Vel (spear) of Murugan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Vel (Tamil: வேல்) is the divine javelin (spear) of the Hindu deity Murugan.
The spear used by ancient Tamils in warfare is also commonly known by this name.

In the Hindu History, Goddess Parvati presented the Vel to Murugan (Her son) as an emobodiment of Her shakti or power in order to vanquish the evil asura Soorapadman.
According to the Skanda Purana and its Tamil version, Kanda Puranam, in the war between Murugan and Soorapadman, Murugan used His Vel to defeat all the evil forces of Soorapadman. When a complete defeat for Soorapadman was imminent, the asura transformed himself in to a huge mango tree to evade detection by Murugan. Murugan, too keen for the deception, hurled his Vel and split the mango tree in to two halves, one becoming Seval (a rooster) and the other Mayil (a peacock). Murugan, henceforth, had the peacock as His vahanam and the rooster became the emblem on His battle flag. The Vel became the symbol of valour, and of the triumph of good over evil.

Stone vel from the Sangam period, Saluvankuppam near Mahabalipuram

The Vel, as a symbol of Murugan's divinity, is an object of worship in some of the temples of Murugan. The annual Thaipusam festival celebrates the occasion when Murugan received the divine Vel from his mother. During this festival, some of the devotees pierce their skin, tongue or cheeks with vel skewers while they undertake a procession towards the Murugan temple.

Reference and courtesy ----

To the right in the grove is an old altar, holy lingam-like stones, surrounded by Trischuls (Siva’s trident) and spears (Murugan’s spear, Vel).