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Dhumavati: The Goddess of Silent Inertness

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Dhumavati: The Goddess of Silent Inertness
Brahmanda Guruji Shri Narendra Babu Sharmaji spoke on Dasa Maha Vidya - Meditation on The Ten Great Cosmic Powers.

Dhumavati is the eldest among the Goddesses, the Grandmother Spirit. She stands behind the other Goddesses as their ancestral guide. As the Grandmother Spirit she is the great teacher who bestows the ultimate lessons of birth and death. She is the knowledge that comes through hard experience, in which our immature and youthful desires and fantasies are put to rest.

Dhuma means “smoke.” Dhumavati is “one who is composed of smoke.” Her nature is not illumination but obscuration. However, to obscure one thing is to reveal another. By obscuring or covering all that is known, Dhumavati reveals the depth of the unknown and the unmanifest. Dhumavati obscures what is evident in order to reveal the hidden and the profound.

Dhumavati is portrayed as a widow. She is the feminine principle devoid of the masculine principle. She is Shakti without Shiva as a pure potential energy without any will to motivate it. Thus she contains within herself all potentials and shows the latent energies that dwell within us. To develop these latent energies we must first recognize them. This requires honoring Dhumavati.

Dhumavati shows the feminine principle of negation in all of its aspects. On an outer level she represents poverty, destitution, and suffering, the great misfortunes that we all fear in life. Hence she is said to be crooked, troublesome, and quarrelsome – a witch or a hag. Yet on an inner level this same negativity causes us to seek a greater fulfillment than can be achieved in the limited realms of the manifest creation. After all, only frustration in our outer life causes us to seek the inner reality. Dhumavati is whatever obstructs us in life, but what obstructs us in one area can release a new potential to grow in a different direction. Thus she is the good fortune that comes to us in the form of misfortune.

Dhumavati represents the darkness on the face of the deep, the original chaos and obscurity which underlies creation. She is the darkness of primordial ignorance, Mulavidya, from which this world of illusion has arisen, and which it is seeking to transcend.

Dhumavati represents the power of ignorance or that aspect of the creative force which causes the obscuration of the underlying light of consciousness. While Maya is the magic or illusion power of the Lord that makes the one reality appear as many, ignorance is a form of darkness which prevents us from seeing the underlying reality.

Dhumavati is the void, wherein all forms have been dissolved and nothing can any longer be differentiated. Yet this void is not mere darkness. It is a self-illumining reality free of the ordinary duality of subject and object.

Dhumavati represents the negative powers of life: disappointment, frustration, humiliation, defeat, loss, sorrow and loneliness. Such experiences overpower the ordinary mind, but to the yogi they are special doors of opportunity to contact the reality which transcends desire.

Dhumavati is the elder form of Kali, Kali as an old woman. She represents time or the life-force dissociated from the process of manifestation. She is the timeless which never really enters into the process of time.

Dhumavati is portrayed as a tall and thin old woman with disheveled and matted hair. She is fearful, unattractive and dark in complexion, with a wrinkled face, and her limbs are red. She has a harsh look in her eyes and she is missing a number of her teeth, which are otherwise large in size. Sometimes she is portrayed with fangs and her nose is long and snout-like. She is dressed in old or dirty clothes and her breasts hang down. She rides a chariot whose insignia is a crow. In her left hand she carries a winnowing basket and with her right makes the gesture of knowledge (Cinmudra). In other accounts she carries a skull-cup and sword in her two hands. She wears a garland of severed heads and is ever hungry and thirsty, always provoking quarrels and misunderstandings.

1 comment:

  1. It appears decodification of the Vidyai.e. knowledge is dicfficult. Widowhood is a cover-up term, used to maintain secrecy. She is not actuially a widow. Dualistic belief is that there is God and debvtee. THere is a man and a woman. But in the ultimate reality i.e. advaitavada or non-dualism there is only one form. Go through Bhagavad Gita or Upanishads. They tell you about the process of creation and destruction.Everything merges in God on desolution and comes out on creation. Please check up Shunya baada.i.e. Doctrine of nothing ness. Only in the middle these creations are there. Therefore, we ne need to revisit. Give the Mother her due. She is not Alakshmi. She is the ultimate truth.

    Pranam Maate.

    Sudhansu Das