Vajra Yogini Image
Vajra Yogini with her Guardians

The Lost Sadhanas Project - The Vajra Yogini
Practice - The Sacrifice of Mind and Heart Sadhana

The Vajra Yogini has meditations which are mostly appropriate for monks and renunciants because of the extreme level of sacrifice required. This sadhana is included to show the kind of practice that an advanced practitioner might undertake in a Tibetan monastery or as a wandering monk or nun. In many ways, it resembles similar practices that one might find in Tantric forms of Hinduism, with shamanic elements of death and rebirth.

The Vajra Yogini says,

Here is another lost sadhana. It is the offering of mind and heart to a group of yoginis. Today, there is a remnant of this in using my major emanation form as goddess of life and death. But this is actually a secondary practice. The primary practice is offering a group of yoginis both flesh and spirit, with faith in their inner compassion. The practitioner enters fire or water, is devoured and returned to life purified.

The practice is almost entirely lost, existing only in remnants of Tibetan and Indian folklore. One place is in the adventure stories of the Indian king Vikamaditya. In additional, there are alchemical stories where we see this theme.

This is an advanced practice. It is not suitable for beginners.

The practice involves the offering of heart and mind to a group of yoginis, myself and my emanations.

It goes as follows:

The novice goes to the burning ground, or the shore of a lake or river. He (or she) must be alone. There must be no companions or observers. Absolute concentration is needed.

The monk or yogi visualizes the yoginis in wrathful form, as terrifying figures who will devour him or her. But the yogi is not afraid. This is viracara or hero practice, and this is a sadhana that tests both faith and courage.

The practitioner must stand before the yoginis with absolute faith in their compassion, no matter how frightening they appear. He (or she) offers them his body, mind, and spirit, all that he is or values, in an absolute act of universal compassion. He or she says, "O frightening ones, if any part of me will help you, please take it."

The yoginis have a great cauldron boiling, and the yogi voluntarily enters the cauldron. The yogi's flesh is boiled away. His karma is separated from flesh and bone and rises in bubbles to the surface.

The yoginis take his bones from the cauldron, and place new flesh upon them. His or her body, mind, and heart are made new, full of spiritual life and energy.

The process is done through obedience to me, for in this sadhana, I am the Yidam, who leads the noble one through life and death to a shining rebirth.

The yoginis drop their frightening forms, and return to their bright and loving forms.

The karmic bubbles are skimmed from the cauldron, and will be used as clay for the creation of new beings. Age and sorrow are washed away and the practitioner has both the brightness of youth and the contemplative ability to live a life of meditation.

There is a second part to this ritual practice which is sometimes followed. After the death and rebirth through the cauldron, the practitioner is lead to a lake of gems, where the waves are full of jeweled lights. He (or she) is asked to dive in and choose a jewel which will guide his or her future on the Vajrayana path.

He (or she) dives in like an arrow and brings back the jewel that he finds most beautiful. A blue jewel brings wisdom and purity, without attachment. A green jewel brings accomplishments in the realms of life and death. A red gem brings passion and drama, the ability to fulfill the needs of others and fascinate them. A yellow gem brings love and closeness, compassion, and community, and harmony. A clear gem brings universal awareness and liberation, reflecting all things without distortion.

There are Buddhas for each color. The yoginis give the novice robes of light, for the rest of his or her journey.

This concludes the sadhana.

Yoginis bring death and life, linked as they are with goddesses like Kali. I and my emanations represent the sacrifice of earthly attachments. This is why I am often shown with the fires of the burning ground behind me.

However, I and my emanations are also the force of rebirth as we dance in the gardens of life with vines and exotic flowers. We purify the body's liquids which are pumped through us in the ritual. We filter out weaker forms of karma, past suffering and pain, desperation for sex and fear of death. We pump in mental concentration, emotional awareness, and dedication to truth.

It is the vajra sacrifice moved from the valleys to the mountains, from the fire of passion to clear winds and pure water.

Introduction to Maitreya's Sadhanas comes next.

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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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