Vajra Yogini Image
Thangka Image of Vajra Yogini Transforming
the Pain of the Universe

The Lost Sadhanas Project
The Forms of the Vajra Yogini

The Vajra Yogini takes on different forms as she relates to practitioners and deals with their past traumas or gives teachings.

The Yogini says,

Imagine that the layers of the atmosphere around your planet hold different viscosities. As a ship or comet passes through the set of layers, it would become coated by the contents of that atmosphere. If the upper layer of the atmosphere contained oil, all objects passing through it would be covered with oil.

In a similar way, I pass through the layers of artistic and symbolic form sometimes known as the alaya-vijnana, loosely translated "storehouse of consciousness." As I do this, I am covered by its archetypal forms. From my perspective, they are impure like mud and oil. I become covered by archetypal figures, one or many each with its own symbolic meaning.

There is a path of dark emptiness and a path of bright form. My outer side is the darkness of the burning ground, but my inner form is the wild flight of imagery that pierces past and future, in world after world. Yogis reject the past, but my devotees enter into it, in order to understand it. Traumas cannot be overcome while they are still mysteries. Only full understanding can drain their power.

In meditation on trauma, here are some of the many forms and roles of the Vajra Yogini. Most precede revisiting past painful events, and symbolically represent an introduction to reviewing a traumatic situation in order to free the individual of attachment to that event.

She has appeared as:

Vinayaki, a female tantric Ganesha, with multiple arms and weapons, and a crown. She dances on a Sri Yantra, showing the spiritual path.

A stripper behind a feathered fan. She said she will strip away what is false and unnecessary. She is Truth, while garments are maya. Instead of revealing the instincts, she reveals the spirit.

A Greek Amazon, holding the reins of a war chariot. The horses are forces of anger and revenge and gallop through the heavens saying 'Death to the unworthy, death to the betrayers.' She wears a golden crown with golden hair and sandals. She wears masks of comedy and tragedy.

A cowgirl riding a mechanical bull, with people around her doing line-dances of worship. Her catsuit is spangled with stars, her cowboy boots have red soles, and her cowboy hat has a band with skulls. She rides the bull off across the evening sky, and it leaves footprints of blood in the clouds.

Brecht's Mother Courage who survives the endless battlefield of mankind. Old, ragged, and tough, she lasts, endures, and survives the worst of human hatred and violence.

Wonder Woman, swinging her golden Rope of Truth as a lasso. She ropes a galloping buffalo demon and turns into the goddess Durga, conquering lust. The demon turns into many forms, but cannot escape the rope. He is red and black, and evil, but he must now speak the truth.

An African dancer who is black and strong. Her skirt is block-printed, and she wears red ostrich feathers. She dances on an exploded volcano, which is now black ash. She stamps her feet and the mountain shakes, the underworld is revealed.

The young girl from the film Whale Rider - a small girl on a great sea creature who then becomes a rider of a Sandworm from Dune, which holds the knowledge of all past human consciousness. She hands over the reins and says, 'Ride the Sandworm.'

A skeleton with long white hair, who haunts the battlefield. She carries a flag in tatters, her clothes are rags. She says, 'This is the battlefield of the heart.' The lines of the heart chakra are outlined in white corpse ash, on a field of slate.

A giant cobra from the film by Jules Verne, Mysterious Island. She is the image of poison from the past which must be eliminated.

Rosie the Riveter, the figure of women in the workplace from WWII. She says, 'Metal workers accomplish things. There are some things that need to be rebuilt.'

A statue of the 10-armed Durga, who can act in many worlds. But warriors are at the temple gates, and they chop off all the extra arms. Only two are left, so she looks like everybody else. She says, 'I am a mirror, and this is the story of your life. You had the ability to act in many worlds, but your abilities were denied, and you were crippled, and unable to act.'

Isis, who walks through gardens of giant white lotuses. The water in the lakes is turquoise and royal blue. She says, 'I am Queen of light and darkness. My bright side gives blessings. Behold my dark side.'

Clara Barton, in a cloak with a red cross on it. She is a nurse who heals the sick.

A Wiccan moon goddess dressed in white, with a crescent moon on her brow, wearing a long white cloak as she walks the night. She lifts a child who has been left by the river. She takes away the child's swaddling clothes, which are made of iron, and meant to warp and break the child's growing body. She wraps it in bandages.

A bird-headed goddess from the cave walls of Sikkim, who carries the soul to other worlds. She says, 'Perhaps the soul-bird is the origin of the stork, who carries the baby. Your soul was delivered into the hands of your enemy.'

A wrathful karma bhairavi, with a horse's head. Her body is blue, with many arms, but the head is red, and there are fires around her. She says, 'Horses are known for pulling heavy loads. I pull the weight of bad karma from your soul, trampling it at the burning ground.'

A spinning discus, a razor-sharp wheel with points along the edge. She cuts her way through illusion and attachment. She is a living weapon.

A black female athlete, a runner who follows a path invisible to others. She is dismissed as ugly and unimportant, and nobody can see what she is running towards. But the goal is of great importance.

A Mardi Gras figure of Lady Death, her black evening gown printed with a skeleton, and a mask of silver bone that goes up at the sides into a cat eye shape. She carries a wand and a slim femur. She says, 'I am a guide into the mysteries.'

A skeleton woman in flames, dancing on a mandala at the burning ground. She says, 'Dance your pain; you have kept secrets too long.'

An owl shamaness, who flies by night, and has good night vision. She can see things that are invisible by day.

A stooped old woman with ragged clothes, wild hair, and missing teeth. She is mirror of the inner ugliness of the past.

A genie in harem pants and veils from the orientalist films of the 1940's. She says, 'Let us enter the worlds of illusion and see how they are made.'

A swan maiden in a gown of white feathers. Her diamond headband also has high white feathers. She glides gracefully over a lake of ice and says, 'Childhood was walking on thin ice.'

Angela Lansbury as the innocent victim in the film The Portrait of Dorian Grey. She loved someone who appeared good, but was secretly evil.

The Sea Witch, full of tentacles and lies. She says 'Do as I say, and you will be happy.' What she means is 'do as I say, and you will be a failure, and depend on me forever. But I will reject you, and say how terrible it is that you are dependent.' She carries a distorting mirror, where all things reflected in it turn ugly.

A circus clown, with red and white stockings and orange hair. She is part of the circus of life.

A giant bulldog with a black muzzle and a spiked collar. One spike has a bow on it. She said that a person needed the strength and concentration of a bulldog for meditation.

A tiger woman, who devours her prey in the jungle. She says, 'I roam the jungle, and devour illusion.'

Bast, the Egyptian cat goddess, who guards the grain. She protects the potential for new growth, from the gnawing rat of hatred by others.

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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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