The Mother of Skanda – the Supreme Power of War and Wisdom
Prof (Dr) Shalini Verma ‘Lifoholic’
11th of October, 2021: On the 5th day of Navratri, we celebrate motherhood and power of war and wisdom in form of Maa Skandmata, one of nine forms of Adi Shakti Maa Durga. She possesses the brilliance of the sun.
Maa Skandmata is invoked on the fifth day of the Navaratri. In this form, she embodies unique combination of motherhood and power of war and wisdom.
Maa Skandmata is named so as she is the mother of ‘Skanda’ aka Kartikeya who was the firstborn child of Shiva and Parvati. She mounts the ferocious lion. She carries baby Skanda in her lap. Goddess Skandamata is depicted with four hands. She carries lotus flowers in Her upper two hands. She holds baby Skanda in one of Her right hands and keeps the other right hand in Abhayamudra.
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु माँ स्कन्दमाता रूपेण संस्थिता।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः॥
Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Ma Skandamata Rupena Samsthita।
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah॥
As per the legend, Maa Skandmata, one of the forms of Parvati, is the mother of Skanda aka Kartikey – the first born child on Lord Shiva and Parvati. With the union of Shiva and Parvati, a blinding seed – a powerful seed – was born. This seed was so radiant that Lord Agni himself was asked to take care of the seed because from its radiance the first child of Shiva and Parvati was to be born. However, Agni could not bear the radiance of the seed and he took help from Maa Ganga.
Maa Ganga looked after the seed. Later, Parvati herself took the form of water and took care of the seed until Kartikeya took birth. He had six faces and he was looked after by six mothers also called ‘Krittikas’ which is how he got the name of Kartikeya.
In the southern part of India, Kartikeya is also known as Lord Murugan. He’s the commander-in-chief of the Army of Gods. He is immensely powerful as all gods and goddesses blessed him not just with powerful weapons but also immense knowledge.
It is said that when Kartikeya grew up, one day he went to Brahma himself to gain knowledge. And on the first day, he asked Brahma the meaning of ‘Om’ which Brahma explained in 12,000 verses but Kartikeya was not satisfied so he went to his own father Lord Shiva and asked him the same question. Shiva explained the meaning of ‘Om’ in 12 lakh verses but Kartikeya was not so easily to be satisfied. Later, he himself figured out the meaning of ‘Om’ and explained it to everybody in 12 crore verses!
Worshipping this form of Goddess Parvati is equivalent to worshipping Lord Kartikeya – the omnipotent God of Valour and Wisdom.
It is believed that the planet Mercury (Budha) is governed by Goddess Skandamata.
सिंहासनगता नित्यं पद्माञ्चित करद्वया।
शुभदास्तु सदा देवी स्कन्दमाता यशस्विनी॥
Simhasanagata Nityam Padmanchita Karadvaya।
Shubhadastu Sada Devi Skandamata Yashasvini॥