Rāmāyana | Bala Kaṇḍa | Chapter 37

Sargam [Chapter]: 37
Kārtikeya’s Birth

[Devas who needed a commander to their army approached Brahma and he asked them to make the seed of Shiva which was with fire God to be placed in the wombs of Ganga. Since she was not able to tolerate his heat, he was slid down on the rivers and for suckling him the Krittikā maidens are appointed. He develops six faces to drink milk from six maidens. He grows up in a day and is anointed as their commander by devas.]

"Seeing the great God entering penance, Indra, keeping the fire god in front of him went to Lord Brahma, with a request for a commander of his army." 37.1

"Then those devas along with Indra, led by the fire God, saluted lord Brahma and started telling Lord Brahma." 37.2

"Oh God, this is the commander who was given to us by the God long back. But Lord Shiva along with Uma have entered into deep penance." 37.3

"Since we are interested in actions to be taken for welfare of the world, you are our only ultimate recourse." 37.4

"After hearing the words of devas, that grandfather of all the worlds, consoled the people of three worlds using sweet words and told the following." 37.5

"The words of the daughter of the Mountain that you would not have children with your wives is true and cannot be questioned." 37.6

"The fire god can make his son, who is the killer of enemies, born with the help of Ganga of the sky and he could become the commander in chief of devas." 37.7

"The elder daughter of the King of the Mountains will welcome his son and without any doubt her action would please Uma in many ways." 37.8

"Oh son of the Raghu clan, hearing those words, devas became happy and saluted Lord Brahma and worshipped him." 37.9

"Oh Rāma, then they went to Kailāśa, which was full of minerals and they deputed the fire God, so that he can get the son." 37.10

"Oh greatly resplendent fire God, this is the requirement of devas and so you make the shining seed to be born in the elder daughter of the king of the Mountains called Ganga." 37.11

After assuring devas, that fire God approached Ganga and said to her, "please bear the seed of Lord Shiva as this is liked by devas." 37.12

"Ganga on hearing these words took a divinely resplendent form and seeing her greatness the fire God entered in to her." 37.13

"Oh son of Raghu clan, then he drenched that Goddess fully with the seed of Lord Shiva and the river and all its tributaries were drenched with that seed." 37.14

Then the Ganga spoke the following to devas, who were led by the fire God, "Oh God, I am incapable of tolerating you within me and the power of the seed given by the fire God is burning me." 37.15

"Then the fire God along with devas told Ganga, "please leave that pregnancy of yours by the side of this snow Mountain." 37.16

"Oh Charming prince, hearing the words of fire God, Ganga ejected out the greatly shining seed from it and its tributaries." 37.17

"When that was ejected from her, it shined like molten gold, and when it reached the earth it shined like the gold of matchless shine." 37.18

"In that process of combustion of the seed of Shiva in the fire, copper and iron were also generated; the residues became tin and lead; thus that seed when it reached the earth lead to the evolution of many elements." 37.19-37.20

"As soon as the seed was laid on Himalayas, a forest of reeds generated on the Mountain and it became golden in colour." 37.21

"Oh Rāma, from that time it became famous with the name of "Jatha Roopa" and it shined like gold and the fire God. The plants, trees and climbers all became golden in colour." 37.22

"Then a boy was born from that seed, Indra as well as Marut Gaṇas arranged the Krittikā maidens to suckle and nourish that boy." 37.23

"At the proper time, when they gave milk to the boy, Krittikā maidens decided among themselves that he would be their son." 37.24

"Then all devas started calling him as Kārtikeya and said that he would become well known in all the three worlds without any doubt." 37.25

"Hearing the words of devas, they gave a bath to the greatly radiant boy, who shined like fire who slid out of the womb of Ganga." 37.26

"Then devas called him Skanda as he slid out of the womb. Oh son of the Kākutstha clan, that Kārtikeya who was a greatly valorous shined like fire." 37.27

"Then from the breasts of the Krittikā Stars milk was produced and since they were six in number, he developed six faces to drink milk from all of them together." 37.28

"Just by drinking milk for one day, he became a very pretty lad and by his own innate strength he won over the Rākṣasa army." 37.29

"All devas, led by the fire God, came together and anointed him, who had great lustre, as the commander in chief of devas." 37.30

"Oh Rāma, now I have told you in great detail the story of Ganga and also told you about the birth of the divine and honoured lad." 37.31

"Oh Rāma, the devotees among human beings of earth, of this Kārtikeya, would live long, have sons and grandsons and in the end would go to the world of Skanda."

This is the end of Thirty Seventh Sarga of Bala Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.