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KARTIKEYA, in Hindu mythology, the god of war. Of his birth there are various legends. One relates that he had no mother but was produced by Siva alone, and was suckled by six nymphs of the Ganges, being miraculously endowed with six faces that he might simultaneously obtain nourishment from each. Another story is that six babes, miraculously conceived, were born of the six nymphs, and that Parvati, the wife of Siva, in her great affection for them, embraced the infants so closely that they became one, but preserved six faces, twelve arms, feet, eyes, etc. Kartikeya became the victor of giants and the leader of the armies of the gods. He is represented as riding a peacock. In southern India he is known as Subramanya.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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