Once in the Himālayas, Parvati prayed to Lord Siva to help her to take a new birth so that tha name of Dakshayani, daughter of Daksha, would be removed. As per her request the Lord ordered her to become a child of Kamavan, the King of the Hills. Parvati became the child of Kamavan and at the age of five she started praying to Lord Siva.
Surapadman the asura was ruling the three worlds and was troubling the devas and torturing them. The devas went to Lord Siva and requested him to help them. Siva promised them that he would make an end to Surapadma’s life by creating a son of his own.
Siva took six faces on his head and created six heads and created six flames from each of his faces. Due to the terrific heat produced from the light the devas all fled. Parvati also could not resist the heat and ran away. Aranar collected all the six sparks and gave them to Vayu the wind god. Vayu gave the sparks to Agni the fire god as he also could not bear the heat. Agni gave them to River Ganga and finally Ganga surrendered the six sparks into Saravana Poikai, a marshy pond in Himalaya.
With six faces and twelve arms,Lord Murugan appeared on a red lotus. Six Krittika maidens discovered the six baby boys as per the order of Lord Visnu. Each took one to herself to nurse.
From the chilambu (anklet) worn by Parvati nine saktis were produced and with the help of Lord Siva these saktis were transformed into nine brothers of Lord Murugan. Veerabahu was one of them.
Lord Siva went to Saravana Poikai with Parvati, who embraced Lord Murugan, nursed him with her milk and brought him before Lord Siva.
Siva took Murugan in his arms and made Murugan sit with him and Parvati. Brahma, Visnu and Indra were pleased and showered flowers upon Lord Murugan.
Once Lord Brahma came to Mount Kailasa and walked in proudly. Lord Murugan called Brahma and asked him for the meaning of the pranava mantra ‘OM’.
Brahma replied that “Om means Lord Brahma.”
Angered, Murugan gave Brahma a beating on all four heads and kicked him out of the place. Murugan then threw Brahma in prison at Kandaverpilai. Then he himself took over the job of creation, protection and destruction of the universe.
Lord Siva came to know about Brahma’s imprisonment and sent Nandi to request Murugan to release Brahma. But Murugan ignored the request.
When Narada told Siva about Murugan’s refusal to release Brahma, Siva laughed and he himself came to Lord Murugan, released Brahma and gave him back his work of Creation.
Lord Siva made Murugan to sit on His lap and asked him the meaning of ‘OM’. Murugan whispered the meaning to Lord Siva’s ear. Thus he became Swami Nathan, the lord of his own father.
Visnu’s daughters Amirta Valli and Sundara Valli both wanted to marry Lord Murugan and were praying to him at Saravana Poikai.
Murugan appeared before them and arranged for Amirta Valli to be born as the daughter of Lord Indra and for Sundara Valli to become the daughter of sage Siva Muni and to be adopted by a hunter chieftain as his step daughter.
When Lord Murugan was with Lord Siva upon Mount Kailasa, Lord Indra together with Lord Visnu and Lord Brahma approached Lord Siva and reported the cruel deeds of the asuras and asked Him to put a stop to it.
Siva asked Murugan to go with an army and destroy the asura monsters and thereby put an end to the suffering of the devas. He gave Lord Murugan the power to destroy Surapadma and his brothers and any army of asuras. For this he presented Murugan with a marvelous spear, the Vel.
As Lord Murugan was proceeding south, he encountered Kraunchan and Tarakan, two brothers of Surapadman. They were ruling Mayapuram at the foot of the Vindhya mountains and were blocking the way by standing in the form of a huge mountain. Seeing the mountain, the followers of Tirumal (Lord Visnu) were terrified. Lord Murugan decided to fight with Tarakan and kill him.
Tārakansaw that his soldiers were being killed in great numbers and became very angry. He used magic to send Veerabahu and his men into the Krauncha mountain and bury them there.
Narada carried this message to Lord Murugan. Murugan came and fought with Tarakan. He hurled his Vel, which pierced Tarakan’s chest and turned the Krauncha mountain into powder. As soon as the mountain was destroyed, Veerabahu and his men woke up alive. They all sang the praise of Lord Murugan.
Asurēndran, son of Tārakan, went to Surapadman and informed him of Tārakan’s death and wept. Surapadman upon hearing that Murugan, a mere child, had killed his mighty brother Tārakan, became furious. His minister Aramahan tried to console Surapadman and sent spies to find out the strength of Lord Murugan’s army.
Lord Siva was very pleased with Lord Murugan’s worship. Being seating on His vehicle Nandi he appeared with Goddess Uma before Murugan. Upon being worshipped by Lord Murugan, Lord Siva provided him with the Pasupata weapon to kill the asura monsters.
It seems that Maya, a woman of the asura clan, attracted the hermit sage Kasyapa and begot Surapadman, Singhamukhan, Tarakan and Asamukhi. From their sweat hundreds of thousands of asuras were born. Surapadman and his younger brothers studied under Sukeerar. He did hard penance toward Lord Siva for many years.
Lord Siva appeared before him and granted him the power to live for a hundred and eight yugas, to rule a thousand and eight kingdoms and to be undefeatable even by the forces of Lord Visnu. Surapadman’s life force could not be destroyed by anyone except by the power created when Indra’s chariot, the Lion throne and the four kinds of forces were joined together.
The soldiers of Surapadman invaded heaven and burned it. They enslaved the followers of Tirumal (Visnu) and made them to do household cleaning chores. Ajamukhi went to kidnap Indra’s wife Indrani who was hiding in Seerkali in order to present her to Surapadman. Surapadman commanded his son Banugopan to burn heaven. He imprisoned the son of Indra, Sayantan and other followers of Tirumal and treated them harshly.
This was all narrated by Brihaspati (god Jupiter) to Lord Murugan who heard everything. Murugan sent Veerabahu as messenger to Surapadman to advise him to release the followers of Tirumal. Veerabahu obeyed at once and started for Veera Mahendrapuri, the capital of the asuras. Assuming a huge form, he slayed the guards and entered the city.
Murugan then appeared in a dream of Sayantan and said to him, “Yours sufferings will soon end. The asuras will be destroyed. Have no fear!”
Veerabahu met Sayanthan and others and comforted them. He told them, “You attended Takka’s Velvi and ate Avirbhagam and so you were imprisoned. To redeem you Lord Subrahmanya is coming with His Vel. He will destroy Surapadman.”
Then Veerabahu went to Attani Mandapam where Surapadman resided. Surapadman was sitting upon a throne decorated with diamonds and pearls. Veerabahu introduced himself as Lord Murugan’s messenger, but Surapadman ignored him and did not invite him to sit down.
By the power of Lord Murugan there came a throne with a halo decorated with precious gems. Veerabahu sat on it and spoke about the greatness of Lord Murugan and asked Surapadman to release Tirumal’s followers.
Upon hearing Veerabahu, Surapadman clapped his hands and laughed. He asked one of his men to throw Veerabahu in prison since to kill a messenger was a sin.
By the power of Lord Murugan, Veerabahu demolished the entire Attani Mandapam and all the forests surrounding the capital. He killed Satamukhan, Vakshiravagu the son of Surapadman and several thousand other monster asuras who opposed him.
Veerabahureturned to Tiruchendur and reported all that happened to Lord Murugan.
Surapadman learned of his son’s death and became despondent. He consulted his ministers and decided to rebuild his city and fight with Lord Murugan.
Lord Murugan too decided to fight with the asuras and eliminate them. He went to Sri Lanka with his army and camped at Emakudam. Narada reported this to Surapadman, who became very angry and vowed to kill Murugan as soon as possible.
One son of Surapadman, Banugopan, would stand suspended in the air and fight. His magic weapon sent nine of Murugan’s soldiers and five demons into the Nanneer Sea and made them unconscious. But Lord Murugan’s Vel destroyed Banugopan’s weapon. Veerabahu and others recovered and got up to fight again.
On the fourth day of battle Murugan killed Agnimukhan and on the fifth day he killed Banugopan and Tarumagopan. Surapadman wept in sorrow, seeing his followers being killed.
the last four days Lord Murugan and Surapadman fought together fiercely. Surapadman commanded all the asura forces that were scattered in a thousand and eight worlds. He brought the four kinds of forces which reached the earth and made the followers of Tirumal tremble.
Lord Murugan destroyed all these forces. He travelled across the universe and destroyed all the remaining forces of Surapadman. Surapadman fought while being lifted by his Lion throne. So Lord Murugan killed the lion. Finally Surapadman took the form of darkness and tried to engulf all the followers of Tirumal. Yet Lord Murugan prevented this with his shining Vel.
In the form of a monstrous mango tree Surapadman became invisible and stood on the bottom of the ocean. Murugan hurled his Vel and split the mango tree. The Vel split Surapadman’s indestructible body in two, one half becoming a cock and the other half a peacock. Lord Murugan made the peacock to be His vehicle and the cock to be the emblem on His battle flag.
The devas were thus redeemed. At the command of Lord Murugan, Lord Varuna destroyed what remained of the asura capital Veera Mahendrapuri in the ocean.
Then Lord Murugan returned to India at Tiruchedur and prayed to Lord Siva to repent for having spilt the blood of so many demons. All the celestial and earthly beings rejoiced and acclaimed Lord Murugan as their savior.
Lord Indra offered his daughter Teyvayanai (Devasena or Amirta Valli) in marriage to Lord Murugan and the wedding was celebrated at Tiruparankundram with great pomp and celebration.
Later Lord Murugan wooed and wedded the hunter’s daughter Valli Amma (Sundara Valli) and all three went to live happily at Tiruttani where they remain to this day.