Day Seven Navaratri, April 2016: Dhumavati, Goddess of Letting Go
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Dhum Dhum Dhumavati Svaha

Dhum Dhum Dhumavati Svaha

Dhum Dhum Dhumavati Svaha

220px-Dhumavati_yantra_color“Perceived as the void, as the dissolved form of consciousness, when all beings are dissolved in sleep in the supreme Brahman, having swallowed the entire universe, the seer-poets call her the most glorious and the eldest, Dhumavati. She exists in the forms of sleep, lack of memory, illusion, and dullness in the creatures immersed in the illusion of the world, but among the yogis she becomes the power that destroys all thoughts, indeed Samadhi (death and liberation) itself.” ~ Ganapati Muni

Dhumavati (or Dhoomavati) is the seventh of the Mahavidya goddesses. She signifies a formidable aspect of the Divine Mother and can be quite intimidating to those who don’t understand Her emblem as the personification of the wounds of the earth, known as ksataviksata-privthi (Alain Danielou, The Myths and Gods of India, p 282). Portrayed as a haggardly ugly widow, Dhumavati is often depicted riding a crow or on a horseless chariot, but also usually she is shown offering blessings. She is the only Mahavidya without a consort, so widows often propitiate Her. As Sati, she was actually married to Shiva, but he could not satisfy her and she ate him, and later disengorged him and She became Dhumavati. Part of the legend of Sati and Shiva speaks to Dhumavati’s core principle as the destroyer of the “body of the world” (Danielou).

220px-DhumavatiDhumavati means the “smoky one.” She is said to take the form of smoke which has a highly protective quality for her devotees who like to offer her cigarettes and incense. Dhumavati is said to hang around murky places like foggy bogs, dark forests, smoky fires, smoldering volcanos, and cremation grounds. Her aspect in the form of smoke conceals the world of illusion and reveals the truth of the mystery of life behind the façade of the divine play of the world.

The mythologist Joseph Campbell once said, “Where you stumble and fall, there you will find gold.”

That’s Dhumavati. I have called on Her during some of my darkest times, and She always gave the gold.

Dhumavati_molaramPer Vedic astrology, Dhumavati can be propitiated for all issues related to Rahu and Ketu. Her essence is of the crone, the great grandmother spirit, the dark Moon, and the deep waning cycle of the Sun. She is connected to Jyestha and Mula nakshatras, which are home to the ancient dark goddesses named Jyestha and Niritti (also known as A-Lakshmi, without radiance)), in the tail of the Scorpio constellation and near the galactic center, a place of profound, shadowy, and sometimes even dangerous power.

scorpio-mwJai Maa Dhumavati. I bow before you on this night and let go into your deepest wisdom.

 

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