Vajravarahi

Woman is essentially wisdom,
Source of spontaneous prajna and subtle-body.
Never consider her inferior;
Strive especially to see her as Vajravarahi.

~ Milarepa

Vajravarahi (Dorje Phagmo (Tib.): diamond sow) is the most wrathful form of Vajrayogini, consort of Heruka Chakrasamvara. She is the manifestation of the nonconceptual quality of the mind, who severs thought with her hooked knife. Dorje means inseparable or very firm, that is, that which is incapable of being destroyed by obstacles. It also means that great bliss and wisdom are combined together inseparably. Phagmo means sow. in Indian Buddhism, the sow symbolized the defilement of ignorance that blinded the practitioner to the nature of reality. In her manifestation as the Vajra Sow, Vajravarahi’s ignorance is completely transformed into freedom, the wisdom of limitless space that instantly liberates all defilements. 

Vajravarahi’s iconography is very similar to that of Vajrayogini, but she often has more prominent fangs and a more wrathful expression, and she prominently displays a sow’s head above her right ear. In other forms of Vajravarahi, the dakini is depicted in an even more overtly wrathful manner associated with the Hindu and Newari Buddhist forms of Chinnamasta, who severs her own head as blessing.

Although there are several forms of Vajravarahi, the basic iconography is that she has one face, (usually) two hands and two legs, is usually red in colour, and standing in a dancing posture on a human corpse with a sow head (varahi) placed either on the right side of her head or on the top of her head. 

The lineage of Samding Dorje Phagmo has been closely associated with the dakini Vajravarahi.

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