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Subrahmanya Sashti in Margashirsh Month – Skanda Shashti in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh

Subrahmanya Shashti, or Skanda Sashti, during Shukla Paksha of Margashirsh month (November – December) is observed mainly in Karnataka and parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Subramanya Shashti 2018 date is December 13 in Margashirsh Month as per Kannada and Telugu calendar. Here is a simple idea regarding how to observe Subramanya Shashti.

Please note that the Skanda Sashti is popularly observed in Tamil Nadu and this takes place after Diwali – six days of fast and the rituals culminates with Soorasamharam.

This below explanation of Subramanya Shashti was shared to us by Narahari Sumadhwa. It explains the importance of this Shashti in Margashirsh Month and the belief of Skanda in Karnataka.

Who is Skanda?

  • Skanda is the Avatara of Manmatha. Popularly, He is the son of Lord Shiva.
  • He is in the same Kakshya of Indra.
  • He is the Lord of War and the most handsome among gods. 
  • He is also the commander of the army of the Devas. 
  • During Srinivasa Kalyana (marriage of Lord Balaji), Srinivasa (Lord Venkateshwara) nominated him to invite the audience, as he has six faces and can see all six directions.
  • His vehicle or Vahana is Mayura or Peacock.
What are the other names of Skanda? – Kumara, Murugan, Shanmukha, Skanda, Vadi Velu, Subramanya, Kartikeya...

When is this Skanda Shasti celebrated in Karnataka? - It is celebrated on Margashira Shukla Shasti - the sixth day of the waxing phase of moon in Margashirsh month (November – December). This day is also known as Subrahmanya Shasti.

Why is Skanda Shasti celebrated?

  • Subramanya is believed to have killed Demon Tarakasura on this day.
  • It is believed that if one does Skanda Darshana (visit Skanda temple), Snaana (bath) and Daana (giving alms) on this day then he will be from all his sins.
  • If one performs Skanda Shasti prayers, then they will be relieved from Sarpa Doshas (difficulties from snakes) and skin diseases.
  • The devotee will also be blessed with healthy children.

How is Subrayana Shasti celebrated?
On this day we have to perform pooja of Subramanya and visit temples.
Subramanya Swami is worshipped in the form of five- hooded snake.
While doing the Subramanya Shasti we have to do the pooja mainly to Shankapaala, one of the serpents.
Shankapalantargata Sankarshanaya nama:
We have to chant “Om ram skandhaaya nama: Om” while inviting Subramanya.
We have to chant “Dhanu:shaktidharO dhyEya: kaamadO bhayanaashana:” for dhyana shloka.

Why on Skanda Shasti is Brahmacharis invited for food or bhojana?
Subramanya is a Brahmachari. He likes young brahmacharis as they will not be having any dwesha-asuya (hatred and jealousy), and their heart will be pure. Food prepared using Urad Dal is a must. The Brahmachris are also given Vastra and Dakshina.

Naga Worship on Subrahmanya Sashti in Margashirsh Month

In some regions of Karnataka, the day is also dedicated Naga worship (Snakes).

Special pujas and celebrations are held at the Subrahmanya Temple in some regions. Devotees also worship ant-hills by pouring milk and sprinkling turmeric and vermilion along with flowers.

There is a popular belief that worshipping Nagas (Snakes) will help people get rid of Nagadosha (bad patch in life caused due to killing of snakes) and barren women would be blessed with children. People also offer replicas of hoods of snakes made of gold and silver to Naga and Subrahmanya temples to fulfill their vows.

The same Margashira Shuddha Shasti is observed as Chamba Shasti in neighboring Maharashtra