2003 Vajra Varahi is a dakini, – a being like a fairy, or energy spirit, in a way. “Dakini” means “sky dancer” – one who delights and dances in the experience of emptiness. Usually they are helpers that support spiritual practice. She is the most prominent dakini in Buddhism. She represents our individual energy mechanism, and personifies the idea of kundalini, or prana, or Qi energy. In human form she is depicted as a beautiful, red, dancing, joyful and fiercely strong young woman.
She has the head of a sow in her hair, as her name means “diamond sow”. The pig, or sow, is a buddhist symbol for delusion. Here its presence symbolizes wisdom’s conquest over delusion that happens not through suppressing it or eradicating it, but rather taming the delusion of egotism and transmuting its energy into compassion and great bliss. The sow eats everything. Here it represents the idea that all energies and experiences, thoughts and ideas and lifestyles, are food for growth, with the help of a teacher.
Her curved knife symbolizes her ability to cut through the veils of obscurations: negative emotions such as desire, hatred, pride, jealousy, anger and the veil of ignorance of conventional knowledge (belief in self and other.) She holds a skullcup – an offering – of the overcoming of the three primary poisons of ignorance, desire, and aversion. She wears a garland of flowers that represent the siddhis – or magical abilities – that evolve from spiritual practice. She also wears a garland of severed heads that represent the conquest of and ability to transform the 51 egotistic thoughts. She stands on the sun and moon, with a prostrate figure below, representing the crushing of ignorance and delusion.