"Although their karmic barriers are heavy, and they cannot see me, they still must understand that in the light of sincere faith, I am with them like a shadow following a form."
The Holy Monk and the Spirit Woman [Serial 104]
translated by J. C. Cleary
Chapter 13: The Light of the Deer Park
5. The Girl of Sixteen
According to the account in the Secret History of Khyungpo, before he saw Sukhasiddhi, Khyungpo Naljor had participated in one dakini ritual gathering. In that era, India had many great women who used their lives to put into practice the teachings of the Buddha. We call them dakinis. Some of them awakened to the empty inherent nature and became dakinis beyond the world. Some of them had still not experienced the empty inherent nature. But whether or not they had experienced enlightenment, they all could conduct ritual gatherings, just as we in the ordinary human world like to have dinner parties. Many times these dinner parties are also a form of religious ritual.
I have some doubts about the story in the Secret History of Khyungpo. I do not know what kind of dakini party Khyungpo Naljor attended: were these dakinis without bodies, or dakinis in the human world? I have these doubts because, at that time, Khyungpo Naljor had not yet reached the ultimate attainment. Though he had achieved some power with mantras, and he was sometimes able to achieve what he wished for, his ultimate enlightenment still lay in the future. That is to say, although he had seen many teachers, his two most important teachers were Niguma and Sukhasiddhi. One publicly acknowledged fact is that Khyungpo Naljor’s fundamental teacher was Niguma: that is, the one who showed Khyungpo Naljor the inherent nature of mind and enabled him to understand the empty inherent nature was Niguma.
There is more than one explanation of “fundamental teacher,” but the explanation that most people can accept is that your fundamental teacher is the one who can allow you to clearly understand mind and see its inherent nature, to awaken and become enlightened. Of course, if you are not able to clearly understand mind and see its inherent nature, there will be a different standard.
Thus, I have doubts. The first time Khyungpo Naljor saw Sukhasiddhi, they were just forming a karmic connection. His causal connection with Sukhasiddhi was something that came later.
In his later years, Khyungpo Naljor told his disciples that, although on the surface he did not get any great benefit from that dakini gathering, it was already storing up immeasurable resources for his later experience of enlightenment.
At that gathering Khyungpo Naljor saw a sixteen-year-old adolescent girl. Many people believe this story, but he did not see any rainbow light body. He did not know that the story of the rainbow light body is just a symbol.
That girl did not say much. She had a pure, cool appearance. Khyungpo Naljor felt the light of her eyes penetrate his mind, like a pure wind blowing in. In the blazing heat of India, he suddenly felt cool.
The girl smiled. She looked like a skinny little girl, and seemed a bit shy.
The dakini gathering was very splendid, because Khyungpo Naljor had donated ten ounces of gold, and bought all the good things to eat that could be bought around there. During the whole event, he felt as if he were dreaming.
After the gathering came to an end, the dakinis who had participated left.
That girl said to Khyungpo Naljor: “Right, it does feel like we’re dreaming.”
After that, she flashed a smile at Khyungpo Naljor and said: “You really have an air of good fortune about you.”
She also said: “Though I could show you the inherent nature of mind, that is not my task. The one who will do this for you is Niguma.”
As soon as he heard the name “Niguma,” Khyungpo Naljor burst into tears, sank to his knees, and asked: “Where is she?”
The girl said: “You should ask yourself this question.”
Several years later Khyungpo Naljor finally understood what this girl had said. At that time, Niguma would tell him: “I have been with you all along, but your karmic barriers were heavy, and you could not see me.”
She also said: “I will be with all those who chant ‘Niguma Khyenno.’ Although their karmic barriers are heavy, and they cannot see me, they still must understand that in the light of sincere faith, I am with them like a shadow following a form.”
· to be continued... ·
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