A dakini who was not only instrumental in the transmission of the Mahamudra teachings, but is of especial importance to the Shangpa Kagyu lineage. She was one of the main teachers of their founder Khyungpo Naljor (khyung po rnal 'byor, 11/12th cent.).
Sukhasiddhi was born in Western Kashmir and was a wife and mother of three sons and three daughters. Sukhasiddhi was a kind and generous lady and would give what she had to those who were more destitute. One day when the family had only one pot of rice left to eat her husband and children went in different directions in search for food, leaving Sukhasiddhi alone at home. When an even more destitute man knocked upon her door begging for food, Sukhasiddhi offered him the only food the family had. When her husband and children came back without having found any food to eat and learned that Sukhasiddhi had given the last of their food to the beggar, she was chased out of her house because of her generosity. Sukhasiddhi left Kashmir and headed west for Uddiyana where it was said that all the men were Dakas and all the women were Dakinis. Upon arriving there she obtained a bag of rice and became a beer merchant. A yogini came every day to buy beer from Sukhasiddhi for her master and Sukhasiddhi asked her whom she was taking this beer to. The yogini answered that whe was taking it to the Great Yogi Virupa who lives in the forest. (It must be noted that this Virupa is NOT the famous master who is the originator of the Lamdre teachings of the Sakyapa school! Sukhasiddi's Virupa is known as the Eastern Virupa (shar phyogs bir wa pa) or Later/Younger Virupa (bir ba pa phyi ma) and was a master of various Vajrayogini tantras, especially of the Severed Head Vajrayogini (dbu bcad ma).) Sukhasiddhi then offered her best beer and would not accept any payment. When Virupa learned of this he sent for Sukhasiddi and gave her the four complete empowerments for the yogic practices, as well as the secret practices of the generation and completion process meditations. She became a wisdom dakini just after receiving the empowerments. Through the power of her realizations her body was thoroughly purified and transformed into a rainbow body. Sukhasiddhi was one of the five root lamas of Khyungpo Naljor. She bestowed the four complete empowerments for the Uncommon Secret Practices, Six Doctrines' secret practices and the Three Fold Oral Instructions. Then Sukhasiddhi gave him all of the mother tantra instructions, which cause enlightenment in a matter of mere years or months. Among Khyungpo Naljor's root Lamas, the other four of whom were Niguma, Rahula, Maitripa and Vajrasanapa, Sukhasiddhi certainly was the kindest.
Sources: ye shes kyi mkha' 'gro su kha siddhi zhes pa'am mtshan gzhan bde ba'i dngos grub kyi lo rgyus, shangs chos, vol. 1, pp. 49-58; and oral information from Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche.
A brief teaching of Sukhasiddhi, from the "shangs pa mgur mtsho":
When the awareness dakini Sukhasiddhi received perfect empowerment into the emanated mandala from the glorious master, the great Virupa, she attained to the eighth stage of awakening in a single night. She truly beheld Vajradhara and became inseparable from the Bhagavani Nairatmya. In order to impart the essential instructions to fortunate disciples, she uttered this song:
Disengaging from the objects of the six senses,
To experience non-thought, is the path that leads beyond.
The expanse of ultimate reality is non-conceptual.
Mahamudra is devoid of mental activity.
Do not meditate! Do not meditate! Do not engage in mind-made meditation!
Mind-made meditation is a cycle of delusion!
Conceptual thoughts are the shackles binding you to samsara.
Turning away from conceptual mind, there is no meditation!
Space is empty and non-conceptual!
The root of conceptual mind, cut off!
Cut off this root and then, relax!
Thus it was said.
Translated from the Tibetan by Sherab Drime (Thomas Roth)
- Virupa of the East