Dhumavati:The Seventh Manifestation of Dasa Mahavidyas

Dhumavati:The Seventh Manifestation of Dasa Mahavidyas

In the rich tapestry of Hindu mythology, Dhumavati stands as a distinct and enigmatic figure, the seventh of the Dasa Mahavidyas, a group of ten Tantric goddesses. Her name, meaning “the smoky one,” hints at the complexity and depth of her symbolism. Dhumavati represents the fearsome aspect of Mahadevi, the supreme goddess in Hindu traditions, particularly Shaktism. In this article, we will explore the multifaceted nature of Dhumavati, her origins, legends, iconography, symbolism, and worship practices.

Origins of Dhumavati

Dhumavati’s existence is primarily within the framework of the Mahavidya group, and there is no historical mention of her before her inclusion among these goddesses. Scholars have drawn connections between Dhumavati and other goddesses like Nirriti, Alakshmi, and Jyestha, highlighting their shared attributes of darkness, ugliness, and association with the crow. However, while these goddesses may have similarities, they are not regarded as identical to Dhumavati.

Legends Surrounding Dhumavati

Several intriguing legends surround Dhumavati, each offering a unique perspective on her character. One legend associates her with the creation of the Mahavidyas, where she stands as the seventh Mahavidya, representing the southeast direction. Another story tells of Sati or Kali transforming into the Mahavidyas, with Dhumavati emerging as an outraged and insulted avatar. Additionally, a tale from the Shaktisamgama-Tantra describes Dhumavati as the result of Sati’s suicide, arising from the smoke of her burning body.

Iconography and Textual Descriptions

Goddess Dhumavati

Dhumavati’s iconography paints a vivid picture of her character. Frequently, she can be seen atop a crow or a chariot that doesn’t need horses, right in the middle of a cremation ground. Her emaciated form, disheveled hair, and association with a winnowing basket paint a stark image. However, some depictions of Dhumavati diverge from the traditional description, presenting her in contrasting forms, sometimes young and adorned.

Symbolism and Associations

Dhumavati embodies a wealth of symbolism, encompassing both inauspicious and auspicious aspects. As a widow, she represents the unfulfilled desires and loneliness of life. Her presence in cremation grounds, associated with death, underscores her role as a harbinger of destruction. Dhumavati’s connection with the crow, an omen of death, further solidifies her association with inauspiciousness.

Beyond Inauspiciousness

However, Dhumavati’s negative aspects also reveal deeper truths. Her seemingly ugly form teaches devotees to look beyond superficial appearances and seek inner truths. She serves as a guide, offering ultimate knowledge and liberation. Dhumavati’s worship is prescribed for those seeking supernatural powers, protection from troubles, and even the defeat of adversaries.

Worship of Dhumavati

Dhumavati’s worship is a fascinating blend of reverence and caution. While her inauspicious nature may deter some, she is described as a tender-hearted goddess who grants boons to her devotees. Her worship is considered ideal for unpaired members of society, such as bachelors, widows, and world renouncers, as well as Tantrikas.

Dhumavati Mantra

1. Saptakshar Dhumavati Mantra (7 Syllables Mantra)

धूं धूमावती स्वाहा॥

Dhum Dhumavati Svaha॥

2. Ashtakshar Dhumavati Mantra (8 Syllables Mantra)

धूं धूं धूमावती स्वाहा॥

Dhum Dhum Dhumavati Svaha॥

3. Dashakshar Dhumavati Mantra (10 Syllables Mantra)

धूं धूं धूं धूमावती स्वाहा॥

Dhum Dhum Dhum Dhumavati Svaha॥

4. Chaturdashakshar Dhumavati Mantra (14 Syllables Mantra)

धूं धूं धुर धुर धूमावती क्रों फट् स्वाहा॥

Dhum Dhum Dhura Dhura Dhumavati Krom Phat Svaha॥

5. Panchadashakshar Dhumavati Mantra (15 Syllables Mantra)

ॐ धूं धूमावती देवदत्त धावति स्वाहा॥

Om Dhum Dhumavati Devadatta Dhavati Svaha॥

6. Dhumavati Gayatri Mantra

ॐ धूमावत्यै विद्महे संहारिण्यै धीमहि तन्नो धूमा प्रचोदयात्॥

Om Dhumavatyai Vidmahe Samharinyai Dhimahi Tanno Dhuma Prachodayat॥

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