Dakini Kurukulla Red Enchantress with Flower Bow

Who is dakini Kurukulla?

Kurukulla is the amalgamation of Kuru- 'who does or is the doer' or 'creates and destroys' while Kulla- 'traditions or knowledge system.' Kurukulla, whose name is pronounced "koo roo koo lah," is a deity with boundless magic abilities.

In Vajrayana Buddhism, she is the deity of enchantment, magnetism, and love. Tibetan Practitioners often refer to her as 'Rigjema' or the 'Mistress of Knowledge.' 

Kurukulla is a dakini with a representation of the supreme knowledge that dispels ignorance and transforms unfavorable feelings into pure consciousness. She is associated with the four enlightened actions of peace, enrichment, attraction, and subjugation as they are described in Buddhist tantras. 

She has the power to control sensual impulses and turn them into a means of achieving the higher truth of Dharma. According to the Vajrayana tradition, her enlightened mind is brimming with passion and intense loving compassion. But in her instance, these sincere feelings are thought to be free of selfish intentions and devoted to the well-being of sentient beings. She extends her compassion and her love to end their misery.

Origin Story of KurukullaGold-Plated-Kurukulla-Statue

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'Kurukulla is a prominent form of pan-Indian love magic that was absorbed into Buddhism. This is how the original narrative that follows is derived. The issue of an elderly queen who had lost her husband's affections is presented in the first scene of the record.

The queen dispatched her maidservant into the marketplace in quest of a mystical elixir to reignite the King's love because he had stopped visiting her quarters in the palace.

The servant was handed some food with mantras uttered over it at the market by a woman with a reddish tint to her skin who also issued the order to present it to the individual whose attention was being sought. 

The humble meal was thrown out in a nearby lake when the queen determined it would not be appropriate for the King. It was consumed by a serpent king, who developed feelings for the queen. Ultimately, the queen got pregnant because of the mantra's ability to draw people closer.

Knowing that the child could not be his, the King intended to punish his wife. But when the queen told the King what had happened, he sent for the woman from the bazaar instead.

The monarch quickly recognized the red sorceress as an unusual being when she was brought into his presence. He bowed in front of her and asked for her blessing. She gave him the Kurukulla mantra, which the monarch used to acquire extraordinary abilities, and the Dharma name 'Sahajavajra.' 

Although the Buddhist account reveals the miracle-working person to be an emanation (nirmāņa-kāya) of Kurukullā, the narrative unmistakably connects her practice to a shared tradition of love potions and magical spells that were and still to this day are offered by local folk practitioners who can be found in marketplaces and village squares and who require no credentials beyond their charisma and reputation.' 

Kurukulla's status in the Buddhist sanctuary rose over time. She was introduced as a dhārani deity who presides over rites of love, magic, subjugation, and bewitchment (vašīkarana).

These rituals belong to the incantational and a ceremonial strand of Mahayana practice, later classed in the Action Tantra category. However, Kurukulla was eventually elevated to the level of a fully enlightened being, a female Buddha.

As such, she also figures as a meditational deity in the highest and most esoteric division of Tantric practices, the Highest Yoga Tantra class, whose goal is the attainment of Buddhahood in the present lifetime. In this status, she is a "female Tathāgata" (de-bzhin gshegs-ma), a primordial mother, the equal of 'Samantabhadri' and Vajravārāhī.' 

The forms and iconography of Kurukulla:red dakini kurukullla thangka painting

Source: Enlightenment Thangka

Kurukulla has a vibrant, energetic, powerful, and sensual appearance. She is depicted with a body of red light. The red light signifies her magnetic nature and the Lotus family. She dances, as do most Dakinis, to symbolize her role as a goddess of wisdom, and beneath her feet lies the asura Rahu.

Her appearance is a vivid, flaming crimson, representing the color of passion and desire. Kurukulla places her magical equipment on exhibit, including a flower-adorned bow and arrow that she uses to enchant people, a rope that she uses to bind them, and an elephant goad to entice them into her realm of liberty. The weapons of Kurukulla are decked with crimson lotus blooms that release swarms of aggressive red bees.

They are enchanted by the lotus flowers' smell, entranced by the bees' buzzing, and perplexed by the crimson clouds of bliss. They are therefore enthralled and vulnerable to Kurukulla's mystical wizardry.

An adversary may turn into a friend, a rebellious one can become a passionate lover, and a reprobate can be persuaded to live a life of holy aspiration. Her enchantment can grant the utmost happiness, eliminate discord, and soothe the toughest hearts. 

These characteristics are practically universal across Kurukulla forms and make it easier to shift consciousness and subjugate an object through ritual. On the one hand, the bow and arrow are employed to draw in the target, pierce its heart, and fill it with love and passion.

On the other hand, these qualities also represent the triumph over egotistical cravings and contradictory thinking, as well as the transformation of desire into knowledge on a subtler level. 

Relationship of Kurukulla with Nature

The Siddha Dharma states that she is the head of the Kulluta Mandala and hence has a unique bond with its flora and fauna. Legends suggest that during the Kali Yuga, all of the animal and plant life prayed to her for protection.

The Jujurana (Tragopan), Monal (Himalayan Monal), and other birds, in particular, contributed their feathers as offerings, together with flowers and plants from the surrounding vegetation. She is often portrayed holding a bow made up of flowers as well as a flowering stem. This indicates her deep connection with nature. 

Forms of Kurukulla

There are three primary forms of Kurukullla, as stated in Siddha Dharma,

  1. Depicted having Maroon Complexion and jewels all over her body
  2. Depicted with wrath and beauty as her expressions.
  3. Depicted having four arms.

From these 3 forms, 16 more forms are derived, collectively termed as 'Shodashadal Vaasini Kurukullla or Kurukulla, who reside in 16 petals, each having their iconography and tantra rituals and scripture.

    1. Siddhacitta Kurukulla- Who is a perfect consciousness
    2. Gandharva Sevita Kurukulla- One served by Gandharvas
    3. Maha Buddhi Kurukulla- A supreme intellect
    4. Aparajita Kurukulla- The undefeated one
    5. Akarshini Kurukulla- One who attracts
    6. Vajra Dharini Kurukulla- One who holds a lightning bolt
    7. VanaVasini Kurukulla- Who dwells in forests
    8. Maha Poshini Kurukulla- The greatest nurturer
    9. VanshaVardhini Kurukulla- Who strengthens the lineage
    10. Sanharini Kurukulla- Who destroys
    11. Mrityu Mathini Kurukulla- Who destroys death
    12. Kaalaatita Kurukulla- One beyond time
    13. Aishwaryaprada Kurukulla- Who bestows prosperity
    14. Dukhsvapna Nashini Kurukulla- The one that destroys bad dreams
    15. Kamavilasini Kurukulla- The one indulges in charming desires
    16. Mokshamargini Kurukulla- The way to liberation

Mantra of Kurukulla 

kurukulla mantra

Kurukulla's abilities can ultimately be used to achieve the highest objective envisioned by the Buddhist tradition, namely the alteration of consciousness.

Thus, a skilled practitioner who wishes to master all phenomena, ideas, and perceptions, as well as their own body, speech, and mind, supreme tranquility, ultimate truth, and primordial awareness, may choose Kurukulla as a meditation god (yidam) and recite her mantra.

Kurukulla performs the highest sort of magic at this most spiritual end of the spectrum, transforming ordinary consciousness into the transcendent ecstasy and nondual understanding of a fully awakened Buddha. 

Kurukulla practice aids in a variety of secular and spiritual objectives. Some worldly advantages are obtaining love, enhancing relationships, getting the respect and support of parents and friends, taming demonic forces, healing, acquiring prosperity, finding employment, and receiving acceptance.

Developing virtues like knowledge, sensitivity, and compassion is linked to attaining spiritual goals because these traits foster spiritual charisma and draw in favorable circumstances and individuals.

Through practice, one can improve one's memory and teaching abilities, draw in pupils and create favorable circumstances for disseminating the Dharma. To the highest degree, it can be used to change consciousness and lead to enlightenment.            


Most significantly, a religious practitioner who seeks to improve their ability to impart the Dharma and establish a space, be it a small retreat center or a vast monastic university, where others may pursue spiritual training, may use Kurukulla's powers of attraction.

To achieve this goal, a Nyingma text advises a practitioner to invoke Kurukulla for the necessary training, quick comprehension, retentive memory, teaching ability, victory in debate, lots of disciples, supplies for offerings and sacramental feasts, artistic skill in liberatory activities, and supernatural powers and signs of yogic accomplishment to inspire others to believe in oneself. 

There are no boundaries to Kurukulla's expertise as she is a fully enlightened entity. She is referred to as Trailokyavaśakāriņi ("Subjugator of the Three Realms") and Wangdukyi Lhamo ("Overpowering Goddess") to signify her dominance over everything on, below, and above the ground. She has power over people, spirits, gods, kings, nations, food, clothes, riches, and renown at the worldly end of the spectrum.  


so good

so good

Thank you so much, the article is very helpful, nice explanations 🌹🙏



I would like to know if the original author of huge sections of this article was given credit or acknowledgement for her writing. The book Buddhist Goddesses of India was written before this and several paragraphs are direct copies from the section on Kurukulla. I am so grateful for this goddess for this knowledge being shared.



well done

Soma sain

Soma sain

I would like to practise ..Can I get a book .



How does Red Tara fit in?

Lobsang Dorje Konchog Yeshe

Lobsang Dorje Konchog Yeshe

Thanks 🙏🙂

joe tagliwo

joe tagliwo

Thank you for this complete and concise explanation on Kurukulla. So far, and after years of practice I think I have found my Yidam. Given I have all authorizations, transmissions and empowerments, I just have to start my practice and a new life on its own.
Blessings for you all and thanks again!!!

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