30 Sep 2014

Navaratri Day 5 - Skanda Ma

Skanda Ma
On the fifth day of Navaratri we celebrate the Divine Mother in the form of Skanda Mata.

Sri Swami Vishwananda said in previous years, "The fifth form of the mother is known as Skanda Mata. As you all know, Shiva has two sons, one is Ganesha and the other one is Muruga. Other names for Muruga are ‘Skanda’ or Kartik. So as Devi Durga is the mother of Kartik, She is also referred to as ‘Skanda Mata’. In the Christian tradition, Muruga can be referred to as Archangel Michael, who is the leader of all the angels and archangels. The same as Muruga, who is the warrior God and the commander of the celestial armies. Here you see Goddess Bhagavati, Skanda Devi, holding Muruga in Her arm, showing that She is the Mother of all the power. She is the Mother of all the forces. She is the Mother who gives the power to vanquish all the negativity."

Yagna - purifying ritual
"She will also come to destroy your pride, even if She has to be strict – She has not taken the form of Kali yet – She is still soft. She will give you a certain warning, ‘Hey be careful! Watch out!’ But if this carries on, She will take the form of Maha Kali.

Skanda in this form, is representing all of you, each one of you, is not only him, but it is the whole humanity in Her hand. She is holding all. You also see Mother Mary always with Her hands open saying, ‘All the people in the world are my children.’ So, place yourself in Skanda's place, sitting on Her lap and pray to Her that all the pride and ego that you have may be removed in Her way, in a soft way, so that She can help you to awaken."

"The Divine Mother in this form also gives children to the world. So, people who don't have kids and wish to have children may they be blessed with children."
This year we had a special guest, the Hindu priest Raja Sekaragurukkal from the Shiva Mandir, Wembley, London.

Sri Swami Vishwananda welcoming the Hindu priest Raja Sekaragurukkal
Raja Sekaragurukkal performed the ritual chanting in Sanskrit of the 13 chapters (700 verses) of the Devi Mahatmyam. And, after the chanting of each chapter, a different form of Ma Chandika was venerated by the offering of prasad followed by a short arati.

Raja Sekaragurukkal chanting the Devi Mahatmyam
He was very impressed with the joyful bhakti expression of the Bhakti Marga family during this night's celebrations and said, "You have a very good Guru!"

During the chanting of Durga Chalisa
"It's the first time I have seen this! When you started the bhajans, it was really amazing! I felt it! I feel it! You know, Ma place is Shree Peetham. In Shree Peetham, there is a bell, but in the bell there is no stick inside (clapper). So, how can the bell make noise? Whenever people sing bhajans, whenever people do the Mataji Naam then the sound will be automatically coming from the bell. Definitely, today here is Shree Peetham. Jai Mata!"