Dhumavati The great divine power of the mental vacuum – shunyata

The mental void means nothing but the absence of any thought and any disturbance, however fine.

It is NOT a state in which we cannot think, we can even better than before, but it is a state in which we do not want to think because we feel that thinking is somewhat coarser and inferior to the state in which we find ourselves at the time.

The mental void does not mean stupidity or mental blockage, but a much higher capacity than thinking, which is subject to it, anyway, and through which we can access truth, freedom, life and happiness.

Dhumavati is the seventh great divine power of the 12 Maha Vidya and is symbolically represented by a goddess, a special and very elderly woman who is either in a state of detachment and rejection of what is external or, when correctly represented, in a transcendent ecstatic state.


It is very old because it symbolizes the fact that the mental vacuum is transcendent, i.e. it is beyond any immanence, but, very importantly, this woman is happy because of the infinite divine ecstasy in duration and depth that she lives and what is the nature of the mental vacuum, shunyata.

Meaning of name

Starting from the etymology of the word “dhuma”,which means “smoke”, Dhumavati is “the one that is made up of smoke” or “the one like smoke”.

As a result, her name expresses her ability to cover with a veil the external reality, common, superficial, so that we turn our attention to ourselves, to Ourselves. It helps us to focus on our depths, to what is still unmanifested, transcendent.

It distracts us from Samsara (the manifested world in which we live) and directs us to our eternal, immutable, ineffable essence, that is, the Supreme Self Atman.

Meaning of its representation

She has a slightly appealing representation, like an elderly but happy woman, apparently devoid of femininity.

This representation signifies her state of perfect detachment from the outside world, of illusion – Maya, and her orientation towards God.

It frees us from attachment and reveals the true spiritual reality.

It helps us learn our lessons and develop spiritual virtues such as detachment, patience, perseverance, and forgiveness.

It is the image of a widowed woman, which signifies a state in which the feminine principle that does not need its male counterpart – the aspect of consciousness on the outside, because it permanently lives the communion with the Supreme Transcendence within the Self.

This is a representation of transcendent energy, which contains all the possibilities of manifestation, but is not involved in the process of creation. It can bring us grace in order to become aware of these latent, unmanifested energies, which, once conscious, we will be able to manifest easily.


She is presented in a carriage.

In his left hand he holds a sieve, which signifies the ability to discern between illusion and truth, and with his right hand he makes the gesture that signifies knowledge (chinmudra).

In alte reprezentari ține intr-o mână un bol de foc si un coș in cealaltă mână.

Focul simbolizează transformarea fulgerătoare prin calcinarea directă a impurităților și limitărilor.

Coșul, folosit pentru a separa grâul de pleavă, reprezintă capacitatea de discriminare între iluzie și adevăr.

Trăsura ei reprezintă vehiculul spiritual care este vidul mental shunyata care ne conduce fără efort către Realizare.

Dhumavati ne oferă posibilitatea de a ne orienta spre intrerior, spre Sine, ceea ce ne conduce la realizarea spirituală.


Its hypostases or attributes

It is the great divine power of vacuity, it manifests a lack of passion and sometimes disgust for the outside world, helps us to transcend all mental fluctuations, leading us into the state of mental void.

The void is the state in which we transcend any form or identification with what is manifested. The void does not mean the lack of everything, but on the contrary, it represents the deep spiritual reality that is conscious, is everywhere, is the source of whatever exists. In the state of mental void we transcend the dual state and the identity between the world, us and God appears.

She is a Great Initiator, a spiritual guide, being considered the oldest and wisest of all Maha Vidya. She possesses the perfect knowledge, obtained from many difficult life experiences.

By referring to it we can acquire wisdom and knowledge of the mysteries of life and death. It helps us to grow spiritually by assimilating the lessons that life offers us.

It represents “darkness” or “obscurity”- the resorption into transcendence that helps us see the truth beyond appearances.

As we evolve we realize that true spiritual knowledge has nothing to do with our ordinary mind, with the ability to understand, but with getting in touch with truth by relating to the Self. So, we no longer identify with our limited being, with our desires, pleasures, fears or beliefs, but we detach ourselves from them and connect with the infinite within us, which is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent. It helps us to transcend suffering and ignorance in this way.

It makes us more aware of our limited, imperfect, ephemeral condition. And so, being aware of the illusory reality, let us make every effort to transcend it and identify with our true nature, the Supreme Atman Self, unlimited, immutable, infinite, thus knowing the true nondual happiness.

Through communion with it we can easily transcend: suffering, frustration, loneliness, inertia, confusion, pessimism, boredom and disappointment.

We get to be free and know the truth.

It is associated with the Great Night (Maharatri) or with the terrible night of exiting the illusion, which it can transcend and reach the beatific void.

Tools by which we can relate to it


There are several ways in which we can relate to it, depending on its attributes or hypostases that we want to amplify in us.

  • The main form of identification with this transcendent power consists in ignoring our thoughts and relating to the observer, which leads us into a state of void and into the state of the last village-cit-ananda (consciousness, freedom, nondual happiness), that is, through the fundamental meditation of Anuttara.
  • By reflecting on the impermanence of life, the ephemeral character of the outside world we can also connect to it. Through jnana yoga, discrimination between illusion and truth.
  • Through practices that help us awaken our soul, which makes us more aware, not to manifest mental mechanisms, to have a great capacity for discernment and to have access to the truth.
  • By cultivating the state of being (Sat), in which we only observe the world as it is, without making judgments.
  • Another way is to work with his yantra.

Leo Radutz

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