As the fourth day of Navratri draws to a close, devotees eagerly prepare to usher in the fifth day of this profoundly auspicious festival. Day 5 of Navratri is dedicated to the veneration of Goddess Skanda Mata, a time when devotees observe fasting and offer heartfelt prayers in her honor. According to the Drik Panchang, Navratri Day 5 is set to grace us on the Panchami Tithi of Shukla Paksha in the month of Ashwina, with October 18, 2023, marking a day of profound significance for worshippers.
The fifth day of Navratri holds a special place in the hearts of Hindus, as it is a day dedicated to the worship of Goddess Skanda Mata. This divine form is beautifully depicted with four hands, tenderly cradling a lotus flower in her upper hands, while gracefully riding atop a lion, with infant Kartikeya nestled on her lap. Radiant with a pure white complexion, she reigns supreme over the Vishuddha Chakra. In her motherly form, she embodies qualities of kindness, compassion, humility, and showers her devotees with boundless happiness, ensuring they never return empty-handed. Those who wholeheartedly worship this aspect of Maa Durga find solace from negative thoughts, stress, and the worldly tensions that often plague their minds, gradually guiding them toward purer, undiluted spiritual thoughts.
Intriguingly, Hindu scriptures unravel an enthralling tale associated with Goddess Skanda Mata. The narrative unfolds with the existence of a demon named Tarkasur, who, in his relentless pursuit of immortality, engaged in deep penance to seek a boon from Lord Brahma. However, the creator of the universe, Lord Brahma, declined Tarkasur’s request, emphasizing the inevitability of death for all living beings. Undaunted, Tarkasur resorted to Lord Shiva, the detached deity, and cunningly sought a boon from Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati’s son, Kartikeya, believing that Lord Shiva’s detachment would preclude him from marriage and producing an heir. He craftily asked for his death to be at the hands of Lord Kartikeya.
To Tarkasur’s astonishment, Lord Brahma’s blessing of invincibility did not extend to Lord Shiva’s family, and this revelation was a glimmer of hope for the demon, who saw an opportunity for immortality. Believing himself to be invincible, Tarkasur unleashed havoc upon the universe. Distressed and unable to vanquish him, the deities turned to Lord Vishnu for guidance. In his infinite wisdom, Lord Vishnu revealed a profound truth: Parvati, the incarnation of Goddess Sati, was destined to wed Lord Shiva. He foretold that Lord Shiva would indeed marry Parvati, and from their divine union, Lord Kartikeya was born.
Acknowledging Lord Kartikeya’s extraordinary prowess and valor in combating demons, Lord Brahma appointed him as the Commander-in-Chief of the gods. In this esteemed role, Lord Kartikeya confronted and ultimately defeated the formidable demon Tarkasur, thereby restoring peace and harmony to the universe. In honor of this momentous victory and the motherly aspect of Goddess Parvati, she came to be revered as Skanda Mata, bestowing her blessings and maternal grace upon her devotees during Navratri.
The worship of Goddess Skanda Mata on the fifth day of Navratri is a celebration of her maternal benevolence, her unwavering protection, and her profound ability to guide her followers toward spiritual enlightenment and inner peace. This day is an occasion for deep devotion and reflection, where devotees express their heartfelt gratitude for the divine grace they receive.