There are stories, particularly in Tamil Nadu (and possibly other places too), involving the battle between Lord Subrahmanya and the Asuras. This incident is described in many Puranas. And all the Puranas I have read say a rakshasa named Tarakasura was killed by The Lord Subrahmanya.

But some variations of the story claim The Lord killed three rakshasas. Their names are Sura(padma), Tarakasura, and Simhavaktra.

Interestingly enough, the famous stotra on Lord Sri Subrahmanya Subrahmanya Bhujangam, which is attributed to Sri Adi Sankara (which I doubt), has a slokha that refers to the three asuras

सहस्राण्डभोक्ता त्वया शूरनामा
हतस्तारकः सिंहवक्त्रश्च दैत्यः
ममान्तर्हृदिस्थं मनःक्लेशमेकं
न हंसि प्रभो किं करोमि क्व यामि ॥ २३ ॥

So it appears there was some basis for this story, and I am interested in any facts / references in this regard.

additional notes:

  1. Many works and compositions are attributed to His Holiness Sri Adi Sankaracharya, and this may also be one. Nonetheless I like that stotra very much, and it is beautifully composed with bhakti-rasa (and also for the Sanskrit language). I like hymns on all the deities for the devotional content, but understanding the origin, and the Puranic basis for some of these events is a separate concern of mine. That is the context here.

  2. Some Puranas, such as Sri Skanda Purana, also claim The Lord killed a demon by name Mahishasura (in addition to Tarakasura), who according to the Devi Mahatmyam was killed by Goddess Parvati / Durga - but this is not the subject of this question, though interesting & wanted to mention it.

All that said, my questions are -

  1. Does any one know the possible source of this story of Lord Subrahmanya killing the three aforementioned rakshasas?
  2. The second question is, does this occur in the Tamil version of The Skanda Purana? There is a work in Tamil called "Kandha Puranam" (like Kamba Ramayana and VilliputhurAr Bharata) composed by one saint called Kacchiyappa Shivacharyar. Does any one know if this version has this story?
  • The Tamil version Kandha Puranam, has as its central antagonist, Surapadman himself, with Simhamukha and Tarakasura as his aides. In fact, if I'm not wrong, it is the primary source of Surapadman's story. I had posted a similar question here a few years ago.
    – Surya
    Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 19:52
  • @Surya Thanks for the comment. This has been my understanding for a long time, but I have not been able to verify with the original Kanda Purana. I knew it was not in the Skanda Maha Purana which is one of the 18 Puranas. Thanks again for the comment.
    – Vidyarthi
    Commented Dec 29, 2020 at 23:59
  • in fact, the Tamil Kandha Puranam is a translation of the southern recension of the Shankara Samhita of Skanda Purana, which has the full story of Surapadman and company, which, if you know Sanskrit, you can read here (the publication is very good and well printed): archive.org/details/SriSkandaPuranam-SankaraSamhitaPart2/page/….
    – Surya
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 18:41
  • In fact, given that the southern recension is very much a canon Purana manuscript, one may say that this story is part of at least a version of the Skanda Mahapurana.
    – Surya
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 18:44
  • 1
    Thank you @Surya for the link. Will check that today. There are also notions that certain parts of Skanda Purana were added later, but the interpolation theory applies to many Puranas.
    – Vidyarthi
    Commented Dec 31, 2020 at 23:04

2 Answers 2


I had verified Skanda purana (English version), but could not find the story of Skanda defeating Surapadman.

However, this online source says that the Kanda Puranam, Tamil Version of a section of Skanda Purana contains the story of Skanda defeating Surapadman.

  • thanks for the response. I knew this story was not in the Skanda Maha Purana, and I was expecting this to be in the Tamil version of it if at all it was present somewhere. Thanks for the link and the confirmation.
    – Vidyarthi
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 23:02

skandapurANa exists in two parts :

  1. With divisions like maheshvarakhanDa, vaiShNavakhanDa, etc. whose english translations are available online

  2. With divisions like Sanatkumāra Saṃhitā, Sūta Saṃhitā, Saṃkarī Saṃhitā, etc. whose tranlsations are not available online

The stories of Simhamukha, shurapadma are part of shivarahasya in the shankara SamhitA whose sanskrit texts are in below links :



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