An Elegy about Dakinis —The Role and Destiny of Women in Tibetan Buddhism

Tsai Jyhcherng
Assistant Research Associate, uddhist Institute of True Enlightenment

Chang Hwoching
Professor of Chinese literature, National Chung Hsing University


Having its root in Hindu Shaktism, a dakini [female sky-walker] was a female attendant of “the goddess Kali,” the wife of Shiva, and the female sky-walker belongs to the category of demon or deity. After dakinis were introduced into Tibet by Lotus Born [Padmasambhava], due to the influence of the Tibetan religion and culture, there are many different names for dakini, such as “Buddha”-mother, vajrayogini, vajravarahi, Tara, woman of wisdom, female consort, action woman, female deity, female demon, yakshini, rakshasi, female messenger, offering, etc. Among those seemingly complex roles and functions, the most important one is to cooperate with male lamas in the couple practice of copulation. From the requirements for qualified dakinis and their training process in the four major sects of Tibetan Buddhism, we can infer that the dakini is only a sex object used for inducing the sexual desire to achieve the Couple-Practice Tantra. Hence, Tibetan Lamas need to find young, attractive females with elastic vulva and give them the training in Tantric practice, emptiness, Tantric precepts, empowerment, and sex techniques. Then, those women are given the title of Dakini of Wisdom, which enable them to enjoy a higher social status with better life; therefore, they are willing to have sex with lamas and imagine that they can “achieve Buddhahood in a lifetime” with the lamas’ blessing during the couple practice of copulation. In fact, these females are just like sex slaves or sex objects, who are given to men as a present. The disciples offer attractive females to their gurus; after having sex with them, the gurus send the females back to their disciples. After some time, when the gurus become not interested any more, those females are then abandoned. Those women only have the significance of instruments and offerings to lamas, who will not have any affection for those females. Therefore, in the Highest Yoga Tantra, “dakinis” are only the exploited “sex objects.”

Because dakinis play the role of “satisfying the man’s sexual desire” or “providing the woman’s energy” in the Couple-Practice Tantra of Tibetan Buddhism, the religious title “Dakini” is only an undeserved reputation; in fact, the man’s real desire is for the female’s physical sexual organ. In a theocratic society of male domination, both the female’s body and mind are invaded, exploited, bullied, and robbed. The basic human right of dakinis is already lost initially and their final destiny even more pitiful. At the expense of her own mind-body independence and spiritual growth to help satisfy the lama’s sexual desire and the fantasy of achieving Buddhahood, a dakini is eventually abandoned—because every physical body is impermanent and has only a limited useful lifespan; the lamas’ desire for dakinis is great and they love to have different sex experiences with different women; since female practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism are all attached to male lamas, who can utilize their female followers as they please. Then, in the male guru’s logic, the objectified woman used in the Couple-Practice Tantra will certainly be abandoned when she is no longer attractive.

Tibetan Buddhism claims that greed is the Way and one attains Buddhahood through the couple practice of copulation, which is an evil delusional thought coated with Buddhist terms. The couple practice of Highest Yoga Tantra in Tibetan Buddhism has never been free from the greed for the desire realm. Tibetan Tantric practitioners have not truly kept the bodhisattva precepts, attained the root samadhi, eliminated self-view and self-attachment, or realized the eighth vijnana Tathagatagarbha, nor have they accomplished the Three Studies and the six paramitas. How can they practice in sequence toward Buddhahood? Because of inability to attain Buddhahood, even though they set up theories, titles, conditions, and training to lure females (acting as “Buddha”-mothers or female consorts) into the couple practice of copulation, their Tantric practice will achieve nothing eventually. Both lamas and the female followers are losers and it turns out to be a vulgar fraud; unfairly, the males still can enjoy sexual pleasure all their life, whereas the females lose all their dignity. In the past, perhaps this Lamaistic lie has been covered up intentionally by myths and the authorities in Tibet for over a thousand years; however, under the global civilization today with deep concern for human right, the fact about Lamaism should be truthfully disclosed and reexamined.

Keywords: “Buddha”-mother, dakini, female consort, action seal, Shaktism, Couple-Practice Tantra, Highest Yoga Tantra


More,Please download the PDF file