Kushmanda, the fourth manifestation of Goddess Durga, is worshipped on the Navratri Chaturthi. She is considered to be the creator of the universe. Her name comprises of “Ku-shm-anda” meaning “the cosmic egg.” The fourth day of Navratra also marks the beginning of worshipping MahaLaxmi. Legend says that Lord Vishnu was able to start the creation of the universe when Devi Kushmanda smiled and moved away. She created the whole universe when there was no existence of any creation and there was eternal darkness in every direction. She signifies that form of Durga, which is the source of all. Devi Kishmanda is also known as “Ashtabhuja” as she is often depicted holding weapons, rosary etc in her eight. In her seven hands she holds kamandalu, bow, arrow, a jar of nectar, discus, mace and a lotus. In her eighth hand she holds a rosary which blesses her devotees with the Ashtasiddhis (8 types of studies or Wisdom sources) and Navniddhis( 8 types of wealth). She sits or rides a lion who personifies “Dharma”. Her hand holding nectar of jar provides her devotees with long life and good health.
It is said that the Devi Kushmanda formed the universe in the shape of an egg with her little divine smile like a flower which blossomed with a bud, thus giving light to the universe through her heavenly smile. The Devi resides on the core of the Sun and hence controls the functioning of Surya Loka. She has a glowing face and her body shines with golden colour complexion.
The Goddess Kushmanda should be worshipped by Chanting the followed Mantra:
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु माँ कुष्मांडा रूपेण संस्थिता।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नम:।।