DAKINIS – Class of women who are proficient in magic



Women magicians were not given much of a role in nonsectarian Hindu mythol­ogy. The magicians known for their country and mentioned in the Mahabharataas the Kshudrakas were one exception. They came to the aid of Duryodhana and the Kauravas. Bhishma even had the Kshudrakas attack Arjuna. In another incar­nation myth most of the Kshudrakas were exterminated, along with the ksatriyas, by the brahmin-warrior ParasuRama (Rama-with-the-ax, an avatara).
Later in (Sakta myths the dakinis were transformed into the blood drinkers (ashrapas) of Kali and were her fiendish helpers, who feed on human flesh. The dakinis would acquire an even more important role in the mythology and iconography of Tantric Buddhism, especially as it developed in Tibet (see Detlef Lauf’s Secret Doctrines of the Tibetan Books of the Dead. Boston: Shambala, 1989).

Leave a Reply