The fifth day of the Navaratri festival is dedicated to Goddess Skandamata, who is also the 5th goddess among Navadurgas.
The word ‘Skanda’ in her name represents God Karthikeya or Kumara, while the word ‘Mata’ means mother, totally giving a meaning that the Goddess was the Mother of Lord Skanda.
It was believed that worshipping Maa Skandamata is known to grant wisdom, power, knowledge, and even attaining salvation.
One of the popular beliefs is that worshipping this Goddess will help to acquire immense knowledge.
With such a great culmination of divine aspects, Goddess Skandamata Devi is considered as a special one among Navadurga’s.
Iconography of Skandamata
Mounted on a lion and carrying her son Lord Skanda as a child, Maa Skandamata is usually represented with four arms.
Of the four arms, two of them are represented holding lotuses, which the other two are shown holding Lord Skanda and with a posture of Abhaya mudra.
Usually, in most of the depictions Maa Skandamata is seen seated on a lion, whereas in some depictions, one can see Devi Skandamata seated on a lotus in a Padmasana.
While coming to Skanda seated her lap, one can see that Lord Skanda depicted with 6 heads in a way similar to the form of Shanmukha. However, in several ancient temples like the Skandamata Durga Temple, Varanasi which is dedicated to this goddess, Lord Skanda can be seen in the form with a single head.
Also, the Devi is represented as a three eyed one.
Significance of Goddess Skandamata
Worshipping Goddess Skandamata is known to have immense spiritual benefits.
Her aspects can be found in several sacred scriptures like Shiva Maha Purana, Devi Bhagavatam, Skanda Purana, ChandiPpurana and Devi Mahtmya.
Being a mother to Lord Skanda her form represents as the one who always take care of her children who are none other than her devotees.
With her Abhaya mudra, the devotees, who seek her refuge can be assured of her divine protection and can feel her ultimate compassion.
The devotees who worship Devi Skandamata will not only get the divine blessing of the Devi, but also the blessings of Lord Skanda, who is considered as the bestower of good health, courage, and strength.
Devi in Yoga Sadhana
Goddess Skandamata is associated with the 5th chakra of Kundalini – Visuddha Chakra, which stands for utmost purity.
It is believed that the Sadhaka who enters the Visuddha chakra, all of their internal and external thoughts will be stopped and the sadhaka feels the utmost state of purity in their mind and heart just like a waveless ocean. Which further helps in attaining the Ajna and Sahasrara Chakra.
To attain the bliss of such a Goddess, the devotee must make sure they meditate on her with pure heart and mind without any other thoughts.
Skandamata Mantra and Hymn
Om Skandamatre Namaha
Simhaasana gataa nityam padmaashrita karadvayaa
Shubhadaasthu sadaa devi skandamaataa yashasvinni
O’ Goddess Skanadamata, the one who is seated on a lion, the eternal one, carrying two lotus buds in two hands
Please bestow me the auspiciousness all the time, O Devi Skandamata, the illustrious one.
The Story of Maa Skandamata
Once upon a time, there lived a demon named Tarakasura, who had done an immense penance on Lord Brahma in order to attain immortality.
Pleased by Tarakasura’s penance, Lord Brahma came to him and asked him to make a wish.
Tarakasura requested Lord Brahma to grant him the boon of immortality. Then Lord Brahma replied that Tarakasura every creature that’s born on the earth must come to an end at some point of time, So ask for any other wish you want other than immortality.
However, Tarakasura on the other hand thought a lot and asked for a boon that he should only be destroyed by the son of God Shiva, assuming that Shiva would not get married as he became a strict ascetic after the sacrifice of Goddess Sati.
By attaining the immense boon and powers, Tarakasura raised a war against Devas and started troubling the ones who are against his path and created an imbalance in the universe, assuming that he cannot be destroyed by anyone else.
All the Worlds including the Devaloka came into the control of Tarakasura.
On the other hand, Shakthi took another incarnation as Parvati and reunited with God Shiva.
Both of them gave birth to Skanda or Kumara.
The birth of Lord Skanda is an interesting one that underwent several turns. Where he was initially raised by Krittika Devis, and later by the Mata Parvati as Skandamata.
Goddess Skandamata raised her child with great affection at the same time gave him immense powers to protect the world.
Later, he became the Lord of War and was appointed as the Chief Commander of Army of Devas and destroyed the Tarakasura.
In this way all the worlds were restored back to normal.
Skandamata Durga temple, Jaitpura, Varanasi.