Chaitra Navratri that began on April 6 is being celebrated with fun and fervour across the country with each day being dedicated to a particular form of Goddess Durga. The fourth day of the festival is dedicated to Maa Kushmanda.
Ku stands for 'little', Ushma means 'energy or warmth', Anda stands for 'cosmic egg'. Maa Kushmanda is Lord Shiva's consort and improves the health of the devotee. The goddess has eight hands and is also known as Ashtabhuja Devi. Through her jap mala, the goddess bestows siddhis to her devotees.
She is mounted on a tiger and carries lotus, chakra, kamandalu, bow, arrow, gadha, rosary, jar of holy Elixir and blood as her weapons.
She also bestows immense wealth and strength to those who pray to her. It is believed that this form of Durga has the power and energy to reside within the sun. Therefore, she has the radiance and glow to sustain and preserve energy.
Her power is immense and it is believed that she only created the universe just with a smile. Besides, several legends say that she is fond of Bali of white pumpkin which is known as Kushmand. Because she created the universe (Brahmanda) and she likes Kushmand, the goddess is popularly known as Maa Kushmanda.