By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Balasubrahmanya, BAlasubrahmaNya, Baalasubrahmanya
Subrahmaṇya is also known by several other names such as
Subrahmaṇya is a very popular deity in South India, especially in Tamil Nadu. He is the son of Śiva and Pārvatī. He is the elder brother of Gaṇeśa. Many heroic exploits are attributed to him including the leading of the armies of the gods and killing the formidable demon Tārakāsura.
Most of these were accomplished when he was still a ‘bāla’ or boy. Hence he is more often represented as ‘Bāla-Subrahmaṇya’. Iconographical works describes him as red in color, with only two hands, holding a lotus in the right and keeping the left on the waist.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore