Skt., mahasukhasiddhi: Great Bliss Accomplishment
Tib., rnal-'byor-ma bde-ba dngos-grub chen-po:
Skillful Dakini of Great Bliss
An example of a Dakini / Yogini as a living woman (10th/11th century), one of many female practitioners and initiates of early Tantra.
Although Mahasukhasiddhi and many of her contemporaries are not well known today outside the Kagyad-pa tradition, it was she and other female adepts who actually initiated many of the now famous men who afterwards made their name as influential and important teachers; for example Tilopa and Khyungpo Naljor (founder of the Shangpa-lineage).
The yogini is known to us by way of several collections of songs in the Tibetan canon of sacred scriptures. In these texts it becomes clear that also other now famous adepts received some of their wisdom from her and similar female teachers; although many authors habitually forget to mention this.
Once, for example, Khyungpo Naljor was received at a Tantric feast, a so-called assembly of yoginis that was organized in honor of Mahasukhasiddhi. Here he was able to listen to the women's songs of wisdom, to watch them dance and to be initiated by one or more of them. Being pleased with him, the assembled yoginis and dakinis then composed new songs praising his accomplishments.
In this story, as in similar ones, it becomes clear that also in ancient Tibet, there was usually a great woman behind every great man.
About the image
Notice the bracelets at the wrists, ankles and elbows, the crown of skulls, the large necklace of skulls and the tiny bone skirt. Apart from these six charnel ground ornaments, she carries a kapala in her left hand and a kartrika in her right.
Elsewhere, she is sometimes called Sukasiddi, Sukhasiddhi, Dewa Ngodrub or Sukhasiddhi Dakini.