Fourth Avatar of Goddess Durga: GODDESS KUSHMANDA
On this earth, devotees have been regularly blessed by the divine energy since time immemorial. Be it the order of creation, the evolution of living creates, fighting with the evil forces or the establishment of humanity and religion on earth, nothing is possible without the grace of the cosmic goddess. Even though in this materialistic world, we have gone miles away from the core spiritual values and have started forgetting god or divine powers, the cosmic goddess always wishes good for all the beings of the creation. The fourth divine form of goddess Adishakti is famous in this world in the name of “Kooshmaandaa”. She is the creator of this world. Not only this, she is the embodiment of divine light. She not only illuminates the world through her light but also empowers the planets, solar system etc. to sparkle with her cosmic light. She is the ultimate energy who is behind the creation of the world. It is said that she is the origin of various types of heat, she also holds this universe in her womb. Thus she is also known as “Jagat-Janani” or “Adi-shakti”. She is the ever compassionate towards every being of the world. The manifestation of Sri Kushmanda is believed to be on the fourth day of the Navaratri. She has a divine form which is beyond words, she has eight arms. For the welfare of the living beings, she holds in her right hands, kamandalu, bow, arrow, and lotus flower. In the left hand she holds, a pot of nectar, rosary, gadaa, and chakra respectively. She is seated on a giant lion and she is emitting brilliant light which illuminated all the directions. The light and aura of all the living and non-living beings are only because to her energy. With the blessings of the mother, devotees can overcome diseases, fear, sorrows, and obstacles. Further, they are always protected by the known and unknown enemies by the goddess.
According to Durga Saptshati, Goddess Durga was very pleased with her avatar of Kushmanda. It is believed that the supreme goddess of power or Adi-Parashakti, appeared in the form of Siddhidatri from the left side of Lord Shiva’s body. After taking the form of Siddhidariti, Goddess Parvati started to live inside the core of the sun and, hence, came to be known as Kushmanda Devi. This implies that Kushmanda Devi is the only goddess who resides in the core of the sun, from where she controls the entire solar system.
The name Kushmanda is a compound word that consists of three Sanskrit words ‘ku’ (meaning-little), ‘ushma’(meaning-warmth) and ‘anda’(meaning-egg); which combined together means a little warm cosmic-egg.
Kushmanda Devi is depicted with eight hands. She has kamandal, dhanush, bada and kamal in the right hands whereas, she is holding an amrit-kalash, jap-mala, gada and chakra in her left hands. Her beautiful female form is seen sitting on a lion that denotes dharma and justice.
Mythological tale of Goddess Kushmanda
The fourth form of the goddess is related to the manifestation of the universe, she holds the universe in the divine (cosmic) womb. In the beginning of the universe, there was no existence of life or any major activities. But the divine form of Kushmanda was very effulgent as that of the several Suns. From the divine light of the goddess, the whole of the universe got illuminated as if an egg is formed into the flower. Due to the bright smile of the goddess, the universe was filled with joy and creativity. Thus her name was known as “Kooshmaandaa”. The creator of the worlds, Maa Kushmanda always illuminates the universe with her light. She always witnesses the good and bad karmas done by the beings of various worlds. She then arranges a system for the fruits of one’s deed based on his karmas by her divine powers. Not only this, she also dispels the darkness (ignorance) from the lives of the beings with her divine light (knowledge). She is the knowledge of wisdom. She is not only the mother of the universe, but also the goddess of wisdom, wealth, intellect, light, and strength and is very auspicious and compassionate.