Yogic nature of Dhūmāvatī Goddess

My congratulations on the upcoming event that celebrates the birth of the Hindu Goddess Dhūmāvatī. We should observe Dhūmāvatī first and foremost as a Goddess with the profound symbolism. Officially she doesn’t have her own Bhairava, because she and he are one and the same. She is associated with the upper cakras, the upper āmnāya (transmission of knowledge), which leads to mokṣa and is the essence of all āmnāyas. Her energy is associated with the renunciation from the world, with nirvikalpasamādhi. Dhūmāvatī symbolises the moment when the power of kuṇḍalinī rises upwards, reaches ājñā-cakra and then dissolves into Paramaśiva. I will give you an interesting excerpt from the Siddha-siddhānta-paddhati, which describes the practices involved in realisation of various guidelines in yoga. In describing of the inner lakṣya, I suggest that you pay attention to this passage from the second part:

अथवा ललाटोर्ध्वे कोलोलाटमण्डपे स्फुरत्काराकारं लक्षयेत्।
athavā lalāṭordhve kololāṭamaṇḍape sphuratkārākāraṃ lakṣayet।

Or, one must contemplate a pulsating flash in space above the forehead.

अथवा भ्रमरगुहामध्ये आरक्तभ्रमराकारं लक्षयेत्।
athavā bhramaraguhāmadhye āraktabhramarākāraṃ lakṣayet।

Or, contemplate an image like a red bee in the bhramara-guha (bee cave) area.

अथवा कर्णद्वयं तर्जनीभ्यां निरोधयेत् ततः शिरोमध्ये धूं धूं कारं नादं श्रृणोति।
athavā karṇadvayaṃ tarjanībhyāṃ nirodhayet tataḥ śiromadhye dhūṃ dhūṃ kāraṃ nādaṃ śrṛṇoti।

Or, one should cover both ears with two thumbs and then listen to the sound “dhūṃ dhūṃ” धूं धूं (Dhūmāvatī bīja-mantra) in the middle of the head.

अथवा चक्षुर्मध्ये नीलज्योतिरूपं पुतल्याकारं लक्षयेदित्यन्तर्लक्ष्यम् ॥२७॥
athavā cakṣurmadhye nīlajyotirūpaṃ putalyākāraṃ lakṣayedityantarlakṣyam ॥27॥

Or, between the eyes, contemplate a glowing blue image. These are the inner guidelines of contemplation.

Blue is often associated with various types of Goddesses, it can represent the energy of Tārā (Nīlasaraswati), Śyāmalā (Mātaṅgī), Kālī, which in many ways could also correspond to Dhūmāvatī, as blue slightly resembles the color of smoke. In fact, bījas, Dhūmāvatī mantras, her vibrations in the head, which lead to the dissolution are described here. I will share some personal experience. Although many believe that she represents a withering power, I think that such a view is deceptive and the worldly person does not see the most important thing about her. This Goddess, although depicted as a symbol which is close to the end of life, is also a symbol of the full unfolding of life’s whole potential. It’s a total bloom that, for many, seems daunting and ominous. Its withering contains an infinite blossoming of energy, it is kuṇḍalinī at the very peak of unfolding into infinity. Dhūmāvatī eliminates two kinds of fear, which are essentially one – the fear of life-death.

The connection between Dhūmāvatī and yoga

The Dhūmāvatī jayantī is going to be very soon, and you could find a lot about her celebration on the Internet. Thinking about whether to write this posting or not, I came to the conclusion that I could not write much, because, there are things that need to be kept in secret and shared only with the closest students. Nevertheless, I will share some things. This Goddess is known in the Vedas and Purāṇas under various names, such as nirṛti – who is the external opposite to the world order (ṛta). She is old or ancient. This Goddess arose from the body of Pārvatī or Sati in the form of smoke, hence the name. And this smoke itself symbolises something outliving in this world, but reaching upward. Therefore, it is a symbol of sannyasa and the highest renunciation. I am not going to write very much, but will give some interesting examples. Here is an interesting description of the highest cakra (nirvāṇacakra), according to Siddha-siddhānta-paddhati:

अष्टमं ब्रह्मरन्ध्रं निर्वणचक्रं सूचिकाग्रभेद्यं धूमशिखाकारं ध्यायेत् तत्र जालन्धरपीठं मोक्षप्रदं भवति ॥८॥

aṣṭamaṃ brahmarandhraṃ nirvaṇacakraṃ sūcikāgrabhedyaṃ dhūmaśikhākāraṃ
dhyāyet tatra jālandharapīṭhaṃ mokṣapradaṃ bhavati॥8॥

The eighth is brahmarandhra, nirvaṇa-cakra. It is necessary to contemplate the image of a stream of smoke, thin as the tip of a needle. There is the jālandhara pīṭha, bestowing liberation.

One of the Dhūmāvatī’s bīja-mantras is ठः (ṭhaḥ), which symbolises amṛta (the nectar of immortality), associated with the upper cakras, such as ājñā, guru-cakra, sahasrāra.

There is a very famous story among nātha-yogis associated with Paraśurāma and how he performed the prāyaścitta (atonement) with the blessing of GorakṣanāthGorakṣanāth appeared before Paraśurāma from smoke (mañju), therefore, Gorakṣanāth is known by the name Mañju Nāth in the South of India.

I don’t really like that nāthas are identified only with haṭha-yoga, because yoga is just yoga, with its different aspects, while the Nāthasampradāya is generally the way of yoga. Moreover, on all continents now, haṭha-yoga, as a rule, is understood extremely primitively. However, haṭha-yoga has more to do with the Nāthasampradāya. Honoring Dhūmāvatī, I saw the following names in her sahasranāma:

ॐ हठिन्यै नमः। ॐ हठसम्प्रीत्यै नमः ।ॐ हठवार्तायै नमः ।ॐ हठोद्यमायै नमः ।ॐ हठकार्यायै नमः ।ॐ हठधर्मायै नमः। ॐ हठकर्मपरायणायै नमः ।ॐ हठसम्भोगनिरतायै नमः ।ॐ हठात्काररतिप्रियायै नमः ।ॐ हठसम्भेदिन्यै नमः।

oṃ haṭhinyai namaḥ। oṃ haṭhasamprītyai namaḥ ।oṃ haṭhavārtāyai namaḥ ।oṃ haṭhodyamāyai namaḥ ।oṃ haṭhakāryāyai namaḥ ।oṃ haṭhadharmāyai namaḥ। oṃ haṭhakarmaparāyaṇāyai namaḥ ।oṃ haṭhasambhoganiratāyai namaḥ ।oṃ haṭhātkāraratipriyāyai namaḥ ।oṃ haṭhasambhedinyai namaḥ।

Furthermore, it is interesting that the sexuality (rati) is not mentioned in contrast to haṭhāt (through brute force), as it is slightly opposite, but with the positive attitude (priyā) to their combination. The goddess is revered as a form of righteousness (dharma), in the form of hard effort (haṭha), etc. I immediately recall the mention in the early tantras of such sādhanā, as haṭha and priyamelaka, the practitioner’s connection with yoginis in a “dangerous” and “pleasant” form. Of course, in sahasranāmahaṭha is not referred to as the union of the sun and moon. However, it is obvious that even if the term “haṭha” is understood as “with force”, it will not contradict the merging of the moon and the sun, Śiva and Śakti.