Who is Vajrayogini?
Vajrayogini is a female deity in Tibetan Buddhism. In spite of her importance in Vajrayana Buddhism, Vajrayogini does not figure as the main deity of a tantra.
Vajrayogini is the “Sarva-buddha-dakini” the Dakini Who is the Essence of all Buddhas.”
She is usually depicted in a terrifying form, red in color, with one face and two hands holding a curved knife (she cuts all defilements) and a skull (with nectar of “the great bliss”), her right leg stretched out, the left one slightly bent.
Vajrayogini may appear alone — she always carries a Katangha staff on her shoulder. This is the symbolic form of the male deity.
* Vajrayogini is not always red. In union with Hayagriva she is blue.
She is surrounded on all sides by cremation grounds, indicating that the ordinary world has become dead in contrast to the rich world of inner life and its vision of reality without distorting fictions. Although she may be visualized alone, she is usually in union (yab-yum) with Heruka, who, when he is united with Vajrayogini, is known as Hevajra.
Vajrayogini helps to overcome obstacles of our degenerate times.
His Holiness Sakya Trizin explains, in summary why Vajrayogini practice epitomises Vajrayana:
“The main method that is used in Vajrayana is to stop seeing things as ordinary. So you should see all these things as transcendental wisdom and oneself in the form of a deity, and all sounds as mantra, and every thought that comes as transcendental knowledge. Although at the moment you are just visualizing, you are just imagining, gradually your attachment to the ordinary vision loosens and you strengthen your path in the Vajrayana tradition.”
Vajrayogini’s actual practice requires empowerment, initiation and instruction from a qualified teacher.
Although the practices themselves are secret, discussing the benefits of practice is not. Vajrayana deity practices are widely available online, however just because they are available does not mean they should be practised without authorization or empowerment from a qualified teacher. However, any student, for example, in a temple, can make offerings and praise Vajrayogini.
Dakini Day, celebrated on the 25th day of each lunar month in Vajrayana Buddhist traditions, celebrates the feminine energy of wisdom.
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