Skandamata: The mother of Kartikeya, the fifth form of Maa Durga

Skandamata, or the mother of Skanda, another name of Lord Kartikeya, is worshipped on the fifth day of Navratri. She is depicted as carrying baby Murugan or Lord Kartikeya in her lap while riding a ferocious lion.

Day 5: Skandamata, the mother of Skanda

Maa Skandamata has four arms, two of which carry lotus, one holds the baby Lord Skanda and one is in Abhayamudra (giving blessing posture). Legend says that a demon called Tarakasur, after a lot of penance and devotion, pleased Lord Brahma, who granted him a boon. Tarakasur asked to make him immortal, which Lord Brahma denied, saying no one can escape death. To that, Tarakasur asked for a boon that only son of Lord Shiva could kill him, believing Lord Shiva will never marry.

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Upon getting his boon, Tarakasur started tormenting everyone. Fearing that this would bring only destruction, the devtas requested Lord Shiva to marry. Shiva married Parvati and their child Kartikeya/ Skanda finally brought an end Tarakasur. Lord Skanda also became the chief of the Devtas in the war against the demons.

Each day of Navratri is dedicated to worshipping nine different incarnations of Maa Durga. The nine different forms are Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayini, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidhatri.

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