Though today is the fourth day of Navratri, instead of the fourth form of Nav Durga, which is Goddess Kushmanda, Skandamata — the fifth avatar of Goddess Durga will be worshipped. This is because the Panchami Tithi is falling on October 10. Basically, this year, the fourth day of Shardiya Navratri will be dedicated to the fifth incarnation of Shakti — Maa Skandamata.
Like many other avatars of Nav Durgas, Maa Skanda too is an incarnation of the divine Mother, Maa Parvati. And the reason why Maa Parvati is referred to as Skandamata is because she is the mother of Lord Kartikeya, also known as ‘Skanda’.
Maa Skanda can be seen riding a mighty lion with multi-headed baby Kartikeya on her lap. The Goddess, who has four hands, adorns a crescent moon on her forehead. Goddess Skanda is also known as ‘Padmasana’ since she is seated on a lotus.
Legend has it that the Gods, sages, and humans were tired from being tormented by the giant demon, Tarakasur. And while other Gods failed to fight against the demon, Lord Kartikeya was the one who demolished the tyranny of the infamous Asura. And Parvati being the mother of powerful Kumar Kartikeya, is being worshipped and glorified as ‘Skandamata’.
It is believed that by worshipping Maa Skanda, one can awaken his/ her Kundalini, which is a form of divine energy believed to be located at the base of the spine. To worship Maa Skanda on Panchami Tithi, devotees can offer her flowers, specifically hibiscus. One should meditate to purify the chakras; it is believed that meditating on the Panchami Tithi gives fruitful results.
For mantra chanting, one must sit on a mat made of Kush. If not that, then a simple blanket will be enough, but it should be clean. Devotees observe fast on the fifth day of Navratri so that they can be blessed with peace, prosperity and happiness with the divine grace of Goddess Skandamata.
‘Om Devi Skandamatayai Namah’
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