Hindu Gods and Goddesses

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ganesha and Kartikeya's Big Race (initial draft of a chapter for upcoming book)

Ganesha and Skanda's Race Around the World

One day as two of God's Sons were engaged in blissful play on Mount Kailash, and their Father Shiva suggested they have a race to settle a dispute over who might partake of the nectar of immortality. Not just a race to yonder mountain, nor merely a contest of normal childish proportions. These two of God's Sons determined to engage in a race around the whole world.

Kartikeya set out with all due haste with hopes of victory. More concrete minded in many respects than His Brother, Skanda set out to the west, across the sea to the southern part of Africa. Their he met the Zulu's and they recognized His Divinity by His radiant aura. They bowed themselves to the ground before this god who had come to them from the waters. Due to the passage of time and differences in pronunciation, the Zulu people now know Kartikeya as Unkulunkulu, and tout His birth in a bed of reeds by Umvelinqangi as their greatest day of celebration, the anniversary of the birth of their God. Kartikeya was born in a bed of reeds when His Father Shiva, full of all the male potency of the Universe, ejaculated whilst on the banks of the Ganges, and His seed floated into a bed of reeds whence Kartikeya was born.

In the meantime, Kartikeya's brother Ganesha sat pensively pondering His strategy. Skanda was fast, faster than Ganesha. One of Ganesha's names, Lambodara, betrayed His weekness, an enourmous belly!! In a fair fight, Ganesha could easily defeat his Brother, as none other than Their own Father Shiva had ever defeated Ganesha in single combat, but Ganesha was rather a heavy set boy and not the swiftest on His feet. Ganesha gladly received a meal from His Mother Parvati, and enjoyed the rice and lentil dal and reita that His Mother provided Her Big Boy as He pondered His strategy.

Kartikeya continued on His path, apparently north across the expanse of Africa. The young Skanda met and befriended many peoples along the way, and taught the tribes and civilizations along the way skills and technologies that transformed their lives mostly for the better. Skanda was born a warrior, and a leader of legions, and the peoples He encountered that embraced Him the most were often warrior peoples. It is likely due to their devotion to Unkulunkulu (Kartikeya) that the Zulus defeated the British in the battle of Isandlwana, the last major defeat of an army with modern armaments by people with “primitive” weapons. In the north of Europe, an entire nation was named after Skanda, as the ancient peoples there, precursors and likely ancestors to the Vikings, grew enamored of His teachings and the blessings in battle He did likely bestow upon Him, and thus still today this land is known as Scandinavia.  It may be that Alexander the Great had something to do with Skanda's meandering journey, as Alexander is "Iskandar" in many tongues, and thus telling that Alexander did get turned back when invading India.

Ganesha thought again of the race, and wondered if there was any possible means to yet defeat His Brother in the grand race. His Mother and Father were seated nearbye, relishing eachother's company and their conversation sounded like sweet song, more moving than any love ballad ever sung. Ganesha turned away shyly as His Mother leaned to lay a kiss upon He Beloved Husband Shiva's lips. Suddenly it came to Him, His Mother and Father, Parvati and Shiva, were in fact the whole world. Ganesha had no need to travel the whole of the globe in order to win this race! All He had need to so was run a leisurely circle around His Parents, and the race would be won. Ganesha missed His Brother, as Kartikeya was His best friend and favorite playmate, but He still wanted to win this contest. He stood, and then paced a circle around Parvati and Shiva, and thus won the “race around the world” whilst His Brother Kartikeya was still out on His path around the globe.

Kartikeya, also known as Skanda, had made His way across the Atlantic Ocean and had met many peoples who seemed very familiar. Kartikeya was surprised to discover that the peoples of these lands spoke in a tongue which shared many words with the people of His homeland. He taught many things to the peoples of the Americas, as these lands later came to be known. Kartikeya became known as Quetzalcoatl and Kulkulkan and many other names as He imparted teachings to the tribes He encountered. Whether or not Kartikeya would win the race around the world, whether or not He would defeat His Brother was becoming irrelevant, as Kartikeya had experienced so much beauty, both in the peoples and places he encountered along the way, vast deserts and wondrous jungles and grand mountains Skanda had explored.

By the time Kartikeya had reached the Americas He had fully grown into manhood, and wore a thick beard, an unusual feature to the beardless peoples he met amongst those later called American Indians. Thus it is Kulkulcan and Quetzalcoatl are depicted as bearded amongst the beardless...Kartikeya who'd came from across the sea, and indeed from across two oceans, the Indian and the Atlantic. Quetzalcoatl is associated with the “One Reed” cycle, according to the Aztec calendar, again alluding to Kartikeya's birth in a bed of reeds. An analogous deity to Quetzalcoatl in the America's is a god with the very Sanskrit sounding name Viracocha, rather phonetically nigh two of Kartikeya's names, Virasutaya (Eminent art Thou in the Universe) and Viraghnaya (Vanquisher of heroic opponents).  Another interpretation proffered has been that Viracocha is Vaman, the dwarf avatar of Vishnu, as Waman asked King Bali to move his kingdom and peoples to Patala, the "Underworld," upon His reallocation of the globe.  (https://www.booksfact.com/religions/machu-picchu-saksaywaman-vamana-temples-cusco-peru.html)

Below are depictions of Kartikeya and His vehicle, a peacock, and Quetzalcoatl, 
the Feathered Serpent, respectively. 

There might be some question as to the order of Kartikeya's journey, as the first depictions of Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent, are amongst the Olmecs, who many posit traveled to the Americas from Africa, and thus it might be Kartikeya spent time in northern Europe to inspire the appelation “Scandinavia” before He went to abide amongst the Zulus.

In the Pacific, Skanda appeared in a great ship when the Tihitians were battling the Hawaiians. He is touted in the Polynesian myth to have walked across the water to shore, and was received as god Rongo. Rongo taught peace to the Maori, healed people and discouraged them from sacrificing humans to Him, and offered them knowledge of the Kumara (sweet potato) as a substitute for the rampant cannibalism that had been a common practice. Kumara is one of Skanda's names as He is known in India.

When and how Kartikeya finished this race to finally arrive at Mount Kailash, this writer has yet to determine. It does seem likely, if not certain, that this grand “race around the world” may in fact describe the movements of peoples, metaphorically, though it is my belief that Kartikeya, His Brothers Ganesha and Ayyappa (who most Westerners know as Jesus Christ, by the way), their Sisters and Parents Shiva and Parvati (and in Ayyappa's case, Mohini/Vishnu), and the other Devas and Devis are real beings who sometimes manifest amongst the peoples of this world, living in real human history and often as those who make history.


Dedicated to my son, birth name Kieran Drew Archer . . . and to Ganesha . . .