Notes on Maṅgala

Maṅgala was born in the Earth’s womb, and as the earth represents both the human Collective and the Self, one can relate the birth of Maṅgala to the power that burns within a person. This power, our Agni, our fire and inner source of energy, also lies in the core of the earth.

I, and most others, most often associate Maṅgala with strength, anger, warring, and intensity, but there is a much deeper side to this aspect of ourselves. While Sūrya is an outward emitter of the Self, Maṅgala is an outward engager, a warrior, handler, or outward emitter of inner strength burning within the Self. This strength cannot be encaged and must wander, explore, afflict, engage, and/or pioneer in the world to be satisfied. It is through whatever avenue that one’s Maṅgala is allowed to exert its own energy that defines the Maṅgala within ourselves. We all have this, however subdued or released, in whatever method it may be. This release of inner strength connects with the muscle and [how can we connect this with the bones?]. For strength to release, the tools of the muscles must be formed. For those muscles to leverage they need bones.

He is also referred to as Angaraka because he glows like red-hot coals.

Birth of Managala

Managala was born near Ujjayini, on the banks of the Kshipra river. Shiva is the father of Maṅgala. Shiva, being the embodiment of cosmic consciousness, was Daksha’s son-in-law. Daksha wasn’t very fond of Shiva. (Remember, Daksha was also the one who cursed Candra.) Daksha’s daughter, Sati, was (one of) Shiva’s wives, and when she attended a ceremony with her father (Shiva was not invited) he both ignored her and insulted Shiva’s lack of politeness. Sati got so ticked off at her father’s behavior (after all, her husband was the Supreme Being of the universe) that she relinquished her body in order to release herself from her attachment to her arrogant father. She destroyed her body by incinerarting her innards with her intense internal fire. (Only after being reborn as Parvati and performing serious penance was she able to reunite with Shiva.) When Shiva felt Sati’s will diminish from her incarnated body he was paralyzed, then, as his fury quickly rose from within, it reached a point at which a drop of his sweat fell from his forehead (inhabited by Chandra). So, by Candra’s facility [emotion] that Shiva was able to release the fiery bead of sweat that led to Daksha’s destruction. It was from this bead of sweat that Virabhadra (auspicious hero) was born. He scorched the earth, the underworlds, and the seas. He appeared as a flaming fire with many points of reach and visibility. Shiva then commanded him to destroy Daksha. With his army of spirits, Virabhadra terrorized the ceremony’s attendees, destroyed the sacrifice, and then beheaded Daksha (despite Rishi Bhrigu’s attempt to protect him).

Maṅgala, truly, represents the resulting effects or release of one’s inner fire/power. It was by Shiva’s anger-inspired tear, which became the aspect of Maṅgala known as Virabhadra, that Sati’s (Parvati’s) father was deatroyed. It was because of Shiva’s own inner Agni that he broke concentration during intercourse with Sati’s later incarnarion of Parvati, impregnating her with the seed of Karttikeya, the deva truly representative of the planet Maṅgala.

Not involving Shiva, some say that Kṛttikeya was born directly from Agni out of infatuation for the Kṛttikās. These Kṛttikās, or bears, form the nakshatra of Kṛttikā, helped raise Budha. [Association of bears of Kṛttikā/infatuation with the rational mind?]

Agni & Swaha

Swaha insinuates release, right, so what Swaha did to the rishi’s wives was simply to drop their inhibitions, to help them let go. Not desire… Agni was the penetrative, fire-spreading force that represented desire in the story.


With every graha or graha couple comes a set of dualities, and Maṅgala is no exception. His character can be expressed in two polar opposite ways. [More to come…]

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