HYMN TO KARTHIKEYA KAND STOTRAM
The following stotra on skanda is from rudra yaamala,an important work on tantra. It isshort but also remarkably powerful. The stotra is credited with developing the praGYaa(intelligence) and has been given by skanda himself. praGYaavivardhana ( increasing praGYaa) mantras are very important in the vedas and other later litrature like the tantras. Why is the development of praGYaa given such importance? The answer is given in the vedas itself. In the trisuparNa mantra in the mahaanaaraayaNa upanishadh the follwing mantras occur:
It should however be noted that the intelligence or medhaa which is referred to here is not the mundane intelligence which we refer to in our daily lives. This medhaa refers to thedevelopment of the buddhi such that the truth can be clearly seen. Shri ramaNa maharshigives an analogy to illustrate how the pure and clear buddhi perceives brahman. Brahman ishidden from the view of the unclear buddhi like dense clouds hiding the sun. The clearbuddhi which has been obtained by intense saadhana, see brahman like a person seeing the sunthrough a thin mist. Thus the jiivanmukta, is different from a person without a clearbuddhi.
Hence, development of buddhi is given prime importance in our tradition. The most famousexamples is the gaayatri mantra, which is chanted during the daily sandhyaavandanam. Another one is the nitya karma for brahmachaarisna upanishad itself, the mantra invoking indra(yashchhandasaam etc) and the medhaa suuktam (addressed to sarasvati and others). There are,of course many more such mantras the vedas.
However, the recitation of these mantras requires learning them from a guru and many of us are unable to get such an opportunity, especially in chanted by one and all, with noexception. In tamizh tradition, skanda or murugan as he is called, is considered the very embodiment of all good and it is held that he is eagar to bestow GYaanaa to one and all. Thus, true totradition, at the end of the stotram he says that anyone changing his 28 names, even if he is unable to speak will become accomplishment in speech, like brihaspati. the person who considers this as mahaa mantra and chants them will attain mahaa praGYaa (great intelligence).
The sixteen names are not explained since they are easily understood. some of the names refer to some legend associated with skanda.
Skand Said: The person who reads my 28 names told here with concentration, in the morning obtains equal status with brihaspati in speech, even if he cannot speak. Further, the person who reads my names maha mantras obtains great intelligence. There is no doubt about this.