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Friday, June 5, 2009
Hindu God of War (deva)
Karttikeya -- Lord Shiva's eldest son -- is the "God of the War," the warlord of a [literal] deva army. He replaces both Indra and Agni who, in the early stages of Hinduism, were considered to be gods of battles. In his role as defender of the devas, Karttikeya is more single minded than any of his predecessors. Hindu lore states that he is inte-rested in nothing but battles and war ventures.
He was conceived by his father's sperm alone. In turn, he was nurtured by Agni, Ganga, Sharavana (forest of reeds), and the Krittikas (six celestial nymphs, the Pleiades). His vahana (vehicle) is a peacock (a vimana or spacecraft in the shape of peacock).
Other names are Dvadasaksha (twelve-eyes), Dvadasakara (twelve-hands), Gangaputra (Son of the Ganga), Guha, Kumara (the Boy), Mahasena, Murugan, Rijukaya, Sarabhu, Skanda, Subramanya, Swaminatha, Trakajit. It includes the Buddhist tale, "How the Jackal ate the Elephant."