“Because the wisdom dakini is native to the charnel ground, she has special powers to tame the raw and terrifying spirits who dwell there. Princess Mandarava was especially known for her abilities to tame the charnel ground beings. In her first encounter, she was daunted by the horrific appearances, screams, and behaviors of the demons there. But Guru Rinpoche explained that she alone could do this, having in previous lifetimes made the aspiration to compassionately bring them to the dharma. Reassured, she confronted them and insisted upon bathing them with her loving-kindness. In return, they assaulted her, raped her, and began to tear her body to pieces. First she remained in wrathful meditative absorption; then she arose as a fierce dakini terrifying in her brilliant wakefulness, overwhelmed the worldly demons, and demanded that they surrender their life essence to her. Blinded by her brilliance, they became her devoted students.”

~Judith Simmer-Brown, “Dakini’s Warm Breath”


Artwork by Padam Karma Tsewang