This story dates back to the Kalpantha, the end of a Kalpa, when the cosmos was nothing more than an infinite dark nothingness. Within the endless void, a sublime light emerged slowly. Gradually, the source of this light crystallised into a magnificent female form- that of the Divine Mother, Ma Kushmanda. Devi Kushmanda smiled and the suffused light began sprouting with life. Galaxies, planets, plants, animals, insects, humans – everything began coming to life. It was Adi Parashakti, the primordial Shakti who took the form of Ma Kushmanda to re-initiate life in the cosmos.
The word Kushmanda is made of three words- ‘Ku’, meaning ‘little’; ‘Ushma’- meaning warmth and anda- meaning ‘egg’. She is the Mother who bore the little great cosmic egg of all creation. She is the source of all energy, all light, all warmth and all life. She is also known as the ‘smiling’ mother. All She had to do was smile.
Later, she created all of the Universe and settled her Shakthi in the Surya mandala powering the Sun to provide light and warmth to the Universe. As the source of light, Ma Kushmanda is said to direct the Sun God, Lord Surya. She lives in the Sun’s core, and it is Her luminosity that brightens the Sun.
Ma Kushmanda also carries the name, ”Surya mandala Antarvardhini (The one who resides within the Surya mandala)”, due to this reason.
She is the Goddess of Purification and Tapasya for spiritual aspirants, giving heat and light to purify all our deeds.
After creating the Universe, Devi Kushmanda is said to have created other powerful deities from Her smile alone: She created the first three Mahashaktis:
Mahakali: From the left eye of Devi Kushmanda, a terrifying lady with pitch-black complexion emerged. She had ten faces, ten arms, ten feet, and other unique features. She was armed with various weapons and had a fierce appearance. Devi Kushmanda named her Mahakali.
Mahalakshmi: From the third eye of Devi Kushmanda, a fierce lady with a molten lava-like complexion appeared. She had eighteen arms and wore saffron clothes. She was armed with different weapons and had a warrior’s appearance. Devi Kushmanda named her Mahalakshmi.
Mahasaraswati: From the right eye of Devi Kushmanda, a gentle lady with a milk-white complexion was created. She had eight arms and a serene smile. She was adorned with milky white clothes and jewellery. Devi Kushmanda named her Mahasaraswati.
The three Mahashaktis gave birth to the trinity of Gods and Goddesses. From Mahakali were born Lord Shiva and Saraswati. Mahasaraswati gave birth to Lord Vishnu and Shakti while Lord Brahma and Lakshmi were born from Mahalakshmi. Then, Devi Kushmanda paired the offsprings with each other as consorts – Shiva & Shakti, Vishnu & Lakshmi and Brahma & Saraswati.
Ma Kushmanda is worshipped on the 4th day of the Navratris, as the fourth manifestation of Nava Durga.
Ma Kushmanda illuminated the large void with Her light. Similarly, Her benevolent gaze upon us illuminates our shadows and creates harmony in our lives. She is the One who cleanses. She is the nurturer.
Grace comes to us in the form of Kushmanda Devi as we are motivated to pursue the sacred studies and dedicate ourselves to performing our chosen sadhana. This illuminated Goddess of Purification lifts us on our path by making everything we do into an act of worship. Her brilliance never fades.With Ma Kushmanda’s blessings, we set forth on the path of continuous inner purification. Everything becomes an offering for Her. She removes conflict in our hearts and minds until there is no distinction between spiritual acts and worldly acts. With Her blessings, we experience the highest levels of illumination, satisfaction and calm.
The radiance and light of the Mother shines in all ten directions.
The form of Maa Kushmanda represents the power of creation. She is Jagatprasutye, the mother who births the universe.
Ma Kushmanda is eight armed. Magnificently seated on a tiger, Ma holds a kamandala, a Lotus, Rudraksha mala, Bow, Arrow, Chakra, Mace and a Jar of eternal Nectar.
Seated in the Sun’s blazing core, She dispels the darkness of ignorance with the power of Her dazzling smile.
Ma Kushmanda is the genesis of creation, and hence is very closely linked to aspects of creation like conception, fertility, and childbirth. She possesses a creative force that can produce wealth, joy, and love.
Ma Kushmanda is pleased with just little acts of worship and service.
🌸The worship of Maa Kushmanda heals. She dispels illnesses and alleviates of a devotee.
🌸Her smile nourishes, grants abundance, power and wellness to Her devotees
🌸Her worship confers the joy of robust health on Her devotees for their lifetime.
🌸She is a deity connected with enhancing Ojas.
🌸She delays the onset of ageing and extends life .
🌸She grants her admirers brightness, clarity, and great peace.
She is symbolically represented by the nutritious pumpkin gourd.
The fourth form of Nava Durga, is Devi Kushmanda, the one who gives birth to the entire multiverse (Brahmanda) from her loving smile. She presides over the Heart Center. Meditating upon her in the Anahata Chakra, on the fourth day of Navratri bestows a seeker with material and spiritual abundance. Chanting Her mantra with devotion and surrender raises the consciousness of an aspirant to be receptive to higher cosmic truths.
Tantric invocation: Saptashati, Bhadrakali, Kapalika
On the fourth Navratri, Tantric form of Devi is invoked as Kapalika, Saptashati and Bhadrakali as per many tantric texts including the Durga Tantra and Vamkeshvara tantra.
“kāḻī karāḻa vadanā viniṣkrāntāsipāśinī” – Durga Saptashati verse 7.6, describes the emanation of Devi Kalika with a fierce, fearsome, dark-skinned body, wielding a scimitar, holding a severed human head, wearing a garland made of the heads of slain demons and a skirt of their mutilated arms. She is said to have emerged from the third eye of the wrathful Durga on the battlefield. Her vigorous and unquenchable thirst for blood resulted in the total annihilation of Raktabija, a demon who clones himself infinitesimally with every drop of blood that falls on earth. It is Kali’s interminable tongue that consumes every drop before it can touch the ground.
Chanting Her mantra releases her devotees from the endless cycle of desire, gratification, disillusionment and frustration.
Ardently worship Ma Kushmanda on the Chaturthi of Navratri and know that you are nestled within her loving care. May the grace of Devi Kushmanda descend upon you!
⛰️Om Devi Kushmandayai Namaha⛰️
🌸Jaganmatruke Pahimam! 🌸
🔱Om Namashchandikaye! 🔱