According to the series of the worship of nine forms of Maa Durga in Navaratri, Maa Kushmanda is worshipped on the fourth day during Durga Puja. She is known to be the fourth manifestation of Goddess Durga. The name of Maa Kushmanda is a combination of three words; Ku means little, Ushma means warmth and Anda means cosmic egg. It is believed that Kushmanda Devi created this whole universe as a cosmic egg with her little divine smile. Also it is said that before the existence of universe there was complete darkness.
When Maa Kushmanda smiled all the darkness got eliminated and thus illuminated with light creating the universe. So she is known as Adiswarup and Adishakti.
As per Hindu mythology the core of the sun is the place of residence of Maa Kushmanda. She is the only one who has strength and power to live in that part of the sun. Her divine smile illuminates in all directions of the universe including the sun itself. Devi Kushmanda provides energy to the sun so as to shine and to emit light to the universe. All the functioning of the solar system is controlled by none other than Devi Kushmanda. The Goddess Kushmanda has been seen to be very happy in this fourth manifestation among the nine forms of Maa Durga.
Maa Kushmanda is often depicted as having eight hands. In the seven hands she holds Kamandalu, arrow, bow, a jar of nectar, mace, discus and a lotus flower. While in her eighth hand she holds a rosary that consists of all the eight kinds of Siddhis and nine Niddhis. The complexion of her body is golden in colour and the structure of her face is very radiant. She is seen to mount on a lion which signifies Dharma. Since Devi Kushmanda provides energy and light to the Sun in order to emit in all directions so it is said that God Sun is governed by Goddess Kushmanda.
Goddess Kushmanda is worshipped on the fourth day of Navaratri. If one worships Devi Kushmanda then all the ailments, sorrows, hurdles and troubles are removed or eliminated from one’s life. While the divine blessings of Goddess Kushmanda helps to improve health, wealth, fame, prosperity and strength in one’s life. All the customs and rituals involved in worshipping Devi Kushmanda are very sophisticated. It is believed that the worship of Devi Kushmanda starts with the puja of the Kalash where all other Gods and Goddesses are invited. On the fourth day of Navaratri there is a crucial ritual of sacrificing a pumpkin because according to Hindu mythology it is said that Maa Kushmanda loves the sacrifice of a pumpkin. Due to this reason sometimes, in many temples, on the fourth day of Durga Puja, many devotees are seen in queue with a pumpkin in order to satisfy Goddess Kushmanda by sacrificing the pumpkin.
In spiritual practice goddess Kushmanda represents Anahata Chakra. Therefore on the auspicious occasion of this day along with Yogis and Sadhaks, other dedicated devotees keep their mind in Anahata Chakra.