Legend has it that six babies that were born the divine spark of Shiva were conjoined by Goddess Parvati and this led to the manifestation of Muruga or Kartikeya. There are numerous symbolisms regarding the six heads of Muruga. It is believed that the six faces of Muruga represents five elements – ether, fire, water, earth, air – and the sixth the sprit that infuses life into the beings formed by the elements.
Some scholars especially those associated with yoga states that the six heads represents the six centers with the human body – six chakras.
Nakkirar in his Tirumurugatruppadai (A classic book of the Sangam Age) states that :
- the first face removes the darkness and ignorance of the world and bathes it in light,
- the second grants boons to His devotees,
- the third protects yajnas,
- the fourth discourses upon the knowledge of the Self;
- the fifth destroys evil demons and
- the sixth glances lovingly at the face of Valli, (His bride from the hills).