Siva cast his spiritual energies into a fire. But Agni, the fire god, could not bear its radiance for long. He cast it into river Ganga, causing its cool waters to boil. The terrible heat thus generated, set fire to the reeds on the river banks. In great blaze, Siva’s energy transformed into a child, a boy with six beads and twelve arms.
When the fire died out, six wondering nymphs called the Kritikkas, found the baby. They nursed him and took him to Siva. The sight of this extraordinary child filled the god with awe. He was given many names: Skanda, the energetic emission; Gangeya, the son of Ganga: and Kartik, the son of the Krittika maidens. Siva gave him a powerful lance, vel, as a weapon: a rooster for his insignia: and a peacock for his vehicle, his vahana.