Lord Muruga – Divine Warrior

By Rudra Shivananda

MurugaLord Muruga is less well-known to Westerners than Lord Ganesh, the other son of Lord Shiva. However, Lord Muruga is of great significance to spiritual practitioners of Yoga and especially kriya or kundalini yogas, as he is the lord of kundalini.

He is a direct spiritual emanation from Shiva and is called Kartikeya in North India, Subramaniam Swami in Middle India and Muruga in South India. Always depicted as a teenage youth, he holds a spear called Vail which symbolises the awakened kundalini and is accompanied by a peacock symbolising the full opening of the seven chakras.

Many tales have been woven about Muruga, but the one that I wish to highlight at this time is the one where all the gods were being defeated by the host of demons and they went to Lord Shiva for help. He then placed the youth Muruga in charge of the heavenly army. Subsequently, Muruga was able to defeat the demons and restore the gods to their proper positions.

From a spiritual perspective, this story helps to illustrate the war that is fought within everyone one of us between the forces of light and darkness, between wisdom and ignorance. It is by harnessing the power of the awakened kundalini and the force of spiritual virtues that one can defeat the egoic and karmic negativities inherent in all of us.

All practitioners on the path are spiritual warriors – warriors of light. We must be properly armed and powered to defeat the darkness in our hearts.

The five yamas are the virtues that we must all cultivate and arm ourselves with. These are non-violence, truth, non-stealing, non-attachment and focus on the Divine. The five niyamas provide the power to overcome negativity – purity, contentment, austerity, self-study and surrender to the Divine.

The practice of kriya yoga which brings about the awakening of the kundalini energy within all of us is defined as the practice of austerity, self-study and surrender to the Divine. Therefore, the niyamas encompass the spiritual practice or sadhana that we engage in.

Since the war that we are fighting is an internal war, it does not seem as dramatic as our external wars, but nevertheless, it is more significant and difficult.

A warrior has to train and keep fit and be able to utilize the weapons available. Everyday, the spiritual practitioner cultivates the path of light – it is a constant fight to be able to maintain a regular practice in the midst of family, work and other duties.

Let us invoke the blessings, help and guidance of the Divine Warrior – Lord Muruga, in our battles against doubt, laziness, sensuality and a host of other enemies of our spiritual evolution.

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