Kushmanda Puja is a ritual performed on the fourth day of Navratri, a nine-day festival dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga and her nine forms. Kushmanda is the fourth form of Durga, who created the universe with her smile. She is also known as Adi Shakti or the primal energy. She has eight arms, holding various weapons and a rosary, and rides a tiger. She radiates a bright light like the sun.
Kushmanda Puja is done to seek the blessings of Maa Kushmanda for happiness, prosperity and well-being. She also grants wisdom, power and courage to her devotees. Kushmanda Puja activates the Anahata Chakra or Heart Chakra in the body, which governs love, compassion and harmony.
The following are the steps for performing Kushmanda Puja:
- Cleanse and purify the puja area with Ganga Jal (holy water) or Gomutra (cow urine).
- Set up an idol or image of Maa Kushmanda on a pedestal or altar. Decorate it with flowers, vermilion, turmeric and sandalwood paste.
- Light a lamp with ghee or oil and place it near the idol. Also light some incense sticks and offer them to Maa Kushmanda.
- Invoke Maa Kushmanda by chanting “Om Devi Kushmandayai Namah” 108 times. You can also use a rosary or mala for counting.
- Offer red flowers to Maa Kushmanda as they are her favorite. You can also offer other colorful flowers like marigold, rose or lotus.
- Offer bhog or prasad to Maa Kushmanda. The bhog can consist of malpua (a sweet pancake) as it is her favorite dish. You can also offer fruits like banana, apple or coconut.
- Perform aarti or hymn singing to Maa Kushmanda. You can use any devotional song dedicated to her or chant “Sarv Mangal Mangalye Shive Sarvarth Sadhike Sharanye Tryambake Gauri Narayani Namostute” 21 times.
- Seek forgiveness from Maa Kushmanda for any mistakes or sins committed knowingly or unknowingly. Ask for her grace and guidance in your life.
- Distribute the prasad among your family members and friends as a mark of sharing your joy and gratitude.
Kushmanda Puja is a simple yet powerful way to connect with Maa Durga’s fourth aspect and experience her divine energy. By doing this puja with faith and devotion, you can attain happiness, prosperity and well-being in all spheres of life.