Today devotees will march to the fourth day of auspicious Navratri. Everyone is busy with celebrations, buying their traditional dressing apparels, pujas and mantras in the ongoing Navratri, which commenced on October 13. In the fourth day, devotees will worship the fourth avatar of Goddess Durga, Devi Kushmanda. As per the Hindu mythology, she is considered to be the creator of universe. Owing to this Devi Kushmanda also has the name Adiswarup and Adishakti.
The name Kushmanda also has importance: ‘Ku’ denotes ‘a little’; ‘Ushma’ means ‘warmth or energy’ and finally ‘Anda’ which means ‘cosmic egg’. Devi Kushmanda is believed to have created the universe with just a divine smile of her!
The Devi Kushmanda is stated to possess the power to live inside the Sun, giving it direction and strength to generate energy for the whole universe. Hence God Sun, Surya is governed by Devi Kushmanda on the fourth day of Navratri. Devi Kushmanda is believed to bring good health, wealth and strength. On this day, devotees are preferred to wear attires of Green color.
The iconography of Devi Kushmanda is gorgeous. Her radiant face and golden body complexion ideally depicts the power she posses. Riding on a lioness, she is portrayed having eight hands holding discus, sword, hook, mace, bow, arrow and two jars of honey. Because of having eight hands, she is also known as Ashtabhuja Devi. It is believed that Devi Kushmanda has all the power to bestow Siddhis and Niddhis, which is located in her Jap Mala. In Sanskrit, ‘Kushmand’ means pumpkin. Devi Kushmanda likes the sacrifice of pumpkin, which is the other reason why she is known as Kushmanda.