Sooran Poar: The battle between good and evil

Sooran Poar 1
On the eve of the Sooran Poar, the carriages carrying the high priest together with the Gods leave the temple to do battle with Soorapanman.

The Sooran Poar battle was re-enacted in the streets of Brickfield recently in conduction with the auspicious celebration of “Kantha Shasti”, which is observed in the Tamil month of “Aipassi”.

During the auspicious month “Aipassi”, which falls either in late October or early November of the new moon, Hindus all around the world would fast for six days for Lord Murugan.

Devotees will adhere to a strict fasting regime and abstinence from worldly pleasures as well as gathers to sing the “Kantha Shasti Kavasam” a special hymn, which is sung at houses and temples during this period.

Sooran Poar 2
The procession outside the Sri Kandaswamy Temple in Brickfields is accompanied by a great fanfare

It’s believed that Lord Murugan defeated the demon Soorapathman and his army with the “Vel” (lance) given to him by his mother. Lord Murugan fought for six days, and on the last day he liberated “Devas” from “Asuras”.

Sooran Poar 3
Soorapanman was only defeated after 5 epic battles with the Lord.

“Sooran Poor” is held to celebrate the victory on the sixth day at dusk. The temple courtyard and backyard are made to look like a battle field. Idols of Lord Murugan and Sooran are taken out of the temple to have the battle and the celebration.

Sooran Poar 4
Thaarahaasuran, the elephant-faced ‘asuran’, comes first to fight the Lord; His head was cut off by Lord Murugans Vel.

Devotees of Lord Murugan have a fast for six days during these days. It’s unlike any other fast; devotees do not have any meals except a glass of fresh milk and fruits in the night.It’s called “Upavaasam” (total fast). The seventh day is known as “Paaranai”

Sooran Poar 5
Singgamuhaasuran, the lion-faced ‘asuran’ came next and was also killed by Lord Muruhan

Devotees, who have fasted for six days wake up at dawn, have a head shower, go and pray at the temple, cook and have a vegetarian meal before the sun rises.

The devotees who observed the fast are not supposed to witness “Sooran Poor”, because it is considered inauspicious to witness a killing of Sooran after fasting.

Sooran Poar 6
Then Soorapanman appeared. He had been blessed with immense power because of his austere fast and worship. He tries to confuse the Lord Himself by using his magical powers of light and darkness. He was again defeated by the Lord.

 

Sooran Poar 8

Sooran Poar 9
Soorapanman appearing again in his original form. Since he is not able to win over the Lord, he becomes a mango tree and hides deep under the sea
Sooran Poar 10
When Lord Murugan’s ‘Nyaana Vel’ splits the tree into two halves, one half became a peacock and the other a rooster.