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Unveiling the Mystique of Dorje Phagmo: Unique Embodiment of Vajrayogini

The Divine Feminine in Tibetan Buddhism

Dorje Phagmo, known in Tibetan as “་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཕག་མོ,” epitomizes the essence of Vajrayogini, the consort of Chakrasamvara. Central to the teachings of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, she symbolizes profound spiritual power. Recognizable by the pig’s head on her crown – ‘pig’ translating to ‘Phag’ in Tibetan – Dorje Phagmo originally emerged from the ancient Bön religion as a sky deity. Later, Padmasambhava, a revered figure in Buddhism, transformed her into a primary deity of Tantric practice.

The Legacy of Great Yogis: Milarepa’s Inspiring Journey

Milarepa, a prominent Tibetan yogi, exemplifies the attainments possible through dedicated practice. His life, well-documented and not a mere legend, tells of remarkable feats such as walking through walls, riding on sunbeams, and levitating. These stories, far from being mere myths, demonstrate the potential of these teachings to master external elements, rendering them harmless.

Why Can’t We See Such Achievements?

Despite their existence, why do we not encounter such extraordinary beings in our modern world? Two reasons stand out:

  1. Humility of the Achievers: These individuals, marked by humility, refrain from showcasing their spiritual attainments, making them less visible to us.
  2. Our Limitations: Our karmic obstacles prevent us from perceiving such powers. Just as a blind person cannot see, our spiritual blockages hinder our ability to perceive such beings.

A story from the Tibetan village of Sakya Domak illustrates this point. Two monks, both fully ordained and in retreat, encounter the divine. One monk hears a woman’s voice chanting with his companion, perplexing him. The reason, as his companion explains, is that he has only purified himself enough to hear Vajrayogini’s voice, not yet to see her. This level of spiritual advancement depends on dedication and devotion.

The Ironsmith’s Wife: A Mysterious Encounter

In an intriguing encounter, one monk meets an ironsmith’s wife, known to be harsh and involved in slaughtering pigs – considered unclean work. Despite her lowly status, the monk asks for her blessing, believing her to be an incarnation of Vajrayogini. Her response, initially harsh, eventually leads to a symbolic act of blessing, offering a deeper spiritual insight and assurance of future visions of the deity.

The Path to Spiritual Sight


This narrative underlines the profound truth that seeing and understanding such spiritual phenomena depend largely on our devotion and purification. The story of the ironsmith’s wife, an embodiment of the divine feminine in Tibetan Buddhism, serves as a powerful reminder of the unseen dimensions of spiritual life, accessible to those who earnestly seek and purify their hearts and minds.

About the author

The Tibetan Travel website's creator, hailing from Lhasa, is a cultural enthusiast. They promote responsible tourism, connecting the world to Tibet's beauty and heritage. Awards recognize their contribution.

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