Divinity Series: Day 5 - Skandamata
Skandamata, the goddess worshipped on Panchami, is the mother of Skanda, mother when her child is confronted with danger. She is depicted riding a ferocious lion, having four arms and holding her baby. It is believed that she awards devotees with salvation, power, prosperity and life’s treasures. She can grant oceans of wisdom even to the most illiterate, if they happen to worship her. Skandamātā who possesses the brilliance of the sun fulfills all the desires of her devotees. The worship of Skandamātā purifies the heart of a devotee. While worshipping her, the devotee should have absolute control over his senses and mind. He should free himself from worldly bondage and worship her with a single-pointed devotion. Her worship is twice blessed - when the devotee worships her, Lord Skand, her son in her lap, is automatically worshipped. Thus, the devotee happens to enjoy the grace of Skandmata along with the grace of Lord Skand. Her worship is ultimately conducive to salvation.
Skandamata’s distinctive nature, and to a great extent probably her appeal, comes from the combination of world-supportive qualities and liminal characteristics that associate her with the periphery of civilized order. In many respects Durga violates the model of the Hindu woman. She is not submissive, she is not subordinated to a male deity, she does not fulfill household duties, and she excels at what is traditionally a male function, i.e., fighting in a battle. As an independent warrior who can hold her own against any male on the battlefield, she reverses the normal role for females and therefore stands outside normal society. Unlike the normal female, Skandamata does not lend her power or sakti to a male consort but rather takes power from the male gods in order to perform her own heroic exploits. They give up their inner strength, fire and heat to create her and in doing so they surrender their potency to her.