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The Shakti aspect that is worshiped on the fourth day of Navratri is Ma Kushmanda.
ॐ देवी कूष्माण्डायै नमः॥
Ma Kushmanda is that form (swaroop) of Ma Durga who created the whole universe with her divine smile, when nothing existed and there was eternal darkness. The universe created was in a shape of a egg, hence the name Kushmanda. The supreme goddess of power or Adi-Parashakti, appeared in the form of Siddhidatri from the left side of lord Shiva’s body. After taking the form of Siddhidatri, Goddess Parvati started to live inside the core of the sun and, hence, came to be known as Kushmanda Devi. This implies that Kushmanda Devi controls the entire solar system, while residing in the core of the sun.The word Kushmanda is made of three words that are “Ku + Ushma + Amnda= Kushmanda”. Here “Ku” is “Little”, “Ushma” is “Warmth or Energy” & “Anda” is “Egg” , means the one who create the universe as “Little Cosmic Egg” with the energy of Her divine smile. In Sanskrit word “Kushmand” means white pumpkin. Sacrifice of white pumpkin is dear to Ma Kushmanda in the ritualistic sacrifice. Ma Kushmanda is also known as “Ashtabhuja”as she is having eights arms. In her seven hands she holds Kamandalu, Bow, Arrow, Lotus, a Jar of Nectar, Discus, and Mace. In her eighth hand she holds a rosary capable of giving eight Siddhis (eight types of wisdom or powers) and nine Niddhis. (nine types of wealth). The eight siddhis are Animan, Mahiman, Laghiman, Gariman, Praapti, Prakaamya, Ishitva and Vashitva. The nine niddhis are Mahapadma, Padma, Shakh, Makara, Kachchhapa, Mukunda, Kunda, Nila and Kharva. She is also known as Adi Swaroop as she created the whole universe. Her vehicle is a lion. We have an ancient temple of Ashtabhuji Devi in Khajuraho and that temple has enormously positive vibrations.
The governing planet of Ma Kushmanda is Sun. Her being is illuminated like a golden glowing sun. She is the source of light in every being in this universe.
Ma Kushmanda is Anahata Shakti. Anahata (Heart) Chakra is also the abode of Air Element. So on the fourth day of Navratri, Tattva Shakti Sadhak and Sadhika should first make Sankalpam and Guru Vandana and proceed to Vayu Tattva Sadhana. A Sadhak should continuously meditate on the form of Ma Kushmanda while doing this Sadhana (during Navaratri). It is very important to do the Sadhana with pure and focused mind. She opens the doorways to higher spiritual experiences to those who devote their pure hearts to her. The Sadhana removes all illness and sadness from the life of a Sadhak. Ma Kushmanda dispels darkness and ignorance. I have many personal experiences of people coming out of their tamasic life to become sattvic by the grace of Kushmanda devi, especially this Khajuraho temple in particular. Ma Shakti Kushmanda destroys ego and removes doubts, depression and sorrow. She ensures sadhakas/devotees who show their complete faith in Her tread smoothly towards higher spiritual realms. The Sadhana gives subtle but profound spiritual experiences to the Sadhak. A Sadhak gains more clarity of his spiritual path and dwells deep in his/her Sadhana. Ma Kushmanda gives fruits both of worldly and supernatural realms.
या देवी सर्वभूतेषु माँ कूष्माण्डा रूपेण संस्थिता। नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः॥
I bow down at the lotus feet of my Guru and Goddess and pray. “May you receive all the divine grace from Goddess in this New Year.”
– Ma Shakti Devpriya Anand Nath