Rituals Associated with Dhumavati Jayanti•
Posted on June 01 2022
Dhumavati Jayanti is celebrated by Hindus in honour of Goddess Dhumvati. The goddess is represented as a personification of Goddess Durga. She is also said to be the angriest form of Goddess Shakti and the seventh of the ten Hindu tantric goddesses. The word Dhuma means smoke and hence Dhumavati represents one who is made of smoke.
Dhumvati Jayanti is observed in the Shukla paksha of the Hindu Jyestha month. She is portrayed as a widow dressed in white with snakes as garlands around Her neck and a powerful weapon in Her hands and is said to signify Shakti without Her Shiva. She is visualised riding a crow or a horseless chariot in a cremation ground.
Interestingly, she is associated with all the negative aspects in the life of an individual. These include sadness, disgrace, sorrows, rejection, loss, defeat, loneliness and disappointment to mention just a few. However, the hymn in Her honour featuring her thousand names highlight Her positive aspects as well.
Hindus are of the belief that Dhumvati makes Her appearance when it is time for cosmic dissolution. She is characterised as the void present both before creation and after dissolution. The peepal tree is considered to be Her abode.
Let us now look at some of the traditions observed on the occasion of Dhumvati Jayanti.
On this day, devotees wake up early morning to get ready for the pooja. The goddess is worshipped with items like incense sticks, dhoop and flowers during the pooja. A special prasad is also made as an offering to the deity. Devotees offer Her black til seeds wrapped in a black cloth on this day for their desires and wishes to get fulfilled.
Special poojas and rituals are carried out in dedication to the goddess in an isolated place. These include the chanting of special Devi mantras along with the conducting of an arti at the end. After the arti, prasad is distributed among family members and devotees. The poojas are usually not conducted in houses and temples but in secluded areas like forests and cremation grounds. A procession is carried out at night for the benefit of Her devotees.
The pooja is usually carried out by single members of the society such as bachelors, widows and tantrikas. Married women are usually forbidden from worshipping the deity. However, they can have a glimpse of the deity from a distance. This tradition is practised for the safety of their sons and husbands. It is believed that people who have just a glance of the idol of the goddess on Dhumvati Jayanti receive many of Her blessings.
Dhumvati is represented as a great teacher for human beings. Her ugly appearance is a teaching for Her followers to look beyond external and superficial looks and to look within themselves to identify the inner truths of life. She also teaches Her followers to adopt their faith in the supreme or ultimate truth. Dhumvati is also labelled as one who grants supernatural powers to others and rescues people from troubles.
The goddess is also referred to as Kalahpriya as She is said to provide solutions for any problem that one may encounter during his/her lifetime. Devotees who surrender themselves to her are protected against bad luck, poverty and evil forces. A person who worships Goddess Dhumvati is blessed with the destruction traits like arrogance, ego, anger, harsh speech and aggression that can harm himself/herself.
Performing a Dasmahavidya pooja on Dhumvati Jayanti helps Her devotees have their materialistic desires fulfilled and achieve moksha or spiritual liberation. The pooja also has other benefits such as bringing health, prosperity and wealth for Her devotees. They are also bestowed with courage and self-confidence and are granted relief and protection from illnesses.
As per Hindu scriptures, great saints like Parashuram, Bhrigu and Durvasa prayed to Goddess Dhumvati to seek Her blessings and gain special powers. Even today, tantriks offer their prayers to the goddess to seek material wealth, fulfil their desires and overcome obstacles in their lives.
There are very few temples in the country that are dedicated to Goddess Dhumvati in the country. There is one temple in Varanasi where She is the main deity. This is the only shrine where married women are allowed to offer their worship. Here, she is portrayed as a black stone with red lips, large eyes and four hands. Three hands have a winnowing fan, a pot and a broom while the fourth hand depicts a fear not mudra. The offerings made to Her here are meat, flowers, cigarettes, liquor and fruit in a smoky fire.
The other major temple is located in West Bengal. Here, Dhumvati is portrayed in a plush and forested landscape along with Her crows and dark grey clouds signalling the onset of monsoon in the background.
There are a few other smaller temples in Rajrappa in Bihar and near Guwahati.
Written by - Deepthi K