Wednesday, September 27, 2017

1097. Dhumavati (Dasha Maha Vidhya)

The Seventh Goddess of the Dasha Maha Vidya (Ten Wisdom aspects of Shakti) is Dhumavati. She is “the smoky one.” Just as we comprehend Bhairavi, the Fifth Goddess in Dasha Maha Vidyas as efflugence, Dhumavati personifies the pitch dark, that darkness which Vedas describe as the beginning of the existence. We have mistaken that the Abhava (Absence) of light is dark; it is not so, the light is impregnated in the embryo of darkness. An example to know this better is the tree which is in the seed; tree is never absent in a seed. It is just the play of the Vyaktha (Manifested) and the Avyaktha (Unmanifested).

Yet, we term it as Abhava (Absence) and this abhava is of two types; Pragabhava and Dhvamsabhava. Pragabhava is the absence before it is brought into being, while Dhvamsabhava is the absence after it is destroyed. Example the clay and shred in relation with a pot. Pot in the clay is Pragabhava and in shred pot is Dhvamsabhava. This two Abhava is Dhumavati, she carries the embryo of light as Pragabhava and as Dhvamsabhava she swallows the light as smoke. This Yuga (Eon) has already dawn as Dhumavati has undergone the Prasava (Labour) of light and has delivered the Sat (Being) from Asat (Non-Being). As Dhumavati was the first and had dwelled in that Non-Being she is also called Jyestha (Elder). 

The concept of “Being” coming into existence from “Non-Being” which was Non Existent makes a section of seeker to consider the Being as Non-Existent. They negate the Being calling it Maya (Illusion), this theory is called Mayavada. Then there was another section of seekers who considered the Being as Shunya (Void), the extinction of the entire existence, this theory is called Shunyavada. The Tantra School of Thought does not accept either the Maya or Shunya they preferred to adore Dhumavati, the mother of Sthithi (Inertia) as she is the Yoga Nidra (Cosmic Sleep) of Maha Vishnu. 

The iconography of Dhumavati shows her holding a bowl of fire in one hand and a winnow in the other. The fire symbolizes inevitable cosmic destruction; all things shall pass away. Winnow is kitchen equipment that is used to separate grains from chaff, Dhumavati holding the winnow symbolises Viveka (Wisdom) to discriminate between the Shashwatha (Permanent) and Ashashwatha (Trancient).

Dhumavati empowers us inwardly to reach for the highest, and there is nothing to stop us once we are resolved. In the end, she points the way to liberation.

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