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Murugan, The Hindu God of War

Murugan, the youthful warrior god, is a Hindu god primarily regarded by Southern Indians.  While other Hindus throughout India regularly recognize Shiva and Vishnu, the name Murugan is strictly originating in the south of India. 

Murugan statues typically include the Hindu god carrying a deathly spear, his favorite weapon.  Murugan is known as a protector of his devotees and is said to be generous in granting boons (or good blessings).  Sculptures of Murugan also show him as bring brilliantly handsome, and positioned to look courageous or to reveal his love of dancing.  Priests of Murugan actually launch into a spectacular dance in order to connect to Murugan and channel the wisdom and power of this warrior god.

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Murugan Statues

Over time, Murugan has become associated with Skanda (also known as Kartikeya), the six headed warrior son of Shiva, who was nursed by six mothers (the six bright stars of the Pleiades).  Depictions or statues of Skanda often show him battling Taraka, a demon who had caused an uproar in heaven and threw many gods out.  But Skanda, the incarnation of male courage, defeated the demon. 

Sculptures or statues of Murugan will often show him with six heads, which represent six siddhis, or accomplishments, bestowed upon him.  Murugan (as often called Kartikeya or Skanda) is now proclaimed as the bestower of siddhis upon others who perform rites of passage, especially yogis. 

Murugan is also known by a host of other names, and statues of Murugan are often called by these alternatives.  Some of the most popular names by which Murugan is known are Arumugam (six-faced being), Kumara (male child), Guhan (dweller of caves),  and Kadamban (one who wears flowers on his shoulders). 

Sculptures of Murugan often include several weapons.  The most common of these symbolic weapons on Murugan statues is the Vel (a divine spear or lance that symbolizes his purification of human Ďsiní).  Other weapons of Murugan statues include a club, a javelin, a discus and a bow.  Muruganís club symbolizes his great strength.  The javelin symbolizes the great reach of his protection.  When pictured with a discus, a Murugan statue stands for the truth.  With his bow in hand, a Murugan statue is a symbolic replica of this Hindu godís ability to defeat manís destructive power with precision.

Today, statues of Murutan or Skanda are said to represent virile male energy, directed in a constructive manner instead of a destructive path.  Murugan statues are a reminder that when male energy is properly channeled, the oppressed are helped and virtue and order can be restored into the world.  Murugan statues are also given as gifts for yogis who successfully accomplish one of the many siddhis, on the path to perfection.

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