California, July 2002
During a visit to California in July 2002, Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche gave a short teaching on the sadhana of the Dakini Guhyajnana from the Treasure Vase of Profound Instructions. This sadhana, which is a terma revealed by Chokgyur Lingpa, is called Fulfillment of All Wishes. The teaching was translated orally by Erik Pema Kunsang who also translated the sadhana inserted here, and transcribed and edited by Steve Gamble, with help and advices from Michael Tweed.
Only read if you received the empowerment of the Dakini Guhyajnana from the Treasure Vase of Profound Instructions.
“Dakini” in the Indian languages has the connotation of being someone who's not quite human – not an ordinary girl or woman, but somebody who is a little scary, has fangs, red hair, drinks blood, has long nails, and so forth, and can perform a few miracles now and then. In India, generally speaking, there are quite a few of them, especially in the twenty-four sacred places and valleys, and particularly in Dhumathala, which is really the most eminent among all the sacred places. This is, shall we say, the capital of the dakinis. There is a place in Pakistan, which seems to be the present-day region of Uddiyana, where a lot of the women have something that looks like a mustache, and also they are naturally kind of fierce and have some tricks, or miracles they can play, just by their nature. So the word generally refers to some kind of witch.
When ‘dakini’ is translated into Tibetan it becomes ‘khandro’, which doesn’t have exactly the same meaning. The Tibetan connotation of khandro is “great gals,” but in India if you call somebody a dakini, they will scratch your face and get angry, as it implies somebody who eats flesh, drinks blood, and casts spells. Most of the witches in Uddiyana could fly through the air, and that's why they're called “sky-farers” or khandros, but I hear that these days, there are only a few left.
There are various types of dakinis such as wisdom dakini, karma dakini, charnel ground dakinis, and something called flesh-eating dakinis. The wisdom dakini, according to the Sarma schools, is Vajravarahi (Tib. Dorje Phagmo). According to the Nyingma school she is Samantabhadri, and so forth. The other primary wisdom dakinis according to the Nyingma tradition are the eight consorts of the eight great herukas and the five consorts of the five male buddhas. Among the five buddha families, the five male buddhas represent the upaya aspect, skillful means, while the five female buddhas represent insight, the prajñā aspect.
There's also a dakini that is not necessarily a wisdom dakini nor a flesh-eating dakini; she is known as the Queen of Dharmadhatu, Ekajati. Also, there are five classes of karma dakinis corresponding to the five aspects: pacifying, increasing, magnetizing, subjugating, and one for the supreme activity. The charnel ground dakinis are the eight sisters and so forth.
Those are the main ones, the chiefs of the one hundred thousand different types. In short, every woman is a dakini. They're more intelligent than men and more sharp-minded. Nevertheless, they seem to think more, in other words they have more plans, but more worries too.
For each of the main dakinis there is a sadhana practice. It is said that the guru is the root of blessings, the yidam is the root of accomplishment (siddhi), and the dakini is the root of activity. So you could say that having obtained the blessings and achieved the accomplishment, then you need to make use of it, and employing it is called the activity. In other words, the virtue of blessings and accomplishment is the activity, which is the dakinis. And it is not only Buddhists who say this, but also Hindus, for they say that compared to the male deity, the female deity is swifter in bestowing blessings and accomplishments. For example, as you well know, in the Sarma schools the male aspect is Chakrasamvara, while the female aspect of teaching and practice is Varahi. In other words, one could say that the practice connected to the vase empowerment is the male aspect, while the more profound parts, the secret empowerment and the wisdom-knowledge empowerment, are connected to the female aspect of sadhana, i.e. Vajravarahi. It is taught that although Milarepa and his disciple Gampopa had various yidams they attained accomplishment primarily through the practice of Vajravarahi, particularly the practices connected with the second and third empowerment, i.e. the secret empowerment and the wisdom-knowledge empowerment.
In the Sakya tradition, one of the principal yidams is Hevajra, which is the male aspect, and the female aspect is called Khechari (Tib. Kachoma) which is a form of Vajravarahi. One of the great Sakya masters, Sachen, was a great siddha, and it is said that he attained accomplishment through receiving the blessings of this female dakini known as Khechari – for instance, at the time of death, he did not leave a corpse behind but went directly in his body to the celestial realms. This is described as a staircase coming down from above, and then one travels up that. Exactly how that looks like and functions I'm not sure, but it definitely works. Having attained this siddhi, he received a lot of pithy transmissions through Khechari. The Gelugpa also practice a form of Vajrayogini.
According to the Nyingma school, the principle form is a black Vajrayogini called Troma Nagmo, one of the main practices of whom was revealed by the great master of Nyang, Nyangchen; there has been a great number of practitioners who attained accomplishment through his terma of Black Vajrayogini. The biography style of supplication to Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo recounts that when Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo did the retreat of the Black Vajrayogini, his skull cup started to blaze with fire and it became so hot that he couldn't touch it. There are now a large number of sadhanas based on Troma Nagmo.
Among the various treasure revealers known as tertöns, overall there aren't that many sadhanas for the dakini. I have heard it said that the reason for this is that the dakini practices are very profound, and also that the dakinis are kind of stingy with their teachings so that they don't really want to let go of them that easily. Some auspicious coincidence has to fall into place perfectly before they're willing to pass such teachings on, and that doesn't happen so easily. So most tertöns have experienced a lot of trouble with trying to land a dakini terma and they are rarely successful.
For instance, Chokgyur Lingpa was predicted to go to Bhutan and at the white cliff Karpo Drak he was to reveal a very grand terma called the Khandro Gongdü, ‘The Embodiment of the Realization of All Dakinis.’ If he had succeeded in doing this it would have ensured that all his activity would reach completion, but somebody interfered so he wasn’t able to, and a big obstacle for his life arose because of that. In the prophecy, it also said that there's a connection between the Khandro Gongdü, and his other terma on Dzogchen called the Dzogchen Desum, the ‘Three Sections of Dzogchen’. It says that if he had established the Dzogchen Desum in writing, then it would have become possible to also decode the Khandro Gongdü, and if both of them had been brought into this world at the same time, through that a huge number of people would attain rainbow body.
Chokgyur Lingpa's daughter, Mayum Könchok Paldrön, had one of the dakini scripts on a parchment from her father that had never been decoded. After she died, her son Tersey Tulku had it. When Tersey Tulku met with Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, he asked Rinpoche to decode it. This turned out to be the sadhana for the eight dakinis who are the consorts of the eight herukas. So it was eventually written down, but then the lineage was broken. Some years ago when I went back to East Tibet I got hold of the text, but the empowerment lineage no longer exists.
So what is the purpose and benefit of dakini practice? When we try to attain supreme and common siddhi, accomplishments, dakini practice speeds it up. But one practices the dakini especially for clearing damages and samayas. As I mentioned before, in addition to receiving the blessings through the guru sadhana, and the yidam as the root of accomplishment, or siddhi, to make use of that is the activity, which is the dakini practice.
When Padmasambhava came to Tibet, the king at that time was Trisong Deutsen, who offered one of his queens, Yeshe Tsogyal, to be the consort of Padmasambhava. Through receiving the teachings and practicing, she attained the great transformation, rainbow body, and became indivisible from Padmasambhava himself. In fact, King Trisong Deutsen had previously requested Vajrayana teachings from Padmasambhava, but Padmasambhava refused. He gave his whole country as an offering, but Padmasambhava refused. Then he gave his queen Yeshe Tsogyal as an offering, and finally Guru Rinpoche consented, and offered the vajrayana teachings.
In most Nyingma practices, the guru principle and the yidam principle are seen as being indivisible from Padmasambhava himself, while the different types of dakini—Vajravarahi, as found in the Yumka Dechen Gyalmo part of the Longchen Nyingthig, and so forth—are seen as being indivisible from Yeshe Tsogyal.
Now the text before us is the sadhana for the dakini that belongs to a cycle of six dakini practices that are known as the personal practice of the princess of Zur. She was the consort of Prince Damdzin at the time when Padmasambhava was in Tibet. These six practices include Tara, Vajravarahi, Guhyajnana, Mandarava and Yeshe Tsogyal, and the guru sadhana.
On page one of the Sadhana of Dakini Guhyajnana it says “from the Treasure Vase of Profound Instructions,” so that is where this sadhana comes from. Before the sadhana proper one should recite the “Cloudbank of Great Bliss: The Supplication to the Lineage of the Dakini Guhyajnana from the Treasure Vase of Profound Instructions,” which was written by the previous Chokling tülku, Neten Chokling Pema Gyurme.
Right after that comes the “Fulfillment of all Wishes: The Sadhana of Dakini Guhyajnana from the Essence Manual Entitled 'Plentiful Vase of Profound Instructions,'” which is a complete cycle of instructions.
After the opening verse, the small writing says that the sadhana has three parts: preparation, main part, and conclusion, as does almost every other sadhana.
First, in an auspicious place, on a day such as the tenth day of the waxing moon, if you have an image place it in front of it the dakini torma consisting of fivefold chief and retinue surrounded by pellets and decorated with ornaments and a red silken canopy. Assemble an abundance of excellent foods including fruits, meat and wine. To the right and left of these place the amrita and rakta, while in front arrange the line of outer offerings, the offering tormas, feast articles, and so forth.
So, it should be practiced in an auspicious place, and you should begin on an important day like the tenth day of the waxing or waning part of the lunar calendar; the waxing is the tenth day, the waning is the twenty-fifth day. For those who want to specifically do the dakini practice, what is an auspicious place? There are various types of places such as where there is not a forest, but rather a single huge tree; a dome-shaped cave; a place where sindhura-colored (reddish-orange) water flows, such as a river of that color; where there is a cliff that has a shape of a bhaga; etc.
Some of the indispensable ingredients to put on the shrine are a cowry shell and a mirror. On the bottom of the cowry shell you write ha ri ni sa. There is also a chakra, for the life-force of the dakinis, and Mipham Rinpoche described how to design one of those. It is also taught that if you always wear the cowry shell and the mirror without taking them off, then even if you don’t do the dakini practice you’ll still accomplish it.
When beginning the practice, sit facing west. Why face west? One reason is because Uddiyana is to the west. Another point is that the dakini is for magnetizing activity, which is also connected to the western direction. When the monks chant the sutras, because the Buddha mainly resided at a place called Shravasti they’re supposed to sit facing Shravasti, but here we are trying to accomplish the dakinis so we face west.
Recite once the visualization for the refuge, which is:
In the sky before me, indivisible from the Wisdom Dakini, is the guru
Vividly present in the form embodying all objects of refuge.
Refuge and bodhicitta as a matter of fact only have a single sentence each:
In the Wisdom Dakini I take refuge!
To swiftly attain buddhahood, I form the bodhicitta resolve!
Repeat these two lines three times. That means if you bring the meaning to mind, then it’s okay to say it three times. If you say it without bringing the meaning to mind, you can say it a thousand times, but it won’t help much.
The next four lines, “The three realms, the vessel and contents” and so forth, with the mantra, are for the offerings. And together with that, you bring to mind the visualization for the outer, inner, and innermost way of performing the mandala offering.
The next four lines together with the mantra comprise the guru yoga:
Pay heed, Guru Dakini, pay heed,
With devotion I supplicate you from my heart!
Grant your blessings and dispel obstacles!
Confer the four empowerments and bestow the siddhis!
om ah hung maha guru dakini svaha
You should accumulate as many repetitions of this as you possibly can, for example when doing this practice on the twenty-fifth day of the month at my monastery we chant the four lines three times, then the mantra a hundred times. While chanting the mantra you imagine that in the sky before you is the Dakini Guhyajnana, indivisible from your root guru. Then while chanting the mantra you imagine that you receive the four empowerments.
The next six lines are the visualization for having received the empowerments:
From the four places of the Guru Dakini
Radiate white, red, blue, and green rays of light.
By their dissolving into my four places,
My four obscurations are purified and I obtain the four empowerments.
The guru, dissolving indivisibly into me,
Becomes the luminous state of great bliss.
After that, remain briefly in that state of luminosity. So these were the preliminary steps, in other words the ngöndro.
Next comes dispelling obstructers. For giving the torma to the obstructers, first you consecrate the torma, then you summon the obstructers and then you hand them the torma. So there’s a mantra for each of these steps. But according to the text it’s fine if you skip doing this. On the other hand, if you feel that there are obstructers and you need to do something to be rid of them, then you’d better do it.
The text reads:
In the utterly pure mind essence
There is not even the term 'deluded obstructers'.
Within the space of the awakened mind of all phenomena
The vajra protection circle is spontaneously perfected.
So wouldn’t it be sufficient if we just understood the first two sentences – that the nature of my mind is utterly pure? That means that the mind is empty, right? And in the empty mind, how can there be any delusion? And even if there was some obstructer, it’s just the play of this empty mind; it doesn’t exist anywhere, really. If you just bring this to mind and understand it, then how can there be any obstructing demon anywhere?
That is how we understand that all obstructing demons are just the play of our own minds; and within the space of the awakened mind of all phenomena being empty, the vajra protection circle is actually already spontaneously perfected. Isn’t it true that there’s no protection greater than realizing emptiness? Because when you realize emptiness, even if the whole universe rises up as your enemy, it can’t hurt or inflict harm in any way. At the end of the verse we have the mantra, vajra raksha raksha hung.
The next four lines are a combination of bringing down the resplendence and the consecration of offerings. The first two lines,
The entire world is the dakini buddhafield.
All beings are the forms of wisdom dakinis.
comprise bringing down the resplendence. And the next two are the consecration:
All the offering articles are the wisdom nectar of great bliss.
Outer, inner and innermost offerings fill the sky.
And from that perspective, you don’t have to consecrate each – like the water, the flowers, the perfume and so forth, because everything is offering. Outer, inner, innermost phenomena – everything is offering. When it says repeat three times it refers to the mantra, om sarva puja megha ah hung. If you have musical instruments to play, then you sound them at this time.
The next mantra here, hrih bhrum dhuma ghaye nama svaha, is for manifesting the deity. In the Light of Wisdom (Lamrim Yeshe Nyingpo) there is an anuyoga style of development stage where simply saying the mantra is enough for the complete visualization to unfold.
At this point comes the visualization of the deity, which is one central figure, with one goddess in each of the four directions.
Arising from the awakened mind,
What appears and exists is a buddhafield, the dakini’s display.
Within the vajra protection circle,
Amidst the blazing triangular source-of-dharmas,
Upon the lotus, sun and corpse,
I am the dakini Guhyajnana.
Brilliant red, with one face and two arms,
I raise the curved knife, cutting through birth and death,
And hold the blood-filled skull cup, emptying samsara.
My three eyes gaze passionately,
In the full bloom of youth, like a sixteen year old,
With swelling breasts and my bhaga fully grown.
Between my eyes spins the red whorl-of-joy,
And my hair, black and shining, is tied up behind.
Adorned with a crown of five dried skulls,
I am decorated with the six bone ornaments.
With one leg bent and one extended, I stand in dancing pose,
Embracing the daka khatvanga,
Ablaze with boundless rays of red light.
In the four directions, upon four-petalled lotus flowers,
Are the four dakinis of the four families, looking like myself.
In the brilliant hues of blue, yellow, white, and green,
They hold curved knives with the attributes of their families.
Surround by a hundred-thousand dakinis of the sacred places and valleys,
With the five wisdoms and Body, Speech, and Mind,
We are equal to all the victorious ones.
That completes the visualization. Unlike other dakini practices where they have red hair kind of blazing up, streaming upwards, here it’s black shining hair tied towards the back. Between the brows, which is in the lower part of the forehead, at the spot where in India they put the tika, there is a design which is called “the whorl of joy”; it is a delicate drawing as if it was painted by a brush with a single hair, and it spins. Here there is no pig’s head as there is with Vajravarahi. The khatvanga that Guhyajnana holds signifies the daka, and the top of the khatvanga is not a trident but a vajra. Otherwise, she has one face, two arms, etc., so there is no need to explain that part as it is quite straightforward.
The visualization ends with a mantra which is said while performing the corresponding mudras.
hrih hung tram om ah, om ah hung
When a deity is of the lotus family, then when you arrange the five syllables, the top one is hrih, which is for Amitabha’s family. Then, Akshobhya is at the forehead with his hung. And Ratnasambhava for tram is at the right side. Then in the back is om for Vairocana. And then ah here is for Amoghasiddhi. The om ah hung for body, speech, and mind is the same as usual. And when you do the mudras, they correspond to those places.
Invoking and dissolving the wisdom beings, and making offerings and praises:
Just as was mentioned earlier, it’s the chief figure, the samaya being, that we’ve visualized here. It sends out from the heart center rays of light, and at the tips they bend slightly like hooks, for they go to the buddhafields and especially to Dhumathala and the twenty-one other sacred places, to summon and invoke back hundreds and thousands of forms of dakinis. These are the four lines of invocation:
From the dharmadhatu beyond arising,
And from the sambhogakaya realm beyond ceasing,
Wisdom Dakini, together with your retinue,
I invite you to this place, please come!
vajra samajah, e ah ralli hring hring
jah hung bam hoh, tishtha lhan, namo purushaya hoh
In regard to the mantra the jah is to invite, hung is to make firm or remain, bam is to mingle indivisibly, and hoh is to enjoy. tishtha lhan means please remain, and namo purushaya hoh is paying homage.
This four-line invocation is chanted with a gentle melody while playing the damaru. I asked Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche whether this melody was from the Chokling Tersar tradition, but he said “No, it isn’t. It comes from Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje. It’s the invocation tune for the Yumka sadhana, according to Longchen Nyingthig.” Whatever the case, they could in fact be the same tune.
The next eight lines include the outer, inner, innermost and innermost secret offerings of thatness:
From the union of the lord and lady, the world and all beings,
Are spontaneously perfected as the five sense-pleasures.
The union of means and knowledge
Fills up the sky with a cloud of innermost offerings.
In non-dual equality I present
This unexcelled, innermost offering
Of the one taste of indivisible cognizance and emptiness,
So enjoy it as the adornment of great bliss.
mahasukha puja hoh
The next verse comprises the praises:
Dharmakaya out of the state of emptiness,
Sambhogakaya, luminous great bliss,
Capacity conveying the variety of magical manifestations,
I respectfully praise the host of dakinis.
For the recitation, there are three parts: approach, accomplishment, and activity. First, for the approach-recitation, while possessing vivid presence, steady pride, and recollection of the pure symbolism, say:
Around the syllable hrih which rests upon the sun in the heart center,
Spinning anti-clockwise the mantra garland
Radiates light making offerings to all the victorious ones,
While gathering and absorbing their blessings and siddhis.
It purifies the obscurations of beings throughout space,
And establishes them in the state of a wisdom dakini.
As the rays of light are gathered back
They purify my obscurations, bestow blessings,
And I become a suitable vessel for accomplishment.
om dhuma ghaye nama svaha
Recite this until completing either a set number or period, or a sign manifests.
The first four lines describe the visualization that one does while chanting. When performing a magnetizing and subjugating activity as is done here, the mantra spins. The syllables are written in clockwise direction but face inwards toward the seed syllable, rather than outward as in a typical yidam sadhana. Also the mantra then spins anti-clockwise rather than clockwise.
When doing a retreat one should recite this approach mantra until completing either a set number or a set period of time, or until a certain sign manifests. The set number, generally speaking, is 100,000 mantras for each syllable in the mantra. But if the mantra is shorter than twelve syllables, as in this case where the mantra has eight syllables, then the number is larger. If it has many syllables, like the hundred-syllable mantra of Vajrasattva, then one doesn’t need to repeat it that many times. However, it’s also said that since we’re now in the age of strife, one needs to say a higher number than usual.
The set period of time is to do retreat is for three months, six months, or one year. According to the tantras a six-month period is quite a long time for a single sadhana.
As for signs, there are higher, medium, and lesser signs. The higher sign is to have a vision in actuality of the deity and hear the sound of the mantra. The medium is to have a good “nyam,” or meditation experience—not like the feeling you get after taking a drug; not that kind of experience. The lowest sign is to have excellent dreams.
For dakini practices, it is said that if one feels completely mentally upset and almost can’t stay in the retreat the first few days, it’s actually a very good sign for having attained some accomplishment from the practice. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche once did a five-month retreat on Khandro Sangdü and he said that the first part of the retreat was almost unbearable. He thought, “I’m going nuts. I’m going insane.” But whatever that meant, later on it turned out quite well. Also when Trulshik Rinpoche was in Tibet in the early days, he did the previously mentioned Nyang terma of dakini practice, and he, too, had severe upheavals during the first part of his retreat. If one feels very serene, and very calm and so forth at the beginning, like a placid surface of a lake undisturbed, that means nothing beneficial is going to happen, and there will be no accomplishment either.
Next, for the accomplishment-recitation, say
Amidst the dome of light in my heart center,
Within the unchanging bindu is Gargyi Wangchuk, the Lord of the Dance.
Brilliant red, he holds a lotus and the vase of longevity,
And in union he embraces his consort Dhatvishvari.
From the cloud of bodhichitta of their union
Appears a continuous garland of mantra.
Passing through the body, it emerges through his nose,
And the khatvanga turns into a daka.
Entering the nose, and passing through the throat,
To the tip of the vajra jewel,
It spins like the wheel of a fire-brand.
Passing through the lotus, it dissolves into the heart.
The rays of light of the bodhichitta
Manifest the entire world and all beings as a mandala.
Light rays appear from the three places
Of the deities which fill the expanse of the sky.
Dissolving into myself, they kindle the great bliss
And I obtain the twofold accomplishment.
Recite the mantra while visualizing this.
This needs a brief clarification. You yourself are Guhyajnana, and in your heart center there is a dome. This doesn’t look like the dome surrounding Vajrakilaya, but rather it’s a sphere of red light. Inside of that is also a small sphere, ‘the unchanging bindu’, inside of which is the Lord of the Dance, Gargyi Wangchuk. He is a manifestation of Amitayus, and in essence is Avalokiteshvara. He’s brilliant red, and in his two hands he’s holding a lotus and a vase of longevity. He is in union with his consort, Dhatvishvari, and from their union appears a cloud bank of bodhicitta that turns into a continuous mantra garland that passes through your body and then comes out through your nose. Guhyajnana holds a khatvanga in the crook of her arm, right? When the mantra garland enters the khatvanga, that causes it to transform into the daka (male deity), and the mantra garland then passes through his body and comes out through his vajra jewel, in a circle, just like a firebrand. It re-enters you (as Guhyajnana) through the lotus and again dissolves back into the heart center. The light rays that emanate from this illuminate the entire world to be a mandala, meaning that whatever is experienced is a divine form, all sounds are mantra, and all movement of mind is original wakefulness. This being so, deities appear filling all of space, and from their three places rays of light shine forth. These light rays dissolve into you, and through this the great bliss is kindled even further. Having set the great bliss ablaze, you have obtained the twofold siddhi. While visualizing this you recite the same mantra as before: om dhuma ghaye nama svaha.
Third, for the activity-recitation, which comes after having completed the approach and accomplishment, say:
From the heart syllable of the wisdom being
The radiating light makes the retinue devis
Emanate innumerable replicas of themselves,
Fulfilling the four kinds of activity.
hrih ma ha ri ni sa om bhrum hrih hung
Recite this one tenth the amount of the approach and accomplishment. The particular activity-recitation should be learned from the root text.
In this mantra om is for pacifying; bhrum for increasing; hrih for magnetizing; hung for subjugating. You recite it one-tenth the number of times that you recited the main mantra, so if you’ve done 1,000,000 of the approach and accomplishment mantra, then here you would do 100,000 of this mantra. If you are only doing the practice for the twenty-fifth day feast offering, then you just do as many as you see fit.
“The particular activity” has something to do with Kurukulle, and in the terma root text there’s also a longevity practice.
At the break of the session, offer the ‘thousand-verse’ in the general way, or, if you prefer a slightly more elaborate way, arrange the offering torma, amrita and rakta. Sanctify them with ram yam kham, and recite om ah hung hrih three times. Then make this offering by saying this appended to the approach-mantra three times:
maha pancha amrita rakta balingta khakha khahi
The ‘thousand-verse’ here includes the vowels and consonants (ali-kali), repeating the offerings and praises, and then the hundred-syllable mantra.
If you prefer to practice in a slightly more elaborate way, then there’s a torma offering. It’s a very important part actually. The torma offering and the torma made of flesh and blood to the dakinis should not be interrupted—don’t miss a single day. The torma has a particular design with a main peak and five smaller peaks. If you don’t have this special flesh and blood torma, then you can offer a small piece of beef and grapes or other red fruits, together with some red flowers and wine. To do this, first sanctify the torma offering with ram yam kham and then om ah hung hrih three times. You then make the offering by saying the approach mantra with the offering mantra added at the end, like so: om dhuma ghaye nama svaha maha pancha amrita rakta balingta khakha khahi. Then offering the torma you say
Perfect conqueror, Vajra Dakini,
Body Speech and Mind and five wisdoms
Fully perfected, Chief of all dakinis,
Universal sovereign, lady of great strength,
Owner of all siddhis and activity,
Always residing in the celestial realms of Dharmadhatu and Akanishta,
And in the land of Uddiyana.
Each of your many realms and bodily forms
Have a hundred-thousand dakinis.
For your manifestation of dances, surpassing thought,
There are a hundred-thousand dakinis beyond change.
With your melodious voice pervading the space
There are a hundred-thousand dakinis singing songs of purity.
Out of your thought-free space of the threefold emancipation
There are a hundred-thousand dakinis, of compassionate displays.
From your abundant ornaments and qualities
There are a hundred-thousand dakinis beyond the mind’s grasp.
Acting for the welfare of beings through the four activities
There are a hundred thousand dakinis spontaneously fulfilling them.
Of the wisdom types and the ones carrying out activities
There are a hundred million dakinis in your retinue.
Proffer this into the sky, accompanied by musical sounds of the small hand-drum and so forth.
This is called The Hundred-Thousand Dakini Song, and it is found in many different texts, in both the Nyingma Kama and original terma scriptures. You find the same wording in the Chakrasamvara sadhana.
The small hand-drum mentioned in the small writing is not a damaru, but a different kind of a small instrument, like you see in India sometimes. Jigme Lingpa provides a detailed description of how to make one in his explanation of the Gongdü, and if you make that particular type of hand-drum then definitely all the dakinis will arrive as soon as you play it.
Accompanied by this music, you offer the torma into the sky. If you place the torma offering for the dakinis in a place where human beings, dogs, and other scavengers can get to it, there will be severe repercussions. So in other words, don't just throw it up in the air and let it fall down on the ground, but place it somewhere out of harm’s way.
Now for the third part, which is the conclusion. First, for the feast, consecrate the feast articles with:
The vast bhandha of space
Is filled with the nectar of awareness-wisdom.
The offering clouds of bodhicitta gather,
And become the feast enjoyments of great bliss.
Recite om ah hung three times.
“The vast bhandha of space” refers to the inner space of the body itself. “Filled with the nectar of awareness-wisdom” is easy to understand. And the expression of awareness (rigpa’i tsal) is called “cloud of bodhichitta.” And whenever the expression of awareness is allowed to be spontaneously liberated within the expanse of emptiness it is called “the feast enjoyments of great bliss.”
Then comes the invocation:
To invite the field of accumulation, say:
From the twenty-four sublime places
And from the eight great charnel grounds,
I invite you, hosts of mother dakinis,
Dancing and swaying in the poses of great bliss,
Tinkling and jingling with ornaments and bells,
Sounding the beat of your small hand drums,
Please come immediately
To the gathering of yogis and yoginis!
“The twenty-four sublime places” have an external location, but there are also corresponding locations within the body. When I looked for the geographical locations of these twenty-four places, I was only able to figure out eight of them and in each of those places there is a Hindu temple with a shrine for Maheshvara. The eight great charnel grounds are the Cool Grove in India and so forth, and if the one in Nepal is counted among them, then that’s also one; otherwise I don’t know the others. But it’s in those places that the dakinis live, and where you invite them from. Uddiyana is also counted among the twenty-four. The inner twenty-four places within our body are exactly as they are explained in the Yumka of the Longchen Nyingthig.
When the dakinis arrive they dance like a belly-dancer, jingling and tinkling, and playing small hand drums, to come to the gathering of yogis and yoginis. It's said that there must be both yogis and yoginis, otherwise the dakinis won’t come. So “come immediately” means right this moment. vajra samajah
Now, what comes after is the offering, the apology, and the deliverance, together in one chant.
For the offering, apology, and deliverance offering, say:
I present the outer offering of sense pleasures
To please the body of the dakinis!
This offering of the union of great bliss
I present to the voice of the dakinis!
This offering of indivisible bliss and emptiness
I present to the mind of the dakinis!
I mend our samaya in the expanse of great bliss,
Apologize within nondual space,
And deliver the three poisons in the state of self-liberation;
So bestow the supreme and common siddhis!
gana chakra puja hoh, samaya shuddhe ah,
matram rudra maraya phat
Set ablaze the experience of great bliss while enjoying the five sense-pleasures especially in combination with the secret conduct. As the samaya of eating, enjoy in the manner of inner pouring and burning.
Everybody, except monks, is probably well aware of what “the secret conduct” is. To “enjoy in the manner of inner pouring and burning,” the inner heat is set ablaze so that consuming food and drink ignites the flames even further, and the pure part of the essences are then offered to the deities who are naturally abiding within the channels and the chakras. After that, gather the residual and to consecrate the residuals say:
om ah hung ha hoh hrih
These sense pleasures of the vajra samaya become a cloud of nectar filling the sky.
Then dedicate it by saying:
Hosts of dakinis, with unending brilliance,
Out of the play of wisdom space,
Partake of these residual enjoyments
And fulfill the activities according to your promise!
daka daki balingta khahi
The residual offering is not for the wisdom dakini, but for the manifestations of the wisdom dakini – mainly what are called the twenty-eight ishvaris (Tib. wangchukmas).
Following this, replenish the offerings, and repeat the offering and praise as above. When combining this with receiving the siddhi, say:
In the essence mandala of bodhicitta,
Gathering of deities reveling in wisdom magic,
Without departing remember your vajra samaya.
And bestow blessings, empowerments and siddhis!
And then “at the end of the essence mantra,” om ah hung maha guru dakini svaha, add kaya waka chitta siddhi phala hoh.
To apologize for mistakes say:
Within the mandala of the Wisdom Dakini,
Among the offerings, samadhis, activities and so forth,
In the innate state of luminosity I apologize for
The mistakes I have committed through incorrectness.
a a a
If you have a shrine object, perform the general tenshuk for the guests of the feast, which is the request for them to remain as shrine objects.
The general way to do that is to recite the short verse beginning “Dirni tendang lhenchig du.” You'll likely always have a shrine object, but if you don’t then you don’t chant this – but you're sure to have one, right?
Next, for the dissolving and reemerging of the self-visualization together with dedication, aspiration, and the verse of auspiciousness say:
Like a rainbow vanishing into the sky,
The display of spontaneous presence dissolves into space.
The state of primordial pure suchness
Is left free of artifice, hope and fear.
a a a
What this means is that just as a rainbow vanishes into the sky, the spontaneous presence, which is the mandala of the deity that manifested out of primordial purity, is now effortlessly allowed to dissolve back into the state of primordial purity. Just leave it be, without artifice, without hope or fear. This is different than normal dissolution, where you first dissolve the realm into the palace, the palace into the surrounding deities, the deities into the central figure, which then slowly disappears. Here it all happens at once of its own accord. Finally, there is:
In the mandala of the Wisdom Dakini
Within unconditioned space I dedicate
All acts of engaging in the secret meaning.
May the two obscurations be purified, may wisdom increase,
May we be victorious in the battle with the four maras,
And may buddhahood swiftly be attained!
Uttering this, enter your daily activities.
These are the progressive steps of the path which support development and recitation. If you wish to train in the completion stages with and without marks, you should learn them from the terma root text.
There’s also a verse of auspiciousness from the previous Chokling Rinpoche, which can be included if you feel that you would like to chant more verses of auspiciousness.
This was the basic framework for the sadhana. However, on the twenty-fifth day it would be excellent if you also include the longevity practice. When you have done the approach, accomplishment and the activity recitation, then at that point insert the recitation for longevity. And also, for the activities there’s a particular fire puja to add in at some point. All the masters say if you want a dakini practice that is simple, effective and easy to apply, then this is it.
Among the six cycles of the Zurza Tukdam there is an arrangement of the Yeshe Tsogyal practice made by the second Chokling incarnation—the same one who wrote the ngöndro text entitled The Great Gate—that is also very good to do on the twenty-fifth day, but sometimes people feel it’s a little too long.
We'll stop there. Sometimes if you say too much about the dakinis, they get upset.
Translated by Erik Pema Kunsang.
Transcribed and edited by Steve Gamble, with thanks to Michael Tweed for his advice.
Sadhana published with kind permission from Rangjung Yeshe Publications.