Shakagami Those who are unable to fast all day are permitted to eat once per day during this period. Supreme Deity or Divine Rascal? One half became a peacockwhich he took as his Vahana. Protect the two ears — O Lord of the Vel!
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In south India, Skanda is considered as the younger brother of Lord Ganesha while in north India Skanda is considered as the elder brother of Lord Ganesha. God Skanda is also known as Murugan, Kartikeyan and Subramanya. Sashti Tithi is dedicated to Lord Skanda.
Devotees keep fast during Shukla Paksha Sashti day. How to observe Shasti Vratam? The Shasti fasting begins with sunrise. The fast is broken on the next day morning after praying to Lord Surya Sun God. Most people observing the fast make it a point to visit Murugan Temple on this day. It is a complete fast in many places. But this might not be quite possible for many people due to job, health and other reasons.
So many people take some sort of vegetarian food on this day — this is usually a single meal in the afternoon or night. Many people opt for a fruit diet on the day. Some avoid solid food. In several Kerala Muruga temples, many devotees eat a single rice meal at noon given from the temple. The cooked rice is consumed without any major side dishes. The method of fasting differs from region to region. But all non-vegetarian food is avoided on the day.
Devotees listen to stories related to Skanda and reading of Skanda Purana. Another activity during the day is the reciting of Kanta Shasti Kavasam. Fasting is not just abstaining from food but it also an attempt to instill positive thoughts. Many people use fasting as a means to fight against anger, lust, impatience and other negative tendencies. All Vratas associated with Hindu religion is an attempt to realize the Brahman. It is observed in the Tamil month of Aippasi and most devotees fast during the 6-day period.
There is no common method of Skanda Shasti fasting. Different devotees observe it differently. But there are some basic rules followed by all the devotees. Non-vegetarian food is completely avoided during the period.
Some people also avoid garlic and onions. Those who are observing the fast make it a point to read scriptures related to Lord Muruga or recite the Kanta Shasti Kavasam or Subramaniya Bhujangam. Most devotees also visit Skanda temples during the period. When it comes to Kanda Shasti fasting, some devotees only take a single meal a day.
Some take the meal at noon and others at night. Some devotees confine to fruits and juices during the 6-day period. There are several Skanda devotees who see the Vratam as an opportunity to clean the body and get rid of unwanted toxic elements.
Such devotees confine to water, coconut water and other fruit juices. The fasting ends on the Sixth day. Now, this vow can include fasting, not telling lies, not getting anger etc. A vratam should be seen as a deliberate attempt on your part to bring back discipline into your life. Fasting should be voluntary and it should not be done unwillingly. If you are taking medicines, do not observe intense fasting and stick to the routine suggested by your doctor.
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