முருகப் பெருமானின் திருப்பெயர்கள்
Kanta (Sanskrit), Kantha(n) (Tamil), Kanti
One meaning of Kanta is "the beloved", when referring to the Divine. When we refer to God as Kanta, it means that He (because Kanta is a masculine form) is the most precious and loved One in our lives.
It also means "the lovely One." Divinity shows its great beauty in a myriad of ways through the glory of nature and in this way God shows His exquisite loveliness through countless forms of all kinds of beings and landscapes. His beauty is a constant, changing and glorious marvel.
In the great string of names of the Divine, the Thousand Names of Vishnu (Vishnu Sahasranama), Kanta is mentioned in both the 296th and 654th Sanskrit names. Therefore, Kanta is one of the names of the sustainer of the universe that the Hindus generally refer to as Vishnu.
The great saint, Adi Shankara, wrote many beautiful scriptures and he has said about Vishnu that He is incredibly handsome and he moves in the most perfectly beautiful bodies that are lovely. By this, Shankara means that God is present in all beings throughout nature and His creation is perfect. Shankara also suggests that Kanta can even end creation - anta can mean 'putting an end to' in Sanskrit and Brahma, the creator, is sometimes referred to as 'Ka'. Thus K-anta is the One who, when He withdraws from sustaining at the end of a cosmic cycle, puts an end to Brahma, who created all beings.
Kanthan (pronounced Kaanta) is one of the names given to Lord Muruga. The son of Shiva and Shakti is renowned for His incredible beauty, which stems from His inner perfection.
Let us not forget Kanti, the lovely Goddess! Having similar meaning to the above, Kanti is a name of the Goddess Lakshmi (the home-maker who presides over spiritual and material wealth) and also of the strict and fiery warrior, but all-compassionate Mother Durga.
Karttika, Karthika, Kartik
These names have the essential meaning 'one who gives courage and happiness'. These are all names attributed to Muruga, the powerful son of Shiva and Shakti, the Mother and Father of the universe. They created Him from the elements of divine fire and holy water. He is the embodiment of bravery, having total faith in the golden spear, the vel, of tremendous shining light. This sacred spear destroys all negativity and fear in an instant. Karttika goes into battle against all dark forces. Spiritually this means that the aspirant must stand firm against all negative qualities, ignorance and fear with heroic courage. To do this you can feel that your heart is light and free and send out all unwanted feelings. Ask your spiritual teacher to help you to make yourself independent of addictions and attachments. A vessel may be full of water but even the smallest hole will cause the water to leak out. In the same way, you might have small doubts and fears about your spiritual life that stop you making headway. To reach inner freedom and happiness you need self-confidence and strength to plug up those little holes of doubt and anxiety. Repeating your name inwardly will make you strong and sure.
Lord Muruga is a deity who is worshipped and adored with intense devotion and faith not only throughout South India and Sri Lanka but also in places such as Mauritius and Malaysia where there is a high population of Tamil people. The Lord has many powerful names, which convey great meaning and deep esoteric knowledge. Swamiji is especially fond of giving Muruga's names to the young boys who join Premananda Youth. He said, "I am blessing them with these glorious names of the perfect deity, Lord Muruga. I hope that the youngsters will live up to these names. Muruga is the embodiment of brilliant light, courage, fearlessness and pure shakti. According to the Hindu legends, He was born because the Gods had been defeated by powerful demons and they pleaded with Lord Shiva to rescue them. He created Lord Muruga from His third eye. Even from this we can understand that Muruga is the embodiment of the purest and highest knowledge and power."
Saravana or Saravanabhava
The actual meaning is a small bush that grows abundantly around lakes and marshes (called Naanal in Tamil). Lord Muruga's divine birth took place in a lotus-pond that was enclosed by these reeds. The divine seed of Lord Shiva created this heavenly child. Thus he became known as Saravanabhava (the one born in the reeds). It symbolizes the second birth of the spiritual aspirant in this life - the birth into the spiritual life as opposed to the worldly life. These names became powerful mantras for Lord Muruga. The syllables that make up this name have special effects on the mind. They are soothing and calming. One who receives this name should aspire to have a calm and clear mind, free from all disturbance, so that he can meditate on the supreme Absolute.
Shanmukha means the Lord with six-faces. It is a name of Lord Muruga. Feeling compassion for the predicament of the devas (gods) who were forced to live as slaves to the asuras (demons), Lord Shiva resolved to create an all-powerful deity who would not only defeat and destroy evil but who would become a universal teacher of the highest knowledge. Lord Shiva meditated and ejected sparks of divine fire from His third eye (representing the element of space, or akasha). The fire God, Agni, (representing the element of fire) and the wind God, Vayu, (element of wind or air) carried them and dropped them into the sacred River Ganges, who is no other than the Divine Mother in the form of flowing water (element of water). Mother Ganga carried these divine rays to Lake Saravana and left them in the Saravana Lake where they were transformed into six baby boys lying on lotus flowers. Here lotus flowers sprang from the mud and thus the lake represents the element of earth. The Goddess Parvati, consort of Shiva, gathered the babies into Her arms and they became one beautiful child with six heads. Thus Lord Shanmuka was created from five divine elements as well as divine shakti in the form of the Divine Mother. It is the sixth factor of divine shakti that gave Him the supreme wisdom. In Lord Shanmugha we see the loftiest combination of spiritual forces, ready to combat even the most powerful evil force.
There are various meanings for this name of Lord Muruga. It is said that Mother Parvati said the name Skanda when she took the newborn children from the six lotus flowers. Skanda means He whose very presence gives a sweet fragrance that is everlasting. It also means "one who is joined" - for when the Goddess embraced the six babies they became a single body with six faces and twelve hands. One who bears this name is graced with the highest blessings of the Divine Mother. It is also He who is the cause of the union of the soul with Himself, the Godhead. Therefore, the name also reminds us of self-realization. Skanda also refers to the origin of the divine child as the name also means "the One who ejected" as he was emitted from the third eye of Shiva. In the Chandogya Upanishad, one of the series of ancient Hindu scriptures, Skanda is also identified with Sanatkumara, the eternal youth..
(contributed by Mr. Ravi Krishnamurthy S.) Click for part 2
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