‘Ya Devi Sarvabhootishu Maa Skandamata Sansthita, Namastasye Namastasye Namastasye Namo Namaha’
Devi is worshipped in the swaroopa of Skandamata on the fifth day of the holy festival of Navaratri. She is considered as the fifth avatar of Devi Durga during the Navatri nights. She is the mother of Bhagwaan Skanda or Karthikeyan the perfect one, who is the brother of Bhagwaan Ganesha hence her name ‘Skandamata’ or mother of Skanda. Devi in this roopa represents the maternal bhava holding the infant baby on her lap yet ready for battle seated on a ferocious Lion to protect her child and her devotees.
She is of fair complexion and glows with the brilliance of countless suns. She has three eyes and four arms and is shown seated on a ferocious Lion. She is shown as holding her infant son Karthik with one hand on her lap. She favors the color Orange and Yellow on this day, hence orange and yellow colored substances and flowers are used in her worship.
Karthikeyan son of Mahadeva Shiva and Goddess Parvati took birth to defeat the demon called Tarakasura who had a boon from Bramha that he could only be defeated by a young child who would be son of Shiva at that time a confirmed ascetic. The beautiful and spiritually symbolic story of Shiva and Parvati wedding as recorded in several Puranic and Vedic texts is referred to in my earlier article. Thus the union of two divine energies resulted in the birth of their divine child who was in a highly super charged fiery form whose intensity could not be borne by any other divine entity like ‘Fire’ or Agni, Holy river Ganga. Karthikeyan as seven year old led the Gods as their commander-in-chief in a fierece battle which led to the vanquishing of demon Tarakasura. Thus she came to be known as mother of Skanda or Skandamata.
‘Skanda’ means six heads, Bhagwaan Karthikeyan is said to have been born with six heads and is known by various other names such as Subramanium, Murugan, Sanmukha, Kumar, Guha etc. The six heads represent the five senses and the mind which can see through the six vices – Uncontrolled lust or Kaama (Sex), Krodha (anger), Lobha (Greed), Moha (Desires, Passions, Yearnings), Mada (Ego) and Matsarya (Jealousies, Vanities ec).It also represents the ability to be alert and to see in all directions. The six heads also represent cluster of six stars in Pleiades who represent the six ‘Krithikas’ who mothered and nursed the six headed baby and hence his name Karthikeya .He is more ancient and is mentioned in our puranic texts compared to several other gods who are referred to in later vedic texts. In addition to being a war-god he is also known as the great philosopher. His favoured vehicle is the peacock and there are several large temples dedicated to him across India and several south asian countries.
Skandamata is known by several other names, most commonly used are Gauri or the fair one, Maheshwari or consort of Mahadeva Shiva, Padmasani or the one seated on the Lotus flower.
Skandatamata resides in the Vishudhi or Throat chakra thus devotees should focus on the Vishudhi Chakra while meditating on her which represents detoxification of all kinds of poisons and toxic substances / act of talking which we imbue /conduct through our throat. Worship of Skandamata is in complete without the worship of Skanda and always conclude by worship of Mahadeva Shiva which pleases her greatly.
Meditating on this form of Devi results in her devotees being blessed with love and affection in their lives. Worshipping her helps the devotees to get rid of strife, anxiety, conflict, negativity and diseases from life. She bestows calm state of mind, peace, , good health, prosperity and fame. She controls Planet Mercury or Buddha which signifies control over the mind, intellect, knowledge, studies, mastery over arts and skills etc. It is said that people and students with horoscope having Mercury afflicted or maleficient should worship her.
Some of her mantras gathered from various sources:
1) Om Devi Skandamatayay Namah
2) Yaa Devi Sarvabhuteshu Maa Skandamata Rupena Samsthita।
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah॥
3) Sinhasan Gata Nityam Padmashrit Kardvya,
Shubhdastu Sada Devi Skand Mata Yashswini.
Continuing with my sharing of Devi Shloka / hymn from Devi Bhagwatam, the third para is as follows:
” Vipakshaya Mamokashi Pandala Poonda Vardhane
Narayani Subarshedu Trikute Rudra Sundari
Vipule Vipula Devi Kalyani Malayachale
Shahyadre Veghaveradu Harish Chandredu Chandrika
Ramane Rama Tirthethu Yamunayam Mrukavathi
Kodivi Koda Tirthedhu Sukanda Madhave Vane
GodavaryamTri Sandhya Dhu
Ganga Dware Rati Priya..”