17 Oct 2015

Navaratri 2015: Day 4 - Kushmanda Devi

“Kushmanda manifested Herself at the moment creation happened. She removes all sorrows and diseases and gives life strength, peace, fame and joy.” – Sri Swami Vishwananda

Devi Name: Kushmanda Devi

Kushmanda Devi is the creator of the universe. Before the universe came into existence, it’s said that there was a dark void, but with just a smile, Kushmanda Devi manifested the whole Cosmos. Unlike the other Devis who either existed before or after the creation of the universe, Kushmanda Devi was manifested right at the moment of creation. It is through Her power that everything was created.

In Sanskrit, ‘Kushmandam,’ means ‘pumpkin.’ Thus, in the worship of Kushmanda Devi, it’s essential to offer pumpkins throughout the ceremony. Kushmanda Devi also has eight arms. Seven of Her hands hold the holy kamandalu, a bow, an arrow, a lotus, a pot containing wine, a disc and a club. The eighth hand holds a japa mala which reminds us of the power of our sadhana (our spiritual practice).

Event Highlights:

On the fourth night of Navaratri, the ceremonies continued and the love for the Divine Mother only grew more and more. The event included a classical Indian dance, a short satsang from Sri Swami Vishwananda, storytelling, and much more. It began with the Guru Stotram and Guru Puja, followed by the customary Gauri Ganesh Puja and a yagna dedicated to the Divine Mother.

During the yagna, Sri Swami Vishwananda arrived and greeted all those attending as he entered into the event tent. After some time of assisting behind the curtains, Swamiji concluded the yagna and offered the final prayers. Once the yagna ended, Sri Swami Vishwananda conveyed the importance of Kushmanda Devi, the fourth form of Nava Durga:

Today is the fourth day of Navaratri dedicated to Goddess Kushmanda. In the word Kushmanda, 'Kush' means 'happy' and 'manda' means the same as 'ananda' or 'supreme happiness'. So, Maha Bhagavati in the form of Kushmanda bestows the supreme happiness. What is this supreme happiness? Often we say that we are happy, but very quickly this happiness changes to unhappiness. You are happy in one moment, but in the next moment your mood swings to the other side, and you become unhappy. How many times a day does this happen? Observe yourself from morning till evening, and see how many times your mood has shifted, from happiness to unhappiness.

True happiness is only when people find their path; like you have found your path, you are truly happy. When one finds one's Guru, one is happy. When one finds the true purpose of life, the true dharma, then one becomes happy. The rest comes and goes, but true happiness stays forever. True happiness gives you inner satisfaction, not only outer satisfaction. Outer satisfaction lasts for a very short time, but inner satisfaction lasts forever.

True happiness is when you find Bhagavan inside of you and you build a relationship with Him. This relationship is not from now, but it is a continuation. He has a long-term relationship with you, not a short-term. Even death can't destroy this relationship. This relationship carries on, life after life, because He wants to embrace you. He wants you to be near to Him, dear to Him! So, this relationship that your Atma has with Paramatma is unique. This is the true relationship. All the other relationships come and go. – Sri Swami Vishwananda

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