Day 4 : Kushmanda
Kushmanda is a Hindu goddess, credited with creating the world with her divine smile. Followers of the Kalikula tradition believe her to be the fourth form of the Hindu goddess Durga. Her name signals her main role: Ku means “a little”, Ushma means “warmth” or “energy” and Anda means “cosmic egg”.
Kushmanda is worshiped on the fourth day of the festival of Navratri (nine nights of Navadurga) and She is believed to improve health and bestow wealth and strength. Goddess Kushmanda has eight hands and because of that She is also known as Ashtabhuja Devi. It is believed that all the power to bestow Siddhis and Niddhis are located in her Jap Mala.
It is stated that She created the whole universe, which is called Brahmanda (ब्रह्माण्ड) in Sanskrit, by just flashing little bit of her smile. She also likes Bali of white pumpkin known as Kushmanda (कुष्माण्ड). Due to her association with Brahmanda and Kushmanda She is popularly known as Goddess Kushmanda.
Form of Devi :
Goddess Kushmanda rides on the lioness. She is depicted with eight hands. She has Kamandal, Dhanush, Bada and Kamal in the right hands and Amrit Kalash, Jap Mala, Gada and Chakra in the left hands in that order.
Story of Devi Kushmanda :
It is said that when the universe was non-existent and there was darkness everywhere, Ma Kushmanda produced this “little cosmic egg” with her smile. The universe was then filled with light. It is believed that she is the source of all energy inn the universe. Further, it is also believed that she lives in the core of the Sun and thus provides energy to all the beings. She is believed to provide direction to Surya, the Sun God.
After creating the Universe, Ma Kushmanda created the first beings. These were three supreme goddesses. With her left eye, she created a terrorizing form ad named her Mahakali. From her center eye (on her forehead), she created another ferocious form and named her Mahalaxmi. From her right eye, came an extremely benevolent and smiling form, which she named Mahasaraswati.
From the body of Mahakali, a male and a female took birth. The male had five heads and ten arms. He was named as Shiva. The female had one head and four arms. Her name was kept Saraswati.
From Mahalaxmi’s body also a male and a female took birth. The male had four heads and four arms. Ma Kushmanda named him as Brahma whereas the female was named as Lakshmi. She had one head and four arms.
When Ma Kushmanda glanced at Mahasaraswati, she also gave birth to a male and a female. The male had one head and four arms. He was named Vishnu. The female had one head and four arms and was named Shakti
She then offered Shakti to Shiva, Saraswati to brahma and Lakshmi to Vishnu as consorts.
Thereafter, Ma Kushmanda absorbed the three supreme goddesses and herself entered shakti as an orb of divine and unending energy.
It is thus believed that Ma Kushmanda is a form of Shakti who created this Universe and was the first being in the entire Universe. The gods that she created then went on to create other living beings in the Universe.
Ma Kushmanda possesses eight arms. She wields a Kamandalu, a bow, an arrow, a lotus, a pot of nectar, a disc, a mace and a rosary in her eight arms. She rides a lion which evokes fearlessness in her devotees. She bestows all pleasure and her regular worship brings prosperity, powers, pleasures and salvation. She destroys all ailments, troubles and hurdles of her true devotees.
Spiritual Significant of Devi Kushmanda by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
A pumpkin is round. So here, it refers to your Prana (subtle life force energy) and that too, Prana which is total; complete like a sphere.
It used to be a traditional custom in India that the pumpkin was eaten only by Brahmins, the intellectuals. No one else in society used to eat pumpkin. A pumpkin is supposed to enhance one’s Prana, one’s intelligence and energy. A pumpkin is said to have the unique property of absorbing Prana and also radiating Prana. It is one of the most pranic vegetables on the planet. Just like the leaves of the Ashwath tree generate oxygen 24 hours through the day, in the same way, the pumpkin absorbs and also radiates energy. This entire creation – both the manifest and the unmanifest – is like a huge round ball or pumpkin. You have all kinds of diversity here, from the smallest to the largest.
“Anda” here means the Cosmic Egg or the Cosmic Sphere. “Ku” means small, “sh” means Energy. So energy pervades this entire Universe from the smallest to the largest. From small it becomes big and from big it becomes small. From the small seed it becomes a huge fruit, and from the huge fruit it comes back into seed.
Our energy has this unique quality of being smaller than the smallest, and larger than the largest. This is explained by Kushmanda and this is why the Mother Divine is also called Kushmanda. It means that the Mother Divine manifests as the Prana, as the energy within us.
Just sit and think of yourself as a pumpkin for just five seconds or so. The meaning here is to elevate yourself to the Supreme Intelligence which is the Mother Divine Herself. Like a pumpkin, you too should feel the abundance and fullness in your life, and see everything in creation as so alive with Prana in every particle. Seeing that awakened intelligence manifest and pervading everywhere in creation is the meaning of Kushmanda.
Kushmanda Mantra :
सुरासम्पूर्ण कलशं रुधिराप्लुतमेव च।
दधाना हस्तपद्माभ्यां कूष्माण्डा शुभदास्तु मे॥
Meaning: Goddess Kushmanda who holds two pitchers full of Madira and Blood in her lotus hands, be propitious to me.
Colour of the Day : Blue