In Hindu mythology, every God has a weapon or an item that has great symbolic and metaphorical reference. For instance, Lord Shiva is seen with a ‘Damru’ that signifies infinity. He is also seen with the ‘Trishul’, that stands for the three Gunas prescribed in the Dharma.
We are going to talk about the weapon of Lord Karthikeya, the ‘Vel weapon‘, and the story behind it.
Origin of the Vel Weapon: Behind story
The ‘Vel’ is the weapon used by the South Indian war God-Lord Karthikeyan – the second son of Shiva and Parvati. It is known to be a weapon that was handed over to Karthikeya by Parvati. According to the story behind the Vel, the weapon is supposed to have been bestowed with the ‘Shakthi’. Some stories state that the Vel is Parvati herself.
The legend says that Parvati accompanied her son to the war against the Asuras Surapadman. Surapadman was creating havoc with his boon of immortality provided by Shiva himself.
During the war, Surapadman transformed himself into a mango tree, and the Vel split him into halves. One-half became a Rooster, and the other half became a Peacock, which became the mount (vahana) of the Lord Karthikeya.
Importance of Vel Weapon in Indian mythology
Historically, the Vel has been the weapon used by the Tamils during warfare.
The war cries “Vetri Vel” “Veera Vel” which means “Victorious Vel” and “Brave Vel” in Tamilian. Vel, in English, also means “to win” or “to conquer”. This suitably signifies the actual meaning of this weapon.
Worshippers of Lord Karthikeya give immense importance to the Vel. The evidence can be seen in the homes of many of his worshippers.
They believe that the Vel is powerful to kill all harmful forces. Due to the presence of certain powerful elements in its constitution, the Vel is regarded as one of the most powerful weapons in the context of Indian Mythology.
The popularity of Vel amongst the devotees of Lord Karthikeya:
The Vel is made up of 5 metals being silver, gold, lead, copper, and iron. These five elements can absorb all negativity, bringing positive vibes into the house. This is one of the main reasons why it is prevalent in many South Indian homes, especially the ones of ardent Karthikeya devotees.
The appearance of Lord Karthikeyan’s weapon is as interesting as the story behind the Vel. The appearance of the Vel, as we can see it, has a broad shape that becomes pointed at the tip. It signifies the depth of knowledge and our broadness of thought. The pointed tip means how sharply and skilfully we should use our knowledge.
It is important to understand that in the Vedas, the way the Hindu gods are projected is not just done out of imagination. But, there are appearances, features, and characteristics with a metaphorical significance that we should grasp. This is what makes any religion for that matter of fact, rational.
Religion was a way to keep people morally upright and have a disciplined way of doing routine work. But since all could not understand these explanations, the outer surface of it was taught and preached.
Thus, in a way, they were made to follow the rituals without going deep into the explanation part. Now that we have a clearer understanding of what is done and why it is done, we should also understand the cultural significance behind these rituals.