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The Hawk-headed Dakini -
Notes on the Hawk Dakini Image

The Lost Sadhanas Project
The Hawk Form of the Vajra Dakini

The Vajra Dakini says.

The hawk form of the dakini could be called the prophetic form in the sense of bringing forth divine information. Of the various forms or dakini rupas, the hawk is the one most involved with ideas and practices.

The hawk or falcon form of the dakini may fly free, or it may bring objects to its owner. In the secular world, it is often associated with hunting and brings downed birds back to the hunter. But in the spiritual world, it is also an explorer, finding new worlds to investigate and guide the yogi through. It may also bring messages from one world to another, as it knows the pathways through the skies.

The eagle form flies vertically, without exploring intermediate worlds, while the hawk form represents the flow of information between realms. As a hawk may carry objects in its beak, the hawk form of the dakini may carry both the yogi and the teachings to new realms.

The Invocation of the Hawk Dakini

Vajra Dakini first appears as a crystal vajra, then a beautiful woman with the head of a hawk. She wears jewelry on her human body, which is different from her previous image.

The Vajra Dakini says,

When we travel through many worlds, I wear the robes of an ascetic. But for giving teachings, I wear jewels of interpretation and elaboration, the ornaments of raw ideas, the alankara.

So how is meditation done in this realm? We may observe how hunting is done with a hawk. First you have to find the hawk, and then learn to harmonize yourself with it.

Where is the hawk to be found? It is located out in the hills and mountains far from human habitation. The seeker must leave behind human concerns, and focus only on attaining the goal.

So the yogi goes out alone, under the canopy of stars. His or her mind branches out like a living tree. His body is rooted in the ground. His seat is stable, and will not move whatever happens.

The mind branches into the heavens, into the land of clouds and wind. Far in the distance are the birds of spirit who can respond to the call of the yogi and shaman. Winds blow through the branches, calling the spirit birds. The winds begin to spin like a waterspout or tornado. Concentration moves the winds. The name Vajra Dakini shows up in flashes of lightning.

Then the hawk form is visualized, with images of hawks taken from many cultures. They fly around the center, where a great stone statue of Vajra Dakini appears. She is human and animal. She is the lion-headed Sekhmet, Medusa with snakes, the surrealist image of a body with a light bulb as its head. She spins the great wheel of transformation like the wheel of the Dharma but with more spokes, each leading to body after body. It stops on the hawk form, the messenger of the Buddhas. The bodies stop changing and stabilize on this one form.

Now she takes on the ascetic's body, wearing rags to ride the winds. The yogi must learn the pathways of the inner worlds. His or her mind fuses with the dakini's mind and the seeker gains her ability to see inner worlds. They are linked by mantras.

The sky opens to my hawk form, with vast clouds spinning around a central axis. My great stone form is of a Hindu apsaras with the head of a hawk. Here is where I leave my lower body.

From this form, the travel form is emanated. I appear as an ancient crone in rags, and my hawk eyes see through many worlds. Now I am in complete bird form. My rags are turned to feathers. I will be a guide for the yogi who will travel with me.

Within the whirlwinds, the different worlds appear one over the other with the winds blowing away the clouds that obscure them. They each have different colors of clouds. They are separated by mantric locks, like combination locks on safes. Each cluster of mantras open a different lock, and each lock opens the door to a world.

A Visit to a Buddha's Paradise

The Vajra Dakini says,

Today we travel to a universe composed of sound. The mantra OM leads to a lock. HRIM turns the dial to the left. SHRIM turns it to the right. The mantra KONGO VAJRA SHABDA HUM creates a new set of tumblers, clear as crystal, resonating sounds up and down the scale.

The world opens geometrically; every word is a line to follow. It is like being in the midst of wire-framed crystal, traveling along the crystal's edges.

But behind the crystals are musical notes that create clouds of color that are organic rather than crystalline. The typical Tibetan music with gongs and drums serves only to stabilize the inner world, and chase away any destructive entities. The inner worlds of Buddhas and bodhisattvas have very different music.

In the midst of the clouds of color is the doorway to a paradise. It opens with chimes. We come to Vajrasattva's paradise.

The clouds open and his mandala is miles high. We spin the wheel of transformation and his emanations take on human form. There are scholars and poets and artists and musicians, all with transparent human forms. There are gardens and waterfalls and calling birds, with musical winds and paths scattered with gems. At the center is Vajrasattva's diamond throne. The Yab Yum form is transparent before him. It allows the mind to unify opposites before approaching him.

Today we only worship and honor the Buddha. The dakini is a shining white hawk, and she has given me an archetypal devotee form through which to act.

The Buddha Vajrasattva smiles. He gives a spark of light, which becomes a mandalic key. It is like a skeleton key, but it helps to open up mandalic gateways rather than door locks.

There are chimes all around, and the image of the paradise becomes clouded. The dakini returns to her ascetic hawk form, calling the winds so that we may ride them and return.

Lock after lock clicks back into place. One can leave without locking all the doors but this is not healthy. Unguarded open doors invite trouble. We return to realms of clouds and winds. The dakini says that I may keep the mandalic key.

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Introduction | Methodology - Participant/Observer | The Bodhi Tree Sadhanas | Vajra Dakini Discussion | Vajra Dakini Commentary | Vajra Dakini Sadhanas | Vajra Yogini Commentary | Maitreya Sadhanas | Vajradhara Speaks About Yidams | Lost Sadhanas Conclusion


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