Khyungpo Naljor Meets the Dakini Niguma
With five hundred ounces of gold on him, Khyungpo Naljor traveled
throughout the four corners of India, meeting lamas and asking who
had actually seen the Buddha. All panditas and siddhas said the same
thing: Naropa’s sister Niguma, who dwelt in the three pure states,
had received the Dharma directly from Vajradhara.
They all also said that no matter where one is, if one has sacred
outlook, one will be able to see her face. But if one’s outlook is impure,
she won’t be found no matter how hard one looks. Niguma truly dwelt
in a pure state and possessed the rainbow body. Khyungpo was told
that she could be seen frequently in the great charnel ground of Kosaling
with her entourage. Just hearing the name of the dakini made Khyungpo
weep and his hair stand on end. He felt overwhelmed with devotion
and immediately left for the charnel ground of Kosaling repeating the
mantra Namo Buddha on the way.
Suddenly, the dakini appeared in the sky in front of him, at the height
of about seven palm-trees, her body red-brown in color. She was
wearing bone ornaments. In her hands, she held a skull-cup and hooked
knife. She was dancing and displaying one and many forms.
As soon as he saw her, Khyungpo thought, ‘This is the dakini
Niguma.’ He prostrated and made several circumambulations. Then
he knelt down and asked for the pure oral instructions.
But Niguma shouted: ‘Hey, you, watch out! I am the cannibalistic
flesh-eating dakini. HA! Flee now! As soon as my retinue comes,
we will devour you!’
In response, Khyungpo simply made more prostrations and
circumambulations and once again knelt down, requesting the
secret oral instructions.
Niguma now said: ‘So you really want the mahayana oral
instructions?! Well, you’ll need some gold for that. Have you got any?’
At this, Khyungpo presented his five hundred ounces of gold.
But the dakini grabbed the gold and hurled it in the air, scattering it all
over the forest. Seeing this, Khyungpo thought, ‘Oh, she really must
be a cannibal flesh-eating dakini. She doesn’t even care for my gold!’
The dakini’s eyes darted about left and right, and her immeasurable
retinue of dakas and dakinis appeared from the sky. Some in a flash
created three-tiered heavenly mansions, some built up mandalas of
colored sand, and others gathered the implements for a feast offering.
On the evening of the full moon, the dakini Niguma bestowed upon
Khyungpo the empowerments of dream yoga and illusory body.
Next, she said, ‘Hey, little monk from Tibet, come on up here!’
By means of the dakini’s magical ability, Khyungpo rose in the sky
to a height of about three yojanas. He found himself sitting on a
golden mountain. Above his head, the dakini’s retinue was performing
the mystical dance of the tantric feast, and from the four sides of the
mountain flowed four rivers of gold.
Khyungpo looked down at the streams of gold and asked, 'Does
such a golden mountain really exist in India, or did the dakini make
The dakini sang:
Whirling in the ocean of samsara
Are the myriad thoughts of love and hate.
Once you know they have no nature,
Then everywhere is the land of gold, my child.
If upon all things, like an illusion
One meditates, like an illusion,
True Buddhahood, like an illusion,
Will come to pass, due to devotion.
Now, a dream will come to you through my blessings.
Indeed, Khyungpo had the following lucid dream: He had gone to
the realm of gods and demi-gods. He was being eaten alive by some
large demi-gods when the dakini appeared in the sky saying, ‘O son,
do not wake up.’ At that very instant, he received the instructions on
the six yogas. After he woke up, the dakini appeared and said: ‘No
one else in India has ever received the complete yogas in one session.’