Dhumavati: mother Image as secret and hidden

Mahavidya Dhumavati", Jaipur, Rajasthan. Ajit Mukharjee collection 1926 In Hindu goddesses: visions of the divine feminine in the Hindu religious tradition by David R. Kinsley, US public Domain via wikimedia
Mahavidya Dhumavati, 1926 In Hindu goddesses: visions of the divine feminine by Kinsley, US public Domain via wikimedia

Carl Jung tells us that “the mother archetype may connote anything secret, hidden…” [1]. In the Hindu tradition, the goddess is often associated with that which is secret and hidden. Shakti is the secret power or energy behind manifestation. All Goddess images in some way or another represent the secret and hidden aspects of being, and most specifically of the Self.

As a dialectic, the goddess represents both the unknown and that which is to be known. She is the secret teaching of and on the Self. In the Tantric tradition, it is the Goddess who reveals the nature of the Self. The idea of the ‘hidden’ is central to the Tantric Mahavidyas (the Great Wisdom). The Mahavidya are the ten aspects of the devi (Shakti). The Mahavidyas reveal the hidden truth of the Self, as cosmic Self.

In the image above, we see Dhumavati sitting on a raven. Dhumavati is one of the ten Mahavidya. She is associated with all that is secret and hidden. Dhumavati is the widow, the void that exists between creation and destruction. Dhumavati means literal “she who abides in smoke” [2]. She is said to defeat demons (asuras) through her stinging smoke.


  1. Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious by Carl Jung CW 9i, para. 158
  2. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhumavati
  3. Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses: Spiritual Secrets of Ayurveda by Frawley, David
  4. Tantric Visions of the Divine Feminine: The Ten Mahāvidyās By David R. Kinsley

One thought on “Dhumavati: mother Image as secret and hidden

  1. Another Arch-typist…if that’s the word. I thought Monica aka SymbolReader was the only source in my reader. I see Monica’s image right now to my right. 😉

    Mother. Any secret thing. I get that. It’s application to our self-search and physical mothers ..not to mention nature and the secrets worked into prose, so maternal… So much.

    Thanks Jenna.


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