Abhishekam is a ceremony of ablutions and symbolic offerings. The meaning of the word abhishekam, is 'to make one wet all around', so an abhishekam is the process of bathing the deity. It may be simple by just using water or elaborate when milk, curds, honey, ghee, sugar, coconut water, sandal paste, fruit juice to name a few in addition to water are poured in a steady stream over a murti, or divine figurine.. Mantras are chanted during this activity and the temple bell is sounded. The ablutions symbolize spiritual purification and each of the offerings represents fulfillment on every level. Throughout the abhishekam deity specific mantras are chanted to invoke blessings that uplift, protect and spiritually benefit us.
Legends: Sri Hanumanji is an incarnation of Lord Siva.
Brihaspati (the preceptor of the gods) had an attendant by the name of Punjikasthala who was cursed to assume the body of a female monkey. The curse was to be removed on her giving birth to an incarnation of Lord Siva. Accordingly, she was born as Anjana and, together with her husband Kesari (so named on account of his being as brave as a lion), lived a life of chastity and purity. She performed intense Tapasya (austerities) for a great many years, during which period she worshipped Lord Siva who being pleased with her granted her a boon. She asked that He (Lord Siva) be born to her so that she may be freed from the curse.
When Dasaratha, the king of Ayodhya was given the sacred payasa (pudding) by Agnideva to share among his wives so that they may have divine children (Ram, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna), by divine ordinance, a bird (kite) snatched a fragment of that pudding and, whilst flying over the forest, dropped it where Anjana was engaged in worship. Pavandev (the deity presiding over the wind) delivered that fragment of pudding to the outstretched hands of Anjana who immediately swallowed it. With that grace, she, in due course, gave birth to Hanumanji. Thus we find that Lord Siva incarnated as Hanumanji in the bodily form of a monkey through the grace and blessings of his god-father Pavandev, with Anjana and Kesari as his earthly parents.
Childhood: As soon as Hanumanji was born, Anjana was released from the curse and wished to return to Heaven. Hanumanji asked his mother what his future would be and how he was to earn his living. She assured him that he would never be destroyed, and said that fruits as ripe as the rising sun would form his food. Thinking that the glowing and glittering sun was food to be eaten by him, the baby Hanumanji being divine in nature, made just one leap for it. He was 1600 miles from the sun when Rahu, who was exclusively enabled to harass the sun (thus causing eclipses or obstacles to the sun) complained to Indra (king of the gods in heaven) of this new threat to his power. Indra struck Hanumanji with his thunderbolt, wounding his chin and causing him to fall down to earth.
The god-father Pavandev carried Hanumanji to Patala (the nether regions) and as he departed from the earth, all life was endangered. Brahma and all the other gods went to Patala and begged Pavandev to return. In order to appease him they conferred great boons on the baby Hanumanji. The blessings of all the gods made Hanumanji invincible and more powerful than any other being, divine or ordinary. Thus Hanumanji is an embodiment of the powers of all the gods and goddesses.
Education: Hanumanji mentally chose Surya (the Sun-god) as his preceptor. Therefore he approached Surya with the request to be taught the scriptures so that he may manifest spiritually in daily life. Surya agreed to have Hanumanji as his disciple but pointed out that it was not possible for him to stop his journey across the sky as that would cause chaos in the world. But Hanumanji was so mighty that he surprised all the gods by facing his Guru, who had to be constantly moving, thus (Hanumanji) traversing the sky backwards and at the same time concentrating fully on his lessons.
In this way Hanumanji enabled Surya to perform his duty and to impart knowledge at the same time. Within a short period of 60 hours, Hanumanji mastered all the scriptures. Surya considered the manner in which Hanumanji accomplished his studies as sufficient dakshina (tuition fees), but Hanumanji pressed him to accept more. Surya then asked Hanumanji to assist his son Sugriva, who was living in Kishkindha, by being his minister and constant companion.
In the Service of Sri Rama: Sri Hanumanji met Sri Rama whilst Sri Rama was in banishment. Sri Rama, together with his brother Lakshamana, was searching for his wife Sita. (Sita was abducted by the demon Ravana). Their search had taken them to the vicinity of the Pampa Lake situated at the base of the mountain Risyamukha. Sugriva (together with his ministers) was hiding in this region. Sugriva was being persecuted by his brother Bali. Sugriva was suspicious that Rama and Lakshmana might have been sent by Bali to kill him. Therefore, to ascertain whether they were friends or foes, Hanumanji approached them in the guise of a Brahmin. His first words to them were such that Sri Rama immediately said to Lakshmana: "None can speak thus without mastering the Vedas and their branches. Nor is there any defect in his countenance, eyes, forehead, brows, or any of his limbs. His accents are wonderful, auspicious and captivating. Even an enemy who has his sword uplifted is moved. Indeed, success awaits the monarch whose emissaries are so accomplished."
When Lord Rama revealed his identity, Hanumanji fell prostrate before Him and Lord Rama picked him up and clasped him to His bosom. Sri Rama reveals His identity as the son of Dasaratha and prince of Ayodhya, but Hanumanji perceives Him to be the Lord of the universe and prostrates.
Thereafter the story of Hanumanji is inextricably interwoven with that of Lord Rama, and is exhaustively dealt with in the Ramayana of Valmiki and the Ramacharitamanasa of Goswami Tulasidas.
To summarise in a few words: Hanumanji introduces Lord Rama to Sugriva; goes off in search of Sita; discovers and consoles Sita in Lanka; Burns the city of Lanka and kills many demons; brings together Vibhishana and Lord Rama; returns to Lanka with Lord Rama, and features very prominently in the battle that ensues between Lord Rama and Ravana; saves the life of Lakshmana by bringing the Sanjivani (life giving herb) from the Himalayas; and served Lord Rama for as long as He lived a human life on earth.
Service to the Pandavas: Hanumanji met Bhima in the forest and recognised him as his spiritual brother. (They were both born with the blessings of Pavandev). Hanumanji promised to aid the Pandavas in the battle of Kurukshetra. There Hanumanji positions himself on the flag of Arjuna’s chariot, thus stabilising and protecting it. Hanumanji’s flag signifies sense control and mind control that gives victory to the higher nature over the lower nature. Wherever the servant of Lord Rama is, there, victory is secured.
General: Hanumanji is said to be Chiranjivi (immortal) and is present in the world even today. He is the link between the devotees and God, for, as instructed by the Lord, he serves, protects and inspires the servants of God. Saints like Tulasidas had the darshan (divine vision) of the Lord through the grace of Hanumanji.
"Bajrangbali Ki Jai"
Kartikeya, represented sometimes with only one face, is generally known as having six faces; is yellow-skinned; rides on a peacock, the killer of serpents; holds in his right hand an arrow and in his left a bow. He is widely known as the god of war. Kartikeya has several names.
As he was breast-fed by sixKrittika deities, he is called "Kartikeya".
Since he has six faces, he is "Shanmukha".
Because of his omniscience, he is "Subramanya".
As he gathered a huge army to kill the demons, he is also called "Mahasena".
Since he captained the army of the gods in the fight with the Rakshasas, he was given the title of"Senani" or 'Commander'.
Since he was born out of the life-source that slipped (Skanna) from Shiva, he is named "Skanda".
With the peacock as his mode of transport, he is "Shikhivahana".
And he is always a young boy he is "Kumar". This term also means that he is one who kills evil persons. And he is more handsome than Manmatha, the God of Love.
He is worshipped as "Guha" too, since he protects his devotees from enemies.
He is also known as Agnibhoo, Tarakjeet and Shakti Dhuru.
In the Mahabharata and Ramayana epics this god is described as the son of Shiva or Rudra. Sometimes his motherhood is prescribed to Ganga(hence Gangaputra), and sometimes to goddess Parvati, the consort of Shiva. In some legends he is said to have born without the intervention of a woman through fire (hence the name Agnibhu). This god is depicted sitting around the Shiva-Linga together with Nandi, the mount of Shiva.
Legend: The story of his birth runs thus as given in Kumar Sambhava. Tormented by Taraka, the demon, all the gods under the leadership of Indra, went to the Creator to rid them off this monster. The Creator advised them that only the seed of Shiva could produce a fighter, who can defeat the demon. Shiva was then lost in deep meditation. The god of love, named Kama, was asked to break Shiva's penance. Kama Dev was highly flattered by all gods and he boasted that he could conquer the mind of Shiva within no time. He consulted his wife Rati, who reproved him for this temerity but consented to accompany her husband and help him in disturbing Shiva's meditation. They set off together with Vasanta (god of spring) to Himalayas. Kama Dev pulled an arrow and shot at Shiva. The great Lord, smitten thus, awoke from meditation and shouted who had dared to interrupt his meditation. Looking towards south he spotted Kama Dev. In anger Shiva opened his third eye in the center of his forehead and thus reduced Kama to ashes. Taking pity and responding to the pleas of his widow, Rati, Lord Shiva restored her husband but only as a mental image, representing true love and affection and not just physical lust. Hence the other name of Kama Dev is Ananga (the bodiless). Aroused thus from his penance Shiva accepted Parvati as his wife. Once Shiva's passions were aroused none could bear his seed's energy Agni alone could bear it by taking the seed into its mouth and thereafter transferring this seed to Ganga. The god Kartikeya so born is therefore called, Gang-Ja or Agni-Bhu. The child so conceived is also called Kumara forever young and chaste.