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Six Sons And Three Daughters Of Shiva

When we take into account the various incidents in the Hindu Puranas, Shiva had six sons and three daughters. But the two popular children of Shiva are Ganesha (Ganapati) and Kartik (Murugan or Skanda or Subrahmanya or Kartikeya). The names of other sons of Shiva are Ayyappa, Andhaka, Bhauma, and Kuja. Apart from the six sons, Shiva also had three daughters Ashoka Sundari, Jyoti and Manasa.

Ganesha (Ganapati): Ganesha, the elephant-headed god, is widely revered as the remover of obstacles and the patron of arts and sciences. He is the son of Shiva and Parvati and is often invoked at the beginning of rituals and ceremonies.

Kartik (Murugan or Skanda or Subrahmanya or Kartikeya): Kartikeya, also known by various names, is the god of war and victory. He is depicted as a youthful warrior riding a peacock and is particularly worshipped in South India.

Ayyappa: Ayyappa is a popular deity in South India, particularly in Kerala. According to legend, he was born from the union of Shiva and Mohini, the female avatar of Lord Vishnu. He is often associated with celibacy and is worshipped by devotees seeking protection and prosperity.

Andhaka: Andhaka, the blind and deformed son of Shiva, is a figure associated with darkness and ignorance. His birth is said to be a result of a peculiar incident involving Parvati covering Shiva's eyes, leading to the creation of Andhaka from Shiva's sweat and third eye's heat.

Bhauma: He was born when the sweat of Shiva fell onto the earth, and he was raised by Bhumi Devi, the Earth Goddess. Bhauma is often worshipped for courage and strength.

Kuja: Kuja, another name for Mars in Hindu astrology, is believed to have been born from the rays emitted by Shiva. He is associated with martial attributes and is worshipped for protection from malefic influences.

The three daughters of Shiva are:

Ashok Sundari: Ashok Sundari was created by Goddess Parvati out of a tree to alleviate her loneliness. The name "Ashok" signifies the alleviation of sorrow, and "Sundari" means beautiful. She is associated with Ganesha's legend and is sometimes linked with salt.

Jyoti: Jyoti, the goddess of light, is occasionally mentioned in Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu. She is believed to emerge from Shiva's halo and represents the physical manifestation of his grace and divine light.

Manasa: In Bengali folklore, Manasa is depicted as the goddess who cures snakebites and is considered the sister of Vasuki, the king of snakes. She is said to have been born when Shiva's semen touched a statue carved by Kadru, the mother of snakes. Manasa is worshipped for protection against snakebites and for fertility.