April 22

Knowing – by Shyama Nithi


 April 22


Bhuvana means world, and Eśvari means supreme ruler. 

She is the supreme ruler who has been, is, and always will be. In her iconography, she holds two lotuses in each hand, one signifies the knowledge that limits us, the other the knowledge that frees us from our limitations. These can also be viewed as transactional knowledge and Self-knowledge, here Self-knowledge is experiential knowledge.As a lover of knowledge, this is a powerful teaching for me. Before studying with Kavithaji, I read book after book, accumulating knowledge with no practical application. Throughout my journey, I thought that stories and narratives were necessary for my survival.  However, they had become a prison to me actually experiencing life. I wasn’t able to travel overseas or even go anywhere by myself, because I was trapped in my own narratives.    Bhuvaneśvarī’s teaching of space allows me to see how I am constricted. She represents the spaceless space, the pointless point that swallows everything. She is also my narrative, what allows me to be aware of these narratives, and also what enables me to experience life. Her smile and compassionate eyes tell me to chill and move on. It is that awareness without pushing or ignoring, just being with “WHAT IS,” that allows me to open to experience. 

The Bhuvaneśvarī yantra enables me to turn inward, bringing awareness to the various ways I constrict myself and get caught in the traps of knowing.  I hand-draw the yantra daily. When I use a pencil and approach it thinking I ‘know,’ attached to it being perfect, it does not happen. I try to erase the lines and eventually have to discard the drawing, and start again. However when I use a pen and  just give it a go, giving in to the process, it flows and no matter what emerges it is perfect. 

What does it mean to "know" something? When we limit our understanding of the infinite possibilities in every moment, we miss out on the true experience of it.  Recently my son traveled overseas, leaving home for the first time. I was agitated and defaulted to my pattern of trying to analyze the situation to be able to control it. I was rejecting what was actually happening.  Reflecting on the recent teachings, I just stopped, and sat on the couch to observe these agitations. I focused on the breath and body sensations. Slowly I felt the  sweetness of Bhuvaneśvarī, spaciousness, seeing that the body was capable of holding these sensations.  I was humbled and also grateful for the discomfort that made me turn inward, and see what was really happening. In this calmer state, I was able to appreciate that my son’s travel had nothing to do with me, and I needed to allow him his own experience. We celebrated every moment before he left, and this time was precious. 

When I say, “I think,” “I know,” “because,”  I am in my mind. When I am in the experience, there is nothing to know or even describe. Now when this “I know,” arises,  I reframe it to “only Devi knows.” This allows me to let go of thinking, which is just attachment to my narrative. In this way, I continue to move from one lotus to the other lotus with Bhuvaneśvarī’s grace.

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