Goddess Kushmanda is worshipped on the fourth day of Navratri. In 2018, the fourth Navratri is on 21 March , Goddess Kushmanda is known by this name because she created the whole universe with her little divine smile like a flower which bloomed with a bud.
On this day, the devotees should perform the Pooja of the goddess with pure and calm mind. Kushmand means pumpkin and she liked the sacrifice of pumpkin. This is the other reason that she is known by the name of Kushmanda.
Ya devi Sarvabhuteshu Ma Kushmanda Rupen Sansthita
Namastaseya Namastaseya Namastaseya Namoh Namah ||
Goddess Kushmanda created the whole universe in the shape of an egg called “Anda” with her little divine smile like a flower which bloomed with a bud. The core of Sun is the residence of the goddess. She is the only one who controls the functioning of Suryaloka.
The Kawach Shloka of the goddess Kushmanda reads, “Kutsti Kushma Kushma - Trividhtapyut Sansaar, Sa Ande Maanspeshyamudarrupayana Yasya Sa Kushmanda”. It means that the goddess who is the creator of the universe is Kushmanda.
Goddess Kushmanda is also known as “Ashtabhuja” as she is often depicted as having eight arms. In her seven hands she holds kamandalu, bow, arrow, lotus, a jar of nectar, discus and mace. In her eighth hand she holds a rosary capable of giving eight Siddhis and nine Niddhis. She rides a lion who represents “Dharma”. Ailments and sorrows are eliminated on worshipping her and longevity, name, strength and health are improved.
The rituals to perform the Pooja of Devi Kushmanda is similar to that of Devi Chandraghanta and Brahmacharini. You start with the worship of Kalasha on this day with all the gods and goddesses and the family members of the goddess invited into it. Then worship goddess Kushmanda by keeping flowers in your hands to offer her and chant, “ Surasampurnakalasham Rudhiraplutmeva Cha | Dadhana Hastpadhyabhayam Kushmanda Shubhdastu Me ”. Lord Shiva and Brahma are also worshipped after worshipping the goddess. Shri Hari should be worshipped along with the goddess Laxmi.
The devotees who worship the goddess Durga during the nine days of the Navratra also worship her fourth form Devi Kushmanda and establish the Anhat chakra in their mind to get the blessings from her. Kushmanda pooja during Navratri increases one’s health and strength and the person gets freedom from all kinds of fears.8