During his lifetime, the 8th-century Tantric master Guru Padmasambhava and his consort Yeshe Tsogyal concealed countless treasures known as terma for the benefit of future generations. These treasures were hidden in different landscapes to help keep the Buddhadharma pure and responsive to the needs of the times.
These teachings were recorded in secret languages known as Khando Dayig, or the Dakini script. The Dakini script looks mystical but is for real.
“Here’s a quote from the Tantra of Secrets:
Dakinis make use of symbols.
They are skilled in symbols and symbolic replies.
They link the ultimate essence to symbolism.
Dakinis are the life force of symbols.
The dakini script that makes use of symbols is impossible to decipher by anyone other than a person who is of equal status to the dakinis. And, since most of the profound teachings existing as terma treasures are encoded in symbolic script, and therefore originate from the secret treasury of the dakinis, they do not lie within the reach of experience of the ordinary learned or accomplished masters of India and Tibet. This means the person has to have an extraordinary special mandate, a transmission directly from Padmasambhava, in order to understand what is within the dakini script. No one else can do that, no matter how learned. If you show the dakini script to Tsongkhapa Lobsang Drakpa, or to Sakya Pandita, or to the Indian great panditas, like Jnanakirti, they probably wouldn’t understand. But also the dakini script differs from tertön to tertön. You have to have the specific mandate for that. Unless you have the karmic destiny to reveal that, you won’t be able to decode it. Thus, one tertön won’t necessarily be able to decipher another tertön’s dakini script.
It is only the tertön who can really comprehend the meaning of the dakini script. It’s a quote here:
Treasure letters are the body of magical creation.
They are also speech to understand sounds and words.
Actually, the symbolic writing is a form of the nirmanakaya, and when a person has the right karmic destiny, he or she will, by means of a profound coincidence of place, time, and aspiration, be able to decode it. So, these letters are born in the nirmanakaya, and from them, even if there are only seven, many volumes of scriptures can be written down, because the tertön is able to hear the sound and comprehend the meaning. They are also speech.
On the shrine in the Rigpa Center in San Francisco, in front of Guru Rinpoche’s statue, there is a photo of a dakini script that comes from Chokgyur Lingpa, from the cycle called Sampa Lhündrub. It has seven characters, and when Chokgyur Lingpa looked at the seventh one, he said it was an inexhaustible city of dakini script. When Dilgo Khyentse looked at it, he would sometimes be able to reveal inexhaustible mind treasures. The real piece is in Sikkim. So, if you have the chance once, maybe you can go and see it, and maybe you can reveal some termas. It is quite risky to see a terma sign, which is inexhaustible.”
Quote from Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche, Dakini Activity: The Dynamic Play of Awakening;
Image of A Dakini by Simona Marziani, www.dakiniasart.org.