From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
By Jit Majumdar
- of the nature of smoke; created out of smoke
- one of the important deities of the Tantric pantheon, belonging to the group of the 10 Mahāvidyās, usually the 7th in order. She has the form of an old widow, dwelling in the cremation or charnel grounds, riding a crow or a chariot with a crow as its puller that has a banner with the crow as its emblem; dressed in soiled white shroud used to cover corpses, holding a winnowing basket. Her expression is stern, grave, and frowning, with crooked teeth, long nose, shriveled skin, unkempt and disheveled grey hair and gaunt features. Embodying hunger, thirst, misery, poverty and conflict she gives the impression of inauspiciousness and misfortune, but is actually the goddess who gives her worshippers supernatural powers, enlightenment, gratification of all desires and acquisition of all fortune, after she leads them through the veneer of inauspiciousness, destitution and ill-fortune that she wears, by making them conquer and accept that veneer.