Varanasi Again – 9: Waking up…

Ghats of Varanasi

I woke up, cold and drenched in sweat, my breathing heavy. It was the middle of the night. Besides me I could see the sleeping forms of Vaishali and the girls, the sheets covering them rising and falling rhythmically as they breathed, silently, peacefully. I looked out of the window and saw the morning star look back at me, unblinking, its light cold. There was the faint suggestion of early morning light in the sky towards east. It was the moment just before dawn, the moment of the Gods, when prayers are offered, and heard, and answered.

I got up slowly, trying not to disturb the sleep of others. They needed their rest, we had a long road trip ahead of us. The dream that had disturbed me, had caused me to wake up with a start, drenched in sweat, was still very vivid in my memory. I am not the one to have nightmares, or even serious dreams which would make one lose one’s sleep. The most I ever dream of is travelling, and flying, and meeting people. My scariest dream would be to get left behind in some uninhabited place, or getting separated from my wife, and kids, or my parents.

But this was different. I had woken up visibly shaken. The content of my dreams was unprecedented. I could still ‘see’ the ghat in my dreams, feel its cold, stone steps as I knelt there, hear the clang of the trident as the Yogi with the blue throat ascended up the steps to stare into my eyes, my soul…..and then…and then….

What had I dreamt, and why? The awakening of the third eye, the merging of my spirit with Shiva, the leaving behind of my material body on the steps of the ghat, kneeling, waiting to wither away, decompose, or be feasted upon by scavengers. The vision of the galaxies that the Yogi had shown me was still etched in my mind’s eye.

I got up, and poured myself a glass of water. Gulping down the cold, refreshing liquid, I felt my fears subside a little. I mopped my brow with a hand towel, and looked at my watch…..it was a little over four in the morning. Vaishali will be stirring soon, we had to get up early to prepare for the journey, the journey to Varanasi…….

To be continued…….

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The Battle of Panchavati and Other Stories from Indian Scriptures
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By Divya Narain

Additional Professor in Plastic Surgery, doting father, loving husband, newbie author. Love travel and literature. Love reading religion, politics and history!

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