kārtikeyaḥ कार्तिकेयः

Definition: कार्तिकेयः [कृत्तिकानामपत्यं ढक्] Name of Skanda (so called because he was reared by the six Kṛittikās). [Kārtikeya is the Mars or the god of war of the Indian mythology. He is the son of Śiva (but born without the direct intervention of a woman). Most of his epithets have reference to the circumstances of his birth. Śiva cast his seed into Agni (who had gone to the god in the form of a dove, while he was enjoying Pārvatī's company), who being unable to bear it cast it into the Ganges; (hence Skanda is called Agnibhū, Gaṅgāputra). It was then transferred to the six Kṛittikās (when they went to bathe in the Ganges), each of whom therefore conceived and brought forth a son. But these six sons were afterwards mysteriously combined into one of extraordinary form with six heads and twelve hands and eyes, (hence he is called Kārtikeya, Ṣadānana, Ṣaṇmukha &c.). According to another account the seed of Śiva was cast by the Ganges into a thickest of reeds (Śara); whence the boy was called Śaravaṇabhava, or Śarajanman. He is said to have pierced the mountain Krauñcha, whence his name Krauñchadāraṇa. He was the commander of the army of the gods in their war with Tāraka, a powerful demon (q. v.) whom he vanquished and slew; and hence his names Senānī and Tārakajit. He is represented as riding a peacock.] -Comp. -प्रसूः f. Pārvatī, mother of Kārtikeya.

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