The fifth aspect of the Mother Durga is known as Skanda Mata. Her name literally means Mother of Skanda Kumara or Lord Kartikeya, who was chosen by gods as their commander in chief in the war against the demons. She is worshipped on the fifth day of Navaratri.
Devi Skandmata is herself the daughter of Himalaya and is also known as Parvati. She is also known as Maheshwari and Gauri. Being the daughter of the king of mountains, she is also known as Parvati. After doing penance she is married to Shiva. As the wife of Lord Mahadeva, she is Maheshwari. The goddess loves her son very much and is pleased to be named after her son’s name. Skanda is a great warrior, vanquishing enemies in the battle between the Devas and Asuras as he sits astride a peacock and straddles the earth with unerring swiftness. Skandamata is revered from having produced such a remarkable son. Devotees worshiping her in this manifestation get immense love and affection. Although depicted astride a lion, She is also known as Padmaasanaa as her seat of choice is the lotus.
The goddess can be seen showering her motherly blessings on her son Skand Kumar. Lord Skanda accompanies the goddess in his infant form. Whenever the oppression by the demons increases, goddess Skandmata rides on a lion, the Singhasana Nityam, and kills them. Devi Skandmata has four arms. She holds lotus in two hands and uses the other hand to support Lord Kartikeya sitting on her lap. Her fourth hand is raised to bless the devotees. It is a cliché that even a fool, when blessed becomes an ocean of wisdom. The great poet Mahakavi Kalidas is sited as an example.
Mother does not carry any weapons. One sees the energies of Skandamata transforming the healing blessing of Goddess Durga and sending then to open hands of bhaktas to receive balls of energy brought into their homes and place of work. Mother has three eyes. She has a bright complexion and often depicted as seated on a lotus.
WORSHIP: Vidhi means rules and regulations pertaining to worship. The Skandamata Puja Vidhi would be similar to the first four days. The bhakta should be seated on a sacred seat on a blanket while performing the rituals and start worshipping the goddess as he has done in the first four days of the Navratra followed by chanting the given mantra: ‘Sinhasangata Nityam Padyashritakardya Shubhdastu Sada Devi Sakanmata Yashaswani’
As in the previous Navarathra days puja, Lord Shiva and Brahmaji are worshipped in the end of the Puja according to the rituals mentioned in the Shastras. Some people observe the fast of on the fifth day of the Navratra. This fast is considered to be very fruitful. Devotees who worship Devi Skandmata with full devotion and attention gets blessings from her and their all his wishes are fulfilled. Her usual offerings are bunches of grapes, fragrant flowers, fruits, gems and clothings.
Goddess Skandmata is also the diety of the solar system. By worshiping the goddess in the form of Skandamata, the devotee gets all his desires fulfilled and tastes the supreme joy even in this very mortal world. A supernatural aura in the atmosphere is discharged by the goddess and the one who worships her with pure heart. He gets freedom from all troubles and sufferings.
As the potent force and facet of the female energy, Goddess Skandamata claims as her own the Vishuddhi Chakra. This is symbolized by a lotus of 16 petals, this Chakra is also known as the throat Chakra that symbolises creativity and communications. The Kundalini aspirant enters the Visuddha Chakra during Skandamata prayers. To incise the chakra the devotee he or she should first worship the goddess by performing the rituals to reach Visuddha Chakra. She carries the beautifying image of a goddess seated on a lotus flower. This is the reason that she is also known as Padamasani.
Skandmata Mantra: Sinhasangata Nityam Padyashritakardya; Shubhdastu Sada Devi Sakanmata Yashaswani
Yogi Ananda Saraswathi