Kushmanda – The Fourth Durga
In the continuing narrative concerning the transformation of Parvati into Durga, we come to the fourth stage of Kushmanda. This form of the deity is worshipped on the fourth day of Navaratra.
By this time Parvati had already become a faithful consort of Shiva looking after the domestic chores and establishing her home in the caves. Jatakasur keeping an evil eye on her was already dead. The relationship was maturing and Shiva’s dependence on Parvati gradually increased.
In the Kushmanda stage, we get a view of the relationships which they enjoyed as a newlywed couple. The word Kushmanda consists of three parts – ku meaning a little, ushma meaning warmth and Anda meaning egg.
Intense heat is disastrous for all living and non-living entities. Therefore, a little warmth was the requirement for remaining in a loving relationship for the newlyweds. A little warmth is the only nourishment needed for incubation of an egg. Shiva was receiving this warmth from the deity who was a powerhouse of energy having killer instincts. Shiva was gradually mellowing in the warmth of love and affection.
Regarding ‘Anda’ we come across two versions in the mythology. The first version relates to the origin of the Brahmanda (Universe). The mythology says that the Brahmanda originated from the golden egg (Hiranyagarbha) and this golden egg was provided by Kushmanda. The second version relates to the thoughtless killing of Surya deva by Shiva when two sons of Asur warrior Sukesh named Mali and Sumali were burnt alive by Suryadev when they were performing yagya (sacrifice). The death of the Sun enveloped the world in complete darkness. Surya Deva was the son of Kashyap Rishi and he cursed Shiva for this crime. Shiva in utter confusion sought the help of Parvati who revitalized Surya Deva with the help of blood and amrit. She also helped the mother of Mali and Sumali by implanting an egg in her womb from which she was able to get two newborn sons again.
Kushmanda is depicted in her image riding on a tiger with eight hands (Ashtabhuji Devi) in which she holds Kamandalu, bow, arrow, lotus flower, Amrit Kalash, chakra, gada (mace) and Japmala. She exhibits an invisible smile on her face which reflects her inner strength and confidence.
Kushmanda is worshipped on the fourth day of Navaratra for her blessing for a happy family life. Her abode is in the Anahata chakra.
ॐ कूष्माण्डायै नम: ।।
Om Kushmandayai Namaha
सुरासम्पूर्णकलशं रुधिराप्लुतमेव च।
दधाना हस्तपद्माभ्यां कुष्मांडा शुभदास्तु मे।
Suraa sampurna kalasham rudhiraplutameva cha.
Dadhana hasta padmabhyam Kushmaanda Subhadasthu mae.
Holding a kalsham’s (aesthetic pot) one filled up with Amrutha, another with blood and holding them by her lotus-like hands, O Mata Kushmaanda, please bestow me good luck and fortune.
I am a Vedic astrologer by profession. I have done Jyotish Acharya from Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan. I am devoted to my Sadguru Shri Sai Nath of Shirdi. I am also interested in spirituality. I love to guide people.