Devi (or Goddess) Skandamata is fifth among the nine embodiments of Goddess Durga and is worshipped on the fifth day of Navratri.
To know about the Goddess’ previous form – Kushmanda, read my blog post: Navratri Day 4: Worshipping Devi Kushmanda through artwork
This is the coloured sketch, I made, of Goddess Skandamata .
‘Skanda‘ refers to Lord Kartikeya, and ‘Mata’ means mother. This, Goddess Parvati is called Skandamata as she is the mother of the warrior God, who was chosen by Gods as their commander in chief in the war against the demons. According to Hindu mythology, there existed a fierce demon named Tarkasur who pleased Lord Brahma after severe penance. He asked Lord Brahma to bless him with immortality, however the boon was denied, as none could escape death. Tarkasur used his wits and asked for a death at the hands of Lord Shiva‘s son, since he believed Lord Shiva, being a hermit, would never marry and hence not bear children. Blessed with the unique boon, the demon began his destruction of the world and spread mayhem everywhere. Sensing the imminent peril, the Gods requested Lord Shiva to get married to Goddess Parvati. Soon, their child, Lord Kartikeya or Skand Kumar was born and he fulfilled his destiny by slaying Tarkasur. Skandamata is a symbol of the mother-son relationship.
The Goddess is depicted with the infant Lord Skanda on her lap. She has four arms and three eyes, holds the infant Skanda in her right upper arm and holds two lotuses in her other 2 arms. One of her hand is posed to grant boons with grace. She has a bright complexion and is seated on her mount, the lion.
Today, the air reverberates with the Sanskrit verses in reverence to the Goddess.
Ya devi sarva bhutesu, Skandamata rupena sansthita
Namastasyai, namastasyai, namastasyai, namo namaha!
The goddess who is omnipresent as the divine Skandamata .
I bow to her, I bow to her, I bow to her again & again.
To know about the Goddess’ sixth form – Katyayani, read my blog post: Navratri Day 6: Worshipping Devi Katyayani through artwork