Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Forum for discussion of Tibetan Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
Varis
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:09 am

Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by Varis » Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:11 pm

I've been reading a bit about Dakas/Dakinis, and I was hoping someone could give me some clarity on the subject.

Are enlightened dakinis still considered to be witches like mundane dakinis are, albeit, enlightened witches?
Is the state of being a Daka/Dakini a state of realization, an occupation (e.g. the village witch), or a form of rebirth? I've seen it described all three ways.

Thanks!

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 25401
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by Malcolm » Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:48 pm

Varis wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:11 pm
I've been reading a bit about Dakas/Dakinis, and I was hoping someone could give me some clarity on the subject.

Are enlightened dakinis still considered to be witches like mundane dakinis are, albeit, enlightened witches?
Is the state of being a Daka/Dakini a state of realization, an occupation (e.g. the village witch), or a form of rebirth? I've seen it described all three ways.

Thanks!
The only ḍākinīs that appear in the world are flesh-eating karma ḍākinīs.
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

User avatar
Virgo
Global Moderator
Posts: 2457
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:47 am
Location: Globe

Re: Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by Virgo » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:08 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:48 pm
Varis wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:11 pm
I've been reading a bit about Dakas/Dakinis, and I was hoping someone could give me some clarity on the subject.

Are enlightened dakinis still considered to be witches like mundane dakinis are, albeit, enlightened witches?
Is the state of being a Daka/Dakini a state of realization, an occupation (e.g. the village witch), or a form of rebirth? I've seen it described all three ways.

Thanks!
The only ḍākinīs that appear in the world are flesh-eating karma ḍākinīs.
Is that the premise of The Walking Dead on a secret level?

Kevin

User avatar
jkarlins
Posts: 555
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2016 10:58 am
Location: Amesbury, MA USA

Re: Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by jkarlins » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:13 pm

Varis wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:11 pm
I've been reading a bit about Dakas/Dakinis, and I was hoping someone could give me some clarity on the subject.

Are enlightened dakinis still considered to be witches like mundane dakinis are, albeit, enlightened witches?
Is the state of being a Daka/Dakini a state of realization, an occupation (e.g. the village witch), or a form of rebirth? I've seen it described all three ways.

Thanks!
Judith Simmer-Brown has a good about dakinis.

Varis
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:09 am

Re: Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by Varis » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:54 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:48 pm
The only ḍākinīs that appear in the world are flesh-eating karma ḍākinīs.
Are they human beings or spirits?

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 25401
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by Malcolm » Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:00 pm

Varis wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:54 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:48 pm
The only ḍākinīs that appear in the world are flesh-eating karma ḍākinīs.
Are they human beings or spirits?
They are ḍākinīs.
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

Varis
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:09 am

Re: Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by Varis » Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:06 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:00 pm
They are ḍākinīs.

What are the causes for rebirth as a daka or dakini?

cyril
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:47 am

Re: Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by cyril » Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:49 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:00 pm
Varis wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:54 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:48 pm
The only ḍākinīs that appear in the world are flesh-eating karma ḍākinīs.
Are they human beings or spirits?
They are ḍākinīs.
So, within the six realms scheme, which one do they belong to?

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 25401
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by Malcolm » Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:04 pm

cyril wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:49 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:00 pm
Varis wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:54 pm


Are they human beings or spirits?
They are ḍākinīs.
So, within the six realms scheme, which one do they belong to?
In three higher realms. But not humans, not asuras, and not devas.
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

Varis
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:09 am

Re: Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by Varis » Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:05 pm

Malcolm, if you don't mind obliging me with the answer to extra question: What is the Sanskrit word for "witch" then, as in the western sense of a human female (and occasional male) with magical power?

Thank you for all your help.

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 25401
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by Malcolm » Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:33 pm

Varis wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:05 pm
What is the Sanskrit word for "witch"
ḍākinī, siddhayoginī, yoginī.
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

climb-up
Posts: 213
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:32 am

Re: Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by climb-up » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:38 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:33 pm
Varis wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:05 pm
What is the Sanskrit word for "witch"
ḍākinī, siddhayoginī, yoginī.
Wait, so the only dakinis that appear in this world are flesh eating karma dakinis,
Dakinis live in the three upperworlds, but are not humans, asuras or devas,
but one of the sanskrit words for a human female with magical powers is dakini?

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 25401
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by Malcolm » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:40 pm

climb-up wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:38 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:33 pm
Varis wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:05 pm
What is the Sanskrit word for "witch"
ḍākinī, siddhayoginī, yoginī.
Wait, so the only dakinis that appear in this world are flesh eating karma dakinis,
Dakinis live in the three upperworlds, but are not humans, asuras or devas,
but one of the sanskrit words for a human female with magical powers is dakini?
Who said it was a Sanskrit word for a human female?
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

climb-up
Posts: 213
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:32 am

Re: Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by climb-up » Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:40 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:40 pm
climb-up wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:38 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:33 pm


ḍākinī, siddhayoginī, yoginī.
Wait, so the only dakinis that appear in this world are flesh eating karma dakinis,
Dakinis live in the three upperworlds, but are not humans, asuras or devas,
but one of the sanskrit words for a human female with magical powers is dakini?
Who said it was a Sanskrit word for a human female?
You may not have fully read the question that you responded to, which was"
What is the Sanskrit word for "witch" then, as in the western sense of a human female (and occasional male) with magical power?

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 25401
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by Malcolm » Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:48 pm

climb-up wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:40 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:40 pm
climb-up wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:38 pm
Wait, so the only dakinis that appear in this world are flesh eating karma dakinis,
Dakinis live in the three upperworlds, but are not humans, asuras or devas,
but one of the sanskrit words for a human female with magical powers is dakini?
Who said it was a Sanskrit word for a human female?
You may not have fully read the question that you responded to, which was"
What is the Sanskrit word for "witch" then, as in the western sense of a human female (and occasional male) with magical power?
Since human beings with magical power are not considered unusual or necessarily frightful or taboo in Indian societies and literature, there really isn't a word that corresponds to the term "witch" in Sanskrit. But there is a correspondence in the sense that like European witches, ḍākinīs fly in the sky, meet on specific days of the month where there is feasting and other libidinous entertainment, and so on.

Of interest under Witch's Sabbath:
"(The concepts) represent a combination of three older mythical components, all of which are active at night: (1) A procession of female spirits, often joined by privileged human beings and often led by a supernatural woman; (2) A lone spectral huntsman, regarded as demonic, accursed, or otherworldly; (3) A procession of the human dead, normally thought to be wandering to expiate their sins, often noisy and tumultuous, and usually consisting of those who had died prematurely and violently. The first of these has pre-Christian origins, and probably contributed directly to the formulation of the concept of the witches’ sabbath. The other two seem to be medieval in their inception, with the third to be directly related to growing speculation about the fate of the dead in the 11th and 12th centuries."
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1 ... 014.896968
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

User avatar
dzogchungpa
Posts: 5617
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by dzogchungpa » Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:20 pm

In the first talk of CTR's "Glimpses of Space" one finds the following exchange:
Student: What are dakinis?
Vidyadhara: One never knows. [Scattered laughter] One never knows!
If you focus on an object, you are not meditating. - Dudjom Rinpoche

climb-up
Posts: 213
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:32 am

Re: Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by climb-up » Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:35 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:48 pm
climb-up wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:40 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:40 pm


Who said it was a Sanskrit word for a human female?
You may not have fully read the question that you responded to, which was"
What is the Sanskrit word for "witch" then, as in the western sense of a human female (and occasional male) with magical power?
Since human beings with magical power are not considered unusual or necessarily frightful or taboo in Indian societies and literature, there really isn't a word that corresponds to the term "witch" in Sanskrit.
That's interesting.
Would there be a difference between someone who has magical powers naturally, or through accepted penance, and someone who gains magical powers illicitly or through transgression?
But there is a correspondence in the sense that like European witches, ḍākinīs fly in the sky, meet on specific days of the month where there is feasting and other libidinous entertainment, and so on.

Of interest under Witch's Sabbath:
"(The concepts) represent a combination of three older mythical components, all of which are active at night: (1) A procession of female spirits, often joined by privileged human beings and often led by a supernatural woman; (2) A lone spectral huntsman, regarded as demonic, accursed, or otherworldly; (3) A procession of the human dead, normally thought to be wandering to expiate their sins, often noisy and tumultuous, and usually consisting of those who had died prematurely and violently. The first of these has pre-Christian origins, and probably contributed directly to the formulation of the concept of the witches’ sabbath. The other two seem to be medieval in their inception, with the third to be directly related to growing speculation about the fate of the dead in the 11th and 12th centuries."
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1 ... 014.896968
Yeah, fascinating.
Perhaps (if it exists/existed) a human 'sabbat' might correspond to the mythical sabbat in a similar way that a ganapuja corresponds to the true ganachrakra of dakinis?
Maybe not, thats how I tend to imagine it.
dzogchungpa wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:20 pm
In the first talk of CTR's "Glimpses of Space" one finds the following exchange:
Student: What are dakinis?
Vidyadhara: One never knows. [Scattered laughter] One never knows!
:anjali:

Varis
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:09 am

Re: Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by Varis » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:48 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:48 pm
Since human beings with magical power are not considered unusual or necessarily frightful or taboo in Indian societies and literature, there really isn't a word that corresponds to the term "witch" in Sanskrit.
Weren't Yogis and Yoginis often portrayed in Indian literature as evil body snatchers.

climb-up
Posts: 213
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:32 am

Re: Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by climb-up » Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:28 pm

Varis wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:48 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:48 pm
Since human beings with magical power are not considered unusual or necessarily frightful or taboo in Indian societies and literature, there really isn't a word that corresponds to the term "witch" in Sanskrit.
Weren't Yogis and Yoginis often portrayed in Indian literature as evil body snatchers.
I was hoping someone was going to give us some more information; but that is, of course, the point of David Gordon White's book "Sinister Yogis."

You probably already know that John Reynolds/Vajranatha wrote a book of the similarities between witches and dakinis. It looks like it isn't currently in print, but he has been doing talks in Europe on the topic.
I had actually e-mailed him the day before the OP about it's availability. No response yet, but I'm hopeful.

User avatar
TharpaChodron
Posts: 339
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:13 am
Location: California

Re: Enlightened and mundane Dakinis

Post by TharpaChodron » Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:57 am

climb-up wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:28 pm
Varis wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:48 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:48 pm
Since human beings with magical power are not considered unusual or necessarily frightful or taboo in Indian societies and literature, there really isn't a word that corresponds to the term "witch" in Sanskrit.
Weren't Yogis and Yoginis often portrayed in Indian literature as evil body snatchers.
I was hoping someone was going to give us some more information; but that is, of course, the point of David Gordon White's book "Sinister Yogis."

You probably already know that John Reynolds/Vajranatha wrote a book of the similarities between witches and dakinis. It looks like it isn't currently in print, but he has been doing talks in Europe on the topic.
I had actually e-mailed him the day before the OP about it's availability. No response yet, but I'm hopeful.
I emailed him once and he got back to me. He helped me sort out a random question about something and it was really nice. He actually at first said he could not find anything related to my question and then emailed me a few weeks later to say he was looking through some notes of his from Dudjom Rinpoche and found something relevant to my inquiry.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 52 guests