Fifth Avatar of Goddess Durga – GODDESS SKANDAMATA
For the welfare of the entire world and for the betterment of the devatas, goddess Durga manifested as nine different forms during the nine days of Navaratri. In this sequence, the incarnation of goddess Skanda-maata takes place exactly on the fifth day for blessing the devotees. In the Vedas and Puranas, various deities are not only equated with the parents, but they are also known as “bhakta-vatsala” meaning affectionate towards their devotees. This shows that they act towards the protection and nourishment of this world in the same manner as the parents are protective and affectionate towards their children. They make best efforts to make their children happy and to remove negativities and obstacles from their life. If children suffer from any pain or sickness; there is a tendency to immediately make best efforts to save the child from these problems. Even when the children have differences with them and even when the children are deeply rooted in ego and pride of youth, position, money etc. Even when the children turn away their faces from the parents when they are in need. Despite all these, parents never forget their children and their affection never ceases for their children until their last breath. Similarly, the divine form of the goddess known as Skandamata is always prepared to bless her children and help them during their distress. She tries to dispel the obstacles with her kind blessings. If a devotee is genuinely devoted towards her and surrenders his ego to the goddess, she is capable of immediately showering her divine grace. As per the Chhandogyashruti, the Sanatkumara born out of the goddess is known as “Skanda”. As she is the mother of Sri Skanda, she is known as “Skanda-mata”. She is the mother of Skanda, who is the commander of the army of devas. She holds Skanda (child form) in her lower right arm. She also holds blessing gesture, lotus flower and rides a lion who is the symbol of bravery. Goddess is the giver of all the desired fruits to her children.
Another story of Origin (this is quite different from the first one)
According to Hindu mythology, when all devtas (deities), manushya (mankind) and rishis (sages) were tired by the atrocities of demon Tarkasur, they sought help from Brahma to help end this demon’s tyranny. Brahma, who was earlier pleased by the hard penance of Tarkasur, granted him with the boon of invincibility from all, except Lord Shiva’s son. Upon being urged by all the devtas, Lord Shiva agreed and got married to Parvati, the daughter of Himalaya and later, their son Skanda (also known as Kartikeya / Murgan / Kumara / Subrahmanya) destroyed the demon. Being the mother of such a valiant son, Goddess Parvati came to be known as Skandamata. This devi became the fifth form of Goddess Durga.
Mythological story of Sri Skandamata
The auspicious form of goddess Skandamata is very divine and effulgent. Her vision and blessings grant wealth, prosperity, and progeny in a miraculous way. In the Durga Saptashati, we find a story regarding the goddess narrated in a very beautiful manner. She is the remover of pain and sorrows from the life of all living beings. She is omnipresent and her worship is capable of granting all the desires and riches. She is the one who is behind the origin of the world and she nourishes this universe with her motherly affection. Even in extremely negative situations and even during the crisis, she never forgets about the welfare of this world. She always removes the fears of the devotees and those on whom the goddess has showered her grace are always respected everywhere, they are blessed with glory and wealth. They never go away from dharma and their spouse and children are always protected and nourished. By receiving her grace, noble men perform righteous and religious actives on a regular basis and finally ascends to the heavens. Hence the goddess is certainly giver of the boons in all the worlds. By merely remembering her, devotees can get rid of any fear or negative emotions. She inspires the devotees with righteous and positive thoughts when remembered with a pure heart. Her worship is capable of saving one from fear and poverty. O, Devi! There is no one like you who is so compassionate and propitious for every living being.