Monday, September 19, 2011

The essence of the spiriutality of the Sky Dancer

The central practice of Sky Dancer Yeshe Tsogyel can be viewed in chapter five of her biography Sky Dancer. She was intensely religious, and her religious passions were reviewed in the following visions of her during meditation, those unfamiliar with Tibetan Buddhism might find the vision grotesque, but learned people assured me this is a common, or expected, meditative vision for the faithfuls in Tibetan Buddhism:

"In this vivid vision of radiant light I arrived at a place called Orgyen Khandro Ling, the Land of the Dakinis. In this land the fruit trees were like razors, the ground was plastered with meat, the mountains were bristling piles of skeletons and the clods of earth and stone were scattered fragments of bone. In the centre of this mandala was an immeasurable palace built of skulls and wet and dry heads, and the ceilings and door-blinds were made of human skin. At a radius of a hundred thousand leagues the palace was ringed by a circle of volcanoes, a wall of vajras, a perimeter of falling thunderbolts, a ring of eight cemeteries and a wall of beautiful lotuses. Within this boundary were flocks of flesh-eating, blood-drinking birds and crowds of demon savages, male and female, and other brutes, all of whom surrounded me glaring at me threateningly, but thereafter they acted with neither hostility nor friendliness.

Then I went up into the palace, and having passed through three successive doorways, I found many dakinis in human form, carrying various offerings to the principal Dakini. Some cut shreds of flesh from their bodies with knives and preparing the flesh as ganachakra offering, they made worship. Some let blood from their veins, some gouged out their eye-balls, some cut off their noses, their tongues, or their ears, some cut out their hearts or their lungs, liver, spleen or kidneys, some gave their flesh and some their life blood, some gave their bone marrow and fluids, some gave their life-force or their breath, and some cut off their heads or their limbs. After cutting and preparing their offerings, they presented them to their principal Dakini and Consort who blessed them and distributed them as tokens of faith."

The central theme of this passage is Offering. The symbolism is that such vision signifies the willingness of the faithful to suffer intense physical pains and to give as offerings their most valuable possessions to the deity, and in return, the deity will sanctify their offerings, turning physical objects into spiritual food, and redistribute back to the faithfuls. The ultimately enlightenment being at one with one's deity. The kind of intensity a modern man will likely to find difficult to swallow, or even to comprehend.

As her Guru Rimpoche said 'All that was only symbolic vision,' and 'It is not necessary for you now to make an actual offering of the flesh. Better than that, practise these austerities.' The kind of physical hardship that these austerities challenged the faith of the faithful to utmost. As the story goes, the Lady was pushed to near physical death conditions several times. The making of a saint that modern man can only see...on movies!!

If offerings is the at the heard of his or her Faith, what else can a faithful offer the his or her chosen diety (Yidam, in Chinese 本尊)? His or her sexual enjoyment! In a most primitive way: to divert sexual energy away at exactly the same moment one can choose to enjoy! And in particular during the austerity-training period when all physical hardships are being endured (to the point of being close to physical death), the most primary enjoyment is being willingly and consciously offered to one's diety (Yidam, in Chinese 本尊)! What kind of faith it is, and what kind of religious devotion it is!

This is my interpretation of the essence of the spirituality of Sky Dancer. The next question is: How to offer?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...