Navratri (Day 5) – The Story of Maa Skandmata

Navratri is one of the most widely anticipated festivals in India and is celebrated all over the country with great devotion and excitement. This festival is a celebration of Goddess Durga’s victory over the evil demon Mahishasura.

It is celebrated over a period of 9 days where devotees worship the 9 “avatars” of Goddess Durga. Also, a color is associated with each day of Navratri, which makes the celebration even more special and interesting.

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The day signifies divine energy. Maa Shailaputri is worshipped on the first day of Navratri, while the second day of this auspicious festival is dedicated to Maa Bramhacharini.

There is an interesting story behind each of these “avatars” of Goddess Durga, which explains why they are worshipped on that particular day. The third and fourth days of Navratri are dedicated to the worship of Maa Chandraghanta and Maa Kushmanda respectively, and the fifth day is dedicated to…

The Worship of Maa Skandmata

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Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati’s first son, Lord Kartikeya, was also known as “Skanda”. Hence, Maa Parvati is often referred to as Skandmata, which literally means mother of Kartikeya or Skanda.

Maa Skandmata is another form of Maa Durga and is believed to protect her devotees, just like a mother protects her child from harm. She is a powerful goddess whose love and care helped Lord Kartikeya defeat the demon Tarkasura.

History and Origin

A long time ago, Lord Shiva was married to Devi Sati. However, when Sati immolated herself at the Maha Yagna organised by her father, Lord Shiva became angry and was left devastated.

He decided to give up all worldly affairs and immediately went off into deep penance. Soon, a demon named Tarakasura started creating panic and trouble by attacking the other Gods. Also, Tarakasura had a boon that only Lord Shiva or his child could kill him. This was a cause of great worry as none of the Gods were able to defeat him.

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So, at the request of all the other Gods, Sage Narada met Maa Parvati. He told her everything about her previous life as Devi Sati and also told her about the purpose of her current birth. Sage Narada explained that Maa Parvati would have an offspring with Lord Shiva, who would then go on to defeat the demon Tarakasura.

However, in order to make Lord Shiva realize that she was an incarnation of Sati, Maa Parvati had to perform extreme meditation and penance (Tapasya).

She gave up food, water and performed severe penance for over a thousand years. Finally, Lord Shiva took notice of her dedication and agreed to marry her. When Lord Shiva’s energy combined with Maa Parvati’s, a fiery seed was produced.

However, this fiery seed was so hot that even Lord Agni, the God of Fire, was unable to carry it. He handed it over to Ganga, who then safely carried the seed and deposited it in “Saravana”, the “Forest of Reeds”.

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Here, the seed was taken care of by six sisters, who were known as Krittikas (mothers). Over a period of time, the fiery seed turned into a baby boy. Since, the Krittikas looked after him, this baby boy came to be known as Lord Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati.

Soon, Lord Kartikeya was made the commander-in-chief of the Army of Gods and was given special weapons to defeat Tarakasura. Kartikeya then fought a fierce battle with Tarakasura and eventually slayed the demon and brought peace in the world.

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Since, Kartikeya was born out of an effusing, heated seed, he came to known as Skanda, which means “effusing” in Sanskrit. And his mother, Maa Parvati, came to be known as Skandmata.

Goddess of the Fifth Day of Navratri

Parvati performed penance for Lord Shiva and was instrumental in bringing Lord Skanda into this world. Therefore, Skandmata is worshipped during Navratri. She is the mother of a powerful and gifted child who restored peace and harmony among us.

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Skandmata has four arms, rides a lion and is seated on a lotus. She also holds a lotus in two of her hands, carries Lord Kartikeya with the third hand and blesses all her devotees with the fourth hand.

Read More About Navratri:

Navratri (Day 1) – The Story of Maa Shailaputri

Navratri(Day 2) – The Story of Maa Bramhacharini

Navratri (Day 3) – The Story of Maa Chandraghanta

Navratri (Day 4) – The Story of Maa Kushmanda