Kushmanda – 4th Navadurga, The 4th Night of NavRatri

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The Fourth Night of #NavRatri is dedicated to Ma as Kushmanda – the Power of the Sun. Now, this is my own somewhat figurative rendering of the name; with a more direct translation working out something like “Warmth of the Cosmic Egg”. And while it might be tempting, I suppose, to think of the Sun as perhaps being the warmth-associated round yellow object (like the yolk of an egg maybe) of the cosmos, there’s quite a bit more going on here than simply that interpretation.

For in addition to the Sun (which is commanded and ’empowered’ by Her – thus recalling, in somewhat residual format, the quite likely identity of the Proto-Indo-European solar deity as *female* rather than male, something preserved to a certain extent also with the Nordic figure of Sol; and perhaps, also, in the Scythian Tabiti – relating to warmth, fire, piety, and a presiding position in their pantheon), She is also associated with the HiranyaGarbha – the ‘Golden Egg’ mentioned in an ancient Hymn of the RigVeda (Hymn 121 of the 10th Mandala) which forms one of the earlier Hindu creation myths.

Now, this is very interesting – for in addition to its obvious generative function, the Egg in question is also identified in post-RigVedic literature as Brahman, that is to say “the Absolute”. And according to the subsequent elaborations upon the Vedic hymnal in question, shortly after the inception of the universe via its coming into being, it undergoes a process I suppose you might refer to as ‘mitosis’, whereby the Egg splits into two (which may, in fact, be what is metaphorically referred to via the notion of Kushmanda *smiling* to create the universe – for a mouth shape entails a line wherein the face comes apart; while a smile ensures this is regarded positively rather than a ‘mere’ fracture; if the grin exposes teeth it shows the ‘bones’ of its bearer, also. This may additionally, perhaps, connote a gesture of communication – Divine Speech, an act of both Enunciation and Annunciation with which the Song of the Universe could begin via a single roaring, cracking note [‘Crack’ and Garjati – the latter meaning a roar, or a low-frequency humming, a growl, a resounding noise, the sound of the Thunder – actually share an etymological root in PIE ‘Gerh’] – Vacam Garjit Lakshanam, indeed [‘Thunder having the Characteristics of Divine Speech’, ‘Divine Speech expressed as Thunder[ous roaring]’]; And what is an “Aum”, and how does an Egg hatch? Perhaps the background roar of the Big Bang, is precisely this ‘humming’, ‘cracking’, ‘Humkara’, of AUM at Devi Shakti’s imperious command). These two, as with many ‘fundamental pairings’ to be found in an array of cultures the world over (I am reminded instantly of the New Zealand Maori figures of Rangi and Papatuanuku, the Ouranos and Gaia (or, for that matter, Chronos & Rhea) of the Greeks, and no doubt many more examples besides) are the Heavens and the Earth.

However, the original Vedic scripture is rather more terse when it comes to such details – only insisting that this figure (not at all coincidentally translated by Ralph Griffith as “Mother of the World”), who is to be regarded and worshipped as supreme, is responsible for the creation, filling, ordering, and I suppose one might say “en-lightening” of the Cosmos. [These elements are, implicitly, reiterated in a subsequent 10th Mandala hymnal – the famed DeviSukta (Hymn X.125), wherein Shakti – as Vak – is identified as empowering, ordering, energizing, and even emanating out as inceptor, the subsequent core of creation, from a position *above and beyond* thus. ‘Preceptor’, in several senses, may therefore *also* be eminently apt labeling]

In either case, I believe the implication is quite clear: This ‘Cosmokrator’, this Mother of  the World with golden, shining radiance as Her hall-mark (in multiple senses of the term) … is Adi Shakti. The First Power, Who precedes the Universe, and Who is responsible for its investiture with All and Everything at its Beginning. Which, of course, gels with another translation often proffered for HiranyaGarbha – Golden Womb.

Kushmanda, then, as a Theonym, does not simply refer to She Who in the present provides the Sun with its radiance and lustre – its “warmth” (or, ‘energy’ I suppose one might additionally render it as), as well as its direction. But rather, to She Who at the very outset of there even having been a Sun did so. Has always done so. Indeed, created and set the Sun into Its Portion of the ‘Cosmic Vault’ in the very literal ‘first place’. The primordial ‘energy’ and ’empowerment’ [for such ‘Shakti’ directly is] at the inception of our reality.

[And, once more, I would invoke the subsequent X.125 DeviSukta hymnal’s references to Devi providing the facility via which energy is unlocked from the consumption of fuel; as well as the flowing out *of* the energy of the Goddess from this central point above the earth, above the clouds, above the Sky Father Himself, through our sphere of reality. For this demonstrates a consistency of theme in these ‘creational’ and ‘solar’ explanatory hymnals which strongly illuminate the later presentational thinking around Kushmanda. A potentially coterminous interpretation, would be that the “Pitaramasya” referenced in the hymnal, is to indicate the Sun – whether in terms of this being the ultimate ancestor of all, or directly identified with the Sky Father Himself [Dyaus, of course, still carrying a Shining connotation from PIE ‘Dyew’] (interestingly, ‘Pitaramasya’ is sometimes also translated as referring to the Pitrloka); which gains saliency in light of our Hiranyagarbha identification – as one way to interpret “amasya”, if a slight contraction of the initial ‘a’ sound is presumed, would be “raw”, “unripe”, “unheated/cooked” – from PIE “heh”, meaning “to heat/burn”, plus a negatory “-mos” suffix, which inverts it. Or, phrased another way, what this compound may serve to illustrate is Shakti Devi emanating out a Sun, or a Source of All, which requires the provision of ‘heat’, of ‘energy’ to make it work (exactly what Kushmanda does) – or, for that matter, an ‘unfertilized’ egg [recalling the Hiranyagarbha concept, once more] that yet requires the male input in order to properly gestate and unfurl through ripeness (exactly what the Sky Father, perhaps, does). Or, given this is RigVedic Sanskrit we’re speaking of, perhaps all of the above at once, and quite intentionally so. ]

So, having explained and expanded somewhat upon the name “Kushmanda” and who She ‘really’ is … the obvious question upon our minds is – just what is She doing here, at this part and portion of the NavaDurga Cycle? Surely, She should be positioned at the very Beginning? Or, in considerable ‘light’ of what I have earlier said about Ma as Siddhidhatri, She should be positioned at the *end* of the NavaRatri Cycle as the re-unification of wandering Parvati’s path through the phases with Her Greatest and Highest Self?

Ah, now you are catching on! Take another look at that last clause. “Re-Unification”, rendering Her as Her Highest Self.

For what happened immediately prior to This Night in the NavRatri Cycle? That’s right – the Marriage of Parvati to Shiva. What is this? Why, a Re-Unification. But not just *any* re-unification. Nor even one of most beauteous lovers separated by bounds of death and beguilement and circumstance.

Parvati is the Earth Mother – this can be seen even most directly in Her Theonym : (Female) Stone or Mountain. Shiva is the Sky Father.

The bringing back together of these two, then, as happened when Ma as Chandraghanta was able to ensure Their Divinely Ordained Marriage could once again take place (which itself was only able to take place following the metaphysical-theological Debate of Ma as Brahmacharini with Lord Shiva, wherein She sets out to Him and vice versa the ways in which the two ‘parts’ of the Universe may perhaps be re-joined), thus ‘makes whole the Universe’. Putting *back together* the Sky and the Earth which are regarded as having *divided* from the Hiranyagarbha. And, of course, re-creating the fundamental unity of essence inherent in the Ardhanarishvara shared/combined Aspect of Lord Shiva and Lady Parvati. [To reference the DeviSukta again, Shakti is also directly identified as being found through *both* Heaven *and* Earth; and as undertaking an emergent-emanational progression which runs from the Source, out through the Worlds, and thence back up to the upward edge of Reality again once more]

Or, to phrase it perhaps more simply – At the Beginning of Time, They were One. Even despite having emanated (back – for all of this has happened before, in a previous cycle of Creation) into Two, They remained so close as to be inseparable. Up until tragedy and calamity, engineered perhaps unwittingly by the Spawn of Brahma, lead to Their fundamental severance, with the Slaying of Sati, and a consequent unfurling of Darkness in a most ‘benighting’ and horrendous sense – which frayed and echoed out throughout the very fabric of space-time with the Grief of Shiva and His wanderings throughout the Universe bearing Her slain body (For even in Death, on one level at least, They could not be Parted).

Which could only be *un-done* … via Her reincarnation, first as Shailaputri, then as Brahmacharini, and then as Chandraghanta (in all cases, Ma as Parvati), and re-marriage to Her Mahadev. (Har Mahadev!)

Thus, She (and, for that matter, He) (are)is once more rendered, “whole”, “complete”, Brahman made manifest, The Absolute.

And as a further point of interest, it is also possible to trace ‘backwards’ the emanation of the Sun’s Rays through the above enumeration of the preceding NavaDurga Forms. For The Light after sunset and at night (remembering the aforementioned metaphysical condition of darkness about the three worlds as a result of the occlusion of the smoking-pyre of Sati’s self-immolatory ‘sacrifice’;) last of all falls upon the terrestrial (the ‘Shaila’, of which She is also Putri), having descended (the opposite of the ‘ascent’ implied in Brahmacharini – and recall also the rendering of this Theonym as the ‘Seeker of the Absolute!’ Finally She has Won!), from the Radiance of the Moon (ChandraGhanta), which is itself a reflection of the Radiance of the Sun – which, as noted above in the cursory writeup of the ‘contemporary’ role and function of Ma as Kushmanda, is generously provided ultimately from Shakti Brahman to the Sun in the first place.

You see how it all ‘hangs together’ just so?

This also represents the ‘pathway back to the Light’ for not just the Devotee, but also for Lord Shiva and even Lady Parvati, after a sense. Particularly after we consider the effect of Lady ChandraGhanta to ‘clear away the darkness’ and occlusion – behind and both prior and subsequent to which … the Sun is radiantly apparent! ‘Divinity’ in a most direct sense! (this hinges around the etymology of the word back to its PIE roots – from ‘Deywos’, from ‘Dyew’ (Sky, Bright, Caelestial/Heaven), the latter of which also underpins “Dyaus Pitar”, as noted above) Although it may take another kind of ‘eyes’ entirely to look ‘behind’ ‘above’ and indeed ‘through’ the otherwise potentially literally ‘blinding’ light of the Sun ‘further’ to the actual Source Herself !

[The notion of a source of brightness, of energy of both heat and light, as being a metaphorical means to speak of Brahman, is a not entirely uncommon one within the Hindu corpus – as illustrated in, for example, the Sacrificial Pyre commented upon in the course of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (wherein the sparks emanating out from the blaze do not diminish the overarching fire that is their source – and can ultimately return, drawn back into the flame); and also recalled, not least in terms of overarching *upward* trajectory, the role of Holy Fire – Agni – as Conduit to the Upplands, to the Gods.

Both of these attain further comparative relevancy when we consider the Tabiti Goddess said to have been the head of the Pantheon of the Scythians. “Tabiti” being regarded as not only Queen of the Gods and strongly correlated with Sovereignty, but as having connection to the ordering of the domain, and piety-through-flame. This is further substantiated via the linguistic connection to Sanskrit “Tapa” (heat, glow, the Sun, Indra/Lord), and thence “Tapas” (heat, but also Penance/Religious Austerity, the period between Winter and the start of Spring), all from Proto-Indo-European “Tep”, thence “Tepos”, referring to ‘heat’ and ‘warmth’.

It is not hard to see how the concept of a Hearth-Fire [Tabiti being linked to Hestia in Greek accountings] in an older (Steppe) dwelling is regarded as strongly coterminous with the making of a structure into a ‘house’ into a ‘home’ – and with this investiture, producing a regal dominion over the space thusly ensconsed at the center of, and about which all other activities within the structure must therefore be conducted, particularly in winter’s cold and dark and sleet and snow. On a broader level, societies themselves can organize about the central sacrificial rites which must, themselves, *also* contain and entail a Sacrificial Pyre (something which, to bring it back to the Household once more, we perhaps see in the circular processional about the Sacred Fire which forms the integral binding of the Hindu marriage rite. A family, a household, after all, being the building-block of the community entire – its re-creation and perpetuation/furtherance being a function of these perambulations about the central Flame). The Sky, the Universe Entire, is also – after a certain form – a Steppe, a Steppe of Space; and therefore, our home, our dwelling, the Gods’s dominion over same, is *also* to be regarded as organized about this central pillar (which is actually a sphere, considered only within our dimensions, rather than as arcening down from Above and Beyond (via the Source of its ultimate Energy), perhaps like the Jyotirlingam, the Lingodbhava, and also recalling the Sacrificial Post/Pillar that forms the *other* integral element to Older Indo-European Religious Rites and Cosmological Structure – that Axis Mundi concept, again, you see?), this central pyre that lies at the Heart and the Hearth of Their Heavenly Domain.

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Kushmanda, particularly when we consider the RigVedic line from my favoured 10th Mandala DeviSukta Hymnal which may present this radiance as the Crowning Adornment of the Brow of the Universal Sovereign [the ‘rite to rule’, indeed], as a continuation of the ‘anointment’ and ’empowering’ of the champion (which quite specifically refers to the active-empowerment of the Weapon of Rudra, to be utilized against those who are enemies of “devotion”/”Brahman” (dependent upon translation) [a ‘Humkara’, I note, can also pointedly refer to a bow-string’s twang, as well as a roaring noise, a rising, warning growl, and the weaponized utterance of sound. The bow-string element going together with Rta as the Bowstring of Brihaspati [another  form of Mahadeva], and therefore, so too, an expression of Devi – whether as Vak (the Great Force amidst the Universe, also, of Speech; which is itself and most especially Herself, the most mighty armament) or as the empowering string of the weapon which enables it to function, without which it is simply inert, lacking in ‘energy’ nor active participle], the enlightened, insightful, intelligent one [and remember – ‘Loka’, from “Lewk” (PIE: Light), can refer to a place/plane, a conquest, “looking”, insight/the ability to see and perceive], the chosen one mytheme from earlier in the hymn, has strong resonance with all of the above.

Indeed, when turned to devastation, to destruction, rather than life-giving force, this may perhaps help to explain the unstoppable incandescent potency of Lord Shiva’s Third Eye – an ‘adornment’ of the brow of the Sky Father, which channels the power, the pehwr more usually found amidst the Heart of a Star, out in a concentrated beam against which none can stand. Ultima Ratio Rudram. And not least because It can unmake the Universe Itself when Opened fully and with the terrifying resolve of His Most Mighty Desolatory Intent. (Although it is via the (comparatively softer) Light of the Moon that He gets the Last Laugh – Chandrahas) .

For All are bhut expressions of Her Uber-Stellar Power.]

In any case, to bring things back to the more ‘contemporary’ and perhaps ‘day to day’ (I hesitate to use the term ‘mundane’! ‘Mundus’, perhaps, notwithstanding) sense of Kushmanda, just as Ma as ChandraGhanta represented the Devi as the Princess endeavouring to be wed, and regal yet with a certain sense of contingent regency upon another (an additional appropriateness for the Lunar symbolism!), Kushmanda therefore represents Ma as Queen. As MahaRani, indeed, of the Cosmos. Where Her Power (both as half of the Absolute Sovereign, as well as, in an overlapping sense, that Sovereign Herself) is not that drawn from another and exercised ‘contingently’. But rather, ‘self-empowering’, the ‘grund-norm’ (a term drawn from an interesting legal theory as to what makes Law Law, which is, now that I think about it both incredibly apt for Adi Shakti, and also for Shakti-As-Brahman-As-Dharma As Rta!), upon which all else, via the Power of the Sun (for truly, pretty much almost all life here on Earth is, in a very real sense, either directly or indirectly “solar powered” if one thinks upon it) Depends.

While Devi as Queen, in the more ‘matronly’ sense via which She also literally (in a sense perhaps surely somewhat different to previous) ‘once again’ becomes a Mother, is the *next* phase of the NavaDurgas – with the Birth of Lord Skanda (admittedly, to other  mothers – yet more upon that tomorrow night!); this is also arguably the first instance wherein Devi is presented as a Mother, as well as the first instance within the cycle wherein She is held as (resumptive) Absolute. I believe this adds yet another layer of meaning to both  the traditional Hindu theological/ethical maxim that positive conduct toward one’s Parents is the Highest Act Of Piety, as well as the myth of Lords Ganesha and Skanda circumambulating the world (or, in the case of Ganesha, Their Parents – the aforementioned Divine Pairing of Shiva & Shakti-Parvati) which is customarily utilized to illustrate same. After all, by performing parikrama about the HiranyaGarbha, Lord Ganesha has therefore Traced with His Glorious Footsteps a Path around the Universe Entire.

We thus pray to and honour Ma as Kushmanda both as the act of honouring one’s ultimate parent(s), the author(s) of not just our particular existence – but of the Universe and the Cosmos Entire. It is right, and it is most eminently righteous, to do so.

We also ask Kushmanda and Her Radiant Smile to bless us by bestowing the Solar-connoted virtues which are inherent in the Sun’s en-livening rays throughout creation. What is meant by this, is Charisma – the shining and glowing force of one’s personality, to be directed toward positive and productive purpose; is Health and Wealth – the former being intrinsically contingent upon the empowerment of the Sun (and not least via vitamin D and melatonin-regulation and suchlike), the latter also ultimately deriving from it and perhaps also being metaphorically resonant with the ‘sunny’ lustre of gold as its iconographic representation; for the removal of darkness and negativity – as the Sun’s rays quite directly do, and to reference the political maxim about sunlight being “the best disinfectant”; for encouragement – just as the Sun’s rising stirs our hearts and strengthens our spirits even as it removes the gloom; for the fertility of imagination (and elsewhere) that is directly correlate with Her role in our mythohistory, and the illumination of concepts and (re-)connection ‘back with the source’ via solar inspiration which She can bestow; and for Empowerment – in the ‘microcosm’ of our lives and personhoods and physical forms and communities .. just as, in an initial and ongoing sense, the Universe, the Cosmos at large.

The Lesson of Ma as Kushmanda for the Devotee, then, is both simple [so simple, in point of fact, that it’s effectively a ‘singularity’], and all-encompassing. But, then, aren’t they all?

Everything flows, ultimately, from the same Source.

The only questions are those of (meta)physics, and are bound up with the two variables intrinsic to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Namely, what your *position* is, relative to this Absolute – and what your *velocity* (i.e. which way you’re going, and how fast).

For obvious reasons, it is rather difficult to know precisely both at the same time – as, if we are to ascertain the former with any accuracy beyond the mere ‘momentary’, then it entails that you have stopped moving. And if we are to seek to identify the latter [I hesitate to say ‘to divine’ – as that would imply, surely, an *Upward* motion, an ascendancy, even a *transcendency*, arcening perhaps towards an ‘escape velocity’ and thence a Moksha reference … or, er, “lack of reference”, you might mean] , then that axiomatically means that motion is being undertaken, rather than static situation to be analyzed and prognosticated thereupon. A process, in other words, cannot be understood [PIE- ‘mere[ly]’] by stopping it. And a [PIE: mere] positional is, in effect, the *embalming* of such a living affect and therefore the course of (a) life.

“The universe is not like a puzzle-box that you can take apart and put back together again and so solve its secrets. It is a shifting uncertain thing which changes as you consider it, which is changed by the very act of observation. A powerful man is not a man who dissects the universe like a puzzle-box, examining it piece by piece and measuring each piece with scientific precision. A powerful man has only to look upon the universe to change it.”

The Eye at the Heart of the Sun is looking upon the Universe constantly. Therefore, It is always and ever in motion. Only when It closes shall all things cease to twirl and whirl. For then, it shall be at and after the [Maha]Pralaya – the Great Dissolution, the Unraveling, the Resetting, wherein (almost) only the smoke from Creation’s funeral pyre [Dhumavati – Shakti, at the other end of (all) things] lies amidst the Cold Dark of MahaKaal and MahaKali’s Final [for this Cycle of the Universe] Embrace.

The Lesson for the Devotee, therefore, is in how we ‘approach’ – and I mean this quite literally [or, at least, as ‘literally’ as one can be in these metaphysical, supernally directed and infused terms] – this Revelation, this Absolute.

The ‘Realization’ inherent in the concept of such Divinity, is twofold – both attempting to bring ourselves closer to God (through emulation of Their example, where appropriate, following Their Divine Commands, where applicable, and eventually, for a certain chosen few, perhaps direct propinquity at Their Side through meritorious service and recognition there-fore and there-through) … and also through attempting to bring God out into the world around us. “Realization” here, therefore, meaning “Real-ization” – “Immanentization”. Closing the gap of our Immanence, our Congruence, to the Divine, to Devi – and reducing any perceived gap or impurity between our environs and the Divine by fostering the spark, the flame, the fire, the light and heat back out into it. It’s somewhat the same thing – or, at least, closely overlapping albeit approaching the situation from opposite seeming trajectories – in either case.

Our ‘Approach’ should, therefore, seek to emulate in appropriate ways, both the ‘velocity’ which has characterized Devi through this upward-arcening ascent of the NavaDurga Cycle of NavRatri – starting from (re-)birth [Shailaputri – also, as I noted at the time, the initial emanation out from the World Pillar as implied by Shaila (Mountain), and Putri – coming from/daughter of], acquiring focus and direction [Brahmacharini – and note the Brahman directional: *Up*! the Acharini motion: Pursuing/Heading For], attaining strong position of mastery and encounter with the ‘light’, the next part of the journey [ChandraGhanta – the Moon as secondary emanator of the Sun’s Light; Shiva as Parvati’s “other half” of the unified Brahman Whole – once They are Reunited, enabling the continued arc of ascent to continue] thence to be able to radiate out and begin to ‘enlighten’ others [again, ChandraGhanta, in Her role as the remover of fear, the bestower of wisdom, perspicacity, insight, and the radiating out like a Temple Bell of the pious energy of the Divine … which also exerts terrifying effect upon the Demons, the Adversaries of both this process and of Creation Itself – recall the remarks upon the Humkara made above, as a comparative/coterminate (in multiple senses of this latter term) for this functioning], before proceeding on further and ever closer to the Source [Kushmanda; although it is worth noting that, akin to the Holy Man who descends from His Mountain in order to sort out the ensuing chaos below, this is not necessarily the ‘end’, the ‘telos’ at this stage, for the properly pious Devotee. Rather, it is to ‘encounter’ the Source, to be thusly Empowered by HER – and thence, to make escalatingly enlightened/insighted utilization of this empowerment, this investiture for the rest of the span of the cycle(s) of one’s being and world; before, as SiddhiDhatri, at the end of the NavaDurga Processional-Cycle-Path, being as the Hand, being as the Expression, being as almost … well … the representative/mask/face [‘Grim(r)’, in Old Norse, understood as the leader, the facing, of a people, is also perhaps relevant here … albeit not as ‘leader’ so much as ‘delegate’], perhaps “Avatara” might be closer to the mark, “Incarnate”? of Devi Herself – the thusly empowered instrument, implement, and investiture, of Her within our world].

Hunter S. Thompson, in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, put it thusly – “Well, I thought. This is how the world works. All energy flows according to the whims of the Great Magnet. What a fool I was to defy him. He knew. He knew all along. […] Never cross the Great Magnet. I understood this now . . . ”

He got this *completely* right. Except for the gender …

For a Magnet is, after all, something which attracts and impels. And has some interesting pseudo-etymological resonances with “Adamantium”, but more upon that (and how it relates to all of this – especially in relation to Vajra, Diamond, Meteors, Ultimate Force/Resilience, and Bolts from (beyond) the Sky) perhaps some other time.

And, in just such a manner, perhaps akin to rivers ultimately flowing back to the Ocean, or water particles being evapotranspirated back up to the realm beyond the Clouds, the mountain-tops, from whence the Source of the Streams is in either case to be found [via the application of heat energy, you understand – from the Sun] … so, too, is the theoretical trajectory of the resolute soul, the piously enacting, Divinely Enabled being.

All has but a single source; and if you look closely, you shall learn to divine where the ‘spark’, the ‘magic’, the ‘radiance’, the ‘charisma’, that massively charged Smile, is to be found. Signposts to guide you, and currents to catch, winds to empower your sails [this, too, has RigVedic precedency – both in terms of Breath, and also the Strong Wind from the Devi At The Summit Of The World, the Tempestuous Force of the Storm-Woman, the Solar Wind, indeed, of the Sun-Storm] upon this journey.

Knowing whence they lie, how to catch them, and to be buoyed via their potency rather than buffeted nor blown off course and upon the shoals of unrighteous hubris [for even small precipitates of Greatness can destroy those who come into contact with them, if they are unready or unwary], impious conduct, and less direct or even outright *oppositional* direction … well, that is within the power of all the NavaDurgas, and others, to grant – together, as one, for maximum force. Now phrase that last maxim in Sanskrit 😉

Iconographically, Kushmanda continues the broad themes of the previous Incarnation of Parvati as Chandraghanta – Being a multi-armed clearly radiant Devi form accompanied by Dawon; although with significant additions to both the Weaponry and other Instruments of Piety carried by the previous Aspect. These are the Chakra (often associated with Lord Vishnu, and somewhat luridly translated by myself from time to time as the “destructo-disc”; its 108 razor-sharp edges are symbolic of Dharma, its shape may also suggest the Solar Disc in our sky (especially with the radiating blades/points therefrom), and its range indicates that the scope and ambit of the Bearer’s Power is unlimited – encompassing the Universe Entire. Most aptly appropriate for Her!); as well as another liquid-carrying vessel that is said to carry the Amrit – the ‘elixir of life’.

And, of course, for reasons that ought be patently obvious, instead of the Moon, She is Crowned with the Sun. (In many illustrated portrayals, anyway)

Homage To You Who Is Mother Of The Universe Entire

ॐ देवी कूष्माण्डायै नम

Jai Mata DI !

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