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History : Shiva's other son besides Ganesh is Kartikeya, also known as Kumara, Skanda, Subramanya, Shanmukha or Murugan (used in Tamil Nadu). As Subramanya, he has two consorts, Valli and Deivanai, who embody Jnana Shakti, the power of knowledge and Kriya Shakti, the power of action. As Kartikeya he is designated the deity of war, guarding right and destroying evil. As Shanmukha, the six-headed, he teaches that we have five senses and the mind, and only when all six are in harmony is there spiritual growth. His vehicle is the peacock who struts around admiring his own beauty. Murugan keeps the peacock around to remind us not to let pride and egotism get the better of us. In his hand he holds the vel, a sharp spear. He uses the vel to guard the spiritual progress of the world.
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