Skanda Sashti is the sixth day in the Shukla Paksha of the lunar month which is dedicated to Lord Skanda also known as Muruga or Kartikeya. Skanda as Muruga is an icon in Southern India, especially Tamil Nadu. Lord Skanda is the son of Lord Shiva and is the god of war. Lord Skanda is also considered to be a brother to Lord Ayyappa. Lord Skanda is most identified by the ‘vel’ or the spear he carries in his person. He rides a peacock. The Palani Malai or Hill located in Tamil Nadu is world famous for its Lord Muruga temple. It is customary for pilgrims to shave their heads as part of their devotion to Lord Muruga.

The Skanda Shashti Kavacham song invokes the blessings of Lord Skanda and motivates well-being, career, relationships, and overall prosperity. Devotees fast on the day of Skanda Shashti. Fasting is observed between sunrise and sunset. In one month there comes two Shashtis – the Shukla Shukla Paksha Shashti and the Krishna Paksha Shashti. The Shashti day of the Shukla Paksha is the day devoted to Lord Skanda. The Shukla Shashti of Kartika month is considered the most important.

Skanda Sashti Significance

Lord Muruga is considered the elder son of Lord Shiva, but he was not born out of the womb of Devi Parvati. The story goes that Devi Parvati took the form of a lake to contain the ball of fire jointly created by Shiva and Shakti, which eventually became Lord Skanda. He was born to vanquish the demon Soorapadma and his brethren Tarakasura and Simhamukha. He achieved this feat on the Shashti tithi of the Shukla Paksha. When Lord Skanda severed Soorapadma’s head with his Vel, a peacock, and a rooster appeared. The rooster became a symbol on his banner, and the peacock became his vehicle.

Skanda Sashti 2023 Dates and Timings

  • January 26, 2023, Thursday – from 10:28 AM, Jan 26 to 09:10 AM, Jan 27
  • February 25, 2023, Saturday – from 12:31 AM, Feb 25 to 12:20 AM, Feb 26
  • March 26, 2023, Sunday – from 04:32 PM, Mar 26 to 05:27 PM, Mar 27
  • April 25, 2023, Tuesday – from 09:39 AM April 25 to 11:27 AM, April 26
  • May 25, 2023, Thursday – from 03:00 AM, May 25 to 05:19 AM, May 26
  • June 24, 2023, Saturday – from 07:53 PM, June 23 to 10:17 PM, June 24
  • July 23, 2023, Sunday – from 11:44 AM, July 23 to 01:42 PM, July 24
  • August 22, 2023, Tuesday – from 02:00 AM, Aug 22 to 03:05 AM, Aug 23
  • September 20, 2023, Wednesday – from 02:16 PM, Sep 20 to 02:14 PM, Sep 21
  • October 20, 2023, Friday – from 12:31 AM, Oct 20 to 11:24 PM, Oct 20
  • November 18, 2023, Saturday – from 09:18 AM, Nov18 to 07:23 AM, Nov 19
  • December 18, 2023, Monday – from 05:33 PM, Dec 17 to 03:13 PM, Dec 18

The History behind Skanda Shasti

Lord Skanda is regarded as a brother to Lord Ganesha and Lord Ayyappa by Hindus in South India. His birth was necessitated due to the havoc created by the demons – Soorapadma, Simhamukha, and Tarakasura. Soorapadma had received a blessing from Lord Shiva that only a son born to Shiva could destroy him. Lord Shiva was an ascetic. The prospect of a son born to him seemed impossible. Devi Parvati eventually got married to Lord Shiva. But due to a curse from Devi Rati, Parvati was not able to bear children.

This meant that the demon Soorapadma and his brothers were left with nothing to fear. It increased their strength to the point that they became a menace to the universe. Lord Shiva took Devi Parvati to a cave and asked her to meditate. As they both meditated, a ball of fire emerged out of their cosmic energies. Lord Agni tried to get hold of the ball of fire. But even he couldn’t bear its heat and handed it over to Devi Ganga instead. Devi Ganga too couldn’t bear the heat and deposited the fireball into a lake in a forest of reeds.

Then Devi Parvati took the form of the lake. The fireball took the form of a baby with six faces. Hence, Lord Skanda is also known as Sanmukha or the ‘God with Six Faces’. He was taken care of by six water nymphs who represented the Krittika constellation (Pleiades). Hence he came to be known by the name Kartikeya. Lord Kartikeya went on to become a great philosopher and warrior.

Along with his aides, Lord Skanda waged war against Soorapadma and his brothers. A combat ensued between the Lord and the demon during which he severed Soorapadma’s head using his Vel.

It is also believed that when Soorapadma realised he was waging war against the son of Lord Shiva, he begged Lord Skanda to spare him. So, Skanda transformed him into a peacock on the condition that he would remain as his vahana in perpetuity. This happened on Shashti day.

Skanda Shashti Benefits:couples horoscope

Praying to Lord Skanda on Skanda Shashti with a pure heart invokes his blessings and favour. It is an excellent day for businesses and married couples to strengthen their bonds. Some devotees observe the vrat on all 6 days till Shashti, from morning till evening. Praying to Lord Skanda on the second, third, and fourth days provides relief from health issues and draws good vibes. Worshipping Lord Skanda on the 5th and 6th days brings spiritual bliss, financial prosperity, and career advancement.

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How To Celebrate Skanda Shasti Festival

Devotees fast, pray, and sing devotional songs to Lord Skanda for the six days till Shashti. The six days correspond to the six days Lord Skanda waged war before destroying the demon Soorapadma. Many devotees remain in temples during these six days. They do not eat any dishes prepared with garlic and onion. Non-vegetarian food is avoided and only one meal per day- either in the morning or the night – is taken. This practice cleanses the body and gets rid of unwanted and unhealthy toxic components. Kavadi is usually offered on the day of Skanda Shasti.

Skanda Shashti Rituals:

Devotees get up early, take a bath and worship Lord Skanda. Fast is observed for the whole day. An oil lamp, incense sticks, flowers, kumkum, etc are offered to Lord Skanda. Devotees also visit temples and offer their prayers.

On Skanda Shashti, Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati are worshipped. Lord Skanda’s idol is set up and an oil lamp is kept lit in front of it. Water or milk is poured over it. As prasad, sweets or food is offered.

Personalized Skanda Shashti Puja can be performed by contacting astrologers of renown through Findastro.

Skanda Shashti Mantra:

Sharavana Bhava Mantra

Om Sharavana Bhavaya Namaha

Murugan Gayatri Mantra

Om Tatpurushaya Vidhmahe, Maha Senaya Dheemahi, Tanna Shanmugha Prachodayat

Kartikeya Pragya Vivardhana Stotram

Yogishvaro Mahaa sena Kaartikeyogni Nandanah
Skandah Kumaarah Senaanih Svaami Shankara Sambhavah
Gaangeyas Taamra chudashca Brahmachari Shikhi Dhvajah
Taaraka Arir Umaa Putrah Kraunca Rishca Saddaananah
Shabda brahmasamudrashca Siddhah Saarasvato Guhah
Sanat kumaaro Bhagavan Bhogamokssaphalapradah
Sharajanmaa Gannaadhiisha Puurvajo Muktimaargakrt
Sarvaagamaprannetaa Cha Vaancchitaarthapradarshanah
Astavimshatinaamaani Madiyaaniti Yah Patthet
Pratyusam Shraddhaya Yukto Muko Vachaspatirbhavet
Mahamantramayaniti Mama Namanukeertanam
Mahaprajnyamavapnoti Naatra Kaaryaa Vicharanna
Iti Shri Rudrayamale Prajnya Vivardhan Aakhyam
Shrimat Kartikeya Stotram Sampurnam

Sri Subrahamanya Pancharathnam

Shadananam, Chandana Lepithangam,
Mahorasam, Divya Mayoora Vahanam,
Rudrasya Soonum, Sura Loka Nadam,
Brahmanya Devam, Saranam Prapadye
Jajwalyamanam, Sura Brunda Vandyam,
Kumaradhara Thada Mandirastham,
Kandarpa Roopam, Kamaneeya Gathram,
Brahmanya Devam, Saranam Prapadye
Dwishadbujam Dwadasa Divya Nethram,
Trayee Thanum Soolamasim Dadhanam,
Seshavatharam, Kamaneeya Roopam,
Brahmanya Devam, Saranam Prapadye
Surari Gorahava Shobhamanam,
Surothamam Shakthi Daram Kumaram,
Sudhaara Shakthyayudha Shobhi Hastham,
Brahmanya Devam, Saranam Prapadye
Ishtartha Sidhi Pradha Meesa Puthram,
Ishtannadham Bhoosura Kamadhenum,
Gangodbhavam Sarva Jananukoolam,
Brahmanya Devam, Saranam Prapadye
Ya Slokamidham Padatheeha Bhakthya,
Brahmanya Deva Nivesitha Manasa San,
Prapnothi Bhogamakilam Bhuvi Yadyadishtam,
Anthe Cha Gachathi Muda Guha Samyameva


Lord Skanda and the number 6 have a deep relationship with each other. Other than the Shashti day or the sixth day of the lunar month when he vanquished the demon Soorapadma, Lord Skanda is also famed for having six faces. Likewise, there are six main abodes of Lord Skanda. They are:

  1. Arulmigu Subramaniya Swamy Temple (Thiruparankundram) – Thiruparankunram, Madurai district
  2. Thiruchendur Murugan Temple (Thirucheeralaivaai) – Thiruchendur, Thoothukudi district
  3. Palani Murugan Temple (Thiruvavinankudi) – Pazhani, Dindigul district
  4. Swamimalai Murugan Temple (Thiruverakam) – Swamimalai, Kumbakonam
  5. Thiruthani Murugan Temple (Kundruthoraadal) – Thiruthani, Thiruvallur district
  6. Pazhamudircholai Murugan Temple (Pazhamudircholai) – Pazhamudircholai, Madurai district.

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