This painting shows the secret dakini aspect of Vajrayogini as Red Khechari, whose practice is associated with the great eleventh century Indian yogini, Sukhasiddhi. Niguma and Sukhasiddhi were the two yogini teachers of the Tibetan master Khyungpo Naljor (10th-12th century), the founder of the Shangpa Kagyu tradition, who considered Sukhasiddhi to be both his kindest teacher and his secret consort. The Shangpa Kagyu lineage is renowned for its unique Highest Yoga Tantra doctrines, known as 'The Six Doctrines of Sukhasiddhi' and 'The Six Doctrines of Niguma'. In appearance Sukhasiddhi is traditionally depicted as a peaceful white yogini who holds a skull-cup and points to the sky, while Niguma is represented as a semi-wrathful brown dakini who holds a skull-cup, a damaru, and a khatvanga. The 'Five Golden Doctrines' of the Shangpa Kagyu tradition are: The Six Doctrines of Niguma (the Root); Mahamudra (the Trunk); the Three Aspects of Bringing to the Path (the Branches); White Khechari and Red Khecari (the Flowers); Deathlessness and Non Deviation (the Fruit). In the Newar Buddhist tradition the images of Red Khechari and White Khechari as the 'Red and White Flowers' of the Shangpa Kagyu tradition have recently become popular, with paintings and statues of Vajrayogini in her secret form as Mahasukhasiddhi being painted or cast. This painting was made by the Newar artist Raj Prakash Tuladhar, who has painted both the red and white forms of this 'Bliss Accomplishing' dakinigoddess. Essentially Red Khechari represents the wisdom teachings of Sukhasiddhi, while White Khechari represents the path of method or skillful means.
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