THE STORY OF GODDESS SKANDMATA
"Goddess of motherhood and children"
ॐ देवी स्कन्दमातायै नम:
Maa Skandmata is worshipped on the fifth day of Navratri. In Sanskrit, Skanda means ‘Kartikeya’ who is the first born child of Maa Parvati and Lord Shiva, and Mata means ‘Mother’. Grey or white is the color of Skandmata.
Mythology says that when Sati immolated herself in the Yajna. Lord Shiva was devastated, he gave up all the mundane affairs and started to live an ascetic life. Soon a demon named Tarakasura revived, he had a boon that only Shiva or his offspring could erase his existence. Tarakasura started destroying everything, created panic and trouble. The Gods were frightened, then Narada Muni met Maa Parvati. He narrated her everything to her about her previous life as Sati and the motive of her present birth. Narada explained that only she could help the Gods, as the child of her and Lord Shiva could only defeat Tarakasura. Narada told her that in order to impress Shiva she have to go through severe penance. She agreed at once, and after 5000 years of Tapasya, Shiva finally agreed to marry Parvati. When the energy of Lord Shiva combined with that of Maa Parvati, a blazing seed was produced. The seed was so sweltering, that the God Of Fire, Lord Agni was powerless to carry it. Then it was Ganga who carried it safely and deposited it in the ‘Forest of Reeds’- SARAVANA. There were six Krittikas (mothers) took care of the seed, and it grew up into a baby boy. He came to be known as Kartikeya. Soon Lord Kartikeya fought fiercely with Tarakasura and won the battle. As Parvati is the mother of Skanda, she came to known as Skandmata.
Skandmata rides on a lion, has four arms, holds lotus in two hands, lugs Kartikeya with third hand and the fourth hand is in the blessing position. She symbolizes motherhood and love. Her complexion is calm and serene. It is believed that when the devotee worships her, the blessings get doubled as Lord Kartikeya on her lap is also worshipped. Bananas are offered to her as Bhog. Devotees are rewarded with power and prosperity.
Skandmata is compassionate and vulnerable towards her devotees, but at the same time if any hurdles come towards them she appears as a thunderstorm and destroys every problem causing to her children.