Karthik and Ganesh
This post won the Our Myths Blogfest contest conducted by Tulika Publishers During my trip to Valparai (hill station in Tamilnadu) I visited the Siddhivinayak temple and was surprised to find the elephant deity flanked by two escorts. On delving further I learnt they are Riddhi and Siddhi, Riddhi meaning wealth, prosperity while Siddhi defines spiritual power. There are references to this story in Siva Puranam which states that the daughters of Prajapati were Siddhi and Riddhi. The King approached Lord Shiva and Parvati for the marriage of his daughters to their sons Murugan and Ganesh. But his daughters wished to marry Lord Ganesha and they were then wed with the blessings of the elders. Whenever we start anything new, be it moving into a new house or starting a new business we pay our homage to Lord Ganesha as it is told he showers both Riddhi and Siddhi on his devotees. Well this is one interpretation of Vinayaka’s marriage. This version is widely accepted and believed in Northern India. In fact he is believed to have sired two kids Shubha and Labha through his marriage. But if you look at Southern India barring the Valparai temple Ganapati is considered to be a bachelor. He is looked upon as a Brahmachari who had vowed to never marry. It is also told that he never found anyone who could equal his mother’s beauty and traits and hence remained a celibate bachelor. Similarly there are various stories and interpretations to Lord Ganesh’s sibling’s marriage – Murugan’s marriage. Murugan/Karthik in South India is believed to have wed twice, once as an Arranged Marriage to Deivayanai the daughter of Indra and the other through Love Marriage to Valli. It is believed both Valli and Deivayanai were daughters of Lord Vishnu in their previous birth and had desired to marry Karthikeyan. Karthik had led an army to fight the demon Tarakasur at Tiruchendur, one of the six abodes of Lord Muruga. He killed the demon in the war that followed and restored peace in heaven. Lord Indra pleased with Karthik asked him to marry his daughter Deivayanai. The marriage took place in Thirupparamkunram in Madurai (another abode of the deity) with the blessings of his parents. This wedding is celebrated till date as Panguni Uthiram in Tamilnadu. Karthik’s marriage to Goddess Valli is more of a love story which has references in Kandapuranam. He fell for Valli’s beauty and wished to marry her. Valli was the daughter of the hunter chief Nampi and lived at Valli Malai (mountain). It is believed he wooed her with the help of Lord Ganesha who transformed to a raging elephant. They eloped and this incident led to a fight between the hunter chieftain’s men and the Lord. Finally the truth was unveiled and they were married at Thiruthani one of the abodes of the Lord. Now the twist to this story is that in Northern India Lord Karthik is considered as a Brahmachari and there are very few temples where he is worshipped. Women do not enter his temple as he is considered as a bachelor. The stories are many and each interesting than the other. I was introduced into this mythological world by my paternal grandmother through bed time stories. I cherish them till date as I find them enigmas which are nested one into other and woven with the best craftsmanship. This post is an entry to Tulika Books Our Myths series. Photocredit – Wikipedia Have you heard/read any mythological story that has made you rack your brains? Also read – Review of Its all the same
You are one of the winners of the Our Myths blogfest — congratulations.:) We’re sending you a copy of It’s all the same! Please email me your address to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can send it to you.
Thanks Niveditha I am humbled by your gesture. I shall email you my details
Hi, Rathina, congratulations on being a winner. Loved reading your entry.
It is a very interesting fact- that. I knew about Riddhi Siddhi, but not about Kartikeya’s wives. As you have rightly pointed out, in the North he is considered a bachelor. I’m not exactly from the north- am from Mumbai originally- but Kartikeya, or Kartik as we call him in Marathi, is not a very well known god. We know him more in the children’s stories about Ganesha, as the one who was jealous of him and challenged him to a pradakshina around the world, and lost to the brainy Ganesha who promptly went not once, but thrice around his parents, who were his world!
It is always good to connect with interesting bloggers. Tulika books’ blogathons are great for that.
Will read more of your blog at leisure. The list of tags make it sound like I shall enjoy reading more.
Thanks Sandhya. You are right Tulika has been a great platform to connect with like minded people.
Congrats to you too 🙂