Updated: Nov 24
On Soorasamharam day Muruga Perumal kills the asura surapadman, is celebrated in temples across the world by his devotees It is the culmination of the week-long Kanda Shasthi Vratam. Six days of celebrations for Kanda Shashti start from the prathama tithi of the kartikai month, culminate with Surasamharam. The Skanda Purana describes the events leading up to the birth Skanda also known as Karthikeyan, Subrahmanya, Shanmukha, Murugan, Guha, and many more names. The legendary poet Kalidasa composed the Kumarasambhava based on the Skanda Purana. it was originally narrated by goddess Parvati to her son, Murugan, who later passed it to Siddha Nandishwarar, and subsequently to Sage Atri.
One of reasons for the birth of Karthikeyan starts with a woman named Maya who is from the clan of Asuras. She is a master of deception and manipulating reality, to serve the purpose of asuras, She went to the great sage called Kashyapa and served him with intense austerity for a long period, while he did his penance. The sage, out of gratitude, offered her a boon she wanted but Maya asked the sage to father her children, and bound by his promise the Rishi agreed. Maya and the sage had three sons Surapadman, Simhamukhan, and Tarakasuran, and a daughter called Ajamukhi. The asuras studied under their guru Shukracharya who taught them many shastras while their mother taught them control over perception, the art of deception, which could bring out the innermost fears in one’s enemy during battles. adding to this, being the sons of Kashyapa Rishi, they were capable of intense tapasya.
Due to their tapasya, Tarakasuran had a boon from Brahma, Surapadman did a rigorous penance that pleased Shiva and was granted a boon of life for 108 Yugas and to be a ruler of one thousand and eight kingdoms. Once Surapadman realized he was practically invincible, he and his brothers started to terrorize the devatas. They conquered Devaloka and made the devatas obey their will, defying their swadharma, The devatas were petrified but nobody had the courage and strength to stand up against Surapadman and his army of Asuras. According to the boon received by Surapadman, the devatas knew that not even Brahma, Vishnu, or Mahesh could stop his atrocities and bring this asura to Dharma, according to the boon only the power of Shiva’s not yet-born son could destroy Surapadman, The sena of Surapadman invaded Indra Loka and burned it. They enslaved the baktas of Visnu and made them do household cleaning chores. Ajamukhi went to bring Indra's wife Indrani to present her to Surapadman. Surapadman’s son Banugopan imprisoned the son of Indra, Sayantan, and other devas After the Daksha yagna led to Sati Devi giving up her life which left Shiva in intense fury and rage, leading to his isolation and deep samadhi, the Deva’s were afraid to approach Shiva. after a lot of effort and pain undergone by all the deva’s with the guidance of brahma and vishnu, the union of Shiva and Parvati happens, leading to the birth of Muruga, a Shakti for which all lokas have been praying for ages comes to fruition with Murugan along with nava veeras leading the army of devas for Sura samharam After leading the daiva sena to victory over the brothers (and many followers) of Surapadman, the chief of devatas and the chief of asuras meet for the final battle. It is said they traveled the lokas fighting each other for four days. Surapadman employed illusions against his enemies. He awakened the dead asuras and also rode a magical chariot with the head of a lion. He also assumed various forms of birds and animals with the help of knowledge capable of creating a transformation that he had learned from his Guru Shukracharya. While guru Shukracharya used the Sanjivani Vidya to bring back the dead asuras to life. Murugan in this battle faces surapadman with Shukracharya’s shiva anugraha. With one swipe of the paasupatastra, he sent all the awakened asuras back to the nether land. He also used another weapon that brought the magical chariot of Surapadman to his use. Surapadman then assumed the form of a huge bird Chaksavaham, but Murugan employed Indra as a peacock and cut the bird into two. With the battle reaching its peak, and Surapadman deprived of his brothers, his army, his weapons, and his chariot to run away, he disguised himself in the form of a tree. Murugan threw his vel which split the tree into two parts Thus Surapadman was cut into two and one half became Muruga’s vahana, the peacock, and the other became a rooster, Muruga’s banner emblem.
Even the most fierce and ruthless asuras this cosmos has ever seen has turned into a loyal vahana, seeing the Vishwarupa of muruga However long the wait, the Victory of knowledge over ignorance, jnana over ajnana is again established, and brought to us through purana’s in a form we can understand, perceive, connect and practice through Sanatana dharma, giving us confidence in upholding daivi sampatti amidst the greatest of the adversaries. Thus, it is said in the tradition that the adverse of situations can turn favorable with Murugan's touch. Siddha yogi Adinarayan ji highlights the tattva jnana hidden in plain sight in this puranic katha. The three asuras Surapadma, Tarakasura, and Simhamukha born to Maya. represent the three mala’s (mala means residual waste or impurities) Kārmaṇa-mala, Māyīya-mala, Āṇava-mala we experience in this creation. Kārmaṇa mala - gross (sthūla), Māyīya mala - subtle (sūkṣma), Āṇava-mala - subtlest (parā)
Kārmaṇa mala: Kārmaṇa comes out of actions, the residual effect which stays in our chitta after the karma, or the impressions of experiences such as, “I underwent pain, I am a great cricketer, I am really a skillful man, I had a good meal, I have worked hard, that is very stressful”, in the consciousness of the individual being (jiva). This impurity of action is due to Śubhā aśubha, sheeta ushna, sukha dukha, (Success&failure, heat & cold, pleasure & pain)
Māyīya mala: Māyīya comes out of the projected reality, the impurity of perception which creates a bheda (Duality in thoughts), “This is me, that is not me, this man is my friend, that man is my enemy”, the apparent reality which we perceive only seems to be real, the subtle, underlying & connecting principle is missed.
Āṇavamala: Āṇava - anu comes from the core sense of individuality, nature of anava in contrast to the cosmic identity is apūrṇata, the feeling of being incomplete in one or the other way. Because of this mala, there is a rise in the desire for something more, a desire for completion, and from one completion to another the individual moves on and on! The feeling of this incompletion and the search for completion through external projection without knowing what this lack really is, comes to an end with guru kripa, with the blow of jnana! That which Murugan stands for. Om Muruga!!!