Skanda Kumara Senani
Skanda is the son of Shiva and Parvati. Shiva was initially married to Sati, the daughter of Daksha Prajapati. Upon knowing about the conduct of a homa/havan by her father, Sati wanted to visit her maternal home. But there was no invite. Shiva offers the same reason for not going. However, Sati quotes that to the home of one’s Guru, one’s parents, and Raja one may go without any invite. Shiva yields and sends her with his parivara.
Material status-conscious Daksha doesn’t reciprocate the simplicity of the first couple and ignores his daughter’s arrival. Confronted with the situation when Daksha abused Shiva in presence of everybody, ignoring the jnana bhandara that Shiva was, and the magnanimity Shiva displays, Sati ends her physical form. This results in a destruction act by Veerabhadra, the protégé of Shiva. In the act that followed, Daksha was beheaded. Later he was made to resurrect with a goat’s head. A lesson was learned. But Sati-less Shiva chooses to perform deep meditation and goes out of the bounds of the mundane world.
Feeling this as an opportunity, the demon Taraka asks for the boon of “getting killed only by the son of Shiva”. He knew well that Shiva is son-less so far and now wife-less too! This he thought was the best he could bargain against the “no death” boon for which Bramha did not accede. Taraka’s calculation was straight, Shiva becoming meditating monk means no sons in the future, and there is no son now; so no death for all practical purposes.
The departed Sati gets re-born as Parvati, the daughter of Himavanta, the Himalaya’s king. She turns “Aparna”, not eating even leaves for the sake of Shiva. They marry when Shiva agrees. “Kumara” was born and became the “Senani” (commander) for Indra’s army. He successfully freed the world from the menace of Taraka, who died as per his wish.
Skanda is the presiding lord of Mangala graha. Mangala denotes energy and also controls marital happenings. Skanda gives sharpness to the mind. Skanda is the wisdom personified. He is also called “Swaminatha”, meaning Guru of Shiva as he once gave Pranava (Aum) upadesha to Shiva himself. Typically the sixth tithi, called Shashti, and Tuesdays are associated with revered Skanda/Kumara/Senani.