The legend of Soorasamharam

Today, the 8th of November, 2013, is celebrated as Soorasamharam, which is known as the day Lord Muruga defeated Soorapadman, the demon. The story behind this epic battle is as follows.



According to the Skanda Puranam, Simhamukha and Tarakasura, two demons under Soorapadman’s guidance, wreaked havoc on all three worlds. While all the Gods rushed to Lord Indra for help, Lord Indra told them that only Lord Shiva’s son can save the world from Soorapadman’s evil reign. At this time, Lord Shiva was mourning over the death of Sati, His beloved wife, by undergoing a serious penance and was abstinent. The Gods took the help of Kama, to instill love between Shiva and Parvati, so that they could procreate.

Here is where there are various legends associated with the birth of Kartikeya. Some legends say that since Lord Shiva had burnt Kama by opening His third eye when He was disturbed in His penance, Kama’s wife had cursed Parvati saying She would have no children. And hence, Lord Muruga was born out of fiery sparks that came out of Shiva’s third eye.

Another legend says that Lord Agni had disturbed Shiva and Parvati when they were sharing a moment together and Agni had swallowed some of Shiva’s seed. Unable to bear the heat from the seed, Agni had transferred them to six Kartikeyas, who had then abandoned their wombs on the river Ganga, who nurtured them and Lord Kartikeya was born.

While there are different stories associated with Lord Muruga’s birth, the purpose of His birth remains that He was born to save the world from the clutches of the demon Soorapadman. It is believed that the war continued for 6 days, at the end of which Lord Muruga threw his weapon at the demon, who when struck, split into two and a peacock and a cock emerged out of it. Lord Muruga then accepted the peacock as his official vehicle and gave the cock a place in His flag, thus successfully emerging victorious in the battle.

The Tiruchendur Murugan temple is built on the spot where Lord Muruga defeated Soorapadman. Check it out at


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