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Simhamukha of Ayu Khandro

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Translator's Note
This is the translation of "The Profound Essence of Simhamukha, the Queen of the Dakinis", the mindterma of Ayu Khandro Dorje Paldrn (1839 - 1953), the root text was transcribed from the original
manuscript of Chgyal Namkhai Norbu.
This document is intended for free disctribution.

Simhamukha of Ayu Khandro 1

The Profound Essence of Simhamukha, the Queen of the Dakinis. (1)


A yogin who would practice the sadhana of the Dakini,
and who possesses the initiation and the samaya vows
(should construct) a mandala of sindhura powder,
surrounded by flaming volcanos and the rocks of a cremation ground.
At the center there are the interlaced triangles of a dark blue Dharmodaya.
On top of that is a kapala skull cup filled with madana wine.
A crystal and a mirror are placed upon the support of life.
One should prepare the inner offerings and sacred objects in any way one can.
At the beginning and the end one proceeds as normally in the Dakini practice.

The main practice, which is the perfectly pure practice of the deity:

hum nam tar sum den ting ng dzin

tong chen dor j tsn m khar

HUM Within the Space of the Vajra Queen of the Great Void, that is the Contemplation endowed with the
Three Liberations,(2)(3)

kn tu nang w nyi j shar

Arises the all-illuminating compassion

nang tong zuk ch kyi jung

dru sum ting nak nl m

The luminosity manifests as Dharmodaya of two, dark-blue, interlaced triangles, whose form is empty.

khor lo tsip zhi tsip chu druk

Within it there is a four-spoked wheel, and (outside of it) there is a sixteen-spoked wheel.

t war p nyi ro den teng

At their navel, above the lotus, sun disc and a corpse-seat,

ying rik gyu yi ting dzin hum

There is contemplation of the seed syllable HUM, that is the union of space and awarenes.

ting nak rang bar wa ni

Its blazing, self-illuminating dark-blue light

k chik yong su gyur pa l

Simhamukha of Ayu Khandro 1

nang tong lhn drup bum p ku

y sh kha dro seng g dong

Instantly transforms into the spontaneously manifest Vase Body of the Wisdom Dakini Simhamukha,
that is visible yet empty.

ting nak zhel chik chak nyi ma

She is dark-blue, with a single face and two arms.

nam jik tro truk trok j zhel

Her face displays terrifying, wrathful and threatening expressions;

rab nn ch tsik jak dril zhing

Her bared fangs are exceedingly sharp and Her tongue is coiled.

mar min kel p m tar bar

Her eye-brows blaze like the fire at the end of the kalpa,

rel pa ngn po gyen du chyur

Her blue hair flows upwards.

shang n kel p tor lung tsup

From Her nostrils blow forth turbulent the winds like at the end of the kalpa.

a ra li dang phem gyi dr

With the of A-RA-LI! and PHEM!

sa sum yo zhing dar war j

She makes the three worlds to shake and tremble.

chak y do j dri guk chyar

With Her right She holds up the vajra-topped drigu,

l nyn zung dzin tsa n ch

Which cuts off the root of karmas and kleshas and of (duality) of subject and object.

yn p t pa chang lo chen

trak gi kang wa tuk kar dzin

With Her left hand She holds at the heart a skull-cup still possessing its braided hair, filled with blood.

chen yn kha tvam ts sum ten

In the crook of Her left arm She supports a khatvanga staff topped by a trident,

d chen tap dang du drel m

Which represents Her inseparability with Skilful Means of Great Bliss (her consort Heruka).
Simhamukha of Ayu Khandro 2

seng g pak p t yok sl
The upper part of Her body is covered with a lion skin,

ku m tak gi sham tap chen

The lower of her body is covered with a tiger skin skirt,

t kam nga yi u gyen dang

She is crowned with five dried skulls;

r gyen go ln treng w gyen

And She is adorned with bone ornaments and a garland of freshly severed heads.

zhap nyi y kum yn kyang gar

As for Her two legs, She stands in the position of dance with right leg bent and the left extended.

y sh m pung long na zhuk

She stands amidst the masses of the flames of wisdom.

tsip zhir sang gy rin chen dang

pema l kyi seng dong ma

On the four spokes (of the inner circle) are Buddha Simhamukha, Ratna Simhamukha, Padma Simhamukha,
and Karma Simhamukha,

kar ser mar dang jang kh dok

Their colours are: white, yellow, red and green.

gyen dang cha luk tso mo tar

Their ornaments and appearance are just like the chief Goddess.

rang tak chak tsen dri guk chyar

They hold drigus topped by their respective symbols (wheel, jewel, lotus and crossed vajra).

chi rl tsip khor chu druk tu

On the sixteen spokes of the outer wheel there are:

Gauri, blue in colour, holdind a flayed human skin and a mace.

gau ri ngn mo zhing yuk chyar

Tsauri, yellow in colour, holding drawn bow and arrow.

tsau ri ser mo da zhu geng

Pramoha, red in colour, hoisting a crocodile-banner.

pra mar chu sin gyel tsen chyar

Simhamukha of Ayu Khandro 3

b ta li nak dor zhing dzin

Vetali, black in colour, holding a vajra and a flayed human skin.

pukka mar ser zhing gyu dren

Pukkasi, reddish-yellow in colour, holding and a flayed human skin and sucking in the intestines.

ghama ri jang dung mar truk

Ghasmari, green in colour, stirring blood in the skull-cup.

sma sha ting nak ji nying za

Smashani, dark blue in colour, eating the heart of a child.

tsanda ser kya go l drel

Chandali, pale-yellow in colour, tearing to pieces a head and a body.

seng dong ser mo mi ro za

Simhamukha (Lion-headed), yellow in colour, eating a human corpse.

tak dong mar mo mi ro dzin

Vyaghramukha (Tiger-headed), red in colour, holding a human corpse.

wa dong nak mo zhing chung dak

Srigalamukha (Fox-headed), black in colour, licking a flayed skin of a small child.

chyang dong mar nak zhing khok drel

Svamukha (Wolf-headed), red-black in colour,tearing to pieces a flayed human skin and interiors.

g dong mar mo gyu ma dren

Gridhramukha (Vulture-headed), red in colour, sucking in the intestines.

kang dong mar kya bam ro khyer

Kangkamukha, light-red in colour, carrying a corpse.

kha dong nak mo rel t dzin

Kakamukha (Raven-headed), black in colour, holding a sword and a kapala.

uk dong ting nak dor yuk deng

Ulukamukha (Owl-headed), dark blue in colour, hoisting a vajra and a mace.

kn kyang jik tsl mi z tn

All of them are displaying terrifying and wrathful expressions;

zhing kyang den la gar tap zhuk

They stand in the dance postures on the mats of human skin.

Simhamukha of Ayu Khandro 4

chir khor bar w bar khyam la

wang mo druk druk gar tap gying

In each of the (four) outer courtyards of the mandala, blazing with flames, there stand in haughty postures
the six Mighty Ones (Activity Dakinis). (3)
(Behind each group of the six Mighty Ones):

shar du khu juk chak kyu kar

In the East there is the Cuckoo-headed Goddess, white in colour, holding an iron hook.

lho ru ra dong zhak pa ser

In the South there is the Goat-headed Goddess, yellow in colour, holding a noose.

nup tu seng dong chak drok muk

In the West there is the Lion-headed Goddess, red in colour, holding an iron chain.

jang du drl dong dril bu jang

In the North there is the Snake-headed Goddess, green in colour, holding a bell.

tro m ch dzok gar tap zhuk

They are adorned with the complete attire of the wrathful deities and they stand in the dance postures.

d tar sel w n sum du

om a hum gi tsen pa dang

The three places (of the Goddesses), are marked with syllables OM A HUM, clearly visible.

wang lha khor ch chen drang t

They invite the initiation deities with their retinues.

wang kur chi w n nga ru

trak tung rik ng ur gyen gyur

(Initiation Deities) confer the initiations, and the crown of the head becomes adorned with the Five Families
of Blood Drinking (Herukas).


Invitation and request to remain:

hum hri mi ngn ying na zhuk pa yi

HUM HRI You who dwell in unmanifest Space,

y sh kha dro seng dong ma

O Wisdom Dakini Simhamukha!
Simhamukha of Ayu Khandro 5

trl khor ch pa n dir shek
Together with Your emanation retinue, please come here!

bar ch kn sl ng drup tsl

Dispel all obstacles and bestow the siddhis!


om ying n chyen drang y sh lha
OM The Wisdom Goddesses are invoked from space

gy nyam chen por ro chik tu

In the single taste of the equipoise of joy

dam tsik y sh yer m ngang

Samayasattva and Jnanasattva are indivisible.

jang chup bar du ten par zhuk

Please remain until enlightment is achieved!


Salutation, praise and offering:

namo ky m ying l rang shar wa

dor j tra men chen mo yi

kyil khor lha tsok tam ch la

mi ch da yi chak tsel lo
NAMO To all the hosts of deities of the mandala of the great Vajra Sorceress; who is self-arisen from an
unborn Space, I pay homage by the means of unchanging symbols.


om ah hum la m chok gi ch pa ni
As for the highest and sublime offering,

d yn nga yi trin pung tro

I emanate dense clouds of the offerings satisfying the five senses,

Simhamukha of Ayu Khandro 6

yl wang nyi m nyam par rl

The senses and sense objects manifest as equal and non-dual.

dam tsik sang w ch pa zh

Please accept these secret samaya offerings!


hum ku ni mi gyur kn zang mo
HUM Her Body is the immutable Samantabhadri;

sung ni mi gak tsang p yang

Her Speech is unobstructed, like the voice of Brahma;

tuk ni mi yo sam j d
Her Mind is immovable, beyond thoughts and words.

seng g dong chen lha mor t

I sing hymns of praise to the Goddess Simhamukha,

ch nyi chik l du m trl

From the single Ultimate Reality the multitudes emanate:

rik zhi n yl tra men dang

The Four Families, the Sorceresses of the Sacred Locations (components of aggregates, elements, sense
consciousnesses and sense objects),

wang mo nyi shu tsa gy sok

The Twenty Eight Mighty Ones (activity Dakinis) and others.

trl khor ch la chak tsel t

To the emanations with their retinues, I pay homage and sing hymns of praise!

The visualization for the meditation on the mantra recitation:

y sh kha dr tuk k
In the centre of the heart of the Wisdom Dakini,

dor j t war nyi m teng

At the navel of a vajra there is a solar disc,

hum yik ting nak bar w tar

On the top of it there is a blue-black blazing syllable HUM;
Simhamukha of Ayu Khandro 7

ngak treng pu sh ta b kor
Around it there is a rosary of mantra, as if written with fine hair.

tr pak ch jin lap d

Lights emanate making offerings to the Noble Ones and returns bringing Their blessings.

mar tr n ch tam ch jang

Lights emanate again purifying the existence and its inhabitants.

kham sum dak pa seng dong m

ku sung tuk kyi rl par dzok

The purified three worlds perfectly manifest as the play of the Body, Speech and Mind of Simhamukha.


This recitation of the root mantra should be done four hundred thousand times. As for the accomplishment mantra:

lar yang drup p ngak treng l

Afterwards, form the rosary of the mantra of accomplishment,

zer gel m tar khor zhing

Emanate the rays of light revolve like fire-brands

y sh l dang jik ten gyi

pa wo kha dr tuk gy kl
Invoking the Dakas and Dakinis of Wisdom, of Activity and the Worldly ones.

kn kyang ku ni gy p gar
Their Bodies are the dance of joy.

sung ni ngak kyi dra chen ur

Their Speech is the roaring sound of mantra.

tuk ni d chen ro yi ny
Their Mind is the intoxication with the taste of Great Bliss.

nang si n ch tam ch kn
All the existence and its inhabitants

y sh kha dro seng dong m

kyil khor chik tu dzok par sam

Are conceived of as perfected in the single mandala of the Wisdom Dakini Simhamukha.
Simhamukha of Ayu Khandro 8


Accomplishment mantra one hundred thousand times for each syllable. As for the Activities:

chi wor a ka drin par sa ma dang

At the crown of my head is A KA and at my throat is SA MA

nying khar ra tsa t war shia da t

At my heart is RA TSA and at my navel is SHIA DA

sang war ra sa la y ma ra dang

At my secret place is RA SA and at my right thigh is MA RA

la yn ya phat nam kyi tsen par m

At my left thigh is YA PHAT; imagine that these places are marked by these syllables.

ngak d kyil khor lha tsok tro zhing khyuk

By reciting this mantra, the hosts of Deities of the Mandala become enraged as flashes of lightning..

ku dang ngak treng chak tsen m bar

Their Bodies, the rosary of mantra, and the hand-symbols blaze with the fiery lights.

nam chak tsa tsa ta bu tr pa yi

Since they emanate (lights) like sparks of meteoric iron,

bar ch dn gek j pur b tong kn

All obstacles, evil spirits, maledictions and curses

dz la m ch ta bur song war sam

Are thought of as being consumed like the offering cast into the fire sacrifice.


Afterwards, one should continue as usually in the Dakini practice. This most profound upadesa was given directly by the Wisdom
Dakini. It was practiced in secret for a time of twenty-three human years. Finally, in order to benefit the beings and to fulfil the
wishes of sel Wangmo, it was written down in letters. May it be protected by Ekajati! SAMAYA GYA GYA GYA KHA TAM

This was written down by Dorje Paldronma in the year of the Iron-female Mouse. Rejoice!

Simhamukha of Ayu Khandro 9

Tibetan Text

Simhamukha of Ayu Khandro 10

Simhamukha of Ayu Khandro 11

Simhamukha of Ayu Khandro 12

Simhamukha of Ayu Khandro 13

1. "The Profound Essence of Simhamukha, the Queen of the Dakinis" is the mind-terma of Ayu Khandro
Dorje Paldrn, who lived from 1839 to 1953. She was a disciple of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Jamgon
Kongtrul the First, Chokgyur Lingpa, Nyala Pema Dndul, Adzom Drukpa, and others. Her full biography is
found in "Woman of Wisdom" by Tsultrim Allione. She was one of the teachers of Chgyal Namkhai
Norbu, and trasmitted to him, amongst many other teachings, this practice of Simhamukha. Chgyal
Namkhai Norbu later taught this openly in the West.
2. The three gateways of liberation are features of all phenomena which provide a means to realize their
absolute nature. They are: 1) emptiness stong pa nyid 2) absence of characteristics or attributes mtshan nyid
med pa 3) wishlessness, absence of expectancy smon pa med pa. (www.rigpawiki.org)
3. The opening verses of the sadhana text refer to the three samadhis: 1) suchness samadhi de bzhin nyid kyi
ting nge 'dzin, 2) all-illuminating samadhi kun tu snang ba'i ting nge 'dzin, 3) seed samadhi rgyu'i ting nge
'dzin. (www.rywiki.tsadra.org)
4. This verse refers to the Twenty Eight Ishvaris belonging to the wrathful mandala of the Hundred Peaceful
and Wrathful Deities. Their descriptions vary in detail between different lineages. Here is their description
based on "The Tibetan Book of the Dead. First Complete Translation" translated by Gyurme Dorje. More
information about the symbolism of the deities of this mandala can be found in there. More detailed
information about the origin of those deities can be found in Longchenpa's commentary to Guhyagarbha
Tantra in "The Guhyagarbha Tantra. Secret Essence. Definitive Nature Just As It Is with Commentary by
Longchen Rabjam." Translated by Lama Chnam and Sangye Khandro, pages 597 - 603)
In the East, the six (Dakinis) of the pacifying activities:
Yak-headed Manurakshasi, brownish white, and holding a vajra;
Snake-headed Brahmani, yellowish white, and holding a lotus;
Leopard-headed Raudri, greenish white, and holding a trident;
Weasel-headed Vaishnavi, bluish white, and holding a wheel;
Brown bear-headed Kaumari, reddish white, and holding a short pike;
And black bear-headed Indrani, white, and holding a noose of entrails.
In the South, the six Dakinis of the enriching activities:
Bat-headed Vajra, yellow, and holding a razor;
Crocodile-headed Santi, reddish yellow, and holding a vase;
Scorpion-headed Amrita, reddish yellow, and holding a lotus;
Hawk-headed Saumi, whitish yellow, and holding a vajra;
Fox-headed Dandi, greenish yellow, and holding a cudgel;
And tiger-headed Rakshasi, blackish yellow, and drinking from a blood-filled skull.
In the West, the six Dakinis of the subjugating activities:
Vulture-headed Bhakshasi, greenish red, and holding a club;
Horse-headed Rati, red, and holding a human torso;
Garuda-headed Rudhiramadi, pale red, and holding a cudgel;
Dog-headed Ekacarini Rakshasi, red, and holding a vajra;
Hoopoe-headed Manoharika, red, and firing an arrow from a bow;
And deer-headed Siddhikari, greenish red, and holding a vase.
In the North, the six Dakinis of the wrathful activities:
Simhamukha of Ayu Khandro 14

Wolf-headed Vayudevi, bluish green, and brandishing an ensign;

Ibex-headed Agnayi, reddish green, and holding a firebrand;
Sow-headed Varahi, blackish green, and holding a noose of fangs;
Crow-headed Camundi, reddish green, and holding an infant human corpse;
Elephant-headed Bhujana, blackish green, and holding a bloated corpse;
And snake-headed Varunani, bluish green, and holding a noose of snakes.
Behind the eastern gate: Vajra Mahakali, White, cuckoo-headed, and holding an iron hook;
Behind the southern gate: Vajra Mahachagala, Yellow, goat-headed, and holding a noose;
Behind the western gate:Vajra Mahakumbhakarni, Red, lion-headed, and holding an iron chain;
Behind the northern gate:Vajra Lambodara, Dark green, snake-headed, and holding a bell.

Simhamukha of Ayu Khandro 15