The story of birth of Kartikeya and his crowning – Shiva Purana
In Chapter 1 to 6 of Kumara-Khanda (Rudra Samhita) of Shiva Purana, the story of birth and crowning of Kartikeya, son of Shiva & Parvati is narrated.
After marrying Parvati, Shiva went to a delightful brilliant, isolated place. Shiva indulged in dalliance with Parvati for a thousand years. Because of the dalliance of Shiva and Parvati, the earth quaked with the weight along with Sheṣa (the serpent) and Kacchapa (the tortoise). Then, Vishnu along with Brahma & gods went immediately to the mountain Kailasa and desired to see Shiva. Vishnu & other deities eulogised Shiva and asked to save them from Taraka, being harassed by him.
Birth of Kartikeya:
On hearing that, the great lord, an expert in Yogic theory, though free from lust, discharged the semen which fell on the ground. Agni became a dove and swallowed it with his beak which caused him burning sensation. Agni eulogised Shiva to get relieved from burning sensation. Hearing the words of Agni, Shiva the great lord spoke delightedly to Agni. Shiva said: --
“An improper action has been committed by you in swallowing my semen. Deposit carefully that semen in the womb of some good woman. You will become happy and particularly relieved of the burning sensation.” Then, Narada said: -
“O Agni, taking recourse to the following expedient you will be relieved of the burning sensation and be happy. You shall deposit this semen of Shiva in the bodies of the ladies who take their morning baths in the month of Magha.”
Meanwhile the wives of the seven celestial sages came there desirous of taking their early morning bath in the month of Magha with other observances of rites. After the bath, six of them were distressed by the chillness and were desirous of going near the flame of fire. Arundhati of good conduct and perfect knowledge saw them deluded and dissuaded them at the behest of Shiva. The six ladies stubbornly insisted on going there to ward off their chillness because they were deluded by Shiva’s magical art. Immediately the particles of the semen entered their bodies through the pores of hairs. The fire was relieved of their burning sensation. The women became pregnant and were distressed by the burning sensation. They went home. The wives of the sages cast off their semen in the form of a foetus at the top of Himalaya. They felt then relieved of their burning sensation. Unable to bear that semen of Shiva and trembling much, Himalaya became scorched by it and hurled it in the Ganga. The intolerable semen of lord Shiva was deposited by Ganga in the forest of Sara grass. The semen that fell was turned in a handsome good-featured boy, full of glory and splendour. He increased everyone’s pleasure. On the sixth day of the bright half of the lunar month of Margashirsha, the son of Shiva was born in the world. Out of joy, milk exuded from the breasts of Parvati. There was great jubilation everywhere.
The boyhood sports of Kartikeya
The powerful sage Visvamitra came and was delighted on seeing the unearthly splendour of that brilliant boy. He bowed him.
Shiva’s son said: --
“O great one of perfect wisdom, it is due to the will of Shiva that you have come here by chance. O dear, perform my purificatory rites in accordance with Vedic injunctions. From now onwards you remain my priest conferring your love on me.”
Vishvamitra said: --
“Listen, O dear, I am not a brahmin. I am a Kshatriya, son of Gadhi, famous as a servant of brahmins.”
Shiva’s son (Guha, Kartikeya) said: --
“O Vishvamitra, thanks to my favour, you now become a Brahminical sage. Vasishta and others will for ever regard you with respect. Hence, at my behest you shall perform my purificatory rites. Keep this as a great secret. You shall not mention it anywhere.”
Kartikeya was glad and conferred divine wisdom on the sage. Form that times onwards he became a great brahmin. Agni gave him a miraculous weapon, spear. Kartikeya took the spear and ascended the peak. He hit the peak with his spear and the peak fell. Ten thousand billion of heroic demons came there to attack him but were killed on being hit with the spear. There was great hue and cry.
The Earth, the mountains and the three worlds quaked. Indra the lord of gods came there. The four of great heroic strength including Skanda rushed to attack Indra. Afraid of Guha, Indra with all the gods went away to his region agitatedly. He did not know his secret. That boy remained there itself as fearless as before. Meanwhile the six ladies named Kṛttikas came there for bath, and they saw the lordly boy. All of them desired to take and fondle him. As a result, a dispute arose. To quell their mutual dispute, the boy assumed six faces and drank milk off their breasts. They were all satisfied. They took him to their region joyously. Feeding him with their breast milk they nursed and nurtured Śiva’s son who was more refulgent than the sun. Feeding him specially on the choicest delicacies day by day they brought up the boy prodigy. Once Kartikeya went to the celestial assembly and showed wonderful feats. The boy of wonderful miracles showed his rare splendour to the gods including Vishnu.
On seeing him, the gods and sages including Vishnu became surprised and asked the boy “Pray, who are you?” On hearing it he did not say anything in reply. He returned to his abode and remained concealed as before.
One day Parvati asked Shiva about her son. Shiva informed that the boy was taken by the Kṛttikas. “They are feeding him with their own breast milk they nurtured your son, as refulgent as the sun. Now, he is the son of the Kṛttikas in the forest. In their eagerness they named him Kartikeya lovingly.” On receiving the news of her son, Parvati was delighted. The lord sent his Gaṇas as his emissaries to the place where his son was staying. All the emissaries of Shiva went and haughtily encircled the abode of the Kṛttikas with various miraculous weapons in their hands. On seeing them the Kṛttikas were extremely terrified. They spoke to Kartikeya blazing with divine splendour. Kartikeya assured them to be out of fear.
In the meantime, Nandishvara the commander-in-chief informed Kartikeya:
“You are the son of Shiva, the annihilator of the universe. Shiva will be crowning you in the company of the gods. You will get miraculous weapons and will slay the demon, Taraka. You are brilliant enough to illuminate the universe.”
Kartikeya said: --
“I am fostered son of Krttikas. I am not severed from Parvati who is virtually my mother just as these ladies based on virtuous rites. You have been sent by Shiva. You are like a son unto Shiva. I am coming with you. I shall see the gods. After saying so and hurriedly taking leave of the Kṛttikas, Kartikeya started along with the attendants of Shiva.”
In the meantime, he saw an excellent, lustrous, and wonderful chariot, made by Viśvakarman. It was a commodious with a hundred wheels. It was beautiful and had the quickness of the mind. It had been sent by Parvati and was surrounded by the excellent attendants of Shiva. He got into the chariot along with them. Kumara reached the foot of a Nyagrodha tree at Kailash in the fast chariot along with Nandi seated to his right. Then all the gods, sages, Siddhas, Caraṇas, Vishnu and Brahma announced his arrival. Shiva, and Parvati highly delighted and jubilant came there and saw their son. On seeing his son, the great lord Shiva along with the great goddess Parvati was filled with pleasure and love.
The sages adored Kumara with the Vedic chants, the musicians by singing songs, and others by playing upon musical instruments. Then Shiva following the worldly convention delightedly placed Kartikeya on a beautiful gem set throne. Vishnu gave him a crown, a coronet and bracelets moulded and set in gems, his own necklace Vaijayanti and the discus. Shiva gave him the trident, the bow Pinaka, the axe, the arrow Pasupata, the weapon of destruction and the greatest lore. Brahma gave him the holy thread, the Vedas, the mantra Gayatri, the vessel Kamaṇḍalu, the arrow Brahmastra and the lore that destroys the enemy. Then Indra gave him a lordly elephant and a thunderbolt. The lord of the waters, Varuṇa, gave him a white umbrella and a necklace of gems to wear. The sun gave him a chariot as fast as the mind and a coat of mail with great equipments; Yama his own staff: the moon a vessel full of nectar. Agni lovingly gave him a spear; Nirṛti his own weapon and the wind his own weapon. Kubera gave him a mace; Shiva a spear; the gods different kinds of weapons and implements. The delighted lord of Kama gave him the weapon of love, a club, and his own lore with great pleasure. The ocean of milk gave him valuable gems and a splendid anklet set with gems. Himalaya gave him divine ornaments and garments. Garuḍa gave him his own son Citrabarhaṇa; Aruṇa a powerful cock Tamracuḍa. Parvati gave him power and prosperity smilingly and joyously. She gave him longevity too with great pleasure. Lakshmi gave him divine wealth and a great and beautiful necklace. Savitri gave him the entire Siddhavidya with joy. The other goddesses too who had come there gave him their respective presents. The Kṛttikas too did the same. There was great jubilation there. Everyone was delighted, especially Parvati and Shiva.
In modern world today also, Artificial Insemination is one way to give birth of a child.