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Dakini (Skt. ḍākinī; Tib. མཁའ་འགྲོ་མ་, khandroma, Wyl. mkha' 'gro ma) — a female embodiment of enlightened energy. Female lamas and the spiritual wives of male lamas often have the epithet 'khandro'.


The Sarvabuddhasamayoga Tantra is one of the earliest sources to provide the etymology 'sky-goer' for the word ḍākinī: "Here the root is understood to be ḍai, which expresses going in the sky; a 'ḍākinī' is known as the power (siddhi) of moving everywhere through space."[1]


Dodrupchen Jikme Tenpe Nyima explains:

In the Nyingma tradition they commonly talk about the karmic, wisdom, and worldly dakinis, and in the Sarma tradition about pureland, mantra, and innate dakinis, but this is merely a difference in terminology.[2]


  1. Sarvabuddhasamāyogatantra, i.9. See also Ratnakāraśānti, Guṇavatī, NGMCP C 25-7, 1v.7; Sampuṭatantra, I.iii.9cd-10ab. There are many variant readings of this verse; the above is based on the following text: ḍai vihāyagamane dhātur atra vikalpitaḥ | sarvākāśacarā siddhir ḍākinīti prasidhyati |
  2. Source needed

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