Vajrayogini in Peaceful Form
Thangka Image of the Vajra Yogini with her Emanations

The Lost Sadhanas Project - The Vajra Yogini
Practice: Visiting the Land of the Yoginis

This set of visualizations describes the entrance into a Buddhist sambhogakaya world. It is for those who wish to understand how the supernatural worlds work. Note that this meditation is best suited to female devotees who can more easily identify with yoginis. The guide is Vajra Yogini. She says,

For the world of the yoginis, you must be purified. Green waters flood down upon you, bright leaf green, deep emerald of the cedar forests and tropical jungles. You stand in the shining network of green veins, and impurities flow off through them. It is the throbbing life of the jungle, the deep quiet of the pine forest, the bright richness of the rain forest, the colors of life which bring you to true life.

What remains of you after the impurities are gone? Your inner body is a shimmering rainbow blur. To enter the world of the yoginis, you must be remade. The green shower of light has taken away your dark karma and stored it in the forest for your return. Now you are an observer, but still you must be dressed properly.

First, you need to make a body. Your soul should take on the form of a yogini. A yogini can be either peaceful or wrathful. For a visit, a peaceful form is sufficient. The wrathful form is primarily needed for karmic attachment. As for colors, red brings drama and passion, green brings transformation, blue brings purification, yellow brings absorption, white brings observation. I think that white with green and blue ornaments is suitable.

Your body will be of white light, proportionate, graceful and beautiful. You wear a crown of blue and green flowers, with the five vajra Buddhas as unopened buds. Your jewelry is emerald and sapphire, with bits of gold. You wear a piece of emerald silk, folded around you, embroidered with the history of universes. You stand upon a shining white lotus, in dark blue-green waters. This is your yogini body- white, with green silk and jewels. It is only in this body that you can enter the world of the yoginis.

Heavy thunderclouds roll towards you. A doorway opens, like an eye opening. From the midst of the pupil of the eye hands emerge, drawing you forward. As a yogini, you must be strong and brave, and accept the welcome. Their queen sits in the distance, on a great throne. She shines with brilliant light. Part of the world is dark, with the yoginis who transform worlds. Part of the world is light, for the yoginis who bless, guide and heal.

A strange yogini appears before me- half light and half dark, a sort of Ardhanarishvari of the yogini world. She says, "I am your guide- follow me." Her bright half is light and beautiful, her dark half wears snakes and lizards, and animal skins. I am left with her.

She first takes me to the dark yogini worlds. They are frightening to see. The yoginis here are part bird, part animal, part reptile. They sit in circles and fly in swarms- like the Eumenides before their transformation. They destroy attachments and drink the blood of bondage. I am welcome, if I wish, to help in the work.

A yogini with a hawk's head and wings comes up to me. "Destruction is liberation," he says, and in her hands is a jeweled knife. She picks up a caged bird. She stabs the cage, and cuts it open, and the bird flies free. "We are revolutionaries, liberators from bondage. We are fed by the blood of the sacrifice." I see the cage, which has become spun sugar. "We are the eaters of karma, which influences the forms that we take. Had you not left your karma behind, it would have risen to the surface, and would become the image of your memories."

Then she said, "Blood is symbolic, the force of survival. Semen is symbolic, the force of physical reproduction. We devour the instincts." The dark yogini world is a wasteland, a desert, with crimson skies and a black moon. Skeletons move in the dance of life and death. There is only pain for those who are attached and refuse to transcend.

The shadows are strange, and the sky is darker than the land. I see vultures in the distance, circling over the desert, and the yoginis like harpies flying in the skies. They are much like the Greek Furies: bird-women, forces of retribution. Their faces look like bronze and other metals. The skies are dark, without stars.

I enter a group, and I feel myself change. My skin is like stretched leather, dark emerald. I take a staff with a skull on it, and a skull cup bowl, full of instincts to transform. The yoginis dance, and I find myself rising in the air. I see that I have great feathered wings, and I can fly high over the ground. I follow the shadow lands until I encounter my guide, who turns, and I follow her. Now it is time for the bright worlds.

My guide says, "Learn to fly." My wings are black, with highlights of green and blue. I glide and dive, following the winds. We dive down to the land, and I look at her. She passes a hand over her face, and she is a rotting corpse, a skull from whose eye sockets worms emerge. She is a corpse in fire, the skull cleansed by fire, and a leather-faced hag with snakes for hair and hides for clothing. She is the dark Lady of the Jungle, covered with vines and tendrils.

Then she passes a hand over her face again, and she is a beautiful and shy young woman, graceful in gold brocade. She is a wandering gypsy dancer, with long dark hair flying free, and a queen of royal blood with a jeweled crown and a long train of white silk. She smiles, and all around her white peacock feathers spread in a great aura, with white marabou feathers at the tips.

She smiles, and say, "You are already in peaceful form- you can keep the white body and ornaments. Let us see this land."

It is a land of copper and sapphire hills, and mother-of-pearl sky. Yoginis fly on wisps of cloud, some with jewels and silk, some with great white wings. They carry vases of nectar, ropes and ladders to guide souls into the heavens, maps and mandalas which pulse with life, living mantras which glow and hum. They are sky-walkers and dream-walkers, who enter the meditation of beings and guide them inward, taking on forms which teach them. My guide points out that I am in the community of yoginis who visit human worlds- there are many others with different forms, as many as sand-grains along the ocean.

I ask if yoginis have taught Buddhism to mankind. "Only in dreams and visions," she answered, "and not as Buddhism, but rather as truth. They give teachings in many religions. They do not actually incarnate in bodies- they simply give intuitions and inspirations."

My guide says, "The bright worlds of the yoginis are also worlds of transformation, though not as radical as the dark worlds of birth and death and madness. Here we fulfill needs, to relax karmic demands and liberate the spirit. We have gardens of desire, and caves of beauty, and temples of compassion. Would you like to see them?" I suggest the caves of beauty, and we drift like new leaves on a warm and fragrant breeze. We arrive on the shore of bright turquoise waters, and the air smells of roses. There is a doorway into a copper and bronze mountain, and inside is a winding pathway lit by crystal walls with fire behind them. Diamond flowers grow out of the walls, shining brilliantly and sending out rainbow-colored radiance.

At the center of the cavern is a pool with a great gem, each of whose infinite facets represents the birth and death of civilizations. By studying that gem, one could come to know all events. Its diamond light was penetrating and brilliant. But in its reflection, the light was soft and nourishing, helping and supporting. The gem radiated wisdom, but its reflection was compassion. My guide said, "Every light needs a reflection. Let me introduce you to someone."

Suddenly my guide is transformed- she is made of blue stone, like lapis lazuli, and then of blue light. In her hair are flowers and gems, and a great cloak shimmers behind her, dark blue with sparkling stars, revealing the mandala gateway.

She holds up her hand, and a pathway of shining blue stars emerges. We fly over it, following it to its source. The stars are many shades of blue- turquoise, royal, indigo, blue-violet. We fly through clouds tinged with blue, into an area of pink, lemon, and pale green skies.

Atop a mountain of bronze with blue-purple shadows, I see a building. It is a mass of light, which takes on for me the form of a white marble temple with Doric pillars and carved, white marble goddesses. There is a blue carpet leading in, upon which we walk.

It is dark within and resonates with a deep hum. I see in the distance four bronze candlesticks, very tall, made in the forms of four fantastic animals. Behind them are curtains of elaborately embroidered velvet and brocade.

We prostrate ourselves, and the curtains open. There is a series of cloudy images before me, and then the great compassionate form of White Tara, with gentleness in her blue-green eyes, and a sympathetic and joyful smile.

I say to her, "Goddess, I am in your image in this body," and she smiles. "My image is not set," she says, and she becomes a Japanese martial arts fighter, Delacroix's figure of Victory, the suffering Madonna, and a white dakini with skull cup and drum dancing at the cremation ground.

I watch her, struck by the crispness of her transformations. They do not blur into each other- each is a totally separate being in a separate world. Her form grows larger and larger. She is gigantic, filling the universe. Then she becomes tiny, like a little statue, and I see her in ivory on a lotus throne. She is beautiful, with a circle of ivory stars around her. She is smiling, with one head and two arms, holding a vajra and a globe.

She grants blessings, and the sadhana is over.

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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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