The Dakini (lit. Sky Dancer) is a Buddhist Tantric concept particularly upheld in Tibetan Buddhism. The Dakini is a female being of generally volatile temperament, who acts as a muse for spiritual practice. Dakinis can be likened to elves, angels, or other such supernatural beings, and are symbolically representative of testing one’s awareness and adherence to Buddhist tantric sadhana.
Many stories of the Mahasiddhas in Tibet contain passages where a Dakini will come to perturb the would-be Mahasiddha. When the Dakini’s test has been fulfilled and passed, the practitioner is often then recognised as a Mahasiddha, and often is elevated into the Paradise of the Dakinis, a place of enlightened bliss. It should be noted that while a Dakini is often depicted as beautiful and naked, they are not sexual symbols, but rather natural ones. There are instances where a Dakini has come to test a practitioner’s control over their sexual desires, but the Dakini itself is not a being of passion.
The word dakini is translated as women who dance in the sky or interpretable as women who revel in the freedom of emptiness. Hence invariably their bodies are depicted curved in sinuous dance poses.
Iconographic representations tend to show the dakini as a young, naked figure in a dancing posture, often holding a skull cup filled with menstrual blood or the elixir of life in one hand, and a curved knife in the other. She may wear a garland of human skulls, with a trident staff leaning against her shoulder. Her hair is usually wild and hanging down her back, and her face often wrathful in expression, as she dances on top of a corpse, which represents her complete mastery over ego and ignorance. Practitioners often claim to hear the clacking of her bone adornments as the dakinis indulge in their vigorous movement. Indeed these unrestrained damsels appear to revel in freedom of every kind.
Dakini Không hành nữ