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The Vajra Dakini says,
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I am the crystal Vajra, and the Diamond Maiden. I am the path of meaning and beauty through the worlds of reincarnation. What I have given you is a set of spiritual practices.
These are advanced sadhanas, which means they should not be practiced before a relationship with a Yidam has been established and stabilized.
This is usually done through initiation or sometimes through spontaneous revelation.
The initiatory path used to be the more common one. The novice was given a Yidam at monastic initiation, along with a sketch of the Yidam, an initiatory name, and a mantra. The new name was often associated with the Yidam as was the mantra. If there was no image, either a verbal description was given, or simply a symbol, like a lion guardian, or a banner, or a sacred knot or vase. Even yogis who choose to wander were given a Yidam and a mantra.
However now that "the iron bird flies in the sky", Yidams are no longer given at initiations. Thus, for the purpose of this sadhana, such initiations are useless. The yogi must depend on dreams and visions. Of course dreams and visions are less reliable than lineages and stable rituals. If the teacher is capable, spiritual power and the ability to deal with it are handed down. If the teacher is not capable, at least the student gets a mantra that has survived over time.
Dreams and visions, on the other hand, can be true or false. A true vision will create the link with the Yidam for communication. True dreams and visions can guide the soul along paths that are useful for their development.
But then there are false visions arising through illusion and ignorance. A yogi may seek a Yidam and imagine one. While these may begin in a positive manner, their origin in ignorance means that they are unlikely to remain positive.
Other aspects of ignorance will arise, like paranoia, visions of destruction, mistrust of others, and desire for wealth and power. The Yidam that comes from a yogi's desire for power and attention will eventually reflect those desires. This Yidam is a projection of the person's desires.
This is why there has been such a focus on validating experiences based on lineage. It is a way to avoid the person's projections and fantasies. But if the link to the Yidam is not given by a teacher, then spontaneous revelations are the only hope for those who wish to know and understand the spiritual worlds.
If a person does explore these realms, their words may be tested and legitimated in two major ways. Does the person's life follow a moral path? Or does he or she seek wealth or power, fame or multiple sexual partners? Does he grow to seek greater consciousness, or to limit its growth by immersion in hedonism and actions that are spiteful and cruel?
The second way is by the teachings themselves. Do they work for and serve others? Even if they do not work immediately, can a sincere practitioner recognize his or her possibilities [to do good in the future]? Do they harmonize with those who have followed the inner pathways?
When people have strayed from the path, whether towards evil or shallowness, dakinis come to reveal teachings once again. We act as reminders that humans are not the only conscious beings in the universe.
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