“When we look at Machig’s life we see her self-doubt balanced by an underlying sense of destiny. She was at once very human, struggling with questions about whether to give up her spiritual vows and enter a relationship, and at the same time she was clearly an extraordinary being, recognized from childhood as a divine incarnation of the Great Mother Prajna Paramita. When Tara appeared before her, predicting her children would be lineage holders and that Machig herself would be a great dakini, Machig still referred to herself as a ‘weak stupid woman,’ reflecting her cultural conditioning. Yet she was able to confidently confront the patriarchal Buddhist establishment in the form of the three pundits who arrived from India to test her, debating against them publicly with her entire reputation at stake.
Women have so few voices in their lives that affirm their wisdom and spiritual potential and we rarely have a female lineage that we can draw strength from.
The goddess Tara gave Machig her female lineage, and this gave her ground to stand on, confidence about who she was. A lineage is like a family tree but of a spiritual nature. We all have a spiritual lineage of some kind. When we know our spiritual roots, we have a source to draw on; someone ‘has our back.’ Figuring out your spiritual lineage, whether it is straightforward or eclectic can be an important step in clarifying your own path.”