Quotes on Dakini's
The term 'Dakini' may mean different things in different belief systems; Tantra, yoga, buddhism; India and Tibet have varying definitions. Just as the term 'angel' or 'god' may have different meaning to individuals.
Depending on the dialect, Dakini translates as 'Sky-dancer' or 'Sky goer'. Or A female messenger of wisdom.
“Unlike in other religions, such as Christianity or Hinduism, these archetypes of enlightenment are not externally existing entities whose blessings are invoked. Rather, deities in Vajrayana Buddhism are manifestations of mind the practitioners evoke to purify neuroses and connect with a deeper level of awareness".
“Dakini is associated with spaciousness, therefore has the ability to give birth to limitless prospects of enlightened activities which can be grouped into four: pacifying, enriching, magnetising and destroying. Dakini also embodies the union of emptiness and wisdom” drukpa-nuns.org
Think of them as Devas or spirit guides who bring you to spiritual liberation.
They share similarities with 'Angels' and embody the playfulness of faeries, but are neither.
“Calling a Dakini an ‘angel’ successfully captures many of the very real celestial, tutelary, epiphanic, helping-spirit qualities of these beings, yet it also domesticates the word for readers raised in Judeo-Christian environments to a dangerous degree......Just like Dakinis, fairies are known for their dancing, and can also assume forms both fair and foul. Their association with caves and untamed features of the landscape, their amorous advances towards humans fit well with the Tibetan context, and yet Dakini does not necessarily carry the same pagan baggage as fairy does, and neither fairy nor angel quite captures the way that Dakini can refer to a subtle spirit, a cosmological principle, and an actual physical person all at once.” perfumedskull.com
“Dakinis are elusive and playful by nature; trying to nail them down with a neat definition means missing them, since defying narrow intellectual concepts is at the core of their wise game”. dakinipower.com
Dakinis can be invoked and called apon when we want to accomplish something (with pure intentions) or in practices where the aim is to expand the mind and consciousness.
“Being associated with energy in all its functions, ḍākinīs are linked with the revelation of the Anuttarayoga Tantras, which represent the path of transformation, whereby the energy of negative emotions or kleshas, called poisons, is transformed into the luminous energy of enlightened awareness yielding the most profound experience of clear light.”
“Dakini is the Goddess of Life's Turning Points. Distillations of archetypal emanations, the Dakinis represent those essence principles within the self which are capable of transformation to a higher octave.” crystalinks.com
“If we are not willing to invite the dakini into our life, then we cannot enter these subtle states of mind. Sometimes the dakinis appear as messengers, sometimes as guides, and sometimes as protectors.” michaela-haas
Everyone has the ability and the potentials to realize the Wisdom Dakini principles or nature within oneself.
They are often depicted as naked women, but are not to be confused as a sexual icon, as their nakedness represents liberation, freedom and nature.
(just to confuse you Dakini is also a name given to a human, female who teaches the sexual aspect of tantra, but that's not what we are talking about here)
“Iconographic representations tend to show the dakini as a young, naked figure in a dancing posture, often holding a skull cup filled with menstrual blood or the elixir of life in one hand, and a curved knife in the other. She may wear a garland of human skulls, with a trident staff leaning against her shoulder. Her hair is usually wild and hanging down her back, and her face often wrathful in expression, as she dances on top of a corpse, which represents her complete mastery over ego and ignorance. Practitioners often claim to hear the clacking of her bone adornments as the dakinis indulge in their vigorous movement. Indeed these unrestrained damsels appear to revel in freedom.”
Dakini energies are that of goddess energies, In particular Dakinis share similarities with the Goddess Kali;
“Dakini's wrathful aspect is depicted by the mala of skulls. Her peaceful aspect is depicted by the lotus frond. Like Hindu goddess Kali, her role is to transmute suffering. Her left hand holds high the lamp of liberation. Dakini represent the sky being a womb symbol connoting emptiness, creativity, potentiality. They are objects of desire and also carriers of the cosmic energies that continually fertilize our human sphere. Dakinis bring us pleasure and spirituality. They provoke the enervating lust that brings life into being. They are poetic and cosmic souls, put here to tempt us to spirituality.”
Origin of Dakinis
This positive celestial image of Dakini's we have today predominantly come from 'Tibetan Buddhism'. However this image is likely 'evolved', with the roots of Dakinis originating from Indias ancient Tantras
in this from they were much less angelic, and for those with a modern western mindset, harder to see as 'beings of the light'.
“Like many elements of Vajrayana, the dakinis emerged first in the Indian Tantras, and those, in turn, had partly drawn on ancient pre-Aryan goddess traditions. When Tantra originated in India, the dakini was seen as wrathful and often described as a blood-drinking flesh eater who lived in charnel grounds or cemeteries, challenging the yogis to explode their fears. After Buddhists adopted tantric ideas and tantric Buddhism migrated to Tibet in the eighth century, this image softened somewhat.
A gentler, more sensual and accommodating female image emerged, one that nurtured and sustained the practitioners; though that enticing figure could still instantly resort to more dramatic, wrathful means when the peaceful approach of seduction didn’t work.” michaela-haas
“the dakinis were shamanic priestesses of a non-Buddhist, non-Hindu “tribal” people of Bengal (the region just east of Magadha, where Surya was born). They belonged to an ethnic group—perhaps Munda—with darker skin than the Buddhists and Hindus of the time.
The dakinis practiced sex magic (“karma mudra”) and death magic. These gave them the power of flight (among other abilities). Flying is a common result of shamanic practices everywhere (and of course European witches fly, too). Dakinis are closely associated with birds, and often appear as bird-headed women.
The ambiguous divine/human nature of the dakinis may come from a practice of shamanic spirit possession. In Voodoo, for example, a god can “ride” (take over) the body of a shaman. It is possible that tantric Buddhist self-arising yidam practice—in which one replaces one’s ordinary mind with the mind of a specific non-physical Buddha, through ritual and visualization—originated with the dakinis’ method of spirit possession.
Dakinis allowed a few Buddhists and Hindus into their rituals. Why is not clear. The tribes seem to have had strict rules against allowing outsider participation. Their social structure was based on kulas, or “clans,” and only members of a clan could attend. This might be because the tribes were endogamous—allowing sex only between members of the same clan—and group sex was part of the practice. The dakinis seem to have adopted some Buddhists and Hindus into their kinship structure, as clan members, which legitimized their involvement in karma mudra rituals.”
Tantras often describe the dakinis as terrifying and dangerous. (In fact, in modern village India, “dakini” still means witch.)" buddhism-for-vampires.com