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Skanda-Karttikeya: A Study in the Origin and Development (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: IDH452
Author: Prithvi Kumar Agrawala
Publisher: Banaras Hindu University
Edition: 1967
Pages: 138 (B & W Illus: 22)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.5" X 7
Weight 490 gm
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Book Description


In the following pages, we propose to investigate the origin and growth of the god Skanda, known also Skanda, known also by various other names like Kumara, Karttikeya, Guha, Sanamukha, (Su) brahmanya, Muruga, etc. for the sake of convenience and uniformity we have called him by the name Skanda in our discussion.

Though a clear history and antiquity of the cult of Skanda is almost shrouded in mystery, scholars have tried to trace his worship as early to the proto-historic period. On one of the seals of Mohenjo-daro, Father Heras read Murugan adu, and that has been identified with Murugan, the ancient Dravidian name of Subrahmanya-Skanda. But unfortunately the script of the Indus in the above reading.

It has been attempted by other scholars in identifying Skanda depicted on certain seals from Indus Valley. With features of Pasupati and Nataraja noticed already by certain authors as not strange to or removed from Harappan culture, Aravamuthan has pointed out further evidence for the identification of a number of gods:

"Four s3eals found at Mohenjo-daro and one found at Harappa picture a significant scene. The fullest of these seals shows a god in an Asvattha tree, presenting himself to a kneeling god, a severed human head on a stand between the two, a bull-goat-man behind the suppliant, and a group of seven women in the foreground. In the seals which are not so full the tree is the Asvattha, but there are variations; the group is of six women in the background, or the head is indistinct, or is even absent. Nonetheless, all these do picture one common scene.

"The bull-goat-man is Agni. The group which is both seven and six is that of the Krittikas. The suppliant, who is sponsored by both Agni and the Krittikas is Karttikeya. The Asvattha, growing both upward and downward, its roots above and its branches below (Kathopanishad, 6.1.), and appropriately pictured both upright and inverted in the seals, is Brahman, and the god in these is Brahman. This god, having vanquished the demons revealed himself to Indra (Kenopanishad, 3.4.) who is Karttikeya, the head in the scene is a trophy of Brahman's victory, and the scene is that of Brahman revealing himself to Karttikeya, and instructing him in his Doctrines becomes Su-Brahmanya".


Vedic And Brahmana Period 1-11
Skanda in Post-Vedic and Pre-Epic Period 12-25
Skanda in the Epic Period 26-37
Early Archaeological Data on Skanda Cult 38-52
Skanda in the Puranas And Classical Literature 53-74
Evidence of Art And Archaeology: Gupta Period 75-90
Description of Plates 91-102
APPENDIX I Sasthi Kalpa 103
APPENDIX II Skanda Yoga 104-110
Bibliography 111-114
Index 115-116


Sample Pages

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