Today is the fifth day of Navaratri, belonging to Devi Skandamata. She is the mother of Lord Kartikeya. This Devi is worshipped for the birth of children and their wellbeing. On the sixth day after the birth of a child, this Devi is worshipped. She sits on a large lotus with Lord Kartikeya on Her lap. She is also called Chaturbhuji Mata because she has 4 arms.
We have to offer yellow chunri to this Devi. She can be worshipped with red, yellow and white flowers. If this Devi is worshipped, the worship of Lord Kartikeya also occurs automatically. Banana, red pumpkin curry, wheat flour halwa with milk and ghee, jaggery rice and jaggery poha can be offered to this Devi as naivedyam.
We should wear yellow dress, sit on a yellow aasana, spread a yellow chunri in front of us and place a coconut covered with turmeric paste. Now, we have to chant Durga Navarna Mantra, Skanda Mata Mantra and Guru Beejakshara Mantra. Then, we need to wrap the coconut with the yellow chunri. Those, who have no children, can place this packet in their bedrooms for the birth of children. It can be also kept inside the children’s room for their wellbeing. When placed on the worktable and the study table, this increases the efficiency in work as well as gain in more knowledge.
This Devi is worshipped for the resolution of the doshas of the planet Jupiter. When we worship this Devi, we get a good teacher and good knowledge. Since Lord Kartikeya is sitting on the Devi’s lap, even the doshas of the planet Mars are resolved to some extent.
In Bengal and elsewhere, large Devi idols are placed inside large pandals. The Devi is worshipped till Dussehra.
Coming to South Indian Navaratri, if anybody has not been able to place the Golu till now, they can do it today. The padi can be made from improvised stuff like matchboxes, cardboards and thermacol pieces. The padi can be of 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, etc. steps in odd numbers. Small idols can be placed on them.
There are some rules on how to place the idols. The lowest step should have animals and birds. Above that should be grocers and shops. Above that should have the idols of enlightened people. Above that would be Gods. At the top step, at least one idol of Ganesha should be there. This arrangement depicts that Devi Kushmanda brought out this cosmos or Brahmanda from water, with a smile. She invented Gods, humans and animals with inanimate objects.
To be continued…