Kushmanda Devi is worshipped on the 4th day of Navratri festival (nine nights of Nava Durga) and she is the fourth manifestation of Goddess Durga. Her name signifies her importance, “Ku” (little), “ushma” (energy or warmth) and “anda” (cosmic egg); basically it means with her divine smile she has created the whole universe in the form of a cosmic egg. Goddess Kushmanda is also called as Smaanda Devi, Adi Shakti and Ashtabhuja Devi.
Appearance and Power of Maa Kushmanda:The Goddess, with eight hands (hence the name Ashta bhuja) holding a discus, an arrow, a bow, a sword, a mace, a lotus and a jar of honey, riding on a lion (that depicts Dharma) and shining like a glowing Sun gives light in all directions. Her eighth hand holds a rosary that blesses her devotees with Ashta Siddhis (eight-types of wisdom’s) and Navasiddhis (eight-types of wealth). It is believed that she improves the health and grants wealth and strength to her followers.And so, she is worshipped on fourth day of Navaratri where devotees keep their mind in spiritual practice worshipping her to improve one’s health and strength, gives true knowledge, destroys negative ego’s/habits and bowing to her with forgiveness. She is the first being of the entire universe and the only creator of the universe.
Legend behind Goddess Kushmanda: Lord Vishnu with the help of Devi Kushmanda was able to create the whole universe. She with her little and divine smile created the universe in the form of an egg when there was no existence of any creation and in every direction there was only darkness. Her divine smile blossomed to light up the entire universe in all directions like rays of the sun. As she created the universe in the form of an egg or anda, she is known as Adi Shakti. There is a saying that she gives direction to Sun God, Surya as she gives brightness and illumination by her luminosity and hence she resides in the core of Surya. Her body glows with a golden color complexion and a shining face. She removes all sufferings and sorrows from your life and grants strength and prosperity.
Worship Goddess Kushmanda:
She is worshipped in the form of a Kaalash and flowers are offered. White pumpkin is considered as sacred offering to Kushmanda Devi and her divine abode resides in Bhimaparvat. Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma are also worshipped after the Devi puja.To seek the blessings of Goddess Kushmanda, chant the given mantra:
(Yādēvīsarvabhūtēṣumāmkushmandarūpēṇasansthitā |Namastasyainamastasyainamastasyainamōnama: ||)
The mantra means: Worship her to obtain and be blessed with inner strength, good health and prosperity.