Dakini Energies

A dakini is a female deity. They are also known as Khandroma, meaning “sky walker” or “sky dancer”. In art, they are represented as naked dancers. While they are shown as beautiful, naked dancers, they are not viewed as sex symbols. Rather, the dakini are symbols of the mind stripped of obscuring thoughts and defilements.

The dakinis are common in Buddhism, particularly in Tibet and the Himalayas. The dakini is an energy, often wrathful, who aids in spiritual practice.

Dakinis are often sent to test a person’s control over his sexual desires. Despite this,the dakini are not seen as a sexual beings. In Tibet, there are many stories of a dakini being sent to test aspiring Mahasiddhas, yogis of Tibetan Buddhism and Tantric Hinduism. Once the aspirant has passed, they are recognized as a Mahasiddha and elevated to paradise.

A dakini gave a black hat to Rangjung Dorje (1284-1339), the three-year-old Karmapa. This Black Crown became the symbol of Tibet’s oldest reincarnating lineage.

Since dakinis are associated with pure energy, they are also linked with the higher tantras, representing transformation. Negative emotions, called kleshas, which poison us are changed into jnana, the glowing energy of enlightenment, leading to rigpa.

There are several stages on the Vajrayana Path, and the final stage is dakini. In the first stage, one becomes a guru by finding the truth behind reality. The second stage, devata, adds to and further develops the first stage. In the final stage, dakini, dakini is seen as the source of the activities related to the true condition of reality.

In art and sculpture, representations of the dakini show them as young, naked figures and a dancing position. She may have a curved knife in one hand and a skull cup filled with blood or the energy of life in the other. At times she is represented with a garland of human skulls around her neck. She often wears a wrathful expression and may be seen dancing on a corpse, representing her mastery over ignorance and ego.

Dakini dansante, Tibet in Musée Guimet, Paris. Courtesy Wikipedia.
Tibetan Board Carving of Vajrayogini Dakini. Courtesy Wikipedia.