Dhumavati Mahavidya - the Beholder of Smoke by Visual Artist- Designer Swapnil

Did you know that Goddess Parvati devoured Her husband, Lord Shiva? You must be wondering if this is true. Yes, it is. The Goddess, in Her Dhumavati form consumed Lord Shiva which then later gave her the form of an ugly widow.

Dhumavati means smoky. Goddess Dhumavati is the seventh form of the ten 'Mahavidyas'. In this form, the Goddess is portrayed as widow without Shiva. She has a smoky complexion, and rides a chariot with a flag bearing a crow or sometimes She is shown riding a crow. She is tall and wears pure white clothes. She is extremely unattractive and is associated with negative things like annoyance, greed, distress, failure, sorrow, loneliness and disgrace. She resides in burning grounds as well. But despite these depressive features, the Goddess blesses Her devotees with unnatural abilities and fulfills all their wishes.

Let us find out about the story of this Goddess who devoured Lord Shiva and became a widow.

Story Of Goddess Dhumavati

There are many versions of the story of Goddess Dhumavati. One of them says that once the Goddess Parvati felt very hungry. But there was no food available. So, She asked Her husband Lord Shiva to provide some food for Her. Shiva asked Her to wait for some time and went into meditation. Unable to control Her hunger, Goddess Parvati became furious, took the form of Kali and ate up Lord Shiva. Her extreme hunger is satisfied only by consuming Lord Shiva.

However, when Lord Shiva realised that Parvati has devoured Him, He becomes angry. As the third eye of Shiva opens, the Goddess is unable to contain the extreme energy. So, She turns smoky due to the burning energy of Shiva. She soon realises Her mistake and asks Lord Shiva for forgiveness. She disgorges Lord Shiva, who curses Her to wander like a widow.

Another story of Goddess Dhumavati says that She consumed Lord Shiva to fulfill Her promise to protect Her devotees. Once an Aghori sage named Malla asks Goddess Kali for a boon to protect him against all the cosmic forces. Granted the boon, the sage created havoc for all humans. Lord Shiva took the form of Aghora and tried to kill Malla. But as per Her promise Goddess Kali came to the rescue of Malla. To stop Shiva from killing Malla, Kali devours Shiva and becomes a widow.

Hence, Dhumavati is always portrayed as a widow. She is the only one of the Mahavidyas without Her consort. She is considered unlucky and inauspicious. Married couples are advised not to worship Goddess Dhumavati. It is believed that worshipping this Goddess creates a sense of wanting solitude and distaste for the wordly pleasures. So, Dhumavati is worshipped only by the Tantriks and people who have renounced the worldly pleasures.

Though Dhumavati seems like an inauspicious and fearsome Goddess yet She blesses all Her devotees with whatever they desire. She rescues Her devotees from all troubles. Dhumavati's worship is performed at night in cremation grounds with only a loin cloth on the body. The worshipper must observe fast and remain silent for the whole day before worshipping Her. Dhumavati temples are also very rare. The most famous temple of Goddess Dhumavati is located in Varanasi where the Goddess is worshipped with very unusual items. She is offered fruits, flowers along with meat, bhaang, liquor, cigarettes and sometimes even blood sacrifices.

So, in spite of being a fearsome Goddess who devoured her husband, Dhumavati is an exceptional Goddess with amazing powers.

About the Artist 

Swapnil Shukla is a Jewellery designer , Design Journalist, crafts expert and Visual artist from India .She is the FIRST Jewellery Journalist and Fashion Columnist who writes and educates her readers about the most intricate subjects i.e Fashion , Jewellery and Lifestyle in 'HINDI' language.Swapnil’s work appears in a wide variety of notable Indian publications. Swapnil made her fashion columns and knowledge available to the hindi language people .  As a self-confessed ‘enthusiast of beautiful things’, Swapnil is also the chief Designer and co -owner of Swapnil Saundarya Label , which is a luxury craft manufacturing firm . Swapnil  has worked as Jewellery and Fashion Columnist/Journalist  for many Nationalized Magazines and started the famous and highly traffic grabber fashion & Lifestyle blog ‘Swapnil Saundarya’ available in English as well as in Hindi . Swapnil has also authored three books namely ‘Gehne – The Art of wearing Jewellery’ published in 2012, Fashion Pandit published in 2014 and  The Fascinating History of Indian Jewellery Published in 2017. She has launched her own Designer Jewellery brand namely ‘Swapnil Jewels & Arts’ and now with a desire to add new dimensions to the design and Art industry , she started ‘ Swapnil Saundarya Label ‘ with a motive to make everybody’s life beautiful and just like their Dream World . She has received the 'Excellence Award 2016' in Fine arts from Uttar Pradesh Art Society. Swapnil has worn several hats , Jewellery Journalist, Columnist , Designer, Fashion Consultant, Craft Expert, Writer and Painter. More recently she diversified into Handicraft Products as an experiment in her journey in design . She recently got featured on 'The Elegant Life' as young Indian entrepreneur who successfully started with almost nothing and set a milestone in her 20s.

She presently works as Director & Chief Writer of Swapnil Saundarya ezine , which is an online publication that curates articles and info. on Art, Fashion , Jewels, Lifestyle, Interiors, Health Tips, Finance, Beauty, Religion , Entrepreneurship , Interviews, History Recalls and many more.


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