Maa Kushmanda is the Fourth form of Maa Durga, It is believed that Maa Kushmanda Lives inside the Sun and enlightening the whole world by its ultimate energy.
वन्दे वांछित कामार्थे चंद्रार्घ्कृत शेखराम, सिंहरुढ़ा अष्टभुजा कुष्मांडा यशस्वनिम.
According to the sequence of the worship of Navadurgas, the presiding deity of the fourth day is Devi Kushmanda. Goddess Kushmanda is the fourth manifestation of Goddess Durga.
The name Kushmanda is a combination of three words- Ku, Ushma and Anda. Here ‘Ku’ means little, ‘Ushma’ means warmth or energy and ‘Anda’ is the egg. It basically means the one who created this universe as a ‘little cosmic egg’. The Goddess is very happy in this manifestation. It is believed that when the universe did not exist, there was complete darkness everywhere. Then the Goddess smiled and darkness was eliminated. So, Devi Kushmanda is believed to have created this universe with her divine smile.
According to the Durga Saptshati, Goddess Kushmanda created the universe. She is the one who controls the functioning of the solar system. She is the one who existed when there was nothing except darkness. Then She smiled and the universe was created, illuminated with light.
The core of the Sun is believed to be the residence of Goddess Kushmanda. She is the one who provides the energy to the Sun to shine and emit light to the universe. All the directions get illuminated by Her divine smile including the Sun itself. Goddess Kushmanda is depicted as an eight-armed Goddess. In Her seven hands, She holds a kamandalu, bow, arrow, lotus, a jar of nectar, mace and a discus. In Her eighth hand, She holds a rosary which has all the eight Siddhis and nine Niddhis. She rides a lion which represents ‘Dharma’.
It is believed that if one worships Devi Kushmanda on the fourth day of Navratri, he/she is blessed with good health, prosperity, fame and strength. The rituals of worshipping the Goddess are elaborate. The worship begins with the worshipping of the Kalash. All the other Gods and Goddesses are invited to the Kalash. Then the puja begins by chanting the mantra of the Devi. The Goddess also loves the sacrifice of a pumpkin. Hence, sacrificing pumpkin in front of the Goddess is a crucial ritual of the fourth day.