Sex Contract, by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

Sex Contract, by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Postby admin » Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:03 am

Sex Contract
by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
October, 2017

I thought this might come in handy for Rinpoches like myself who are not omniscient, not omnipotent, and not well trained; who don't give enough preparatory training on the prerequisites to their students; and who get carried away by their own self-agendas and, from time to time, by their hormones. MAKE LOVE NOT HEADLINES! SCREW WITHOUT GETTING SCREWED! Bender and Boner Law has over 70 combined years' experience in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. We are sensitive to the special needs of Gurus and Rinpoches who desire to save all sentient beings yet also wish to have fulfilling sex lives. Let one of our ironclad consent forms protect you from fears of future litigation. Our in-house psychologists are on call 24/7 to assess your potential partners for any unsuitable moral quirks and/or tendencies to play victim. If you've already made a few mistakes, (and who hasn't?), don't worry! We can still save your reputation, your assets, and your ass. Free initial consultation. Call us before it's too late! See our website at






Bender & Boner Lawyers

Operative Provision

It is agreed that P1 and P2 (hereinafter "the Parties") are desirous to have consensual sex in the terms that follow:

1. The time period of consent shall begin on execution of this agreement and continue until _____ or until such time as the agreement is terminated in accordance with the provisions below.

2. Either party may terminate this agreement at any time expressly by verbally informing the other party of his/her desire to do so on the video recording articulated in this agreement, or by giving prior adequate written Notice as set out below.

3. Notices -- A communication required by this deed, by a party to another, must be in writing and may be given to them by being:

(a) Delivered personally; or

(b) Posted to their address specified in this agreement, or as later notified by them, in which case it will be treated as having been received on the second business day after posting; or

(c) Faxed to the facsimile number of the party with acknowledgment of receipt received electronically by the sender, when it will be treated as received on the day of sending; or

(d) Sent by email to their email address, when it will be treated as received on that day.

The Agreement

4. I, _____, P1 hereby declare under penalty of perjury that I am over 18 years old, and have furnished P2 with official identification substantiating this declaration. (Photocopy of official identification attached as Appendix 1)

(If P1 is under 18, a copy of her/his official identification along with copies of statutes showing age of consent both in place in which sexual acts take place and in place where P1 resides, should be attached as Appendix 1A)

5. I, _____, P2 hereby declare under penalty of perjury that I am over 18 years old and have furnished P1 with official identification substantiating this declaration. (Photocopy of official identification attached as Appendix 2)

(If P2 is under 18, a copy of her/his official identification along with copies of statutes showing age of consent both in place in which sexual acts take place and in place where P2 resides, should be attached as Appendix 2A)

6. The Parties further declare that this agreement is made of their own free will and that neither, nor anyone near or dear to either, has been threatened with harm or embarrassment. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

7. The Parties further declare that they are at this time not under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication, and they have voluntarily submitted to a blood test to substantiate this declaration. (photocopy of blood test attached as Appendices 3 and 4 respectively). _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

8. The Parties further declare that they are not being influenced or coerced into a sexual relationship with the other party by any power imbalance or any other differential between the Parties due to their position, and that their relationship as defined in this agreement, is a purely sexual one which has no bearing or effect on other relationships that may also be engaged in, be that student/teacher, guru/disciple or any other relationship. _____P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

9. The Parties are aware that any sexual activities that they engage in are purely physical in nature and are unrelated and totally separate from any spiritual, Buddhist, Vajrayana, Tantric or other such practices in which either party may also separately engage in. _____ PI (initial) _____ (P2) (initial)

10. The Parties are entering into this agreement freely and have been made aware that it has no bearing or relationship to any so called samaya that either may otherwise have with the other. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

11. The Parties are informed that any agreement made by to enter or not to into a sexual relationship with the other would have no effect, either positive or negative, to any pre-existing or subsequent samaya that might or might not exist between the two of them. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

12. It is completely understood and agreed by the Parties that neither party has made any promises, guarantees, suggestions, or insinuations that the other party will benefit spiritually, psychologically, karmically or materially in any way from this agreement to have consensual sex. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

13. The Parties also fully understand that by engaging in sex with each other, s/he does not thereby become any kind of spiritual consort, khandro, daka, dakini, spokesperson, better person, or teacher, nor will such sexual acts result in a change in the Party's position in any hierarchy or mandala that may or may not exist. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

14. Each party warrants that s/he does not suffer from any sexual, serious, infectious or life-threatening illness or disease including, but not limited to, HIV, Herpes and Hepatitis, and the like, and agrees to be examined by a physician of the other Party's choice (or a physician agreed by the Parties) and is willing to submit to any required blood and medical tests whenever requested. (Results of medical and blood tests both parties attached as Appendix 5). If, during the term of this agreement, either party should be diagnosed with or become aware of any such illness, he/she undertakes to inform the other immediately thereafter and in any event, prior to any subsequent form of physical contact between the Parties. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

15. Both Parties agree that this contract does not create an exclusive relationship between the Parties, and that either or both may pursue other relationships while this agreement is in effect. However, each party agrees to avoid any type of unprotected sex with persons other than their respective spouses during the term of this agreement. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

16. Contraception: If it is possible for either party to become pregnant, the Parties agree to use an agreed form of contraception on an ongoing basis. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

17. If either party does become pregnant to the other party, the pregnant party agrees to terminate the said pregnancy unless otherwise agreed by the other party. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

18. Both Parties agree that this is a private agreement not to be disclosed to third parties except in case of accusation of sexual misconduct by the agreeing party. If he/she shows or makes public this agreement without accusation of sexual misconduct, it is agreed that he/she will be liable for damages for invasion of privacy. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)


19. The parties agree to engage in the following activities as initialed by them for the full term of this agreement:

a. Full body touching (external only) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

b. Kissing with/without the insertion of tongue into mouth _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

c. Digital penetration (receiving) _____ (specify orifice(s) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

d. Digital penetration (giving) _____ {specify orifice(s) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

e. Vajra worship (receiving as vajra master) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

f. Vajra worship (giving as daka/dakini) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

g. Yoni worship (receiving as yoni goddess) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

h. Yoni worship (giving as yoni devotee) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

i. Oral sex (receiving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

j. Oral sex (giving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

k. Vaginal sex (receiving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

l. Vaginal sex (giving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

m. Anal sex (receiving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

n. Anal sex (giving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

o. Cream pie (receiving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

p. Cream pie (receiving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

q. Vaginal sex toys (receiving) _____ (specify toys) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

r. Vaginal sex toys (giving) _____ (specify toys) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

s. Anal sex toys (receiving) _____ (specify toys) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

t. Anal sex toys (giving) _____ (specify toys) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

u. Restraint, including CIA approved stress positions, using the following devices _____ (specify devices) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

v. Use of following devices in or on the body _____ (specify) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

w. BDSM (sub) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

x. BDSM (dom) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

y. Water sports (being golden showered) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

z. Water sports (golden showering) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

aa. Defecation (receiving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

bb. Defecation (giving) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

cc. Participation in group sex with _____ males _____ females _____ other. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

dd. Participation in orgy or orgies with numerous males, females, and others. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

ee. Animal love (receiving) If the jurisdiction permits specify acceptable animal(s) _____ _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

ff. Animal love (giving) If the jurisdiction permits specify acceptable animal(s) _____ _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

gg. Young love (giving) subject to how young the jurisdiction permits _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

hh. Young love (receiving) subject to how young the jurisdiction permits _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

ii. necrophilia _____ (specify gender of corpse(s) and acceptable activities. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

jj. use of pornography _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial) _____ (specify) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

kk. Other activities _____ (specify) _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

NB: if further details are required to specify certain activities, the Parties are to continue on a separate sheet of paper adequately marked and annex to this agreement).

20. Whereas both Parties are aware that attraction may escalate during the agreed upon sexual activities, and that the parties may desire to engage in activities heretofore not consented to, the Parties agree as follows:

a) There shall be no sexual activity of any kind other than that specified and consented to in this agreement without the establishment of a new, separate agreement. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

b) Sexual activity of a kind other than that specified and consented to in this agreement shall be consented to by mutual verbal consent during the activities engaged in under the consent given in the present agreement. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

20. During any of the above activities either party may say "Code Yellow" and the other party may continue with the activity, but must proceed slowly, with caution. If either party says, "Code Red" both parties shall immediately cease any and all activities. The Parties may then resume activities other than the "Code Red" activity, if both Parties are in agreement, or either party may call a halt to all activities for any specified time period. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

21. This agreement may be terminated at any time by either/or both Parties either verbally on the recording device (see 22 and 23 below) or in writing (See Operative Provisions 1 and 2 above). The terms of this agreement may be changed at any time only by the agreement of both parties either verbally on the recording device (see 22 and 22 below) or in writing (See Operative Provisions 1 and 2 above).

22. The Parties agree that the law firm of Bender and Boner (hereinafter "The Firm"), or its agent, will prior to the beginning of any activities, set up an unobtrusive video or other recording device to record the reading and signing of this contract, and any and all subsequent foreplay and/or sexual acts occurring during the term of this agreement solely for the purpose of demonstrating that any and all acts were freely consented to and agreed upon by both Parties and did not fall outside of or go beyond the boundaries set forth in this agreement, and the Parties agree that only The Firm will have possession of such recording and that neither will any member or agent of The Firm ever view or listen to such recording nor will it ever be shown to third parties except as specified below in Section 23. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

23. The Firm, by the signature of its officer or agent below, agrees that any recordings made in regard to this contract will be kept in a secure locked safe in The Firm's offices or safe deposit box in its bank and that no member of The Firm, or its agents, will ever view it nor will it ever be revealed to any third parties, in any manner, unless a party makes an allegation of sexual misconduct, goes to the police or the courts, to the press or any media, including social media, or any third parties with accusations or allegations of sexual misconduct, coercion, or maqkes claims of having been harmed, misled, or mistreated in any way by the other party.

___________________ (signature of principal or agent of The Firm)

24. I have had the opportunity to fully review this agreement and to have this agreement reviewed by an attorney of my own choosing. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

25. Prior to signing this agreement, a member of The Firm or its agent has read this agreement to me aloud, answered any question that I might have, and I fully understand it. _____ P1 (initial) _____ P2 (initial)

This agreement is made this _____ day of the month of _____ in the year 20_____ between _____ (hereinafter "P1" and ______ (hereinafter "P2")




This deed of agreement to engage in consensual sex is governed by the laws of the jurisdiction it is executed in or in which the parties reside, and the parties, submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of that jurisdiction.

In the interpretation of this deed:

(a) Words denoting the singular include the plural and vice versa; words denoting individuals or persons include particular body parts and appendages, and vice versa; references to documents or agreements also mean those documents or agreement as changed, novated or replace, and words denoting one gender include all genders including transgender; and

(b) Grammatical forms of defined words or phrases have corresponding meanings.

Execution Page

Executed as a deed on this _____ day of the month of _____ in the year 20_____.

This agreement is to be executed by both parties before a member of The Firm or its agent and two competent witness over 18 years of age, one witness to be chosen by each party. Immediately prior to the initiation of any the activities elucidated above, the parties shall have listened to the reading aloud of this agreement in its entirety by a member of The Firm, or it agent, and if in agreement, shall initial and sign where appropriate.

Signature Party 1 (P1)

Printed or typed name Part 1 (P1)

Signature Party 2 (P2)

Printed or typed name Party 2 (P2)

Signature Witness 1

Printed or typed name Witness 1

Signature Witness 2

Printed or typed name Witness 2
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Re: Sex Contract, by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Postby admin » Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:05 am

Totally quit today
Posted by u/RainbowFlowerPerson
14 days ago

I sent this to the admin/financial person at Sham today:

I feel the time has come to sever my connection to the Shambhala organization. This is not a reflection on many fine people I met when I was doing the odd mediation workshop. However for many years I contributed a tiny amount annually as a reflection on the fact that in the late '90s I drew some benefit from the meditation.

However, over the years, my tangential attachment has become even more distant, and the past decade or so it has reached zero. Since the early 2000s I was vaguely aware of some things that didn't sit right with me. ( I especially refer to the sexual procuring of a young girl for a visiting guru, which I clearly heard discussed by the inner circle but refused to believe at the time ). In the fullness of time, and with digging, I decided that the core of Shambhala is in need of a total reset.

I studied Buddhism independently for over 20 years before I ever took any classes there, and I have struggled to reconcile the life of the Buddha, who was a renunciant, with all the fancy robes, the Audis, the regimental flags and trappings, the Lady this and the King of that, and the altogether feudal silliness of it all, not to mention the extreme misalignment of priorities and sexual politics present in this group. Not that I haven't met a few good people there, but I was driven to ask myself what all the fancy ceremonies and retreats were about when after many decades of practice, people seemed to still be chasing enlightenment,and getting no closer to being decent people, especially the person sitting on the very top of the throne.

What does the life of the Buddha have to do with all these secular meditation students innocently contributing lots of money in the form of tax-free donations, (under the guise of religion), so someone could live like a make-believe King with his court? All this time, I struggled to keep a roof over my head and feed my kids, putting everyone else first, and certainly never demanding fancy cars or accolades or silk robes or a fucking Audi.

So, although my contribution is very minuscule, as a symbolic gesture, I quit.


10 days ago

Clear, concise common sense founded on genuine moral authority. Kicks ass. Now, could you get more specific about the time, place and personnel who arranged the statutory rape? Not necessarily to the public, but at least to the detectives in the appropriate jurisdiction. They're asking around, and apparently, getting the wrong answers:

I asked if he ever knew of any underage individuals that would be brought to the center for the purposes of going up to the SAKYUNG's room or the Senior member's room for the purpose of sexual gratification. He replied, "Not personally."
Laramie County Sheriff's Report


9 days ago

Sadly, hearsay is not admissible in court. I was at a talk by Dzondzar Kyentse Rinpoche, (I studied some courses in film and it was in fact the first time I'd gone to a Sham talk in a long time, so this was perhaps 2003. ). It was a year or so after his film, The Cup had garnered some acclaim. Two older female long-time Dharma students were discussing their irritation that the Rinpoche had requested a young girl, and older women had been passed over. Because i was an older woman and had studied Buddhism independently for a long time, in any discussion group I had the kind of wealth of knowledge that they mistook for a long-term practitioner of Shambhala. The two women were American transplants to Halifax. After overhearing this discussion, to which I was not a party, I never returned. As I pointed out, hearsay is not admissable in court. If someone had come to me directly and said, "Oh and he banged a teenager from the local Buddhist-run school who was hand-picked for him," you can bet I'd have gone to the police that evening. But there was nothing I could do but remove myself entirely. I continued to be a fly on the wall, however, waiting for the grand reveal.


9 days ago•edited 9 days ago

As a former Oregon prosecutor, and Federal Public Defender, I can assure you that you're confidence about the inadmissibility of your potential testimony is mistaken.

To conclude that your words would not be admissible in court is inaccurate. Your words would be called statements against interest admissible as non-hearsay on three (3) grounds:

Admissions by party opponent, usable against Dzongsar, the statutory rapist and any co-conspirators.

Statements against self interest (bad things the speakers would not have said unless they were true)

Prior inconsistent statements (if the speakers denied having said that things you testified they said)

So, if you have comforted yourself that you have remained silent because your statements would not be admissible, take my word for it, no prosecutor or defense lawyer would agree with you. They would read this rule, which is virtually the same in all 50 states, and declare your testimony likely admissible in an action to convict Dzongsar of statutory rape or to obtain a money damages judgment against him and Shambala in a civil action for sexual assault by a victim.

Disclosure of these facts regarding Dzongsar could have the effect of causing CBP to deny him re-entry to the United States even if he were not criminally convicted. This would correct his inappropriately Sanctified reputation with the government and protect us natives from future predation.

Too many people perform their own legal analysis without talking with attorneys at all. For this reason, the guilty escape punishment and even criticism.

Thank you for the disclosing these facts about Dzongsar. You should spread them more widely. The knowledge that he is a statutory rapist should cause all to stay far from him. The knowledge that higher-ups at Shambhala engage in the procuring of sexual victims for Lamas is utterly disgusting, and would cause all right thinking people to evacuate the organization like a burning building. That they do not is an admission of their own perversity.

Thank you for the disclosure.


9 days ago

Please help people to see this fallen "Lama" more clearly, they couldn't wake up after that sex contract and 1/2 the people I know worship him. He's "helping" Rigpa now, #timesup, please help.
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Re: Sex Contract, by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Postby admin » Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:41 am

The karma mudra: the real woman, from The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism [Excerpt]
by Victor and Victoria Trimondi

The karma mudra: the real woman

What then are the external criteria which a karma mudra, a real woman, needs to meet in order to serve a guru as wisdom consort? The Hevajra Tantra, for example, describes her in the following words: “She is neither too tall, nor too short, neither quite black nor quite white, but dark like a lotus leaf. Her breath is sweet, and her sweat has a pleasant smell like that of musk. Her pudenda gives forth a scent from moment to moment like different kinds of lotuses or like sweet aloe wood. She is calm and resolute, pleasant in speech and altogether delightful” (Snellgrove, 1959, p. 116). At another juncture the same tantra recommends that the guru “take a consort who has a beautiful face, is wide-eyed, is endowed with grace and youth, is dark, courageous, of good family and originates from the female and male fluids” (Farrow and Menon, 1992, p. 217). Gedün Chöpel, a famous tantric from the 20th century, draws a distinction between the various regions from which the women come. Girls from Kham province, for example, have soft flesh, lovers from Dzang are well-versed in the erotic techniques, “Kashmiri girls” are to be valued for their smile, and so on (Chöpel, 1992, p. 45).

Sometimes it is also required of the karma mudra that as well as being attractive she also possess specialized erotic skills. For example, the Kalachakra Tantra recommends training in the sophisticated Indian sexual techniques of the Kama Sutra. In this famous handbook on the intensification of sexual lust, the reader can inform him- or herself about the most daring positions, the use of aphrodisiacs, the anatomical advantages various women possess, the seduction of young girls, dealings with courtesans, and much more. The sole intention of the Kama Sutra, however, is to sexualize life as a whole. In contrast to the tantras there are no religious and power-political intentions to be found behind this work. It thus has no intrinsic value for the tantric yogi. The latter uses it purely as a source of inspiration, to stimulate his desires which he then brings under conscious control.

Youth is a further requirement which the mudra has to meet. The Maha Siddha Saraha distinguishes five different wisdom consorts on the basis of age: the eight-year-old virgin (kumari); the twelve-year-old salika; the sixteen-year-old siddha, who already bleeds monthly; the twenty-year-old balika, and the twenty-five-year-old bhadrakapalini, who he describes as the “burned fat of prajna” (Wayman, 1973, p. 196). The “modern” tantric already mentioned, Lama Gedün Chöpel, explicitly warns that children can become injured during the sexual act: “Forcingly doing it with a young girl produces severe pains and wounds her genitalia. ... If it is not the time and if copulating would be dangerous for her, churn about between her thighs, and it [the female seed] will come out” (Chöpel, 1992, p. 135). In addition he recommends feeding a twelve-year-old honey and sweets before ritual sexual intercourse (Chöpel, 1992, p. 177).

When the king and later Maha Siddha, Dombipa, one day noticed the beautiful daughter of a traveling singer before his palace, he selected her as his wisdom consort and bought her from her father for an enormous sum in gold. She was “an innocent virgin, untainted by the sordid world about her. She was utterly charming, with a fair complexion and classical features. She had all the qualities of a padmini, a lotus child, the rarest and most desirable of all girls” (Dowman, 1985, pp. 53–54). What became of the “lotus child” after the ritual is not recorded.

“In the rite of ‘virgin-worship’ (kumari-puja)”, writes Benjamin Walker, “a girl is selected and trained for initiation, and innocent of her impending fate is brought before the altar and worshipped in the nude, and then deflowered by a guru or chela” (Walker, 1982, p. 72). It was not just the Hindu tantrics who practiced rituals with a kumari, but also the Tibetans, in any case the Grand Abbot of the Sakyapa Sect, even though he was married.

On a numerological basis twelve- or sixteen-year-old girls are preferred. Only when none can be found does Tsongkhapa recommend the use of a twenty-year-old. There is also a table of correspondences between the various ages and the elements and senses: an 11-year-old represents the air, a 12-year-old fire, a 13-year-old water, a 14-year-old earth, a15-year-old sound, a 16-year-old the sense of touch, a 17-year-old taste, an 18-year-old shape or form, and a 20-year-old the sense of smell (Naropa, 1994, p. 189).

The rituals should not be performed with women older than this, as they absorb the “occult forces” of the guru. The dangers associated with older mudras are a topic discussed at length. A famous tantric commentator describes 21- to 30-year-olds as “goddesses of wrath” and gives them the following names: The Blackest, the Fattest, the Greedy, the Most Arrogant, the Stringent, the Flashing, the Grudging, the Iron Chain, and the Terrible Eye. 31- to 38-year-olds are considered to be manifestations of malignant spirits and 39- to 46-year-olds as “unlimited manifestations of the demons”. They are called Dog Snout, Sucking Gob, Jackal Face, Tiger Gullet, Garuda Mug, Owl Features, Vulture’s Beak, Pecking Crow (Naropa, 1994, p. 189). These women, according to the text, shriek and scold, menace and curse. In order to get the yogi completely off balance, one of these terrible figures calls out to him in the Kalachakra Tantra, “Human beast, you are to be crushed today”. Then she gnashes her teeth and hisses, “Today I must devour your flesh”, and with trembling tongue she continues, “From your body I will make the drink of blood” (Grünwedel, Kalacakra III, p. 191). That some radical tantras view it as especially productive to copulate with such female “monsters” is a topic to which we shall later return.

How does the yogi find a real, human mudra? Normally, she is delivered by his pupil. This is also true for the Kalachakra Tantra. “If one gives the enlightened teacher the prajna [mudra] as a gift,” proclaims Naropa, “the yoga is bliss” (Grünwedel, 1933, p. 117). If a 12- or 16-year-old girl cannot be found, a 20-year-old will suffice, advises another text, and continues, “One should offer his sister, daughter or wife to the ‘guru’”, then the more valuable the mudra is to the pupil, the more she serves as a gift for his master (Wayman, 1977, p. 320).

Further, magic spells are taught with which to summons a partner. The Hevajra Tantra recommends the following mantra: “Om Hri — may she come into my power — savaha!” (Snellgrove, 1959, p. 54). Once the yogi has repeated this saying ten thousand times the mudra will appear before him in flesh and blood and obey his wishes.

The Kalachakra Tantra urges the yogi to render the mudra pliant with intoxicating liquor: “Wine is essential for the wisdom consort [prajna]. ... Any mudra at all, even those who are still not willing, can be procured with drink” (Grünwedel, Kalacakra III, p. 147). It is only a small step from this to the use of direct force. There are also texts, which advise “that if a woman refuses sexual union she must be forced to do so” (Bhattacharyya, 1982, p. 125).

Whether or not a karma mudra needs special training before the ritual is something which receives varying answers in the texts and commentaries. In general, she should be familiar with the tantric doctrine. Tsongkhapa advises that she take and keep a vow of silence. He expressly warns against intercourse with unworthy partners: “If a woman lacks ... superlative qualities, that is an inferior lotus. Do not stay with that one, because she is full of negative qualities. Make an offering and show some respect, but don’t practice (with her)” (quoted in Shaw, 1994, p. 169). In the Hevajra Tantra a one-month preparation time is required, then “the girl [is] freed of all false ideas and received as though she were a boon” (Snellgrove, 1987, vol. 1, p. 261).

But what happens to the “boon” once the ritual is over? “The karma mudra ... has a purely pragmatic and instrumental significance and is superfluous at the finish” writes the Italian Tibetologist Raniero Gnoli in the introduction to a Kalachakra commentary (Naropa, 1994, p. 82). After the sexual act she is “of no more use to the tantrik than husk of a shelled peanut”, says Benjamin Walker (Walker, 1982, pp. 72–73). She has done her duty, transferred her feminine energy to the yogi, and now succumbs to the disdain which Buddhism holds for all “normal” women as symbols of the “supreme illusion” (maha maya). There is no mention of an initiation of the female partner in the codified Buddhist tantra texts.


“Eating” the gynergy

But Vajrayana is concerned with more than the performance of a cosmic drama in which the feminine and its qualities are destroyed for metaphysical reasons. The tantric recognizes a majority of the feminine properties as extremely powerful. He therefore has not the slightest intention of destroying them as such. In contrast, he wishes to make the feminine forces his own. What he wants to destroy is solely the physical and mental bearer of gynergy — the real woman. For this reason, the “tantric female sacrifice” is of a different character to the cosmogonic sacrifice of the feminine of early Buddhism. It is based upon the ancient paradigm in which the energies of a creature are transferred to its killer. The maker of the sacrifice wants to absorb the vital substance of the offering, in many cases by consuming it after it has been slaughtered. Through this he not only “integrates” the qualities of the killed, but also believes he may outwit death, by feeding upon the body and soul of the sacrificial victim.

In this connection the observation that world wide the sacred sacrifice is contextually linked with food and eating, is of some interest. It is necessary to kill plants and animals in order to nourish oneself. The things killed are subsequently consumed and thus appear as a necessary condition for the maintenance and propagation of life. Eating increases strength, therefore it was important to literally incorporate the enemy. In cannibalism, the eater integrates the energies of those he has slaughtered. Since ancient humans made no basic distinction between physical, mental or spiritual processes, the same logic applied to the “eating” of nonbodily forces. One also ate souls, or prana, or the élan vital.

In the Vedas, this general “devouring logic” led to the conception that the gods nourished themselves from the life fluids of ritually slaughtered humans, just as mortals consume the bodies of animals for energy and nourishment. Thus, a critical-rational section of the Upanishads advises against such human sacrifices, since they do not advance individual enlightenment, but rather benefit only the blood-hungry supernatural beings.

Life and death imply one another in this logic, the one being a condition for the other. The whole circle of life was therefore a huge sacrificial feast, consisting of the mutual theft and absorption of energies, a great cosmic dog-eat-dog. Although early Buddhism gave vent to keen criticism of the Vedic rites, especially the slaughter of people and animals, the ancient sacrificial mindset resurfaces in tantric ritual life. The “devouring logic” of the Vedas also controls the Tantrayana. Incidentally, the word tantra is first found in the context of the Vedic sacrificial gnosis, where it means ‘sacrificial framework’ (Smith, 1989, p. 128).

Sacred cannibalism was always communion, holy union with the Spirit and the souls of the dead. It becomes Eucharistic communion when the sacrifice is a slaughtered god, whose followers eat of him at a supper. God and man are first one when the man or woman has eaten of the holy body and drunk the holy blood of his or her god. The same applies in the relation to the goddess. The tantric yogi unites with her not just in the sexual act, but above all through consuming her holy gynergy, the magical force of maya. Sometimes, as we shall see, he therefore drinks his partner’s menstrual blood. Only when the feminine blood also pulses in his own veins will he be complete, an androgyne, a lord of both sexes.

To gain the “gynergy” for himself, the yogi must “kill” the possessor of the vital feminine substances and then “incorporate” her. Such an act of violence does not necessarily imply the real murder of his mudra, it can also be performed symbolically. But a real ritual murder of a woman is by like measure not precluded, and it is not surprising that occasional references can be found in the Vajrayana texts which blatantly and unscrupulously demand the actual killing of a woman. In a commentary on the Hevajra Tantra, at a point where a lower-caste wisdom consort (dombi) is being addressed, states bluntly, “I kill you, O Dombi, I take your life!” (Snellgrove, 1987, vol. 1, p. 159).

Sati or the sacred inaugural sacrifice

In any case, in all the rituals of the Highest Tantra initiations a symbolic female sacrifice is set in scene. From numerous case studies in cultural and religious history we are aware that an “archaic first event”, an “inaugural sacred murder” may be hiding behind such symbolic stagings. This “original event”, in which a real wisdom consort was ritually killed, need in no sense be consciously acknowledged by the following generations and cult participants who only perform the sacrifice in their imaginations or as holy theater. As the French anthropologist René Girard convincingly argues in his essay on Violence and the Sacred, the original murderous deed is normally no longer fully recalled during later symbolic performances. But it can also not become totally forgotten. It is important that the violent origin of their sacrificial rite be shrouded in mystery for the cult participant. “To maintain its structural force, the inaugural violence must not make an appearance”, claims Girard (Girard, 1987, p. 458). Only thus can the participants experience that particular emotionally laden and ambivalent mixture of crime and mercy, guilt and atonement, violence and satisfaction, shuddering and repression which first lends the numinous aura of holiness to the cult events.

It thus seems appropriate to examine Tantric Buddhism for signs of such an “inaugural sacrifice”. In this connection, we would like to draw attention to a Shiva myth, which has nonetheless had an influence on the history of the Buddhist tantras.

In the mythical past, Sati was the consort of the god Shiva. When her father Daksa was planning a great sacrificial feast, he failed to invite his daughter and son-in-law. Unbidden, Sati nonetheless attended the feast and was deeply insulted by Daksa. Filled with shame and anger she threw herself upon the burning sacrificial altar and died. (In another version of the story she alone was invited and cremated herself when she heard that her spouse was barred from the feast.) Shiva, informed of the death of his wife, hurried at once to the scene of the tragedy and decapitated Daksa. He then took the body of his beloved Sati, laid her across his shoulders and began a funeral procession across all India. The other gods wanted to free him from the corpse and set about dismembering it, piece by piece, without Shiva noticing what they were doing.

The places where the fragments fell were destined to become holy sites known as Shakta pithas. There where Sati’s vulva came to land the most sacred location was established. In some texts there is talk of 24, in others of 108 pithas, the latter being the holy number of Buddhism. At Sati’s numerous graves cemeteries were set up forthwith, at which the people cremated their dead. Around these locations developed a many-sided, and as we shall see, extremely macabre death culture, which was nurtured by Tantrics of all schools (including the Buddhist variety).

In yet another version of the Sati legend, the corpse of Shiva’s wife contained a “small cog — a symbol of manifest time -, [which] destroyed the body of the goddess from the inside out. ... [It] was then dismembered into 84 fragments which fell to earth at the various holy sites of India” (Hutin, 1971, p. 67). This is indeed a remarkable variant on the story, since the number of famous Maha Siddhas (Grand Sorcerers), who in both the Buddhist and Hindu tradition introduced Tantrism to India as a new religious practice, is 84. These first Tantrics chose the Shakta pithas as the central locations for their rituals. Some of them, the Nath Siddhas, claimed Sati had sacrificed herself for them and had given them her blood. For this reason they clothed themselves in red robes (White, 1996, p. 195). Likewise, one of the many Indian cemetery legends tells how five of the Maha Siddhas emerged from the cremated corpse of a goddess named Adinatha (White, 1996, p. 296). It can be assumed that this is also a further variation on the Sati legend.

It is not clear from the tale whether the goddess committed a sacrificial suicide or whether she was the victim of a cruel murder. Sati’s voluntary leap into the flames seems to indicate the former; her systematic dismemberment the latter. A “criminological” investigation of the case on the basis of the story alone, i.e., without reference to other considerations, is impossible, since the Sati legend must itself be regarded as an expression of the mystifying ambivalence which, according to René Girard, veils every inaugural sacrifice. All that is certain is that all of the originally Buddhist (!) Vajrayana’s significant cult locations were dedicated to the dismembered Hindu Sati....

In pre-Buddhist, Vedic India rituals involving fire were also the most common form of sacrifice. Humans, animals, and plants were offered up to the gods on the altar of flame. Since every sacrifice was supposed to simulate among other things the dismemberment of the first human, Prajapati, it always concerned a “symbolic human sacrifice”, even when animal or plant substitutes were used.

At first the early Buddhists adopted a highly critical attitude towards such Vedic practices and rejected them outright, in stark opposition to Vajrayana later, in which they were to regain central significance. Even today, fire pujas are among the most frequent rituals of Tantric Buddhism. The origin of these Buddhist “flame masses” from the Vedas becomes obvious when it is noted that the Vedic fire god Agni appears in the Buddhist tantras as the “Consumer of Offerings”. This is even true of the Tibetans....

The symbolic burning of “sacrificial goddesses” is found in nearly every tantra. It represents every possible characteristic, from the human senses to various states of consciousness. The elements (fire, water, etc.) and individual bodily features are also imagined in the form of “sacrificial goddesses”. With the pronouncement of a powerful magic formula they all perish in the fire. In what is known as the Vajrayogini ritual, the pupil sacrifices several inana mudras to a red fire god who rides a goat. The chief goddess, Vajrayogini, appears here with “a red-colored body which shines with a brilliance like that of the fire of the aeon” (Gyatso, 1991, p. 443). In the Guhyasamaya Tantra the goddesses even fuse together in a fiery ball of light in order to then serve as a sacrifice to the Supreme Buddha. Here the adept also renders malignant women harmless through fire: “One makes the burnt offerings within a triangle. ... If one has done this three days long, concentrating upon the target of the women, then one can thus ward them off, even for the infinity of three eons” (Gäng, 1988, p. 225). A “burning woman” by the name of Candali plays such a significant role in the Kalachakra initiations that we devote an entire chapter to later. In this context we also examine the “ignition of feminine energy”, a central event along the sexual magic initiation path of Tantrism.

In Buddhist iconography, the tantric initiation goddesses, the dakinis are represented dancing within a fiery circle of flame. These are supernatural female beings encountered by the yogi on his initiatory journey who assist him in his spiritual development, but with whom he can also fall into serious conflict....

The German Tibetologist Albert Grünwedel was his whole life obsessed with the idea that the “heaven/sky walkers” were once human “wisdom companions”, who, after they had been killed in a fire ritual, continued to function in the service of the tantric teachings as female spirit beings (genies). He saw in the dakinis the “souls of murdered mudras” banished by magic, and believed that after their sacrificial death they took to haunting as Buddhist ghosts (Grünwedel, 1933, p. 5). Why, he asked, do the dakinis always hold skull cups and cleavers in their hands in visual representations? Obviously, as can be read everywhere, to warn the initiands against the transient and deceptive world of samsara and to cut them off from it. But Grünwedel sees this in a completely different light: For him, just as the saints display the instruments of their martyrdom in Christian iconography, so too the tantric goddesses demonstrate their mortal passing with knives and skulls; like their European sisters, the witches, with whom they have so much in common, they are to be burnt at the stake (Grünwedel, Kalacakra III, p. 41) Grünwedel traces the origin of this female sacrifice back to the marked misogyny of the early phase of Buddhism: “The insults [thrown at] the woman sound dreadful. ... The body of the woman is a veritable cauldron of hell, the woman a magical form of the demons of destruction” (Grünwedel, 1924, vol. 2, p. 29)....

As far as they are understood symbolically, they do not contradict tantric orthodoxy in the slightest, which even teaches the destruction of the “external” feminine as an article of faith. As we have seen, the sacrificial goddesses are burnt symbolically. Some tantras even explicitly confirm Grünwedel’s thesis that the dakinis were once “women of flesh and blood”, who were later transformed into “spirit beings” (Bhattacharyya, 1982, p. 121). Thus she was sacrificed as a karma mudra, a human woman in order to then be transformed into an inana mudra, an imaginary woman. But the process did not end here, then the inana mudra still had an existence external to the adept. She also needed to be “sacrificed” in order to create the “inner woman”, the maha mudra. A passage from the Candamaharosana Tantra thus plainly urges the adept: “Threaten, threaten, kill, kill, slay slay all Dakinis!” (quoted by George, 1974, p. 64)

But what is the intent behind a fiery dakini sacrifice? The same as that behind all the other tantric rituals, namely the absorption of gynergy upon which to found the yogi’s omnipotence. Here the longed-for feminine elixir has its own specific names. The adept calls it the “heart blood of the dakini”, the “essence of the dakini’s heart”, the “life-heart of the dakini” (Herrmann-Pfand, 1992, p. 342). “Via the ‘conversion’ the Dakinis become protectors of the religion, once they have surrendered their ‘life-heart’ to their conqueror”, a tantra text records (Herrmann-Pfand, 1992, p. 204).

This “surrender of the heart” can often be brutal. For example, a Tibetan story tells of how the yogini Magcig declares that she is willing for her breast to be slit open with a knife — whether in reality or just imagination remains unclear. Her heart was then taken out, “and whilst the red blood — drip, drip — flowed out”, laid in a skull bowl. Then the organ was consumed by five dakinis who were present. Following this dreadful heart operation Magcig had transformed herself into a dakini (Herrmann-Pfand, 1992, p. 164). As macabre as this story is, on the other hand it shows that the tantric female sacrifice need not necessarily be carried out against the will of woman to be sacrificed. In contrast, the yogini often surrenders her heart-blood voluntarily because she loves her master. Like Christ, she lets herself be crucified for love. But her guru may never let this love run free. He has a sacred duty to control the feelings of the heart, and the power to manipulate them.

In the dakini’s heart lies the secret of enlightenment and thus of universal power....Lama Govinda also makes reference to a fiery sacrificial apotheosis of the dakini when he proclaims in a vision that all feminine forces are concentrated in the sky walkers, “until focused on a point as if through a lens they kindle to a supreme heat and become the holy flame of inspiration which leads to perfect enlightenment” (Govinda, 1991, p. 231)....

Let us close this chapter by once again summing up why the female sacrifice is essential for the tantric rite: Everything which opposes a detachment from this world, which is characterized by suffering and death, all the obscuring of Maya, the entire deception of samsara is the shameful work of woman. Her liquidation as an autonomous entity brings to nothing this world of appearances of ours. In the tantric logic of inversion, only transcending the feminine can lead to enlightenment and liberation from the hell of rebirth. It alone promises eternal life. The yogi may thus call himself a “hero” (vira), because he had the courage and the high arts needed to absorb the most destructive and most base being in the universe within himself, in order not just to render it harmless but to also transform it into positive energy for the benefit of all beings.

This “superhuman” victory over the “female disaster” convinced the Tantrics that the seed for a radical inversion into the positive is also hidden in all other negative deeds, substances, and individuals. The impure, the evil, and the criminal are thus the raw material from which the Vajra master tries to distill the pure, the good, and the holy.
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