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Story of Skanda and Skandamatha - Navaratri special

Skandamata is the fifth form of the Goddess Durga, who is worshipped on the fifth day of Navaratri, the nine-day festival of the Hindu goddesses. Skandamata means “the mother of Skanda”, who is also known as Kartikeya, the war god and the commander-in-chief of the gods. Skandamata is depicted as a four-armed goddess, holding her son Skanda in her lap, while riding on a lion. She is the goddess of motherhood, courage, strength, and victory. She blesses her devotees with power, prosperity, and salvation.

The Birth of Skanda

The story of Skandamata and Skanda is related to the demon Tarakasura, who had obtained a boon from Lord Brahma that he could only be killed by the son of Lord Shiva. Tarakasura was confident that Shiva would never marry or have a child, as he was immersed in meditation after the death of his first wife Sati. Tarakasura became arrogant and started to oppress the gods and humans with his army of demons.

The gods approached Lord Vishnu for help, who told them that Sati had reincarnated as Parvati, the daughter of King Himavat, and that she was destined to marry Shiva. He advised them to seek the help of Kamadeva, the god of love, to awaken Shiva’s desire for Parvati. Kamadeva agreed to shoot his arrow of love at Shiva, but warned them that he might incur Shiva’s wrath.

Kamadeva waited for an opportune moment when Shiva was meditating in Mount Kailash, and shot his arrow at him. Shiva was disturbed by the arrow and opened his third eye, which burned Kamadeva to ashes. Shiva then saw Parvati, who was performing penance to win his heart, and felt attracted to her. He realized that she was his divine consort and agreed to marry her.

After their marriage, Shiva and Parvati consummated their union and produced a powerful seed. However, Shiva did not want to have a child, as he feared that it would disturb his detachment from the world. He asked Agni, the fire god, to take away the seed and dispose it somewhere. Agni took the seed and tried to find a suitable place to keep it, but no one was willing to accept it, as it was too hot and radiant.

Finally, he found six women called Krittikas, who were the wives of the seven sages (Saptarishis). They agreed to nurture the seed with their milk. As soon as they touched the seed, it split into six parts and formed six babies. The Krittikas were overjoyed and named them as Kumaras (boys). They raised them with love and care.

Meanwhile, Parvati came to know about the fate of her seed and felt sad. She wanted to see her children and reclaim them as hers. She went to the place where the Krittikas were staying and saw the six Kumaras. She embraced them with affection and they merged into one child with six heads and twelve arms. Parvati was delighted and named him Skanda (the one who attacks). She also blessed the Krittikas for their service and made them a constellation in the sky.

Story of Skanda and Skandamatha - Navaratri special


The War with Tarakasura

Skanda grew up to be a handsome and brave warrior. He learned various arts and skills from his parents and other gods. He was appointed as the commander-in-chief of the gods by Lord Brahma, who gave him a spear called Shakti (power) as his weapon. He also received a peacock as his mount and a cock as his banner.

Skanda then prepared for the war with Tarakasura. He gathered an army of gods, celestial beings, sages, humans, animals, birds, and plants. He also had the support of his brother Ganesha, who removed all obstacles from his path. He marched towards Tarakasura’s fortress with his army.

Tarakasura was aware of Skanda’s arrival and sent his three sons Vidyunmali, Tarakaksha, and Kamalaksha to stop him. They had three flying cities called Tripuras (three cities), which were made of gold, silver, and iron respectively. They could move around in space and attack from different directions.

Skanda fought with them bravely and destroyed their cities with his spear. He then killed them one by one with his other weapons. He then proceeded towards Tarakasura’s palace, where he faced him in a fierce battle.

Tarakasura was a formidable opponent, who had many tricks and powers. He could change his form, size, and location at will. He could also create illusions and clones of himself. He attacked Skanda with various weapons and spells, but Skanda countered them with his intelligence and courage.

Skanda finally pierced Tarakasura’s chest with his spear and killed him. He then cut off his head and offered it to his mother Parvati, who was watching the battle from a distance. Parvati was overjoyed and proud of her son. She hugged him and blessed him with glory and fame.

The gods celebrated the victory of Skanda and praised him as the savior of the world. They also honored Parvati as Skandamata, the mother of the war god. They worshipped them with devotion and gratitude.

The Worship of Skandamata

Skandamata is worshipped on the fifth day of Navaratri, which is also known as Panchami. She is revered as the goddess of motherhood, courage, strength, and victory. She grants her devotees with power, prosperity, and salvation. She also fulfills their desires and removes their obstacles.

The devotees offer her red flowers, bananas, milk, honey, and sweets. They chant her mantra “Om Devi Skandamatayai Namah” and recite her stotra (hymn). They also meditate on her image and seek her blessings.

Skandamata is the source of joy and happiness for her devotees. She is the mother who nurtures, protects, and guides her children. She is the goddess who inspires them to fight against evil and injustice. She is the supreme power who bestows them with grace and glory. She is Skandamata, the mother of Skanda.