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Tārakāsura (Sanskrit: तारकासुर:) or Tāraka (Sanskrit: तारक), Tharakasuran (Tamil: தாரக்காசுரன்), Tarakasura (Telugu: తారకసుర) was a powerful asura in Hindu mythology. He was son of a powerful Asura Vajranaka and his wife Vajrangini.[1] Taraka had three sons Tarakaksha, Vidyunmāli and Kamalaksha, who were known as Tripurasura.[2]

In-universe information
FamilyVajranaka (father)
Vajrangani (mother)
ChildrenTarakaksha, Vidyunmāli, Kamalaksha


Tarakasura repeatedly defeated the gods until heaven was on the verge of collapse. Yet he had a clever boon that he could be defeated only by the son of Shiva, who was a complete yogi, given to severe austerities, far from any thoughts of marriage. However, Parvati who was re-incarnation of Sati, Shiva's wife and also incarnation of Aadi Shakti who was once a part of Shiva, in their Ardhanarishvara form. Eventually their son Kartikeya was born. Kartikeya killed Tarakasura and his brothers Simhamukhan and Surapadman who eventually became the mounts of Parvati and Kartikeya.

Literary references[edit]

This story is the basis for the epic Kumarasambhava (lit., birth of Kartikeya) by Kalidasa[3] (c. 4th century CE). The theme of the vaporised love spirit roaming free in the universe was adopted by the Vaishnavas (c. 16th century) who believe it was reincarnated in Vasudeva.[4] This is also the theme of the poem madanbhasmer par (মদনভস্মের পর) by Rabindranath Tagore.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sivkishen (2015-01-23). Kingdom of Shiva. Diamond Pocket Books Pvt Ltd. ISBN 978-81-288-3028-0.
  2. ^ Gokhale, Namita (2012-10-23). Book of Shiva. Penguin UK. ISBN 978-81-8475-863-4.
  3. ^ http://www.cse.iitk.ac.in/~amit/books/kalidasa-1929-kalidaser-granthabali-v2-v2.html
  4. ^ Prabhupada, A.C.B.S. (1972). Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.