Skandamātā (Sanskrit:स्कन्दमाता) is the fifth form of Hindu Goddess Durga. Her name comes from word, Skanda is another name for war god Kartikeya and Mata is the term for mother. As one of the Navadurga, Her worship takes place on the fifth day of Navaratri(the nine divine nights of Navadurga).
Skandamātā is four-armed and rides on a lion. She carries a lotus, a water material and a bell. Her one hand is in blessing posture. Lord Skanda can be seen in her lap. She possesses four arms out of which two often hold the lotus flowers. One of her hands is always in the boon-conferring gesture and with the other she holds her son Skanda in her lap. Her complexion is white and she is seated on the lotus. So, she is also called Goddess with a lotus-seat (Padmāsana). The lion is her vehicle.
It is believed that she awards devotees with salvation, power, prosperity and treasures. She can grant oceans of wisdom even to most illiterate person, if he happens to worship her. Skandamātā who possesses the brilliance of the sun fulfills all the desires of her devotees. He who is selflessly devoted to her, attains all the achievements and treasures of life. The worship of Skandamātā purifies the heart of a devotee. While worshiping her, the devotee should have absolute control over his senses and mind. He should free himself from worldly bondage and worship her with a single-pointed devotion. Her worship is twice blessed. When the devotee worships her, Lord Skand, her son in her lap, is automatically worshipped. Thus, the devotee happens to enjoy the grace of Skandmata along with the grace of Lord Skand. If a devotee worships her devoid of selfishness, the Mother blesses them with power and prosperity. The devotees who worship Skandamātā shine with divine splendour. Her worship is ultimately conducive to salvation. She is regularly known as “The Goddess of Fire”.
The legend of Skanda are found in the Skanda Purana. Shiva and Parvati’s energy combines into their own forms of nature when meditating. Indra came to know all this and assigns Lord Agni(Fire) to kidnap the ball of energy and keep it for safety from Demon Tarakasur. Agni snuck in the cave and took the energy by deceit and lies in his hands, after meditation, Parvati realizes that Lord Agni took the divine energy and chased after him.
Lord Agni vanished with the divine energy and ran to Goddess Ganga. Meanwhile, Parvati came out of the cave and asked Gods why Lord Agni stole the divine energy. Gods answered her that they had to keep it safe from Demon Tarakasur. Parvati gets angry and attains the form of Goddess Durga, curses the Gods that their wives will never be able to enjoy the happiness with their children and with that, curses Lord Agni that he will be an all-burner, unable to differentiate the differences between right and wrong and his food will have impurities, he will always be surrounded by black smoke and also curses that in anyone touches him in one of the three worlds, they will get reduced to ashes. Meanwhile, Shiva came out of the cave placated her by telling her to calm down. Later, Shiva’s son Kartikeya or Murugan or Skand had taken birth from the six Krittikas(Mothers) and not Parvati.
Still, Goddess had accepted him as her own child, setting an example of a great mother before the world. She took back Kartikeya, from Kritika Lok(Kritika world) to Kailash, while she was in her Durga form, riding this Lion. As he grew, he had learned about the boon the boon of Tarakasur given by Lord Brahma, as he can be killed by Kartikeya, Gods gave him special powers and weapons, to bless Kartikeya, Shiva and Parvati has encouraged him to kill Tarakasur in the battlefield. Before going, Parvati transformed herself as Goddess Durga again for blessing Kartikeya. With Parvati’s(Goddess Durga) blessings, he managed to kill Tarakasur’s army and Tarakasur. He was made by Gods as their commander-in-chief.
ॐ देवी स्कन्दमातायै नमः॥
Om Devi Skandamatayai Namah॥
सिंहासनगता नित्यं पद्माञ्चित करद्वया।
शुभदास्तु सदा देवी स्कन्दमाता यशस्विनी॥
Simhasanagata Nityam Padmanchita Karadvaya।
Shubhadastu Sada Devi Skandamata Yashasvini॥
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु माँ स्कन्दमाता रूपेण संस्थिता।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः॥
Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Ma Skandamata Rupena Samsthita।
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah॥
Day 5 – Panchami – Skandamata – Navratri Strories