June 30th, 2008 by sabrina
Dhumavati is the Hindu Goddess of widows. She is one of the Mahavidyas, the wisdom Goddesses. Dhumavati embodies unsatisfied desires—she is always hungry and thirsty. She is one of the avatars of Parvati, Shiva’s mate. In one myth relating her origin, when Parvati was manifested as Sati, Shiva’s first wife, on one occasion she asked Shiva for some food because she was extremely hungry. Shiva refused to give her any food, so she ate him instead, widowing herself. Shiva persuaded her to spit him back up, and he cursed her to remain in the form of Dhumavati, the widow.
In another telling of her origin, Dhumavati is said to have arisen from the smoke when Sati immolated herself. Her eyes burn with the fire that consumed Sati. Dhumavati symbolizes the power of nature over all other forces, and the fact that death is inevitable. She is usually depicted riding in a chariot, on which crows or vultures perch. She is old and ugly, wearing a dress taken from a corpse. Dhumavati’s name means “the smoky one”, and other names for her include Jyestha, Daridra (poverty), Vidhava (widow), Nirrti (misery), and Alakshmi (misfortune).
This entry was posted on Monday, June 30th, 2008 at 11:58 pm and is filed under Hindu. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.