Vajrayogini in the Gelug Tradition It is said that Vajrayogini was Je
Tsonkhapa’s (1357 – 1419 C.E.) innermost yidam. There is no evidence for this
since the Gelugpas had paid attention to Vajrayogini/Vajravarahi only as the
consort of Chakrasamvara being one of their three principal yidams (gsang bde
‘jigs gsum; the others are Guhyasamaja and Vajrabhairava). To this very day,
Vajrayogini is not part of the canonical teaching curriculums at the tantric
Only as late as in 18th century the Sakya transmission of Naropa’s
Vajrayogini seems to have been introduced to the Gelug tradition. From then on
the Gelug and Sakya Vajrayogini lineages are separate from each other. It was
Phabongkha Rinpoche (1878 – 1941 C.E.) who recommended and promoted the
Vajrayogini practice as the main meditational deity of the Gelug tradition.
The main disciples of Pabongkha Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche
promoted the Vajrayogini practice further – especially among Western audiences.
So did the next generation of lamas like Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa, Geshe Lobsang Tharchin, Gelek Rinpoche, just to name a few.
Today the Vajrayogini practice has become very popular with teachers and students. Like in the Sakya tradition aspirants
have to take a full Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment before they can receive the
Vajrayogini initiation. Also Vajrayogini teachings (= commentaries on the
practice) and retreats are often offered.
I have loved beautiful art both spiritual and secular since I was very young. I really like Tibetan Buddhist iconography. It is so meaningful and has tremendous blessings. Every part of their holy body, color, gesture, stance, expression of any Buddha statue represents a facet of the Enlightened mind…so viewing images plants powerful positive imprints within our mindstreams and awakens our latent mind of enlightenment. It plant seeds to come across the Buddha’s teachings to gain Enlightenment.
When I was growing up, wonderful statues of Vajra Yogini are very rare and even now they are extremely rare… I have been looking for Her images for years and save the ones I find appealing. Vajra Yogini is perfect, but I am talking about Her depictions are not always what I am looking for…I’ve always wanted to have a beautiful central image of Vajra Yogini close to me and for years really could not find what I liked…I like Vajra Yogini images that match the description in the scriptures. If it matches the scriptures, then the statue would be a great object of blessings and visual art.
I ordered this BEAUTIFUL 2.5ft image of Vajra Yogini from Kechara Discovery ( http://www.kechara.com/b2b/ ) last year. They did such a great job. At first I didn’t want to paint Her..Just leave Her antique looking..I worked closely with the dept to make sure ever part of her matches the description in the scriptures. It took nearly a year to create this image you see here as I am a perfectionist. They emailed me back and forth as I explained them what needs to be changed, modified or improved. I gave the description of Vajra Yogini as it was explained to me over 30 years ago by His Eminence Kensur Lobsang Tharchin Rinpoche in Howell, New Jersey. I remember Rinpoche’s descriptions to me from back then. I shared this with Kechara Discovery.
The statue finished to my excited delight and I have several sizes of Vajra Yogini in my house in different areas of my house. I have a 1.5 feet, 2.5 feet, 5 feet and 8ft Vajra Yogini all done by Kechara Discovery. They did a very good job. I like it very much…
I decided to paint the 2.5 feet one…..The painting of Vajrayogini started on the 26th of February 2012. It took 6 days to paint Vajrayogini’s features in and her whole body red. It then took another day to lacquer… the lacquering really made her body shine and her features more pronounced. Lacquering also protects the paint from chipping easily especially if you wish to add ornaments. Oranments can be abrasive if not lacquered. Well She is done. And we had the puja team from *Shabten Khang arrange by **Jamie to come and put mantras inside and do the consecration puja (Rabnye and soongdrop). After inserting mantras inside the holy body of any Buddha image Rabnye and Soongdroop pujas are very good to do. Soongdroop consecrates the mantras. Rabnye consecrates the image together with the mantras. Everything has been done perfectly all here in Malaysia by our Kechara team so Vajra Yogini is perfect. The statue, painting, mantras, ornaments, blessings are all done in house at Kechara. Anyone can call upon Kechara to do the same for their statues.
Now my Vajra Yogini has become a perfect object of worship, veneration, offerings and blessings. I AM SO FORTUNATE that I can view, be near and make offerings to Vajra Yogini who is the most powerful being in the Universe.
WHAT SIZE VAJRA YOGINI WOULD YOU LIKE IN YOUR HOUSE??? And why?? Let me know..
Here She is halfway painted..
After lacquering, the color comes out even more brilliant…remember, lacquer protects the paint.
Close up of Her glorious face.. a face that launches millions of practitioners to great bliss and enlightenment.
Now the Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini is on the sacred shrine…She is indeed beautiful and very holy…In my bedroom…P.S. On Her body are pearls sewn up by Kechara also…I had the pearls painted darker.
One of the many ways the Ladrang and POs support the organisation is through pujas. There’ve been countless times where Rinpoche has sent out a message saying that there’s an urgent need to do such and such a puja NOW because someone is having an operation, some work has just been submitted for approval, or a department is in the midst of a project that requires help.
Rinpoche always says that as a Buddhist organisation, when we run into problems, we can seek solutions in two ways, secular and spiritual. Secular means finding every angle (within the law!) to overcome an obstacle, whether it means persistently talking to someone or looking at the situation to find a way around it…like in a traffic jam when you use an alternate route.
But as a Buddhist organisation we also need to use spiritual ways, and that means invoking the blessings of the Buddhas. After all, if we believe in karma, then we will believe in our power to change karma through pujas.
Thus as the Ladrang we’ve witnessed the miraculous powers of pujas many times. There’ve been instances when friends have been stuck in foreign immigration…and just as we conclude a black tea, we receive an SMS that our friend is out and okay.
There’ve also been other instances when people are in a meeting with a supplier to accomplish something…and just as we conclude the puja, we receive positive news that a deal has been struck that benefits both parties. Or news that people are undergoing an operation and there are complications…and just as the puja finishes, the doctors say they’re okay.
As the Ladrang we consider ourselves very fortunate in order to help people in this way, no matter how remote their problem is. So the next time something goes well for you, consider whether you’ve had a little spiritual help courtesy of Rinpoche who is ever watchful in caring for you! :)