The story of Goddess KushmandaGoddess Kushmanda is an incarnation of Durga who is revered on the fourth day of Navratri. Goddess Kushmanda is also renowned as the smiling goddess. The universe is considered to have been created by Goddess Kushmanda. In the beginning, when there was nothing but darkness, Goddess Kushmanda used her energy to create a small cosmic egg, which is the universe in which we now exist. The scriptures state that Goddess Kushmanda dwells in the core of the sun and provides the sun its direction. She is the source of all warmth and energy in the universe. In the beginning when there was nothing, Goddess Kushmanda created the universe and along with that she created three life forms. The first was a fierce Goddess known as Goddess Mahakali who emerged from the left eye. Goddess Mahalakshmi emerged from the third eye from her forehead. From Goddess Kushmanda’s right eye emerged the benevolent and smiling goddess Mahasaraswati. Having created these three life forms, Goddess Kushmanda glanced at them one by one. The first three life forms on Earth were Mahalaxmi, Mahakali, and Mahasaraswati. Goddess Kushmanda glanced at Mahakali from whom a male and female were born. The male possessed five heads and ten arms. The goddess named him Shiva. The female had one head and four arms and was named Saraswati. Next, Goddess Kushmanda looked at Mahalakshmi from whom again a male and a female were born. The male had 4 heads and 4 arms and was named Brahma by the goddess. The female was named Lakshmi who possessed one head and four arms. Finally, Goddess Kushmanda looked at Mahasaraswati from whom a male and a female were born too. The male possessed one head and four arms and was named Vishnu while the female that also possessed one head and four arms was named Shakti. Goddess Kushmanda then gave Shakti to Shiva, Saraswati to Brahma and Lakshmi to Vishnu as their consorts. The three then went on to create the remainder of the universe. The three were later reincorporated again into Goddess Kushmanda. Mahakali, Mahasaraswati, and Mahalaxmi were all absorbed back into the goddess. From then on, she is believed to have become one with Shakti as an orb of energy and form. Therefore, it is believed that Goddess Kushmanda is the one who provides warmth and energy to the entire universe.
Kushmanda Puja VidhiOn the fourth day (Chaturthi Tithi) of Navratri devotees offer prayers to Goddess Kushmanda after offering prayers to the Kalash. Green is considered to be an auspicious colour to be used for the asana. The goddess is offered water and flowers and blessings are sought for good health for the worshipper and their dear ones. This puja is especially fruitful for those who are terminally ill as this puja helps to seek blessing from the goddess for their early recovery. The devotees then offer flowers, dhoop, incense, sandalwood, etc. to the goddess. A bhog of fruits is then offered. This can be made according to the capability of the worshipper. An aarti is then performed for the goddess and the katha is recited. The elders of the house are then paid reverence and prasad is distributed among the devotees.
Significance of Kushmanda PujaIt is believed that by worshipping Goddess Kushmanda during Navratri festival helps in alleviating all obstacles from the lives of her devotees. Kushmanda puja bestows good health, wealth, and strength to the devotees. The goddess’ Jap Mala is said to contain all of the power that confer Siddhis and Niddhis. Worshiping Goddess Kushmanda on Navratri endows extreme power and vitality to devotees.
Kushmanda MantraOm Devi Kushmandayai Namah॥
Kushmanda Prarthana:Surasampurna Kalasham Rudhiraplutameva Cha।
Dadhana Hastapadmabhyam Kushmanda Shubhadastu Mey॥
Kushmanda Stuti:Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Goddess Kushmanda Rupena Samsthita।
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namaha॥
DhyanaVande Vanchhita Kamarthe Chandrardhakritashekharam।
Simharudha Ashtabhuja Kushmanda Yashasvineem॥
Bhaswara Bhanu Nibham Anahata Sthitam Chaturtha Durga Trinetram।
Kamandalu, Chapa, Bana, Padma, Sudhakalasha, Chakra, Gada, Japawatidharam॥
Patambara Paridhanam Kamaneeyam Mriduhasya Nanalankara Bhushitam।
Manjira, Hara, Keyura, Kinkini, Ratnakundala, Manditam॥
Praphulla Vadanamcharu Chibukam Kanta Kapolam Tugam Kucham।
Komalangi Smeramukhi Shreekanti Nimnabhi Nitambanim॥
Kushmanda StotraDurgatinashini Tvamhi Daridradi Vinashaneem।
Jayamda Dhanada Kushmande Pranamamyaham॥
Jagatamata Jagatakatri Jagadadhara Rupaneem।
Charachareshwari Kushmande Pranamamyaham॥
Trailokyasundari Tvamhi Duhkha Shoka Nivarineem।
Paramanandamayi, Kushmande Pranamamyaham॥