga's devotees, the purpose of this article is to focus the positive side of the Kavasam.

Purpose of the poem

May karmic sufferings and worries cease Wealth and spirituality grow and Prayers are granted For those who chant this Kandhar Sashti Kavasam.

Dedication to Lord Muruga, who ended the woes of the Devas, On his lovely feet shall we meditate...

The Kavasam Invocation

1-16 He who fulfils the wishes of his devotees, Whose twinkling anklets produce melodious sounds He who approaches me in slow and graceful steps, The Rider of the peacock Come and protect me with your Vel Welcome to Thee, Lord of the Vel Welcome to Thee, O Rider of the peacock Beginning with Inthiran, the Devas of all the eight directions pay their obeisance to You Wielder of the mighty Vel, Son-in-law of Thevendran, Welcome You, who are in the mind of the loving tribal maiden, Valli, Welcome Lord, You who are six-faced, Welcome Lord, whose forehead is adorned with sacred ash, Come every day, Lord of Sira Malai, Lord Velayuthan, Come quickly, Lord of Saravanabava, come now!

17-22 The six letters of Lord Muruga's name (Sa, Ra, Va, Na, Ba, Va) are interchanged and their interplay gives rise to these rhythms of melody that accompany the graceful approach of the Lord on His peacock. Lord Muruga embodies the form of these six letters. Thus, He is also referred to as 'Lord Saravanabava'. Salutations are offered to the brave Lord of Saravana Poykai, who is approaching on His Vahana, the peacock. Salutations are offered to the brave War Lord of the Devas in their battle against the Asuras.

23-26 You who assumed Lordship over me, in your twelve hands You hold twelve weapons, the twelve 'Paasa' and the 'Ankusamum.' With your twelve wide-opened, shiny eyes, throw your protecting glance on me, O Lord, and grant me the grace of your protection.

27-31 This refers to the 'bija' mantras, 'im,' 'kilm,' 'saum.' A 'bija' or seed is a significant word or series of words which give it a special power or 'Sakthi.' The bija-mantras have a significant inner meaning which is subtle and mystic.

32 O Lord of the Kundalini Sakthi, son of Sivan, and Indweller of the heart, come daily to protect me.

Meditation on the Divine Form

33-46 O Lord, You are six-faced, with your six bejewelled crowns, your vibhuti-adorned foreheads and long eye-brows, twelve eyes and ruddy lips, you wear various pearled jewels! With dainty ear-rings on your twelve ears, various flower garlands and diadems, pearled ornaments and nine-gemmed chains, You wear the sacred investiture thread across your bejewelled chest and beautiful abdomen. Your silken sash and girdle encircle your full waist, with a nine-gemmed diadem adorning your silken robes. Your beautiful legs and anklet feet produce a harmonious blend of melodious notes most pleasing to the ear.

55 O Rider astride the peacock, come quickly. 56 O Lord of the three letters, come! 57-63 O Lord who resides in Swamimalai and grants Darshan from therein, grant me, your child, your favour. I turn to You for salvation and prostrate before Your Holy Feet in submission, protect me, O Lord, for my life is but Your own.

64-81 With your twelve eyes, protect your child! Protect the face - O beautiful Vel Protect the Vibuthi adorned forehead - O pure Vel! Protect the two eyes - O shining Vel! Protect the two ears - O Lord of the Vel! Protect the two nostrils - O good Vel! Protect the thirty-two teeth - O piercing Vel! Protect the tongue - O perfect Vel! Protect the two cheeks - O brilliant Vel! Protect the neck - O sweet Vel! Protect the chest - O bejewelled Vel! Protect the shoulders - O sharp Vel! Protect the nape - O great Vel! Protect the back - O Vel of grace! Protect the sixteen rib bones - O youthful Vel! Protect the stomach - O ever victorious Vel!

82-83 Protect the umbilicus - O benevolent Vel! Protect the organs of reproduction and excretion - O good and beautiful Vel!

84 -92 Protect the two thighs - O great Vel! Protect the knees and calves - O bright Vel! Protect the toes and feet - O Vel of grace! Protect the two hands - O Vel of mercy! Protect the two forearms - O strong Vel!

93-104! Grant that Lakshmi resides in my arms! May Saraswati abide in my speech! And may the Hridaya Kamalam (the ten-petalled lotus of the heart; the Jivatma's abode) be protected by the benevolent Vel! May Ida, Puriggala, and Sushumna (nerve currents) be protected by the victorious Vel! For as long as my tongue can utter your name (as long as I am alive), may your golden Vel come with the speed of lightning to protect me! May Vachiravel protect me each day and night, every day! May He protect me in the early hours of the night, mid hours of the night, and predawn hours, During dawn and dusk, protect me, O ever-vigilant Vel!

105-106 Without any delay, come to O golden Vel to grant protective assistance! Throw your merciful glance towards me and may your look destroy all my sins!

107-118 May You, O Lord, protect one from ghosts, spirits, and demons! Reference is made to the different kinds of devils and spirits such as spirits that swallow infants, spirits and devils that follow maidens, the guardians of cemeteries and spirits of the forests.

119 At the mention of my name, may these (spirits, and demons) take to their heels with the speed of lightning!

120-135 This refers to charms, spells, and the practice of black magic. May those who indulge in these shudder at the mention of my name (for I am your devotee and servant) and may they in humility bow before me (for you are my Lord and protector)!

136-148 May my love for You, keep them in chains! May they shiver in fear, roll in agony, scream in terror, and flee in utter fear of me! Protect me, O Lord, from the attacks of tigers, foxes, wolves, rats, and bears! May these flee in fear on sight of me! May I be relieved from the poisons from centipedes, snakes, and scorpions If these deem to bite me!

149-157 May ailments such as sprains, strains, migraine, rheumatism, diseases due to excessive bile, fits, stomach ailments, lethargy, skin diseases, aches and pains, toothaches, and various other ailments of undefinable source, cease by Your Grace!

158-161 Grant me, O Lord, good relationship with all the fourteen worlds! May both men and women be pleased with me! May the ruling Soverign be pleased with me, I who adore thy great name!

162-171 You who originated from the waters of Saravana! O Lord of the Vel, who is enshrined in brightness, whose holy feet are adorned with the melodious 'Silambu' (anklets)! Muruha, you sever the cords of Samsaric birth! Nephew of Vishnu and Lakshmi, who helped the Devas to protect the city of Amarapathi! Lord Kantha, Lord Guha, O Lord of the brilliant Vel, who was nurtured by the Karthigai maidens! Lord Skanda, who wears the garland of Kadamba flowers! O Lord, you with your sweet Vel destroyed Kadamba and Idumban! O Lord of Thiruthani, Son of Siva! O Lord of Kathirgamam, weilder of the brilliant Vel!

172-175 O youthful Lord who abodes in Palani! O Lord of Thiruvavinangkudi, dweller of the lovely Vel! O Lord of Thiruchendur, who is adored as Sengalvaraya! O Lord of Samarapuri, also known as Shanmuga!

176-191 For as long as the beautiful Saraswati, who has dark tresses, guards my tongue, I shall sing thy name. O Lord and Father, I sang and danced, I danced and I sang in ecstasy. I searched and longed for You from Tiruvavinankudi, that I might, with love, use this Vibuthi which is your Prasadam. That I might, with your grace, break off from the bonds of Maya and attachment and attain bliss at thy lotus feet. Bless me, O Lord Velayuthan, with love, that I might be showered with plenty and live graciously! Hallowed be the Rider of the peacock! Hallowed be the sharp Vel in His hands! Hallowed be He who dwells in hilly abodes! Hallowed be He with Valli! Hallowed be He who has the Cockrel as the emblem on his flag!

192 Hallowed be He and may my poverty cease.

193-199 O Lord, whatever my shortcomings or failures, You as my Father and Guru, forgive me for them and bear with me! Valli is but Mother, thus as parents, look upon me as your child, be pleased with me and shower me with Your love and blessings!

200-220 He who meditates on this Kavasam daily, both morning and evening after cleansing, and with concentration and devotion on the Kavasam and its meaning, reciting thirty-six times daily and who uses the Vibuthi of the Lord will attain therein these benefits:

The Devas of all eight directions will bless him.

The Navagrahangal (astrological planets) will be pleased and confer blessings.

He will be blessed with the 'sixteen wealth's' at all times.

This Kanthar Sashti Kavasam, which is equivalent to Lord Murugan's Vel, if recited and used as a path, will confer great spiritual blessings on the aspirant:

Truth, knowledge, and Mukti will shine.

Devils would not dare approach these devotees of the Lord.

The evil will meet their end, while in the good, the feet of Murugan shall ever dance.

221-226 You who have understood my heart, of all the Lakshmis, You have given new vigour to Veera Lakshmi. With the hands that killed Soorapathman, you have graced the twenty-seven Devas by granting them the gift of Divine Honey. You, Lord, have the ability to grant moksha (liberation from rebirth) and who as Guru Paran gave Upadesha to Lord Swami Himself. You, who resides in the Temple of Palani Hills as a child, at your little holy feet I prostrate.

227-238 O Lord of the Vel, You whose loving form has entered my heart and blessed me, praise be to Thee! O Warlord of the Devas, praise be to Thee! O Lord who captivated Valli, praise be to Thee! He whose form is strong and dazzling, praise be to Thee! He who conquered Idumba and Kadamba, praise be to Thee! O Lord of the Vel, who is garlanded with Vedchi flowers, praise be to Thee! O King of the Golden Council in Kandagiri (a hill abode of Murugan), praise be to Thee! I surrender at thy lotus feet! I surrender to thee, Lord Saravanabava! I surrender to thee, Lord Shanmuga! _/\_ _/\_

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