Kartikeya or Skanda was born after some days. The boys shone with the radiance of a thousand suns and had six (shada) faces (anana). He was therefore also known as Shadanana. The gods armed Kartikeya with diverse weapons and appointed him their general. They requested him to kill the demon Taraka and arrangements were made for the battle. When Taraka saw Kartikeya he said, ―What is a boy like you doing in a battlefield? Go and play with a ball instead.‖

A battlefield is not the place for idle talk,‖ replied Kartikeya. ―Show me your prowess instead.‖ At these words, Taraka flung a club at Kartikeya. But Kartikeya easily repelled the club with a vajra. The demon next hurled an axe, but Kartikeya effortless caught the axe in his hand. He then struck the demon with a club of his own. This angered Taraka so much that the demon showered all sorts of weapons on Kartikeya. But the boy repelled all of these and started to kill demons with his own weapons. Many demons fled in dismay. As for Taraka himself, Kartikeya‘s spear pierced him in the chest and killed him. Thus it was that Brahma‘s boon became true.

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