Navratri is one of the most popular festivals in India and it is celebrated every year with great enthusiasm and devotion. Although the type of celebration varies in different states, Navratri remains one of the most important festivals in Hindu tradition.
Celebrated in some states as the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana, Navratri is also known as Durga Puja in most of the north-eastern states. Here, devotees worship the nine forms of Goddess Durga and celebrate her victory over the demon Mahishasura.
The festival of Navratri begins with the worship of Maa Shailaputri and is followed by the worship of Maa Bramhacharini on the second day. Maa Chandraghanta is worshipped on the third day, while the fourth day of Navratri is dedicated to…
Also referred to as the “Smiling Goddess”, Maa Kushmanda is worshipped on the fourth day of Navratri. This is day signifies passion, anger and auspiciousness.
Maa Kushmanda is a happy manifestation of Maa Durga and it is also believed that she is the creator of the entire Universe. This is reflected in her name as well. The first word of her name is “Ku” which means little.
The next word “Ushma” means energy or warmth and the third word, “Anda”, means egg. So, her name suggests that she is the creator of this “little cosmic egg”, that we call our Universe.
History and Origin of Maa Kushmanda
Maa Kushamanda’s story begins at a time when there was nothing. The entire Universe was empty, there was no sign of life and darkness prevailed everywhere. Suddenly, a ray of divine light appeared and slowly illuminated everything.
Initially, this divine light was formless and had no particular shape. However, soon it started taking a clear size and finally it took the form of a Lady. This divine lady, the first being of the Universe, was Maa Kushmanda.
It is believed that Maa Kushmanda was able to create this Universe with her silent smile. She produced this “little cosmic egg” and her smile took over the darkness. Maa Kushmanda replaced it with light and gave new life to this Universe.
Soon, she created the Sun, the planets, the stars and the galaxies that fill our night sky. She seated herself at the centre of the Sun and is now believed to be the source of all energy in our Universe. She provides life to all living beings through the sun rays and is therefore, also known as Shakti.
After this, Maa Kushmanda created three divine goddesses, who were also the first beings of our Universe. She used the central eye on her forehead to create a terrorizing form – “Mahalakshmi”. The second form was created from her left eye and was named “Mahakali”. Finally, she used her right eye to create “Mahasaraswati”, a smiling and gracious form.
Later, the body of Mahakali gave birth to a male and a female. The male was named Shiva and the female was named Saraswati. Similarly, Mahalakshmi also gave birth to a male – Bramha - and female – Lakshmi.
Maa Kushmanda then glanced at Mahasaraswati, who then gave birth to a male and female as well. The male was named Vishnu and the female was named Shakti. After this, Maa Kushmanda offered Sarwaswati to Bramha, Lakshmi to Vishnu and Shakti to Shiva as companions.
Later, Maa Kushmanda absorbed the three divine goddesses within herself and then entered Shakti as an object of divine, powerful and unending energy.
Goddess of the Fourth Day of Navratri
Maa Kushmanda is believed to be a form of Shakti and is known as the one who created this Universe. She was the one who drove away the darkness and created the three divine goddesses and other gods as well. She rides a tiger and has a total of 8 arms. Each of these arms holds a particular object or weapon.
She is usually depicted as holding a bow and arrow, a lotus, a mace, a pot of nectar, a rosary, a disc and a Kamandalu (Watering Pot). Maa Kushmanda is a divine, eternal being and is the source of all energy. She is known to bless her devotees with strength, wisdom, prosperity and protects them from the troubles and hardships of life.
Read More About Navratri:
Navratri 2020 (Day 1) – The Story of Maa Shailaputri
Navratri 2020 (Day 2) – The Story of Maa Bramhacharini
Navratri 2020 (Day 3) – The Story of Maa Chandraghanta
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