Dhumavati The Grandmother Spirit
Dhumavati is the eldest of the Goddesses and is looked upon as their ancestral guide. She represent maturity and the teacher who bestows the lessons of birth and death. She is the elder form of Kali. She has reached a state of timelessness and the higher states of samadhi which only come after many years or many lifetimes of meditational practices. Dhumavati is portrayed as a widow. She is Shakti without Shiva. Since everything an artist does is a self portrait, Leela considered for quite a while if she wanted a widow to be one of the images in the Temple.
Dhumavati represents the negative powers of life: disappointment, frustration, humiliation, defeat, loss, sorrow and loneliness.Dhuma means smoke and she is smoke colored. She tells us a lot about illusion and it's role. On an outer level she represents poverty, destitution and suffering. All the stuff we fear in life. Why not look these in the face and see them for the illusion they are? Dhumavati has protection over her head and crows flying around her. She has sagging breasts and is often depicted without some of her teeth.