Soorasamharam


Shasti tithi during the Shukla Paksha (the bright fortnight of moon) in the month of ‘Margashira’ that falls in the months of November-December is celebrated as Skanda Shasti vrat. This is a grand festival in South India, especially Tamizh nadu. On this day, the battlefield of Lord Subramanya and Demon king Surapadma is enacted as Soorasamharam in this famous temple, Tiruchendur.

Soorasamharam 2023

Sat , 18th Nov 2023

Legend of Skanda Shasti Vrat

Skanda Purana talks volumes about Lord Muruga, events associated with His birth, childhood, His bravery in war, His penance, and His kundalini yoga skills. Lord Muruga was created from the Third eye of Lord Shiva. This vrat is lauded in this purana as an ideal way to access Lord Kumara’s energy. Lord Karthikeya fought several battles with demon kings and one of His famous battles is the one with King Surapadma. It is an important battle because the Lord was a young boy when He fought this fight, and He displayed His merciful heart and compassion in this war. His battle with demon Surapadma lasted for six days and Lord Muruga defeated the demon on 6th day, the Shasti tithi, transforming into His vehicle mounts. From then on, Shasti tithi of every month is observed as the triumph of good over evil.

On the day of Soorasamharam, a grand reenactment of glorious victory between Lord Muruga and Surapadma is performed. The act of the Lord transforming Surapadma into a peacock, Tarakasura into a rooster (an emblem on his flag) is performed. The idol of Lord Muruga is set on a diaz, opposite to the Lord stands the asura decked on a diaz. The priests and devotees play a huge role in this event; the Lord’s idol and the demon are carried on the shoulders and the fight of Lord shooting Vel on the Asura is reenacted, then the huge effigy of the asura is seen split into rooster and peacock. This whole act is performed amidst loud chants of “Vetrivel Muruganukku Arogara”, “Kanthanukku Arogara”, Lord Murugan's triumph and kind heart is celebrated.

Tiruchendur Temple

Of all Lord Muruga temples, the one in Tirunchendur in Tamil Nadu draws the largest number of devotees. This is one of the Arupadaiveedu sthalas. This temple is located beside the seashore. According to the legend located in this shrine, Lord Murugan won the battle against Surapadma at this very site. After winning the battle, Lord Murugan also worshipped Lord Shiva here in this shrine. Lord Muruga’s divine act- Tiruvilaiyaadal, Soora Samharam is enacted on Aippasi masa shasti tithi in this thirusthalam. Surapadman was given the honour of becoming Lord Skanda’s vehicle or mount peacock (mayil vaahanam) and Seval kodi (the rooster on Skanda’s flag).

Significance of Skanda Shasti fasting

During the six days of Skanda Shasti or Kandha Shasti, all Murugan devotees, usually fast and align their mind on Lord Muruga. Fasting is observed in different forms: some devotees consume only one meal a day and that one meal is eaten after the sunset; other fasting methods include refraining from dairy and low pranic food. Some follow liquid diet and forego all solid foods. This fasting process during the festival removes as many unwanted elements as possible from the physical and energy system. The suggested form of fast per scriptures is the liquid fast during all six days and abstain from all solid food. Water fast or fast with coconut water, strained orange juice and pomegranate juice are permissible. These liquids also aid in flushing out toxic substances and to cleanse the body.

At the end of the vrata, the physical body is cleaner than it was before. The mind is cleansed through mantra chant and meditation, worship and other bhakthi yoga activities. Pure mind in a pure system is a sublime combination that is conducive for realizing the Divine energy of Lord Subramanya.

Rituals of Skanda Shasti

Devotees wake up before sunrise and have a ritual bath. After cleaning the house and sanctifying the pooja altar. The idols of Lord Ganesha and Lord Subramanya set in Pooja altar on pratipada tithi is given a holy bath- hydration ceremony with milk, honey, water infused with sandalwood, coconut water, rose water, panchamrita (fruit salad), and vibhuti (holy ash). Images or idols of Lord Ganesha and Lord Subramanya are decorated with sandalwood paste, turmeric, and vermilion along with flowers. Incense and lamps are lighted, and fruit and sweet offerings made.

Beginning from sunrise, after the holy bath, people commence their fast. In certain households, Vel or the spear, the divine weapon of Lord Muruga is installed along with the idol or on a separate chowki for worship. This Vel is said to symbolize the Lord Subrahmanya himself. People go on a pilgrimage to Tiruchendur to witness the great Soorasamharam. Devotees must chant mantras of Subrahmanya, like Subrahmanya Kavacham, Subrahmanya Bhujangam or Om Saravana Bhava mantra, or read Skanda Purana. 

Benefits

  • People with Naga doshas or Rahu -ketu afflictions can observe this Skanda shasti vrat to mitigate the dosha implications. 
  • Lord Muruga worship on Skanda Shasti tithi also benefits natives with poor placement of Planet Mars. Observing Skanda Shasti viratham can strengthen planet Mars and bless benefits of strong Mars.
  • People with challenges in progeny can follow Skanda shasti vratham for good progeny. This vratham blesses prosperity and good health for children.
  • This Skanda Shasti vratam pumps us with courage, fearlessness, and strength to face any challenge in life.
  • Lord Muruga dissolves stubborn obstacles that hinder the progress in life. 
  • It is stated in many Vedic texts that Lord Muruga has “The Kindest Heart” and cannot stand sufferings of his devotees. There are many incidents in Sages’ lives where they encountered Lord Muruga’s presence simply by calling upon Him.

Soorasamharam festival dates between 2020 & 2030

Year

Date

2020

Friday, 20th of November

2021

Tuesday, 9th of November

2022

Sunday, 30th of October

2023

Saturday, 18th of November

2024

Thursday, 7th of November

2025

Monday, 27th of October

2026

Sunday, 15th of November

2027

Thursday, 4th of November

2028

Monday, 23rd of October

2029

Sunday, 11th of November

2030

Thursday, 31st of October

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