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ARTICLE : A stotra on skanda



Hello,

Someone asked me sometime back whether I knew any stotras on skanda. I
realized that there are no stotras on skanda in the internet (as far as I know).
So I typed up the following stotra, from the rudra yaamala, an important work
on tantra. It is a short stotra but also remarkably powerful. The stotra is
credited with developing the praGYaa (intelligence) and has been given by skanda
himself.

praGYaavivardhana (increasing praGYaa) mantras are very important in the vedas 
and other later literature like the tantras. Why is the development of praGYaa
given such importance? The answer is given in the vedas itself. In the 
trisuparNa mantra in the mahaanaaraayaNa upanishaad.h, the following mantras
occur:

brahma medhayaa | (Brahman is attained through intelligence)
madhu medhayaa | (Bliss is attained through intelligence)
brahmameva madhu medhayaa | (Brahman, which is verily bliss is attained through
                               intelligence)

It should however be noted that the intelligence or medhaa which is referred to
here is not the mundane intelligence which we refer to in our daily lives. This
medhaa refers to the development of the buddhi such that the truth can be clearly
seen. shrii ramaNa maharshhi gives an analogy to illustrate how the pure and
clear buddhi perceives brahman. Brahman is hidden from the view of the unclear
buddhi like dense clouds hiding the sun. The clear buddhi which has been 
obtained by intense saadhana, sees brahman like a person seeing the sun through
a thin mist. Thus the jiivanmukta, is different from a person without a clear
buddhi.

Hence, development of buddhi is given prime importance in our tradition. The
most famous examples is the gaayatri mantra, which is chanted during the daily
sandhyaava.ndanam.h. Another one is the nitya karma for brahmachaaris, the
samitaadaanam.h. There are various mantras given in the mahaanaaraayaNa
upanishhad.h itself, the mantra invoking indra (yashchandasaam etc) and the
medhaa suuktam.h (addressed to sarasvatii and others). There are, ofcourse many
more such mantras in the vedas.

However, the recitation of these mantras requires learning them from a guru and
many of us are unable to get such an opportunity, especially in this modern age.
But, the stotrams from puraaNaas and the tantras can be chanted by one and all,
with no exceptions. 

In our thamiz tradition, skanda, or murukan as he is called, is considered the
very embodiment of all good and it is held that he eager to bestow GYaanaa to
one and all. Thus, true to tradition, at the end of the stotram he says that 
anyone chanting his 28 names, even if he is unable to speak will become
accomplished in speech, like Brihaspati. The person who considers this as maha
mantras and chants them will attain mahaa praGYaa (great intelligence). 

I have typed the stotram up such that you can send mail to Atul's address and 
obtain a postscript version. Please follow instructions so that Atul's mailbox
is not flooded. The format for the document was provided by Nandu. My thanks to
both of them.

Please send the following text to atul@sgi.com with subject typed strictly as
i2ps-request: submit
OR
i2ps-request: hacks         if you have mime utility.

You will get a postscript file with devanaagarii and English portion
which you can read using ghostview.

Finally a small request. I am slightly busy right now, but have taken some
effort to type this up to improve the signal-noise ratio. I request netters to
stop the debates on the RFD. I'll be grateful if other people can post
something interesting related to Hinduism or some topics on Hinduism which will
promote some good discussions. Ravi, perhaps it is a good time for the article
on thirumanthiram you promised? Thanks.

Ramakrishnan.

_________________________________ cut here __________________________________

begin-document
% From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <rbalasub@ecn.purdue.edu>
% Subject: A stotra to Lord Kartikeya 
\centerline{ \Large  Prajna vivardhana Kartikeya stotram
\footnote{\large 
Send corrections to Rama Balasubramanian rbalasub@ecn.purdue.edu}}
\large
\medskip

##
{\Largedvng
 shrii gaNeshaaya namaH | shrii skanda uvaacha \\
 yogiishvaro mahaasenaH kaartikeyo.agnina.ndanaH | \\
 skandaH kumaaraH senaanii svaamii sha.nkarasambhavaH || \\
 gaa.ngeyastaamrachuuDashcha brahmachaarii shikhidhvajaH | \\
 taarakaarirumaaputraH krauJNchaarishcha shhaDaananaH || \\
 shabdabrahma samudrashcha siddhaH saarasvato guhaH | \\
 sanatkumaaro bhagavaan.h bhoga moksha phalapradaH || \\
 sharajanmaa guNaadiishaH puurvajo mukti maargakR^it.h | \\
 sarvaagama praNetaa cha vaaJNchhitaartha pradarshanaH || \\
 ashhTaavi.nshati naamaani madiiyaaniiti yaH paThet.h | \\
 pratyuushham.h shraddhayaa yukto muuko vaachaspatirbhavet.h || \\
 mahaamantramayaa niiti mama naamaanukiirtanam.h | \\
 mahaapraGYaamavaapnoti naatra kaaryaa vichaaraNaa || \\

iti shrii rudrayaamale praGYaavivardhanaakhyam.h shriimatkaartikeyastotram.h
sa.npuurNam.h | \\
}
##

\medskip
The sixteen names are not explained since they are easily understood. Some of
the names refer to some legends associated with skanda. 

Skanda said:

The person who reads my 28 names told here with concentration, in the morning, 
obtains equal status with Brihaspati in speech, even if he cannot speak. 
Further, the person who reads my names as maha mantras obtains great
intelligence. There is no doubt about this.

\medskip\hrule\medskip
end-document



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