New work by Images Of Enlightenment, August 2019. www.dakiniasart.org

Perhaps the foremost female Buddha is Vajrayogini. She is blood red and has loosely flowing black hair; she is dancing, wears bone ornaments, and brandishes a skull-cup brimming with ambrosia. She is beautiful, passionate, and untamed. Sometimes this supreme liberator tramples corpses underfoot, and sometimes she soars in the sky. Vajrayogini often appears alone, but sometimes she is portrayed with a retinue of yoginis, and occasionally she has a male partner.

The identification of human women and goddesses is often voiced by a female deity. For instance, about the Vajrayogini, Tantras repeatedly state that she reveals herself in and through women. She claims all forms of female embodiment — including supernatural beings, women of all castes and forms of livelihood, female relatives, and female animals — participate in her divinity and announces:

Wherever in the world a female body is seen, that should be recognized as my holy body.

For women, the relationship with Vajrayogini is one of identity.

The presence of female Buddhas in the iconography of enlightenment affirms that a woman can attain Buddhahood in her present lifetime, in her present female body.

While a woman’s relationship with Vajrayogini is one of identity, for a man it is primarily one of devotion that he must extend to women as her living representatives. Devotion to goddesses like Vajrayogini should be expressed as respect for women, while respect for women provides a way of measuring devotion to a goddess.

Identification with divine female role models gave women an unassailable basis for self-confidence, namely the “Divine pride”. Carl Jung called it ”Divine Archetype” that comes from awakening one’s innate divinity. The presence of divine female exemplars who openly rejoice in their femaleness, free from shame and fear, seems to have empowered women to speak the truth fearlessly, to be physically and mentally adventurous, and to be argumentative and aggressive when it suited them. In the Tantric biographies, women freely and without apology reprimand men who need to be recalled to a direct vision of reality, by challenging his prejudices, shattering a cherished illusion, or puncturing an inflated self-image.

As an archetypal symbol of the feminine, the Dakini brings fiery wildness and deep instinctually of feminine… As an aspect of anima, she is at the heart of our relationship life. The Dakini is known as a messenger, a bringer of profound intuitions, and insight into the deepest aspects of the psyche.

Vajrayogini – Inspiration For Women In Modern Times

We can bring Vajrayogini Archetype to our daily and modern life. As Women, we need to develop new paradigms and inspire ourselves in strong and wise feminine models and Archetypes, like Vajrayogini. If one brings her one’s ego, she is ready and willing to trample it under her feet. She brings the passion needed to fulfill one’s goals. Dynamic that she is , she is also indestructible in essence. She takes on a passionate persona, one derived from the real passion in one’s soul.

Vajrayogini mandala, Himalayan Art Resources

Like the Vajrayogini, a woman ought to be on fire with primordial zeal. She should not be afraid to express her enthusiasm for what she really believe in, in a relationship or venture. She should fully engage. Once she is on fire with eternal spiritual light, there is nothing to stop her being fully present in the transitory events of the world.

A woman should not be afraid to be intense if the occasion calls for it. She should live her life in a more passionate way. Vajrayogini demonstrates a state of total awareness which is vitalized by the free flow of passion. A woman should emulate her, but one should be aware that Vajrayogini’s passion is free from selfish or harmful expression.

Vajrayogini portrait by Gurmi Lama

A woman should apply the same principles to the expression of her passion. Vajrayogini integrates within herself both male and female principles. She has united her ability to focus and execute with crystalline clarity and precision with the passionate and compassionate nature of her ardent heart. In her is found the indivisibility of wisdom and means. The end does not justify how one gets there. Vajrayogini seeks impeccability in her intention and execution in alignment with that intention.

A woman ought to bring her passion into service of truth, of a higher cause.

The Bodhisattva vow encourages enlightened beings not to take their full liberation until all sentient beings are liberated. Vajrayogini is a glowing example of how being oneself’s bliss is both the example and the fulfillment. Vajrayogini encourages women to revel in the sheer joy of life and its spectrum of senses and emotions as the magical play of bliss and emptiness.

Source: Excerpt from THE DAKINI: An Archetypal Symbol of Feminine by Dr. Sonia Gomez, academia.edu