Devasenā

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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Devasena, DevasenA, Devasenaa


Devasenā literally means ‘army of the gods’.

Devasenā and Daityasenā were the daughters of Dakṣaprajapati. Once they were abducted by a demon called Keśin and subsequently rescued by Indra.

Later, Saṇmukha or Subrahmaṇya (also known as Kārttikeya) led the army of the Devas against Padmāsura and Tārakāsura and killed them. This pleased Indra who then gave Devasenā in marriage to him. Bṛhaspati is said to have performed the religious rites of the marriage. According to this story, the well-known festival day, Skandaṣaṣṭhī or Subrahmaṇya ṣaṣṭhī memorializes this marriage.

Etymologically, the word also means ‘the army of the deva-s’. Since Saṇmukha led this army as its chief and so was called ‘Devasenāpati’ (pati = lord, master).

References

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore