Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 1:47 AM
Goddess Dhumavati is one of the Mahavidyas, a group of ten Tantric goddesses. The others are Kali, Tara, Shodashi, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chhinnamasta, Matangi, Kamala and Baglamukhi. The Mahavidyas represent some incarnations or manifestations of the Divine Mother. Dhumavati is the smoky form of Shakti, who is also known as the eternal widow, the Shakti without Shiva. She represents the fearsome aspect of the Divine Mother. She is often portrayed as an old, ugly widow, and is associated with things considered inauspicious and unattractive in Hinduism. In this aspect, the Divine mother is often portrayed as a hideous hag with cruel eyes, sagging breasts and a toothless mouth; riding in a chariot drawn by crows. She is not commonly known. Her symbolic animal is the crow, a carrion eater.
Goddess Dhumavati is described as a giver of the supernatural powers (siddhis), a rescuer from all troubles and a granter of all desires and rewards, including ultimate knowledge and salvation. Goddess Dhumavati has a thin, tall, unhealthy body and has a pale complexion. Dhumavati is always considered a widow, and thus, is the only Mahavidya without a consort. She is described as restless and wicked, who wears old and dirty clothes. Her eyes are fearsome, her nose long and crooked, her ears are ugly and rough and her breasts hang down. Her worship is also prescribed for those who wish to defeat their foes. Her worship is considered ideal for unpaired members of society, such as bachelors, widows etc. It is considered better to worship her during the night. The place for her worship is cemetery, where worshipper should worship her with naked body except underwear or it should be a lonely place. There are very few temples dedicated to Dhumavati, but her worship by Tantric ritual continues in private in secluded places like cremation grounds and forests.All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.