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Ilustrativo e interesante escrito sobre Simhamukha


The Wrathful Lion-Headed Dakini

By John Myrdhin Reynolds

The Wrathful Wisdom Dakini Simhamukha

In terms of these Higher Tantras, a meditation deity (yi-dam lha) who is both wrathful and female is the Jnana Dakini Simhamukha. It is im ortant to understand that, des ite her e!"eedingly wrathful a earan"e and animal head, she is not a guardian s irit (srung-ma), subdued by magi", "on#erted to the Dharma, and bound by oaths of ser#i"e by some owerful $ahasiddha in the ast. %ather, she is a wrathful manifestation of &uhya'nana Dakini, who, a""ording to the (yingma a tradition, was the rin"i al Dakini tea"her of )admasambha#a in the "ountry of *ddiyana. Therefore, although Simhamukha is a Dakini in her as e"t, she fun"tions as a +idam or meditation deity and her s e"ial fun"tions are a#erting and re ulsing (b,log- a) sy"hi" atta"ks that may assault the ra"titioner and the subduing of negati#e female energy as ersonified by the $atrikas or $amos. These latter are wild un"ontrolled female s irits inhabiting the wilderness, both the mountains and the forests, beyond the "onfines of atriar"hal "i#ili,ation. These female s irits are generally hostile to the male gender. Simhamukha a ears in a form wrathful, feminine, and demoni"- indeed, her form is said to be a"tually that of a $atrikia or $amo, not be"ause her nature is e#il or demoni", but be"ause her wrathful as e"t (khro g,ugs) skillfully o#er"omes and subdues those #iolent

negati#e energies. Simhamukha is a Jnana Dakini or wisdom goddess. .""ording to Jigmed /ing a (0123-0145), the famous (yingma a master and dis"o#erer of hidden treasure te!ts or Termas, Simhamukha re resents a (irmanakaya manifestation, a earing in time and history, whereas her Sambhogakaya as e"t is 6a'ra#arahi and her Dharmakaya as e"t is Samantabhadri, the )rimordial 7isdom herself. 6ery often the Dakinis and the $atrikas were the old re-8uddhist agan goddesses of the earth and sky, although generally the $atrikas always tend to be more lo"al in their nature. Dakinis may a ear in many different female forms, young and old, some with animal heads. In Hindu tradition, the goddess Durga is "alled the 9ueen of the Dakinis and $atrikas or wit"hes. In many ways, Simhamukha re resents a 8uddhist #ersion of Durga, but instead of riding on a lion and brandishing her wea ons with eighteen arms, Simhamukha has the head of a lion. .mong the eight Tantra se"tions (sgrub- a bka: brgyad) transmitted to Tibet in the 5th "entury by )admasambha#a, there is the se"tion "alled Ma-mo rbad gtong, ;the "ursing and s ell "asting asso"iated with the wit"h goddesses,< wherein Simhamukha, as the "hief di#ine figure, #ery mu"h assumes the role of the Hindu goddess Durga in subduing demons and e#il s irits and rote"ting ra"titioners from negati#e ro#o"ations of energy "oming from the $amos. /ike other nature s irits, the $amos are disturbed by mankind:s destru"tion of the natural en#ironment and therefore infli"t lagues, new diseases, earth=uakes, madness, wars, and other "alamities u on human "i#ili,ation.

The Magical Function of A erting !s"chic Attacks

.s we ha#e said, the rin"i al magi"al fun"tion of Simhamukha is the a#erting or re ulsing (b,log- a) of negati#e energy and sending it ba"k to its sour"e, whether that sour"e is a bla"k magi"ian or an e#il s irit (gdon). Su"h a ro#o"ation of negati#e energy is "alled a maledi"tion (byad-ma, byad-kha), and this is illustrated in the story of 8ari /otsawa (see below). $ost often the &oddess is in#oked to a#ert sy"hi" atta"k. .s indi"ated re#iously with the Dakini >urukulla, Tantri" 8uddhism sees this working with energy in "on"rete ways in terms of the four magi"s or magi"al a"ti#ities. .lthough Simhamukha "an work with any of the four, she rin"i ally relates to the fourth fun"tion or fier"e magi"al a"tions (drag- o:i ? hrin-las). Therefore, the dark a,ure blue"olored 6a'ra Simhamukha is la"ed in the "enter of the mandala. S iritually, she re resents the transformation of anger or wrath into enlightened awareness, and sy"hi"ally or magi"ally, she a""om lishes the subduing and #an=uishing ro#o"ations of negati#e energy (gdon) ersonified as demons and e#il s irits. She is surrounded by her retinue of four Dakinis who resemble herself, e!"e t for their body-"olor and "ertain attributes@ in the east there is the white 8uddha Simhamukha who has the magi"al fun"tion of a"ifying "ir"umstan"es and healing, in the south is the yellow %atna Simhamukha who has the magi"al fun"tion of in"reasing wealth and ros erity, in the west is the red )adma Simhamukha who has the magi"al fun"tion of en"hanting and bringing others under her ower, and in the north is the dark green >arma Simhamukha who has the magi"al fun"tion of #an=uishing and destroying negati#e for"es. Aa"h of these as e"ts of Simhamukha ha#e their own mantras and rituals. If the ra"ti"ioner is working whi"h a s e"ifi" fun"tion, say for e!am le, be"oming su""essful at business or winning at the horse ra"es, he would ut %atna Simhamukha in the "enter of the

mandala, doing the #isuali,ation while re"iting her a"tion mantra. 8ut in thangkas, 6a'ra Simhamukha is usually re resented as a single figure without the a""om anying retinue.

The Wrathful Archet"#e

(e#ertheless, des ite her wrathful a earan"e and her magi"al a"ti#ities, Simhamukha is a manifestation of the enlightened awareness of the 8uddha and her nature is "om assion. /ike the .r"hangel $i"hael, she slays the dragon re resenting the for"es of e#il and "haos. She only shows her fier"e and angry fa"e in order to subdue misguided beings, mu"h like a mother dis"i lining her naughty "hild. The worldly gods and s irits are not enlightened beings- they are still "onditioned by their ignoran"e and their karma and still abide inside of Samsara or "y"li"al e!isten"e. .nd sometimes they dire"t negati#e energy against humans in the form of maledi"tions and the ra"ti"e of Simhamukha may be used to a#ert and re ulse these sy"hi" atta"ks. Trans"endent deities like Simhamukha are emanations or ro'e"tions of enlightened beings and being ar"hety es they may ser#e as meditation deities. These figures are rin"i ally "lassified into three ty es, be"ause meditation on them the ser#e as antidotes to the three rin"i al oisons that affli"t human "ons"iousness@ 0. meditation on ea"eful tran=uil deities transforms "onfusion, 2. meditation on wrathful deities transforms anger, and B. meditation on lustful or 'oyous deities transforms desire. 7here do the ornaments, attire, and attributes of a wrathful deity "ome fromC .""ording to the Tantras, in rehistori" times on an island in the Indian o"ean, $atam %udra, a bla"k sor"erer and demon king, threatened the #ery sur#i#al of the rimiti#e human ra"e. Therefore, the 8odhisatt#as Hayagri#a and 6a'ra#arahi gained entran"e into his giganti" body and blew him a art from the inside. Thereu on, they donned his attire and ornaments and ro"eeded to subdue the lesser demons, terrifying them with their wrathful a earan"e. Simhamukha wears these same ornaments. .s the 9ueen of the (ight, she kee s at bay the nightmarish demoni" entities who e#er seek to in#ade our sunlight world of "ons"iousness from the twilight realms beyond. .s the a"ti#e manifestation of em tiness and wisdom, her lion:s roar dis erses dis"ursi#e thoughts. .nd she is naked be"ause she is e=ually de#oid of dis"ursi#e thoughts. If the &reat &oddess "an be said to manifest herself in the three ar"hety es of $aiden, $other, and Drone, Simhamukha re resents the Drone as e"t of feminine wisdom. She is the ar"hety e of the destru"ti#e Terrible $other, who destroys and yet regenerates all life out of her "auldron. .ll henomena dissol#e into Shunyata or em tiness, and again all henomena arise out of Shunyata. In many ways, Simhamukha a ears to "orres ond to the .n"ient Agy tian lion-headed goddess Sekhmet, whose #ery name "omes from the root ;skhm< meaning ower, reminis"ent of the Sanskrit word shakti. Sekhmet re resented the fiery energy of the sun, the energy of her father, the "reator god %a.

8ut in the 7estern monotheisti" tradition, there has been the tenden"y to su ress the ar"hety al feminine. She be"ame e"li sed by the male Sky &od of the 8ibli"al tradition. This e!"lusi#ely mas"uline &odhead "ould be tyranni"al, #indi"ti#e, and uniti#e, as well as kind, fatherly, and forgi#ing. 8ut in the Dhristian tradition, there has been the tenden"y to see &od as all-good and therefore his dark side has been ro'e"ted on to the De#il, who was e! elled from hea#en and now dwells beneath the earth. This refle"ts the sy"hologi"al ro"ess of denying the e#il within oneself and ro'e"ting it on to others. 8ut in the Tantras, one fights fire with fire. To those who are without knowledge, Simhamukha is the demoni" Terrible $other, who threatens to de#our her son, threatening his #ery e!isten"e. She re resents e#erything that men find most terrifying in womankind. 7hat is more terrifying than the lion:s roar heard in the dark 'ungle in the middle of the nightC She re resents the rimordial fear of being killed and de#oured by a sa#age female beast. It is the threat of annihilation. 8ut to those who ossess knowledge, the lion-headed goddess is the #ery form of em tiness. They ha#e nothing to fear from the great #oid. She is the terrible lion-headed sentinel of time ("hronos leonto"e halus) who stands at the ortal, the a"ti#e manifestation of rimordial wisdom, who destroys the notion of an un"hanging ermanent ego or substan"e.

Simhamukha according to the $"ingma#a Tradition

."ording to >hyentse %in o"he (see below), the original s"ri tural sour"e for Simhamukha is the Drwa-bai sdom-pai rgyud. This Tantra, where Simhamukha is linked with the eight wrathful &auris (ke:u-ri-ma brgyad) and the eight Tramenmas or animal-headed sor"eresses ( hra-men-ma brgyad), a ears to be "onne"ted with the &uhyagarbha $aya'ala "y"le (s&yu-? hrul drwa-ba). In the ;Tibetan 8ook of the Dead< (8ar-do thos grol), these &auri wit"hes, re resenting the eight ty es of mundane "ons"iousness, and these eight animal-headed sor"eresses, re resenting the eight ob'e"ts of "ons"iousness, a ear to the de"eased "ons"iousness on the twelfth and thirteenth days of the 8ardo e! erien"e after death. Howe#er, it is mainly through the Termas or hidden treasure te!ts dis"o#ered sin"e the 00th "entury that Simhamukha is ra"ti"ed among the (yingma as. .s we ha#e said, a""ording to the Sutra system, the ra"titioner takes refuge in the Three Jewels of the 8uddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. Howe#er, a""ording the Tantra system one also takes refuge in the Three %oot of the &uru, the Deity, and the Dakini (bla-ma yi-dam mkha:-?gro gsum). In the Terma system of Jatson (ying o (?Ja:tshon snying- o, 0E5E-03E3), known as the dKon-mchog spyi dus, ;The *nion of all the )re"ious Fnes,< the rin"i al #isuali,ation ra"ti"e is the Zhi drag seng gsum. Here zhi (,hi-ba) means ; ea"eful,< that is, the ea"eful form of &uru )admasambha#a known as &uru Ghiwa, dressed in his usual robes, holding in his right hand a golden #a'ra before his heart and in his left hand a ka ala "ontaining a long-life #ase. Drag (drag- o) means ;fier"e,< and refers to the wrathful form of )admasambha#a known as &uru Drag o, who is flaming red in "olor, attired as a wrathful deity, holding a #a'ra in his right hand and a bla"k s"or ion in his left. .nd seng means ;lion,< and refers to the lion-headed Dakini Simhamukha (sen-ge:i gdong ma). These three, in#oked as a trinity, re resent the Three %oots of &uru De#a and Dakini. The famous Terton %atna /ing a (%atna gling- a, 0HIB-0H14) also dis"o#ered many Termas relating to Simhamukha.

Similarly, the famous "hild rodigy Tulku $ingyur Dorge ($i-?gyur rdo-r'e, 01th "en.), who re"ei#ed the gNam-chos or ;sky tea"hings,< "hanneled "ertain hidden treasure te!ts ertaining to her. Here and in other Termas there are resented different histories of how )admasambha#a re"ei#ed transmissions dire"tly from his Dakini tea"her in *ddiyana, &uhya'nana Dakini (gSang-ba ye-shes mkha:-?gro-ma). Fne of the eight manifestations of )admasambha#a (mtshan brgyad) is Simha-raura#a (Seng-ge sgrasgrogs), ;the roar of the lion,< whi"h is linked with Simhamukha be"ause )admasambha#a re"i#ed the transmission from &uhya'nana when he was in that guise. .s already said, Simhamukha is regarded as an emanation of this Dakini from *ddiyana. 8e"ause of the "lose link of Simhamukha with )admasambha#a, one "ould say she re resents his .nima. .""ording to the traditional history of the Se#en /ine )rayer (tshig bdun gsol ?debs) of )admasambha#a, on"e an assembly of 8uddhist s"holars at (alanda uni#ersity debated with a grou of Hindu s"holars o#er "ertain matters of hiloso hy. 8ut the 8uddhist s"holars soon found themsel#es loosing, and offered u'a to the Dakinis, raying for their hel . The melodious #oi"es of the Dakinis ro hesied that their brother, )admasambha#a, would "ome the ne!t day to hel them. The ne!t morning, a wild looking yogi from the "remation ground nearby entered the hall and engaged the Hindu s"holars in hiloso hi"al debate. 8y the end of the day, he had systemati"ally demolished all their arguments. 8ut many s"holars remained obstinate, shouted insults at the yogi, and strode about the hall arrogantly. The &uru sitting "almly amidst the storm raging about him, allowed a thought of anger to well u within him and then he ro'e"ted the fiery energy of this wrath into the s a"e before him. It "oales"ed into the terrifying form of the fiery lion-headed &oddess. The haughty s"holars were terrified at this manifestation and fled the hall. 8ut the goddess ursued them, throwing them down of the ground. Terrified the begged for their li#es and submitted to the &uru and his tea"hings.

Descri#tion of the Dakini Simhamukha

In the sadhana for 6a'ra Dakini Simhamukha, written by Jamgon >ongtrul, the goddess is des"ribed as follows@ ;The "olour of her body is a dark a,ure, like the dark "olor of the gathering storm "louds. .nd she is e!"eedingly wrathful. She has a single fa"e and two arms. Her lion:s fa"e is white in "olour and turns slightly to the right. The e! ression on her fa"e is fier"e and wrathful. Jrom her three red eyes "ome flashes of lightning and her lion:s roar is like thunder. The hair of her head is long and bla"k and made of iron. Jrom this mass of hair that is billowing about e#erywhere (as if in a storm) is ro'e"ted miniature hur as like li#e s arks. 7ith her right hand she flourished a fi#e- ronged #a'ra in the sky and with her left hand she holds before her heart a ka ala skull-"u filled with blood. She has a khat#anga staff "radled in the "rook of her left arm. She girds her loins with a skirt made of a tiger skin and, as a mantle, she wears the hide of an ele hant and a flayed human skin. In all res e"ts, she is garbed in the eight-fold attire of the "remation ground. She adorns herself with a long garland of dried and freshly se#ered human heads, as well as with ne"kla"es of human bone. She is adorned with #arious kinds of

fearful a aritions and at her na#el is the sun and moon. Her two legs are e!tended and drawn u in the dan"e osition of ardha aryanka, while she stands amidst the bla,ing masses of the flames of wisdom. .t her forehead is the white syllable F$, at her throat is the red syllable .H, and at her heart is the blue syllable H*$. Then from the syllable H*$ in her heart "enter there emanate rays of light, and from the great #iolently burning "remation ground in the land of *ddiyana, whi"h is in the western dire"tion, is in#oked the Jnana Dakini Simhamukha, who is surrounded by retinues of hundreds of thousands of dreadful $atrika goddesses, together with the o"ean-like hosts of guardian s irits who are her attendants.<

%e-emergence of the Feminine and %eintegration &ithin the Mandala

Thus, the Dakini, in the 8uddhist "onte!t, re resents a re-emergen"e of the feminine at all le#els in the domain of the sy"hi" and the s iritual, not sim ly as an ad'un"t to a male deity, but as an inde endent for"e in her own right. .""ording to the .nuttara Tantras, on the o""asion of the third or wisdom initiation, when the "andidate is es"orted by the &uru from the entran"e-way at the eastern gate into the "enter of the mandala itself, he en"ounters fa"e to fa"e 7isdom in the form of the Dakini. 7ithout this integration with the feminine, the sy"he of man "annot be"ome whole or enlightened. Histori"ally, 7estern "ons"iousness has tended to su ress and e!"lude from hea#en, the domain of the s iritual, both the feminine and the shadow side of things. Howe#er, in the Tantri" 8uddhism of $edie#al India and Tibet, es e"ially in the .nuttara Tantra, we find the interesting ro"ess of reintegrating both the feminine and the shadow side ba"k into the mandala of the sy"he, not as se"ondary or minor figures at the eri hery, but taking "enter stage in the mandala as the immediate manifestations of enlightened awareness. The method em loyed here is al"hemy, the ro"ess of transformation (?gyur lam), where the negati#e emotions are not denied, but their energy a""e ted and transformed into enlightened awareness in the form of the meditation deity.