Original: gouache and 22 carat gold on linen 2010
Yeshe Tsogyal was the most important female figure in the traditon of the Tibetan Buddhist Nyingma school. She was married to a king but became the intimate companion of Padmasambhava at the age of 16. She is often depicted in his thangkas, kneeling at his side along with Mandarava, his Indian consort. Padmasambhava said to her “The basis for realizing enlightenment is a human body. Male or female, there is no great difference. But if she develops the mind bent on enlightenment, the woman’s body is better.” Padmasambhava was believed to be the second reincarnation of the historical Buddha and is responsible for bringing Buddhism to Tibet. Yeshe Tsogyal received full initiation from him into tantra and became a female adept of the highest order. She continued to work for the people of Tibet after Padmasambhava’s passing and died at age 60. She is now venerated as Tibet’s top female tantric master. Machig Labdron, who was responsible for teaching the healing practice of Chod to the common people of Tibet, is considered to be an incarnation of her.
Taken from “The Chod Practice” text