Read an Excerpt
Sky DancerThe Secret Life and Songs of the Lady Yeshe Tsogyel
By Keith Dowman
RoutledgeCopyright © 1984 Keith Dowman
All right reserved.
The Mother of the Conquering Buddhas past, present and future, the apparitional being Yeshe Tsogyel, whose name is known to all, having accumulated vast resources of virtue and awareness in previous aeons, finite and infinite, the veil of ignorance torn away she made this great wave of compassion for the sake of all sentient beings.
During the life-time of the great saint Takngu, when I was the daughter of a merchant, together with five hundred other girls I went for the saint's audience. Introduced to the Buddha's teaching I expressed the supreme, irreversible wish-fulfilling prayer of commitment to Buddhahood. After the transition at the end of that lifetime, I travelled through many Buddhafields of visionary pleasure, and then I took apparitional form as the Goddess Ganga Devi, and at the feet of the Lord Buddha Sakyamuni I absorbed and compiled his sacred word. Returning to the fields of visionary pleasure I was known as the Goddess Sarasvati, serving all manner of beings.
At that time the Emperor of Tibet was Trisong Detsen, who was in truth an emanation of the Bodhisattva Manjusri. Trisong Detsen invited the Great Master Pema Jungne to come to Tibet to establish the tradition of the Buddha's teaching. This Great Master's being was unborn and undying, because in reality he was the Buddha Amitabha, Boundless Light, come to this world of men. Pema Jungne came to Tibet, and after the Emperor had fulfilled his commitment to build the great monastery of Samye Ling and innumerable other major and minor temples in the provinces and border areas, the light of the Buddha's teaching shone forth like the rising sun.
Then Pema Jungne thought to himself, 'The time has come for the Goddess Sarasvati to project an emanation so that I can spread the teaching of the Tantra.' Instantaneously, like the planet Mercury falling into the immensity of the sun, Pema Jungne returned to Orgyen, the seat of all his emanation. When it was discovered that the Master had disappeared, the ministers of Tibet whispered abroad that he had been punished, banished to a savage land, Turkhara; the King said that the Master had gone to Senge Dzong Sum in Bhutan, where he was sitting in meditation; and the common people said that he had reconciled the King and Queen and had returned to India.
Meanwhile, in reality, the Guru was coursing through hundreds of Buddhafields of the sphere of apparitional being, and he continued his travelling for the duration of seven human years. Finally, he gathered together Vajra Dakini, the Goddess Sarasvati, Tara Bhrkuti, the Dakinis of the Four Families, the Dakinis of the Power Places and many other Dakinis, and revelling with us all in pleasure, he exhorted us to ultimate pleasure with this song of pleasure:
HRI! Through the light-rays of the supreme outflow that is no outflow, From the Guru's vajra, the pleasure of desireless desire, Into the secret sky of the Dakini, the supreme desire of no desire, Now is the time to enjoy the profound secret of pure pleasure.
Then from the very centre of the assembled goddesses, I, the Goddess Sarasvati, arose and answered the Guru:
HO! Buddha Hero, Heruka, Pleasure God! When you, great dancer, dance the nine dances of life, The pure pleasure of the sacred lotus is everywhere discovered, And in the vastness of the bhaga there is no anxiety; It is time to project an emanation into the savage world.
'SAMAYA HO!' exclaimed the Guru. 'The bond is formed.' 'SAMAYASTVAM!' I replied. 'You are the bond!' 'SAMAYA HRI!' exclaimed the Guru. 'The bond is all!' 'SAMAYA TISHTHA!' I replied. 'The bond is strong!' 'RAMO HAM!' exclaimed the Guru. 'Let the fire burn!' 'RAGAYAMI!' I concluded. 'We are burning together!'
Thus the Guru's vajra and the Dakini's lotus were joined, and we entered a trance of union. The Five Goddesses of the Five Buddha Families, Locana and her sisters, gave us worship and adoration; their Heruka Consorts expelled malevolent spirits; the Bodhisattvas gave their benediction; the great Takritas defended us from all intruding obstructive influences; the Four Door Keepers kept the mystic circle intact; the Four Vajra Goddesses danced; and the Guardians of the Teaching, the Fierce Lords of the Ten Directions, and the Mamo Dakinis, vowed to defend the teaching. At the same time the great pleasure of we mystic partners caused the elements of the mundane worlds of the ten directions to tremble and quake repeatedly. It was then that from the junction of Guru and Dakini beams of light in the form of a red syllable A surrounded by a circle of white vowels, and the white syllable BAM surrounded by a circle of red consonants, shot like the flight of a shooting star towards Tibet, to Seulung in Drak.
Thus ends the first chapter which describes how Tsogyel, having recognised the propitious time for the conversion of all beings, projected an apparitional form.
SAMAYA GYA GYA GYA!
Excerpted from Sky Dancer by Keith Dowman Copyright © 1984 by Keith Dowman. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.