KarthikaiDipam
Siva as the Fiery Column
Celebrating the Supremacy of Siva
By Veeraswamy Krishnaraj
The festival was celebrated on Friday November 23, 2018.
Siva stood as the fiery Column on this day.

Brahma on the left and Vishnu on the right trying to find the top and the bottom of Siva as the fiery column.
Kārthikai Deepam is a festival of lights, observed by Hindus in Tamil Nadu in the month of Kārttikai (mid-November to mid-December).
On this day, the Moon (Pournami) is near Kārthigai (Constellation Pleiades), the foster mother of Kārttikeya, the god of war. The galaxy of six stars gives the appearance of a pendant from the ear.
                   
Kārttikeya had six foster mothers named the Pleiades. The Suras and the Asuras (gods and evil cousins) were at loggerheads over everything, esp. the distribution of Nectar of Immortality. The gods appealed to Siva, who assumed six faces, each with an eye in middle of the forehead. Six sparks flew from the central eyes, fell in a lake and became six infants, nursed by six mothers called the Pleiades. Parvati picked up the six infants and affectionately squeezed them (the bodies and not the heads) resulting in the fusion of all bodies into one with six heads. The other narrative is Kārttikeya’s parents were Agni and Gangā. Siva’s vital fluid fell in Agni and thence in the Ganges, who became pregnant, gave birth to a baby, and hid him among the bulrushes = Cyperus papyrus = கோரை) in the river bank. Pleiades (Kṛttikās) found the babies and raised them. Kārttikeya is his metronymic name, once the six bodies became one with six heads in place.

Kārttikeya and the Biblical Moses. The mothers hid them in the bulrushes by the bank of a river.
Digression is in order. The Biblical Moses. The Pharaoh had an order in place that all male Hebrew babies should be drowned in the Nile river. Mother of Moses placed her baby in an ark and hid the baby in the bulrushes of the Nile river bank. Pharaoh’s daughter saw the baby, rescued and raised him as an Egyptian.

On your left, the image shows six Kṛttikās, the foster mothers of Kārttikeya in a basket by the bulrushes in the banks of Ganges river. Kārttikeya  goes by many names: Skanda, Muruga, Subramanya, Guha, Kumāra, Mahāsena. He is depicted with one or six heads (Tamil

                                  

                             
Vishnu and Brahma each thought he was supreme. Siva was standing with the head in the firmament and feet in the depth of the world as a fiery column. Brahma’s Vāhaṉa was the swan. Vishnu assumed the form of a boar (Lord Boar or Varāham = பன்றி). Brahma went up flying on the swan, and Vishnu burrowed down to reach the bottom. Vishnu came to Siva saying he did not find the lower end of the fiery column. As Brahma rode the swan up to find the end of the fiery column, he met a Ketaki flower. Brahma asked the flower to bear a false witness saying he found the top end of the column. The flower (Thazhampu = தாழம்பூ) agreed, and both reported and lied to Siva. Siva knew the lie and immediately cursed the flower it would lose its status as the favorite flower. Brahma, Siva said, will never have a temple for worship. Appreciating the honesty of Vishnu, Siva said he would have many temples and was equal to him.

                                                        
Siva standing as a column of flame appeared on this day: Kārthikai Mahā Dīpam is seen on the mountain.
Notes from Exodus.
When God's servant Moses led his people out of Egypt, they were directed by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. It is interesting to note pillar of fire is another manifestation of fiery Lingam. Cloud and fire are the God's guiding elements. It appears that all the elements that Hindus consider as Brahman or God came to the rescue of Moses and his people. Clouds and fire served as guide; the waters parted as the wind blew and held the sea back as two walls to their left and right. When the wet mud clogged the chariots of the pursuing Egyptians, the Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon and discomfited the host of Egyptians.