What is the Peacock Angel?
Tawsi Melek, the “Peacock Angel” and “Peacock King,” is the most import deity of the Yezidis. But he is not just the possession of the Yezidis, he belongs to the entire world. The Yezidis believe that they possess the oldest religion on Earth, the primeval faith that features Tawsi Melek, and that all other traditions are related to them through the Peacock Angel. They contend that Tawsi Melek is the true creator and ruler of the universe, and therefore a part of all religious traditions. He does not, however, always manifest within these diverse traditions as a peacock. Tawsi Melek has taken on many other forms throughout time.
The Yezidis do not believe that the Peacock Angel is the Supreme God. The Supreme God created him as an emanation at the beginning of time. He was brought into manifestation in order to give the invisible, transcendental Supreme God a vehicle with which to create and administer the universe. Tawsi Melek is thus a tangible, denser form of the infinite Supreme God. In order to assist Tawsi Melek in this important role, the Supreme Creator also created six other Great Angels, who were, like the Peacock Angel, emanations of the Supreme God and not separate from him. When recounting the creation of all Seven Great Angels, the Yezidis often summarize the emanation process as follows:
Tawsi Melek was the first to emerge from the Light of God in the form of a seven-rayed rainbow, which is a form he still today continues to manifest within to them (usually as a rainbow around the Sun). But the Yezidis also claim that Tawsi Melek and the six Great Angels are collectively the seven colors of the rainbow. Therefore, the six Great Angels were originally part of Tawsi Melek, the primal rainbow emanation, who bifurcated to become the rainbow’s seven colors, which are collectively the Seven Great Angels. Of the seven colors produced from the primal rainbow, Tawsi Melek became associated with the color blue, because this is the color of the sky and the heavens, which is the source of all colors.
Tawsi Melek was, therefore, both the first form of the Supreme God and one of the Seven Great Angels, which is a cosmic heptad mentioned within many religious traditions. The Jews, Christians, Persian, Egyptians all have their seven angels and creators. In the Meshefê Re, the Yezidis “Black Book,” there is one passage that describes the Seven Great Angels and associates their creation with the seven days of Creation. The text first states that the Supreme God first created a pearl containing the substance or substratum of the soon-to-be physical universe, ostensibly referring to the molten mass preceding the “Big Bang” championed by modern physics. The Yezidi text then maintains that for forty thousand years this pearl sat upon a primal bird, which is quite possibly an incipient form of Tawsi Melek before he divided into the Seven Great Angels. This pearl then exploded (or became dismantled) to become the physical universe. Then, states the Meshefê Re, came the seven days of creation:
“The first day which He (the Supreme God) created was Sunday. On that day He created an angel whose name was ‘Azra’il. This is Melekê Taus, who is the greatest of all.
On Monday He created the Angel Darda’il, who is Shaikh Hasan.
On Tuesday He created the Angel Israfil, who is Shaikh Shams.
On Wednesday He created the Angel Mika’il, who is Shaikh Abu Bakr.
On Thursday He created the Angel Gibra’il, who is Sagad ad-Din.
On Friday He created the Angel Shimna’il, who is Nasir ad-Din.
On Saturday He created the Angel Nura’il, who is Yadin [Fakhr ad-Din].
And God made Melekê Taus the greatest of them.”
Ever since their primal creation the Seven Great Angels have been associated with the day of the week they were created. Tawsi Melek’s day is Sunday, etc.
Once the Seven Great Angels were created the Earth was produced by them out of the substratum of the original pearl. It remained barren and then suddenly entered a phase of intense continual shaking, perhaps coinciding with the violent earthquake and volcanic activity that was ubiquitous around the young Earth. In order to calm the planetary quaking, the Supreme God sent the Peacock Angel to Earth with orders to both sedate the Earth and endow it with multi-colored flora and fauna. As Tawsi Melek descended into the physical dimension his seven-colored rainbow self became manifest as a magnificent bird of seven colors, the peacock. He then flew around the globe in order to bless every part of it, finally landing in the area of what is now Lalish, the Yezidis most sacred part of Earth located in northern Iraq. Here Tawsi Melek was able to calm the Earth while simultaneously covering it with his peacock colors.
With the Earth in a more placid phase of its evolution the Great Angels proceeded to their next creation, Adam. The first human was created by all the Seven Great Angels, each of whom endowed him with a physical sense to experience life. One gave him an ear, one a nose, one a mouth, etc. But the first human was a lifeless heap without a soul, so Tawsi Melek transmitted the breath of life into him. When Adam then rose to his feet, Tawsi Melek quickly swung him around so that he was facing the Sun while informing him that there was something much greater than he and that praying daily to the Sun as a form of the Supreme God would help him to remember this truth. Tawsi Melek then verbalized the prayers that Adam and his descendants around the globe were to repeat during their worship, and he spoke them in 72 languages since Adam and Eve were destined to have 72 sons and 72 daughters who would populate the 72 regions or countries of the Earth. The Peacock Angel then informed Adam that if he and his descendants remained steadfast in righteousness they would eventually see and know the Supreme God personally. In the meantime, Tawsi Melek would be their protector and teacher even while residing in another dimension.
1. YezidiTruth.org - A Humanitarian Organization in their website carrys an essay that mentions the Indian origin of the Yezidi faith and the correspondence between the Hindu Murugan and Tawûsê Melek. Similarity between the icons such as Murugan’s other sacred symbols the snake and the peacock is deliberated on in detail.
2. A contemperory journalist visiting the Yezidi lands writes
- Although it is rooted in nature, Yezidism has similarities to Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. 
- (The Yezidi's are) Originally from India and therefore related to the Hindus
- The Yezidi emigrated from India to Afghanistan, and from Afghanistan into Iran and, lived in Iraq, and in Syria. In Iraq we started to call ourselves "Yezidi".
- persistence in Kurdish (Yezidi) culture a mythology of Indo-Iranian origin, which may have been transmitted to Roman Mithraism via Kurdistan
- The Yezidis (”yuh-ZEE-deez”) are a Kurdish sect living in the Nineveh province of modern-day Iraq. Their religion is pre-Islamic and pre-Christian, yet it has absorbed certain qualities of both faiths. It has also absorbed elements of Zoroastrianism and Sufi mysticism. It is a matter of debate among scholars as to just how old the Yezidi religion actually is, but it is possible (though not proven) that the people and their faith are descended from ancient India. In any case, it may be that Yezidism is the original pagan religion of the Kurds.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Murugan)
"Muruga" redirects here. For the 2007 film, see Muruga (film).
For the 2014 film, see Karthikeya (film).
|The neutrality of this article is disputed. (April 2015)|
|God of war and victory,
Commander of the Gods
Murugan with his wives by Raja Ravi Varma
|Abode||Arupadaiveedu (Six Abodes of Murugan), Skandaloka|
|Mantra||Om Saravana Bhava|
|Weapon||Vel, Bow and Arrow|
|Consort||Devasena and Valli|
|Part of a series on|
Murugan (Tamil Murukaṉ) is often referred to as Tamiḻ kaṭavuḷ' ("god of the Tamils") and is worshiped primarily in areas with Tamil influences, especially South India, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Réunion. His six most important shrines in India are the Six Abodes of Murugan, temples located in Tamil Nadu.
In Bengal and Odisha, he is popularly known as Kartikeya.
- 1 Other names
- 2 Historical development
- 3 Symbolism
- 4 Regions of worship
- 5 Malaysia
- 6 Temples
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Other namesThe several names of Murugan of Tamil origin would include the following, Seyon, Senthil, Vēlaṇ, Kumāran ("prince, child, young one"), Svaminatha ("smart, clever"), Saravaṇa, Arumugam or Shanmuga ("having six faces"), Dandapani ("god with a club"), Guhan or Guruguha ("cave-dweller"), Subrahmanya, Kartikeya and Skanda "attacker". He was also known as Mahasena and the Kadamba dynasty worshiped him by this name.
Sangam Tamil literature
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Vedic and Puranic literatureThe Atharva Veda describes Kumaran as 'Agnibhuh' because he is form of 'Agni' (Fire God) & Agni held him in his hands when Kumaran was born. The Satapatha Brahmana refers to him as the son of Rudra and the six faces of Rudra. The Taittiriya Aranyaka contains the Gayatri mantra for Shanmukha. The Chandogya Upanishad refers to Skanda as the "way that leads to wisdom". The Baudhayana Dharmasutra mentions Skanda as 'Mahasena' and 'Subrahmanya.' The Aranya Parva canto of the Mahabharata relates the legend of Kartikeya Skanda in considerable detail. The Skanda Purana is devoted to the narrative of Kartikeya. The Upanishads also constantly make a reference to a Supreme Being called Guha, the indweller.
The Ramayana version is closer to the stories told in the Puranas discussed below.
The references to Murugan can be traced back to the first millennium BCE. There are references to Murugan in Kautilya's Arthashastra, in the works of Patanjali, in Kalidasa's epic poem the Kumarasambhavam. The Kushanas, who governed from what is today Peshawar, and the Yaudheyas, a republican clan in the Punjab, struck coins bearing the image of Skanda. The deity was venerated also by the Ikshvakus, an Andhra dynasty, and the Guptas. The worship of Kumāra was one of the six principal sects of Hinduism at the time of Adi Shankara. The Shanmata system propagated by him included this sect. In many Shiva and Devi temples of Tamil Nadu, Murugan is installed on the left of the main deity. The story of His birth goes as follows:
- Sati immolated herself in a pyre as her father King Daksha had insulted Shiva, her Lord. She was reborn as Parvathi or Uma, daughter of the King of Himalayas, Himavan. She then married her Lord Shiva. The Devas were under onslaught from the Asuras whose leader was Soorapadman. He had been granted boons that only Lord Shiva or his seed could kill him. Fearless he vanquished the Devas and made them his slaves. The Devas ran to Vishnu for help who told them that it was merely their fault for attending Daksha's yagna, without the presence of Lord Shiva. After this, they ran to Shiva for help. Shiva decided to take action against Soorapadman's increasing conceit. He frowned and his third eye- the eye of knowledge- started releasing sparks. There were six sparks in total. Agni had the responsibility to take them to Saravana Lake. As he was carrying them, the sparks were growing hotter and hotter that even the Lord of Fire could not withstand the heat. Soon after Murugan was born on a lotus in the Saravana Lake with six faces, giving him the name Arumukan. Lord Shiva and Parvati visited and tears of joy started flowing as they witnessed the most handsome child. Shiva and Parvathi gave the responsibility of taking care of Muruga to the six Krittika sisters. Muruga grew up to be a handsome, intelligent, powerful, clever youth. All the Devas applauded at their saviour, who had finally come to release them from their woes. Murugan became the supreme general of the demi-gods, then escorted the devas and led the army of the devas to victory against the asuras.
The Skanda Purana narrates that Shiva first wed Dakshayani (also named Sati), the first incarnation of Adi Shakthi the granddaughter of Brahma, and the daughter of Daksha. Daksha was a Vishnu devotee and never liked Shiva, who symbolized destruction of evil, detachment, and who lives a simple life . Daksha publicly insults Shiva in a Yagna ceremony, and Dakshayani immolates herself. The Yagna is destroyed by Shiva's avatar Virabhadra. Virabhadra broke the sacrificial vessels, polluted the offerings, insulted the priests and finally cut off Daksha's head, trampled on Indra, broke the staff of Yama, scattered the gods on every side; then he returned to Kailash. Taraka believed that, because Shiva is an ascetic and his earlier marriage was conducted with great difficulty, his remarriage was out of the question, hence his boon of being killed by Shiva's son alone would give him invincibility.
The Devas manage to get Shiva married to Parvati (who was Dakshayani, reborn), by making Manmatha (also known as Kama), the God of love awaken him from his penance, but Manmatha incurred the Lord's wrath indicated by the opening his third eye – "Netri Kann", and being destroyed and resurrected. Shiva hands over his effulgence of the third eye used to destroy Manmatha to Agni, as he alone is capable of handling it until it becomes the desired offspring. But even Agni, tortured by its heat, hands it over to Ganga who in turn deposits it in a lake in a forest of reeds (sharavanam). Then Goddess Parvati, took the form of this water body as she alone is capable of taming the Tejas of Shiva, her consort. . The child is finally born in this forest (vana) with six faces: eesanam, Tathpurusham, vamadevam, agoram, sathyojatham and adhomugam. He is first spotted and cared for by six women representing the Pleiades — Kritika in Sanskrit. He thus gets named Kartikeya. As a young lad, he destroys Tarakasur. He is also called Kumara (Tamil and Sanskrit for "youth").
LegendsGiven that legends related to Murugan are recounted separately in several Hindu epics, some differences between the various versions are observed. Some Sanskrit epics and puranas indicate that he was the elder son of Shiva. This is suggested by the legend connected to his birth; the wedding of Shiva and Parvati being necessary for the birth of a child who would vanquish the asura named Taraka. Also, Kartikeya is seen helping Shiva fight the newborn Ganesha, Shiva's other son, in the Shiva Purana. In the Ganapati Khandam of the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, he is seen as the elder son of Shiva and Ganesha as the younger. In South India, it is believed that he is the younger of the two. A Puranic story has Ganesha obtain a divine fruit of knowledge from Narada winning a contest with Murugan. While Murugan speeds around the world thrice to win the contest for the fruit, Ganesha circumambulates Shiva and Parvati thrice as an equivalent and is given the fruit. After winning it, he offers to give the fruit to his upset brother. After this event, Ganesha was considered the elder brother owing as a tribute to his wisdom. Many of the major events in Murugan's life take place during his youth, and legends surrounding his birth are popular. This has encouraged the worship of Murugan as a child-God, very similar to the worship of the child Krishna in north India. He is married to two wives, Valli and Devasena. This lead to a very interesting name : Devasenapati viz. Pati (husband) of Devsena and/or Senapati (commander in chief) of Dev (gods).
Regions of worship
South IndiaMurugan is often referred to as "Tamil Kadavul" "God of the Tamils" and is worshiped primarily in areas with Tamil influences. Subramanya is also a major deity among the Hindus of northern Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana. Rituals like nagaradhane are unique to Uttara Kannada region of Karnataka.
Tamil NaduIn Tamil Nadu, Murugan has continued to be popular with all classes of society right since the Sangam age. This has led to more elaborate accounts of his mythology in the Tamil language, culminating in the Tamil version of Skanda Purana, called Kandha Purānam, written by Kacchiappa Sivachariyar (1350–1420 AD.) of Kumara Kottam in the city of Kanchipuram. (He was a scholar in Tamil literature, and a votary of the Shaiva Siddhanta philosophy) He is married to two deities, Valli, a daughter of a tribal chief and Deivayanai (also called Devasena), the daughter of Indhra. During His bachelorhood, Lord Murugan is also regarded as Kumaraswami (or Bachelor God), Kumara meaning a bachelor and Swami meaning God. Muruga rides a peacock and wields a bow in battle. The lance called Vel in Tamil is a weapon closely associated with him. The Vel was given to him by his mother, Parvati, and embodies her energy and power. His army's standard depicts a rooster. In the war, Surapadman was split into two, and each half was granted a boon by Murugan. The halves, thus turned into the peacock (his mount) and the rooster his flag, which also "refers to the sun".
As Muruga is worshipped predominantly in Tamil Nadu, many of his names are of Tamil origin. These include Senthil, the red or formidable one; Arumugam, the six-faced one; Guhan and Maal-Marugan, the son-in-law of Vishnu. Murugan is venerated throughout the Tamil year. There is a six-day period of fast and prayer in the Tamil month of Aippasi known as the Skanda Shasti. He is worshipped at Thaipusam, celebrated by Tamil communities worldwide near the full moon of the Tamil month Thai. This commemorates the day he was given a Vel or lance by his mother in order to vanquish the asuras. Thirukarthigai or the full moon of the Tamil month of Karthigai signifies his birth. Each Tuesday of the Tamil month of Adi is also dedicated to the worship of Murugan. Tuesday in the Hindu tradition connotes Mangala, the god of planet Mars and war.
Other parts of India
Kartikeya's presence in the religious and cultural sphere can be seen at least from the Gupta age. Two of the Gupta kings, Kumaragupta and Skandagupta, were named after him. He is seen in the Gupta sculptures and in the temples of Ellora and Elephants. As the commander of the divine armies, he became the patron of the ruling classes. His youth, beauty and bravery was much celebrated in Sanskrit works like the Kathasaritsagara. Kalidasa made the birth of Kumara the subject of a lyrical epic, the Kumaarasambhavam. In ancient India, Kartikeya was also regarded as the patron deity of thieves, as may be inferred from the Mrichchakatikam, a Sanskrit play by Shudraka, and in the Vetala-panchvimshati, a medieval collection of tales. This association is linked to the fact that Kartikeya had dug through the Krauncha mountain to kill Taraka and his brothers (in the Mrichchakatikam, Sarivilaka prays to him before tunnelling into the hero's house).
However, Kartikeya's popularity in North India receded from the Middle Ages onwards, and his worship is today virtually unknown except in parts of Haryana. There is a very famous temple dedicated to Him in the town of Pehowa in Haryana and this temple is very well known in the adjoining areas, especially because women are not allowed anywhere close to it. Women stay away from this temple in Pehowa town of Haryana because this shrine celebrates the Brahmachari form of Kartikeya. Reminders of former devotions to him include a temple at Achaleshwar, near Batala in Punjab, and another temple of Skanda atop the Parvati hill in Pune, Maharashtra.
Sri LankaMurugan is adored by both Tamil Hindus and Sinhalese Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Numerous temples exist throughout the island. He is a favorite deity of the common folk everywhere and it is said he never hesitates to come to the aid of a devotee when called upon. In the deeply Sinhalese south of Sri Lanka, Murugan is worshipped at the temple in Katirkāmam, where he is known as Kathiravel or Katragama Deviyo (Lord of Katragama). This temple is next to an old Buddhist place of worship. Local legend holds that Lord Murugan alighted in Kataragama and was smitten by Valli, one of the local aboriginal lasses. After a courtship, they were married. This event is taken to signify that Lord Murugan is accessible to all who worship and love him, regardless of their birth or heritage. The Nallur Kandaswamy temple, the Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple and the Sella Channithy Temple near Valvettiturai are the three foremost Murugan temples in Jaffna. The Chitravelayutha temple in Verukal on the border between Trincomalee and Batticaloa is also noteworthy as is the Mandur Kandaswamy temple in Batticaloa. The late medieval-era temple of the tooth in Kandy, dedicated to the tooth relic of the Buddha, has a Kataragama deiyo shrine adjacent to it dedicated to the veneration of Skanda in the Sinhalese tradition. Almost all buddhist temples house a shrine room for Kataragama deviyo(Murugan)reflecting the significance of Murugan in Sinhala Buddhism,
Based on archeological evidence found, it is believed that the Kiri Vehera was either renovated to build during the 1st century BCE. There are number of others inscriptions and ruins.
By the 16th century the Kathiravel shrine at Katirkāmam had become synonymous with Skanda-Kumara who was a guardian deity of Sinhala Buddhism. The town was popular as a place of pilgrimage for Hindus from India and Sri Lanka by the 15 the century. The popularity of the deity at the Kataragama temple was also recorded by the Pali chronicles of Thailand such as Jinkalmali in the 16th century. There are number of legends both Buddhist and Hindu that attribute supernatural events to the very locality. Scholars such as Paul Younger and Heinz Bechert speculate that rituals practiced by the native priests of Kataragama temple betray Vedda ideals of propitiation. Hence they believe the area was of Vedda veneration that was taken over by the Buddhist and Hindus in the medieval period.
The key temples in Sri Lanka include the sylvan shrine in Kataragama / (Kadirgamam) or Kathirkamam in the deep south, the temple in Tirukovil in the east, the shrine in Embekke in the Kandyan region and the famed Nallur Kandaswamy temple in Jaffna. There are several temples dedicated to Lord Murugan in Malaysia, the most famous being the Batu Caves near Kuala Lumpur. There is a 42.7-m-high statue of Lord Murugan at the entrance to the Batu Caves, which is the largest Lord Murugan statue in the world. Sri Thandayuthapani Temple in Tank Road, Singapore is a major Hindu temple where each year the Thaipusam festival takes place with devotees of Lord Muruga carrying Kavadis seeking penance and blessings of the Lord.
In the United Kingdom, Highgate Hill Murugan temple is one of the oldest and most famous. In London, Sri Murugan Temple in Manor park is a well-known temple. In Midlands, Leicester Shri Siva Murugan Temple is gaining popularity recently. Skanda Vale in West Wales was founded by Guruji, a Tamil devotee of Subramaniam, and its primary deity is Lord Murugan. In Australia, Sydney Murugan temple in Parramatta (Mays Hill), Perth Bala Muruguan temple in Mandogalup and Kundrathu Kumaran temple in Rockbank, Melbourne are major Hindu temples for all Australian Hindus and Murugan devotees. In New Zealand, there is a Thirumurugan Temple in Auckland and a Kurinji Kumaran Temple in Wellington, both dedicated to Lord Murugan. In the USA, Shiva Murugan Temple in Concord, Northern California and Murugan Temple of North America in Maryland, Washington DC region are popular. In Toronto, Canada, Canada Kanthasamy Temple is known amongst many Hindus in Canada. In Dollard-des-Ormeaux, a suburb of the city of Montreal in Canada, there is a monumental temple of Murugan. The Sri Sivasubramaniar Temple, located in the Sihl Valley in Adliswil, is the most famous and largest Hindu temple in Switzerland.