Verfasst von: Enrico Kosmus | 10. April 2021

Simhamukha – the Dakini with the lion face

There are various forms of the Simhamukha. The primar appearance is the blue form. One famous lineage traces back to Bari Lotsawa. This famous translator introduced this dakini practice in Tibet and his lineage is famous within the Sakya tradition. This dharma cycle contains a bunch of general meditations practices and various activities related to the Simhamukha in different forms and for different purposes, mainly related to the four enlightened activities – so-called Buddha activities – which are pacifiying, enriching (or increasing), magnetizing (or controlling) and the wrathful subduing (or destruction).

With a body blue in colour, the face is that of a white lion, with three round yellow eyes, blazing fiercely with a gaping mouth, a yellow beard, eyebrows and hair flowing upward. The right hand holds upraised a curved knife to the sky, left a skullcup of blood to the heart, carrying a khatvanga staff tipped with a trident in the bend of the elbow supported against the shoulder. Adorned with a tiara of five skulls, red scarf, elephant skin, bone ornaments, a long snake and fifty freshly severed heads as a necklace, she wears a tiger skin skirt. Standing on the left leg with the right drawn up, trampling on a double triangle symbol, corpse, sun and multi-coloured lotus seat, Simhamukha in a mood of great fierceness dwells in the middle of a blazing fire of pristine awareness.

Furthermore the dakini Simhamukha is a tutelary deity arising out of the Chakrasamvara cycle of Tantras and belongs to the Anuttarayoga ‚wisdom‘ classification. The Sarma tradition Simhamukha is unrelated to the deity of the same name and appearance in the Nyingma ‚terma‘ (treasure) traditions. In that tradition, of the many forms of Padmasambhava, Simhamukha is a secret form of Guru Rinpoche.

Another famous form is the Simhamukha from Dudjom Rinpoche Jigdral Yeshe Dorje’s treasure cycle Khandro Thugthig. There she shows up in red form.

Extremely fierce and completely red in colour she has the face of a lion, with three round eyes, gazing fiercely with a gaping mouth, orange beard and hair flowing upward. With two hands the right holds aloft a vajra handled curved knife to the sky, left a white skullcup of blood to the heart, cradling a khatvanga staff tipped with a trident against the left shoulder. Wearing a tiara of five skulls, a dark orange scarf, elephant hide, bone ornaments, fifty severed heads as a necklace and a tiger skin skirt she stands on the left leg with the right drawn up in a dancing posture above a corpse, sun disc and orange lotus seat. Simhamukha dwells in the middle of a blazing orange fire of pristine awareness.

There is another widely practiced form of Simhamukha in the Dudjom tradition, and this is a green appearance.

In an earlier age, immeasurably long ago, at the end of the teachings of Amitabha, the Mara king Garab Wangchug caused a daughter called a tramen, Simhamukha, to appear in the world. She damaged the life force of all living beings, their flesh and blood, as well as their wealth and also the Buddhadharma, likewise the vision of the Tirthikas (Eternalists) flourished and the teachings of the Victorious One withered away.

At that time, the all Buddhas with their enlightened intention thought to tame the malicious witches by a suitable demoness looking like her and for this purpose they had to transform something that looked like her. From the fundamental space of timeless wisdom they made a torma in the guise of the appearance of the wrathful demon-conquering dakini and without exception all the Buddhas blessed and empowered her with the power and ability of their compassion. The hordes of the maras were vanquished, empowering the heroine. The magical power of the Torma at that time made the whole world tremble and shake. The Demoness (and) all the Tramen were altogether all shaken and they showed a wrathful, malicious expression.

The wisdom dakini Simhamukha, the wrathful demon-conquering one, rested in a state of immersion and equanimity while manifesting numerous magical phenomena and defeating the power of the demoness. She robbed their witchcraft and creative expression and subjugated all demons. The consciousness of the dakini was transferred to the realm of the expanse of the enlightened mind.

With the body was blessed the corpse place Crossed Great Mystery. The life essence mantras of the retinue of arrogant spirits were handed over and they were put under oath. Then they were appointed as protectors for the Buddhadharma. Therefore, the rotations of all the Dharma wheels of the tantras of the main figure of the secret mantra are contained in one big mandala.

Then in the age with the average life span of 100 years, Shakyamuni Buddha appeared in this world at that time. He performed perfect Buddhahood through the method of the ten transcendent perfections, especially in Varanasi (and) at Vulture Mountain, at the highest place, etc., he performs three successive turns of the Dharma Wheel. Further, the Great Secret at Blazing Mountain and the corpse place of Langka Peak, innumerable peaceful and wrathful mandalas appeared and the 18 great tantras were taught to the protectors of the wrathful mantra of Buddhadharma surrounding all without exception.

Especially at the corpse place Crossed Great Secret the retinue appeared and answered:  „Just as darkness (obscures) the sun in the center of the sky, the recitation of mantra will then be hiflreich.“

So it is said. This point was granted by the Lord of the Secret (Vajrapani) when he was asked. In the same way, the Conqueror has taken hold of Mara in the meditative concentration and rested in it, as the demon-conquering Dakini is the model, as said in the Metorite Iron Lightning Tantra. The 14-syllable (mantra) had no arms and legs, but was like a snake. Thereupon, the Buddha proclaimed it by means of the tantras, the father tantras, mother tantras, neutral, unsurpassable and the most profound tantras in five. These five are divided into the elaborate, the extremely elaborate, the summary, and the middle (versions). Vajrapani formed this mantra to be the life-heart mantra of all dakinis and as a protection and weapon to protect the teachings of the Buddha and hid it in the belly of a stupa as a treasure swollen whole by the demon-conquering. Thus, it is taught that it was hidden by Vajrapani at the mortuary place Great Crossed Secret in the belly of a stupa and sealed with seven seals as a secret treasure.

750 years after the Buddha entered Parinirvana, at this time at the Vajra Throne in India (Bodhgaya), the Dharma King Suryasimha presided over an assembly of 500 scholars and Dharma Protectors. Non-Buddhists, representatives of the doctrine of the Tirthikas prevailed, while at that time those of the Buddhists (fell behind) in the debate. The Dharma King and the great scholars invited the great master Padmasambhava and implored the demon vanquisher. Through the magical power of Padmas, the maras were defeated in the debate.

The non-Buddhists sent malicious mantras and streams of wrathful meteorite lightning appeared from the mortuary Great Crossed Secret. The 14-syllable wrathful mantra destroyed the tirthikas and rained down. The teachers of the six classes were killed by the lightning. All the heaping armies of the maras were defeated without exception and the teaching of Buddhadharma blossomed.

Then when the time came to spread the Buddhadharma in Tibet here, the great master Padmasambhava was invited by the Dharma King Thrisong De’u-Tsän and given the three jewels of body, speech and mind and especially the promise to preach the teachings of Sutra and Mantra. 111 years he remained in Tibet. At 73 in the Year of the Tiger, he has given countless teachings in Samye Chimpu, in Dragmar Ke’u-Tshang and other holy places in the circle of pure beings favored by fortune within the framework of the great realization practice of the main figure of the three roots of logos deities to the assembly of Sugatas.

In particular, he has (taught) the outer and inner (teachings) for defeating black magic and curses, dangers and savagery, and whose power of secret mantras, vidyamantras and dharanimantras resemble a fire at the end of the age, no matter how unattained and universally known the profound wrathful mantras of the Dakini generally are. This manifestation of the demon-conquering ones he has entrusted to Yeshe Tsogyal. The latter, on the basis of her perfect memory, has recorded them, written them down with the signs of the Dakini script and hidden them with the Samaya substance together with the life force support etc. especially for future generations to be tamed, as Terma in numerous places profoundly and secretly. This was hidden in Tibet especially in the noble land of Amdo in Ngaröl Tagtse on the right side of Shwadrag Dorje Chän by her.

Now in the age of decline, where the situation is given for taming, the emanation of the Drogben Khye’u-Chung Lotsawa, the incarnated great treasure finder, was invited to the Thragthung Dudjom Dorje Drolö Tsal. After 44 years, the time had come to awaken the seal of the pledge of utmost secrecy with wishful prayers and grant the reading transmission of the scripture called „The Adorned Vajra Body of Dakini“ in accordance with the yellow scrolls to the three fortunate sons of hearts and the Superior.

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