Long ago, when Indra oppressed by Táraka was desirous or obtaining a son from Śiva to act as general of the gods, and the god of love had been consumed, Gaurí by performing austerities sought and gained as a husband the three-eyed god, who was engaged in a very long and terrible course of mortification. Then she desired the obtaining of a
So Brahmá called him Kandarpa, and said to him, ‘Since thou art very confident, my son, avoid attacking Śiva only, lest thou receive death from him.’ Though the Creator gave him this warning, the ill-disposed god came to trouble my austerities, therefore he was burnt up by me, and he cannot be created again with his body. But I will create by my power a son from you, for I do not require the might of love in order to have offspring as mortals do.”
While the god, whose ensign is a bull
There the gods found him, concealed in the trunk of a tree, in the form of a snail, for he was betrayed by the elephants and parrots, and he appeared to them. And after making by a curse the tongues of the parrots and the elephants incapable of clear utterance, he promised to do what the gods requested, having been praised by them. So he went to Śiva, and after inclining humbly before him, through fear of being cursed, he informed him of the commission the gods had given him. Śiva thereupon deposited the embryo in the fire. Then the goddess distracted with anger and grief, said, “I have not obtained a son from you after all,” and Śiva said to her; “An obstacle has arisen in this matter, because you neglected to worship Gaṇeśa, the lord of obstacles; therefore adore him now in order that a child may be born to us of the fire.”
When thus addressed by Śiva, the goddess worshipped Gaṇeśa, and the fire became pregnant with that germ of Śiva.
Then, bearing that embryo of Śiva, the fire shone even in the day as if the sun had entered into it. And then it discharged into the Ganges the germ difficult to bear, and the Ganges, by the order of Śiva, placed it in a sacrificial cavity on mount Meru. There that germ was watched by the Gaṇas, Śiva’s attendants, and after a thousand years had developed it, it became a boy with six faces. Then, drinking milk with his six mouths from the breasts of the six Kṛittikás appointed by Gaurí to nurse him, the boy grew big in a few days.
In the meanwhile, the king of the gods, overcome by the Asura Táraka, fled to the difficult peaks of mount Meru, abandoning the field of battle. And the gods together with the Ṛishis went to the six-mouthed Kártikeya for protection, and he, defending the gods, remained surrounded by them. When Indra heard that, he was troubled, considering that his kingdom was taken from him, and being jealous he went and made war upon Kártikeya. But ]from the body of Kártikeya, when struck by the thunderbolt of Indra, there sprang two sons called Śákha and Viśákha, both of incomparable might. Then Śiva came to his offspring Kártikeya, who exceeded Indra in might, and forbade him and his two sons to fight, and rebuked him in the following words:
“Thou wast born in order that thou mightest slay Táraka and protect the realm of Indra, therefore do
Then Indra was delighted and immediately bowed before