Kushmanda is worshipped on the fourth day of the festival of Navaratri
. She is regarded as the creator of the universe. She is often depicted as having eight or ten hands. She holds weapons, rosary in her hands and rides a lion. The Hindu mythology affirms that Goddess Kushmanda is glorified by ten different aspects of the manifestation her `Shakti` or power, known as `Dasha-Mahavidya` and also Her nine different forms, `Nava-Durga`. Goddess Kushmanda is the fourth form of `Nava-Durga`. The other appearances are Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Skandamata, Katyaayani, Kaalratri, Mahagouri, Siddhidatri and Kusika.
got the name Kushmanda after she created the universe with a smile. She is believed to be the source of perpetual power. The Goddess Kushmanda has eight arms and that is why she is also known as `Ashtabhuja`. In her seven hands she holds the holy urn, a bow, an arrow, a lotus, a pot containing wine, a disc and a club. In her eighth hand she holds a string of rosary beads that is believed to provide success and prudence.
The vegetable pumpkin is termed as `Kushmandam`, because it is a sacrificial vegetable offered in the worship of the Goddess (naibidhya). That is why she is named `Kushmanda`. She is worshiped abiding by the rituals that are described in the Shastra and the Puranas. Goddess Durga is worshipped in this form as she eradicates sorrow and diseases and augments life, fame and strength. Goddess Kushmanda is pacified with the slightest of devotion and if any one whole-heartedly worships the deity he will certainly be blessed.
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