Surapadma (Devanagari: शूरपद्मा, IAST: śūrapadmā) was an asura who was the son of the sage Kashyapa and the asura princess Surasa. He was defeated by Murugan but asking for pardon prior to his defeat, was granted the honour of becoming his vahana, the peacock. He is the brother of Singamuka and Tarakasura. His eldest son is Banukopan. The word Surapadma is a compound of two words - the Old Tamil word Cura and the Sanskrit word Padma.
Surapadman was the grandson of Varangi, an apsara and Asura Vajranga. The couple had three sons and two daughters, and then the rishi went to meditate again for centuries. Hence, the siblings grew up to be Asuras. Surapadma did a very long penance to Shiva. As a result, he was granted a boon that no one except Shiva's offspring, born without shiva's union with a female, in any nature, could either kill or defeat him. This boon resulted in a highly negative effect, as Surapadma took it to his head, and he conquered the mortal world, either by direct war, or by subjugation as inferior rulers. He established a capital of empire at Veera Mahendrapuri, two miles into the sea, and gave parts of his vast empire to his brothers. At the same time his sister's arm was amputated by a guard of the heaven's queen, as the sister was trying to get the queen for Surapadman as a concubine. This angered surapadman, who then conquered the heaven, and took all devas as prisoners and tortured them.
Shiva had meanwhile created a Son, Murugan also known as Karthikeya, from his forehead flames. The boy was extremely handsome and well talented with War and all other aspects. He started to march towards Veera Mahendrapuri, with the mortal army of Veerabagu brothers. Tarakasura, younger brother of Surapadma, ruling the entrance empire and an asura is killed by Murugan; Murugan had to kill most of Surapadma's soldiers and defeat the middle brother Simhamukha (whom he graced to become His lion vahana). As Surapadma still refused to surrender, the final battle arose and the former was defeated. He had lost his weapons, Vehicle and almost all of his army. In the end, Murugan mortally wounded him with his Vel—and Surapadma asked his glory be spared. Murugan granted this, on the provision that Surapadma would forever be his vahana — whereupon Surapadma assumed the form of a peacock.
The killing of Surapadma is celebrated as Surasamharam. The festival of Surasamharam is celebrated grandly in South India, especially in Tiruchendur where it is said that the final battle between Murugan and Surapadma took place.
- Parmeshwaranand, Swami (2001). Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Puranas. Sarup & Sons. p. 38. ISBN 8176252263.
- Sivkishen (2015). Kingdom of Shiva. Diamond Pocket Books Pvt Ltd. p. 644. ISBN 9788128830280.
- W. Clothey, Fred (1978). The Many Faces of Murukan̲: The History and Meaning of a South Indian God. Walter De Gruyter. p. 170. ISBN 9789027976321.
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