Dhumavati Jayanti is an extremely important religious observance celebrated amongst the devout Hindus. This is the day when Mata Dhumavati, the seventh incarnation of the Goddess Shakti, incarnated on this earth.
She is the most fearsome and furious form of Goddess Durga or Shakti. Dhumavati Jayanti falls on the auspicious day of ashtami of the shukla paksha (bright moon phase) of Jyestha month as per traditional Hindu calendar and according to Gregorian calendar, it occurs during the full moon phase of the month of May or June.
In 2017, Dhumavati Jayanti will be celebrated on the 2nd of June.
- Who is Dhumavati Mata
As mentioned earlier, Dhumavati is the seventh amongst the ten Dasa Mahavidyas. She is believed to be the void that is created out of Proloy or chaos. It is often mentioned that she manifests or shows herself when there is cosmic disharmony and deluge. Yet she is considered to be a great teacher who bestows the ultimate knowledge to her devout devotees. She is also known to be affectionate towards her devotees and gives them blessings to overcome all their difficulties. She is often described as a provider of Siddhi, or one who can bestow supernatural powers and a guardian angel from all kinds of troubles.
- Legend of origin of Dhumavati Mata
There are plenty of legends regarding the origin of Dhumavati Mata.
- o According to the details of her origin from the Shakta Maha-Bhagavata Purana, Sati the first wife of Lord Shiva feels humiliated at not having been invited by her father Daksha for his yagna or a kind of puja. Sati wants to go there despite Lord Shiva’s protests and ministrations to her for not going. When Lord Shiva does not fall in with her wishes, enraged, she turns into ten Mahavidyas surrounding Shiva. Dhumavati stood in the southeast.
- o A different legend from Shaktisamgama-Tantra tells of a story when enraged and humiliated, Sari commits suicide by jumping in the Yagna fire, Dhumavati rises from that fire. She is all that is left from the body of Sati and is her outraged and angry avatar.
- o Yet again the Pranatosini-Tantra tells the story that once when Sati was very hingry, she asked Lord Shiva for some food. However, Lord Shiva was too engrossed and did not pay heed to her plea. She got so hungry that she ate up Lord Shiva. Lord shiva then requestes her to bring her out, and when she does, he curses her to be in the form of a widow; since she had eaten up her own husband.
- o According to yet another legend, Dhumavati was created by Durga in her battle against the demons, Shumbha and Nishumbha to defeat them with her stinging smoke.
- Appearance of Dhumavati
Dhumavati is depicted as an ugly old widow who rides a horseless chariot. She is also sometimes depicted to be riding on a crow. She is thin tall and wears old tattered clothes, her nose is long and crooked, her complexion sallow and is always hungry and thirsty. Sometimes she is depicted of wearing garland of human skull and limbs. She holds a winnowing basket in one hand, and in the other; she makes a gesture of blessings. She wears white clothes as a mark of her being a widow. However a Nepali painting of 18th century depicts her as completely nude with a pearl necklace, standing on a peacock, and holds a mirror. A ring of fire surrounds her signifying the flames of cremation after death.
- Importance of Devi Dhumavati
Devi Dhumavati is also known as Kalahapriya, or one who loves to have fights. She however ends all fears and brings relief to her devotees. She was created to kill all the demons, evils and sinners. According to traditions, no married women worship Ma Dhumavati as she is a widow. They catch a glimpse of her from a far. However her children and husband are blessed by her.
- Dhumavati Puja
Special puja and worship for Devi Dhumavati is arranged on the Jayanti. It is believed that a devotee if offers black sesame seeds in a black cloth to Ma Dhumavati, then his wishes come true. She is mostly worshipped by Tantric practitioners to overcome various difficulties and troubles in life and to fulfill the devotee’s desire. There are certain regions, where Devi Dhumavati is looked upon as a protective deity who takes care of her devotees.