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Old 14-07-2011, 08:55 PM   #35
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Default The experiences of white, red, and black

The fire surrounding Vajrayogini is a manifestation of the five wisdoms of Vajrayogini and symbolises bodhichitta . Her right leg treads on the breast of Kalaratri and her left leg treads on the forehead of black Bhairawa . These are not the actual sentient beings, but manifestations of Vajrayogini's wisdom of bliss and emptiness appearing in the aspect of Kalaratri and Bhairawa. They symbolise the maras of the delusions. Vajrayogini treads on Kalaritri and Bhairawa to demonstrate that she has destroyed her attachment, hatred and ignorance and is free from the fears of samsara and solitary peace.

Her whole Devata body is red because it holds her inner fire element. Her inner fire element causes her body to be pervaded by a bliss so that she can overcome obstructions. Vajrayogini has a single face indicating her realisation that all phenomena are of singular nature. She is a two arm form to represent her complete realisation of the two truths. Vajrayogini is painted with two eyes and a third eye on the ajana chakra revealing her ability to see everything in the past, present and future with her celestial eye.

In this work, she is looking upwards to the pureland of the Dakinis , demonstrating her attainment of outer and inner Pure Dakini Land and indicating that she is also leading her followers to these attainments.

A curved knife is held by her right hand to show her power to cut the continuum of the delusions and obstacles of her followers and of all sentient beings.

A skull cup (Sanskrit kapala) filled with blood held in her left hand symbolises her experience of the clear light of bliss.

Vajrayogini's left shoulder supports a khatanga showing that she is never separated from Heruka as she is depicted in yidam.

The khatanga represents Heruka and the various features of the khatanga are the sixty-two deities of Heruka's mandala . The khatanga is octagonal in cross section, symbolising the eight great charnel grounds of Heruka's mandala.

At the khatanga’s lower tip there is a single pronged vajra which symbolises the protection circle of Heruka's mandala. Towards the upper end of the khatanga there is a vase symbolising Heruka's celestial mansion. Above this there is a crossed vajra symbolising the eight deities of the commitment wheel, and three human heads symbolising the deities of body, speech and mind.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso writes that: ‘Vajrayogini's head ornament consists of a wheel, precious jewels, a tiara of human skulls and a vajra, together these symbolise the perfection of effort. The ear ornaments represent the perfection of patience, the neck ornaments, the perfection of giving, the heart ornaments, the perfection of mental stabilisation and the ornaments of the arms and legs, the perfection of moral discipline. Vajrayogini wears a garland of fifty human skulls representing her fifty purified inner winds. Her black hair falls freely down her back to show that she is free from the fetters of self grasping and represents the unchanging nature of her Truth Body. Vajrayogini is naked showing that she experiences bliss and that she bestows the siddhi of great bliss upon practitioners.’

The deities below the central image of Vajrayogini on a centre line are known as Kinkara or Citipati, Dhamma protectors also known as the Father-Mother Lord of the charnel grounds. These protectors also represent death in its dancing form. Other forms of death can be represented by bodies in various forms of decay, pictorial representations of possible rebirths such as hell, hungry ghost or animal. Two figures are portrayed because death always deals with dualism; where there is death, rebirth must follow

The experiences of white, red, and black require a little of background explanation. The red and the white elements are “bindu” or seeds given to a child by its male and female parents at the moment of conception.

The female element is connected to the moon, luminosity, and whiteness. It is stored in the brain center and is associated with the quality of desire. The male element is connected to the sun, radiance, and redness. It is stored in the sacral center and is associated with the quality of aggression. After the dissipation of the wind, the white essence descends from the brain to the heart-center. At this point, the dying person internally perceives a glow like luminous moonlight in an expansively dark sky. After the descent of the white, the red essence ascends from the sacrel center to the heart. During this point, the dying person experiences a glow like the radiance of the setting sun. When the two drops merge at the heart-center, there is the experience of utter darkness or what Thurman describes as a “sky full of bright dark-light” . This is the experience of the black. At this point, the dying person lose consciousness.

The Vajrayogini mantra reads:


The first OM symbolises the Truth Body of all Buddhas, the second OM the Enjoyment Body of all Buddhas, and the third OM the Emanation Body of all Buddhas.

SARWA BUDDHA DAKINIYE literally means ‘All the Buddhas’ Dakinis’. In this context, ‘Dakini’ is the inner Dakini, the clear light mind of a Buddha, and so SARWA BUDDHA DAKINIYE reveals that Vajrayogini is in nature the clear light mind of all Buddhas. This does not literally mean that Vajrayogini has the same mind of a Buddha, but refers to her nature of clear light mind. Only a Buddha can have a Buddha mind.

VAJRA WARNAYNIYE means ‘Vajra speech Dakini’ and indicates Vajrayogini is in nature the vajra speech of all Buddhas.

VAJRA BEROTZANIYE means ‘Vajra Form Dakini’ and indicates Vajrayogini is the vajra body of all Buddhas. Here, ‘vajra’ refers to great bliss inseparable from emptiness. Here again, we do not mean that Vajrayogini has the same Vajra Speech or Vajra Body of a Buddha. Only Buddha can have the Vajra Speech and Vajra Body of a Buddha.

HUM HUM HUM is a request to Vajrayogini: ‘Please grant me the blessings of your body, speech and mind so that I may attain the Vajra body, speech and mind’.

The Hum energises the request.

PHAT PHAT PHAT is the request: ‘Please pacify my outer, inner and secret obstacles’ Phat is known as the destruction Mantra. In this context, it is to destroy the outer, inner and secret obstacles so that the practitioner may have success.

SOHA conveys the request: ‘Please help me to build the foundation of all attainments’.

Last edited by lightgiver; 14-07-2011 at 09:11 PM.
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