Kartikeya (also called Muruga, Skanda, Subrahmanya) is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. He is mostly worshiped in the southern part of India. He is also the commander-in-chief of the army of the devatas.He is also the God of war. He is mentioned in various puranas and known for defeating the demon Taraka. His mount is said to be a peacock. Generally deities have image of their mount(vaahan) on their flags. For example - Lord Vishnu is called as Garudadhwaja because he has Garuda on his flag. But Lord Kartikeya has a rooster on it.

Kartikeya with rooster flag and vel in his hands

My questions :

  • What is the story of emergence of Peacock and cock?

  • Why does Skanda have a rooster on the flag instead of a peacock?

  • What is the significance and symbolism of these birds and the rooster flag?

1 Answer 1


Story of Skanda acquiring peacock and cock and flag with rooster is described in Chapter 10 Section 3 Upoghaatapaada of Brahmanda Purana.

Lord Vishnu gave Skanda Peacock and cock to play (as a part of daily sports) and Vayudeva gave Him a flag with emblem of cock.

  1. Since that ancient lord, the slayer of the Asuras, was (breast-fed and) nurtured by Krttikäs he became well known as Kärttikeya.
  2. When that enemy of the Daityas yawned, his (weapon) Sakti (Spear) (named) Aparäjitä (unvanquished) came out of his mouth emitting brilliant flames of fire.

46-47. Two very gentle birds, a peacock and a cock were handed over through Garuda, for Skanda to play, by Vishnu the powerful one; a banner (with cock as the emblem) was given by Väyu (wind-god) and a great Vinä of loud sound was presented by Sarasvati.

48-50. A goat was given by the self-born lord ( Brahmä) and a sheep was given by Sambhu. O Brähmana, the mountain Krauncha sporting about by means of illusive power was felled by him. Täraka the excellent Asura was pierced through and thrown down by him. So the lordly son of the fire-god, the valorous enemy of the Daityas, was crowned as commander in-chief by the Devas along with Indra and Upendra (i.e. Vishnu).

I don't know any scriptures mentioning symbolism or significance and will update when i find them.

  • 5
    Friend in South it is said in all places that during battle with soorapadman and Lord Muruga, Soorapadman vanished from battle field and became a tree and last Lord Muruga used his Vel and split the tree into two halves One is Rooster and other is Peacock and Later the peacock became his vahana and rooster became his flag.
    – Sakthi
    Commented Jul 8, 2017 at 11:10

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