Mother Achi was the great grandmother of Lord Jigten Sumgon, founder of the Drikung Lineage. To this day she remains a great dharma protector of the Buddha’s teachings. Although Achi has a particular committment to protect the Drikung Kagyu, she is recognized and practiced by all lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. 

She is the emanation of Vajra Yogini who is the embodiment of the wisdom and compassion of all the Buddhas. She is the divine mother of the Buddhas and manifested out of compassion in the form of the Dakinis of the Five Buddha families. To benefit the beings in samsara, she displays a limitless number of manifestations at different times and in different space dimensions.

At the time of her death, Achi Chokyi Drolma did not pass away in an ordinary manner. She first took her disciples to a huge cave where many sacred and secret items were discovered. Then she offered a tsok feast, and those who partook of that feast achieved many sublime qualities of the Buddhas. Then Mother Achi composed a text containing a sadhana of herself and promised to look after the teachings of the Buddha in general and to protect the essence of the Buddha’s teaching that will appear in the future.

With that she said, “My activities through this body have come to an end,” and she flew up to the Buddha Field on her blue horse without leaving her body.

Once when Jigten Sumgon was staying at Jangchub Ling in Drikung Thil, he heard the sound of the damaru accompanied by beautiful celestial songs. A great yogi disciple was there and asked Jigten Sumgon about the music. Jigten Sumgon said, ‘The incomparable sounds are from Achi Chokyi Drolma, my grandmother, who is a wisdom-dakini.’ Then this yogi insistently requested that he be given a method on how to practice Achi Chokyi Drolma and Jigten Sumgon composed a sadhana consisting of ten leaves which is contained in the ‘Achi Pebum.’

As a protectress, Achi is visualized on her blue wisdom horse to symbolize the swiftness of her enlightened activities, and she holds a wish-fullfilling jewel to symbolize her ability to bestow everything needed and desired when asked.

She vowed to protect the Drikung Kagyu lineage and its practitioners, removing inner and outer obstacles to practice and laying the groundwork for circumstances best suited to our progress along the path. Those who practice her meditation and recite her mantra are sure to be protected from obstacles and hindrances.

Source: Rigdzin Dharma Foundation.

Image: Himalayan Art Resources.