I can sincerely confess that in the past few months, I have done little or no work. I have been staring into the space and whiling away time everyday. My head was like the blue sky, thoughts kept floating about like clouds but whenever I tried to make sense of a thought or write it down, it vanished without a trace.
I remember spending my class X holidays in a similar way. But, I did read a lot in those days. I used to get lost in worlds of fantasy, mystery and magic.
However, this time, it was different. I was lost but I don’t know where. I thought but I don’t know what I thought. My entire day passed in staring into nothingness and thinking nothing. In this time, nothing existed for me, neither the past or the present or the future. All my life, I have worked for success but now, it seemed as if there was no desire left for success or achievements or accomplishments. Questions like who was I or what was I kept floating around in my mind. Am I the mind or the body? What is my identity? People know me by my name, but am I really a name?
During this time, I read about Mahavidya Dhumvati. She is pictured as a widow, sitting on a horseless chariot. A crow sits on the top of the chariot. Dhumvati holds a winnow in her hand which she uses to separate the grain from the chaff. Dhumvati or she who has a smoke like appearance is considered the personification of the void which swallows everything and from which everything emerges.
For most seekers, Dhumvati is the dreamless sleep where nothing exists. She is that which emerges after all forms of identification is wiped out- the dark void which swallows everything. Perhaps, she is the black hole from which the universe emerged and by which it will be eventually swallowed. Interestingly, she is also considered the giver of siddhis or powers in the occult world.
When we are born, our parents become our world. Slowly, we realize that we are separate from our parents. We work so hard to create our identities, our values, our world. We achieve our goals, aims and targets. Our journeys are full of challenges and we do our best to overcome those challenges.
Slowly, as a result of these exploits, we accumulate stories of our triumphs and failures. Time and again, we narrate these stories to others and ourselves to assert our identities. We even fight wars to maintain these identities or defend them. We forget that there was a time, these stories did not exist but we existed even then in sheer bliss and joy. As children, we were always in a state of bliss because nothing really mattered and we knew the art of doing nothing.
But, how will the world function if we do nothing? Is doing nothing not against the very doctrine of karma where we are taught to play our role to the best of our capacity without bothering about the end result?
Dhumvati is not beyond karma. Dhumvati simply teaches us to remain in awareness of who we truly are. We are not our names or titles or accomplishments. We are beyond those. I remember a friend who was the vice president of a very big company telling me, ‘I am not the vice president but I work as the vice president.’ Similarly, we simply have donned our roles and identifications.
Dhumvati urges us to drop all identifications and simply play the role that time demands.We are not the role. We are no-thing. We are no-one. Our true self lies beyond the object, observer boundary. We are the awareness that always is. The awareness from which the experiences emerge and to which the experiences return. We are the stage which witnesses the play of the object and the observer for the stage will remain even when the play ends and the players vanish!
If you ever experience this stage in your life, think about what you really identify yourself with. Who you are really when you are stripped of all the identifying badges? What are you without this game of winning and losing?