Life Story Of Niguma, Dakini Of Timeless Awareness

Homage to all the holy gurus
From the sky-like nature of the dharmakaya,
Light rays of the sun-and-moon-like form-kayas
Illuminate the mental darkness of those to be tamed;
I bow reverently at the feet of the holy guru.

With that, I would express here just a fraction of the life story of Niguma, the dakini of timeless awareness. The land of her birth was the great city called Anupama [Incomparable], located in Kashmir. That place, moreover, was a city emanated by an illusionist. The way in which it was emanated is this: During the time of the previous buddha, Kashyapa, there was an arhat named Madhyantika [Midday Sun]. At that distant time the entire area was covered by water. The arhat wished to build a vihara in that country, so he requested land from the naga king. The nagas said, “We will give you as much land as you can cover sitting in lotus posture.” Then the arhat emanated a huge body there that covered all the territories of Kashmir. As the nagas had promised, ground arose there and a vihara called Amrtabhavana was built.

The local people were truly amazed, so they sent for an illusionist. That illusionist emanated the great city called Anupama, by using the example of the great [city of] Sudarshana. But before the illusion could be dissolved, the illusionist was killed, and so it has remained until now. Everyone said that this city had no exact comparison to anything in the world, and so it was known as “Incomparable.” There are even thirty-six hundred thousand beer maids there. That is why it is called special. The great pandita Narotapa and Ratnavajra both lived there.

Now about the dakini of timeless awareness herself. She was born as the daughter of the brahmin Shantivarma [and the brahmini Shrimati]. She was Naro Pandita’s sister and a member of the brahmin caste. She had cultivated the path previously during three incalculable eons, and its continuity was actualized, so that in this life she directly saw the truth of the nature of phenomena just by hearing some instructive advice from a few adept masters. Her dissipating illusory body arose as the nondissipating kaya. Dwelling in the three pure grounds, she encountered the great Vajradhara in person. After she had fully received from him the complete four empowerments in the emanated mandala of secret mantra mahayana, she developed the timeless awareness of the understanding of all dharma doors — sutras, tantras, esoteric instructions, treatises, and so on. She realized all phenomena the way they are and the way they appear in their multiplicity, and became a real bodhisattva dwelling on the tenth ground, Cloud of Dharma. Cognitive obscuration became more and more subtle until there was nothing left to eliminate. She was none other than a buddha, the epitome of the three kayas.

Having perfected renunciation and realization for her own welfare, she continues to accomplish the welfare of others through the two form kayas, benefiting whatever beings are to be tamed until the end of cyclic existence. In particular, she watches over the holders of the lineage with impartial compassion, blessing them and compassionately overseeing the success of their enlightened activity. Even more specifically, on the great adept Khyungpo Naljor she fully conferred the complete four empowerments in the emanated mandala and gave him the oral transmission of unimaginable tantras and esoteric instructions. In particular, she gave many profound and vast pithy instructions that have the power to establish worthy recipients in the awakened state of manifest realization with one body in one lifetime. Niguma sealed this with the command that it not spread beyond a one-to-one lineage for seven generations. She then prophesied that the disciples and holders of this lineage would all go to the celestial realm, Khechara. Such is this very lineage that is exalted above others.

This is the mere mention of the liberation story of the Dakini of timeless awareness, written for the realization of the lineage holders by the vagabond Mokchokpa in the Glorious Monastery of Gyere Yangon.

By this merit may all persons who hold the lineage
maintain themselves in the manner of the guru’s life story.
By the pure white virtue of writing this,
may I and the sponsors, teachers, and students,
and all sentient beings of the three realms,
quickly attain unsurpassed awakening.

Source: “Niguma, Lady Of Illusion” by Sarah Harding.