Kurukulla is the dakini of sorcery and magic

Goddess Kurukulla is one of the most famous Buddhist dakinis. Translated from the Tibetan language, her name can be translated as "endowed with wisdom." The dakini Kurukulla hails from the Uddiyana province, so she is often associated with King Indrabhuti. The goddess is depicted in different ways: sometimes she has four hands, sometimes eight. But, regardless of the number of hands, it still remains one of the most important dakini. Many scholars suggest that Kurukulla was originally a common local goddess who later became revered among Buddhists. She is often called Tarabhava Kurukulla (Kurukulla that originated in Tara) or Red Tara.

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Kurukulla's ability to enchant is magical

Most likely, the dakini Kurukulla received so much respect among Tibetans because of her special magical ability to bewitch people. She enchants them, according to legends and stories, so that people submit to her will. Goddess Kurukulla is very popular among all the deities included in the Buddhist pantheon. She is responsible for love and sex, so she is often associated with the Western goddesses Venus or Aphrodite. She is usually depicted as a sensual and seductive young girl. As a rule, she is depicted with four hands in paintings. She holds a bow and arrows intertwined with flowers and plants. Therefore, at first glance, she is often associated with Cupid, although Kurukulla looks more like the goddess of hunting, Diana.

Some find it quite strange that such a sexy and sensual goddess suddenly appeared in chaste Buddhism. After all, Buddhists usually put enlightenment and the opportunity to be freed from samsara in the first place. The point is that not all Buddhists are monks who devote their lives to chastity. Of course, they, like all people, have their own life priorities and ordinary human desires. Kurukulla is often called upon when it is necessary to bewitch someone, subjugate one's power, or charm evil demons or spirits.

What symbolism is hidden in the iconography of Kurukulla?

If we believe the ancient texts found, Kurukulla is depicted as a young sixteen-year-old girl for a reason. The fact is that the number "sixteen" itself is completely perfect. It symbolizes perfection because it consists of four fours. A girl who is a dakini of Tara must be beautiful, attractive and sexy in order to attract people with her face and body beauty. In the paintings, Kurukulla is depicted with red skin, because among Buddhists this shade is considered the most attractive. She is depicted with one face, as this signifies wisdom and non-duality. It is not divided into evil or good, because it is one. Kurukulla is always naked, this allows us to indicate the decency of her thoughts. The dakini's four arms signify that she has four states of mind (joy, love, impartiality and compassion). In the hands of the goddess is depicted a bow with arrows that are entwined with flowers. This symbolizes her magical ability to create sexual desires in people. She also has a hook in her hands, which is a symbol of the arcana, capable not only of attracting a person, but also of subordinating him to her will. Often on Kurukulla you can see ornaments made of human bones, which are the personification of the five existing perfections of the dakini. And she herself is considered the sixth perfection (universal wisdom). Another decoration - fifty chopped fresh heads - these are the fifty bad emotions that Kurukulla managed to defeat. Dakinis are often depicted dancing, which symbolizes the special energy and activity of the girl. Usually under her feet lies the corpse of a man, which is proof that the goddess managed to defeat the red demon and now subordinated him to the Ego. The red disk on which she stands is a symbol of her passion and fiery nature, while the red lotus flower stands for pure enlightenment.

Nyingmapa and Kurukulla tradition

The practice of the goddess Kurukulla can be found in four separate schools of Buddhism, proving her popularity. With the help of special rituals, the dakini is able to bewitch and entangle with her magic so that a person does exactly what she wishes. Several new sadhanas associated with Kurukulla can be found in Tenjura, apart from those written by King Indrabhuti himself. It is interesting that they usually spell her name in a new way. According to the canon, Arya Tara Kurukulla Kalpa is considered the main source - these are special rituals of magic. The texts of the rituals were translated into Tibetan by Tsultrim Gyeva, who was a follower of Ashipa (the great master).

In the Nyingmapa thermal baths, Kurukulla can be found in two forms: with two or four arms. But most often it still appears in the second form.

The tradition of Sakyapa and Kurukulla

Dagina Kurukulla can be found not only in traditional but also in new schools. For example, in Sakyapa traditions, she is considered one of the "Three Reds". Because it was included in the list of "30 Golden Drachmas", which were transferred from Nepal and India to Sakyapa. Such an interesting name can be explained not only because this information was very important and necessary for the monks, but also because they were often bought for a large number of gold coins. Since there were a lot of gold deposits in Tibet, it was a problem for monks to buy teachings from famous masters. Among the Sadhanas included in the Sakyapa teachings, one can also find five separate Sadhanas of Kurukulla, but the main sources for Tibetans are still the Tantra of Sri Hevajra Mahatantraraja. It was translated into Tibetan by Drogma, a well-known translator at that time. Here, Kurukulla is depicted in her usual form - a sixteen-year-old sexy and charming girl with four arms.

Kurukulla and its other forms

As we mentioned above, Kurukulla with red skin color and four arms is the main form of the goddess of Uddiyana. She is commonly called Kurukulla of Uddiyanabhava or Kurukulla of Uddiyana. Many Buddhists call this form of the goddess Tarabhava Kurukulla, as she first appeared in Tara and originated in that city. But, despite this, some monks recognize other forms of dating, which are no less popular in Buddhism (they can be two-armed or four-armed). Ashtabyuja Kurukulla is a special form of the goddess of love and sexuality, depicted with eight arms. She can usually be found in Tenjur. Sometimes this variant of Kurukulla is found in those Sadhanas which were created by King Indrabhuti.

At the same time, it is worth remembering that different pairs of hands are responsible for different symbols and have their own purpose. So, the first of them often shows the gesture "Trelokyavijaya-mudra", which is a symbol of victory over all three worlds. Other couples hold a bow with arrows wreathed in flowers and a hook.

There is also a special form of goddess Kurukulla with two arms and white skin that can be found in Sadhanamala.

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