Tarakasura, through his penance, got a boon from Lord Brahma that he can only die at the hands of the son of Lord Shiva. With this boon, Tarakasura became more powerful and he defeated the devas (divine beings) and wreaked havoc across the world.

READ: The Warrior God, Lord Murugan & His Battles

Feeling compassion for the predicament of the devas who were forced to live as slaves to the asuras (demons), Lord Shiva resolved to create an all-powerful deity who would not only defeat and destroy evil but who would become a universal teacher of the highest knowledge.

Lord Shiva meditated and ejected sparks of divine fire from His third eye (representing the element of ether, or akasha). The fire God, Agni, (representing the element of fire) and the wind God Vayu (element of wind or air) carried them and dropped them into the sacred River the Ganges, who is no other than the Divine Mother in the form of flowing water (element of water).

Mother Ganga carried these divine rays to Lake Saravana, where lotus flowers sprang from the mud and thus the lake represents the element of earth. The rays were then transformed into six baby boys lying on lotus flowers. Then Goddess Parvati, consort of Shiva, gathered the babies into her arms and they became one beautiful child with six heads.

When the five elements governed by Lord Shiva (Pancha Bhootham which means five natural elements – Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether) united with Shakti (Pure Consciousness), Lord Murugan was born.
Shiva is called Panchaanana – Lord with five heads. These five heads represent the five elements in nature. When these five elements united with the sixth: Chaitanya Shakti (Pure Consciousness), they gave birth to the Shadaanana (the six-headed), also called Lord Murugan. You can understand this in terms of the Kundalini Shakti (the primordial, dormant yet potent energy said to be present in a coiled form at the base of the spine).

We have seven chakras (energy centers) within us. When the energy surges through the six chakras and stabilizes at the sixth chakra – the Ajna chakra (present in the middle of the eyebrows), it blossoms as Lord Murugan (symbolism of the Guru Tattva-Principle). The Ajna chakra is the place of the Guru Tattva. It is where the Guru Tattva blossoms and manifests itself.
You can think of Lord Murugan as a symbol of the Kundalini Shakti.

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Also, in Tirumurugatruppadai (A classic book of the Sangam Age), Nakkirar describes the following of Lord Murugan’s six faces:

1) The first face of Murugan removes ignorance and spiritual darkness engulfing the world
2) The second face of Murugan grants boons on devotees who follow dharma LEARN: How to Receive Lord Murugan’s Blessings?
3) The third face protects and watches the pujas and offerings of devotees and blesses those devotees offering it with a pure mind
4) The fourth face of Murugan helps those in search of self-realization and helps those investigating the truth of Pranavam or Om WHY: Lord Murugan, God of Tamil!
5) The fifth face annihilates those who practice Adharma
6) The sixth face of Murugan glances with love towards the face of his wife Valli representing Ichha Sakthi (willpower of an individual's consciousness and the driving force for life)

FIND: How Did Murugan And Valli First Meet?

Source: Speaking Tree, Kaumaram, Sri Sri Ravishankar
Photo Credit: Quora, Pinterest & Murugan