“Dakini represents the feminine energy in Buddhism,” says Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, 57. “It is a raw naked cognizance, like a baby: unaltered, uncontrived, unfabricated, uneducated.”
It is a broad statement, so broad as to be quite meaningless to me. In this age of #metoo, what is the role of “feminine energy,” even one that is about 5000 years old and lauded, quite contradictorily as one of Buddhism’s most fundamental yet subtle truths?
Tall and erect, in monk-red robes and quick gait, Rinpoche is a Buddhist Lama (akin to guru, meaning high priest or teacher). Born in Bhutan, he currently lives in India and travels the world giving lectures and teaching students. He is the author of two books and has shot four award-winning films that have been screened at Cannes, Venice, Locarno, Tribeca, Busan and other film festivals. His latest film, “Looking for a lady with fangs and mustache,” is about a skeptic seeking a dakini who will literally grant him life, which is why the Rinpoche and 168 members of a global crew are in Patan.
The ancient name for Patan is Lalita-pura: the abode of the goddess Lalita. The Padma-purana, a Hindu text says, “Having passed beyond the worlds, she plays; hence she is called Lalita.”
Separated from Kathmandu by the holy, and hugely polluted river, Bagmati, Patan is the third of the three kingdoms in Kathmandu Valley: the other two are Kathmandu and Bhaktapur.