Questions and Answers about Shambhala Culture and Decorum

Yeshe Tsogyal

Question: Who is the woman depicted on the banner hanging on the left side of the shrine room?

Answer: The woman is Yeshe Tsogyal, the mother of Tibetan Buddhism and symbol of the feminine principle.

As explained on the Shambhala Media website, “Yeshe Tsogyal is the most important woman in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, appearing both in historical record as well as symbolic context. . .She was a queen in 8th century Tibet and became the primary student and spiritual consort of her root guru, Padmasambhava, known as Guru Rinpoche. As an accomplished practitioner, she also became a renowned wisdom-dakini, embodying through her life example and teachings the wisdom dimensions of Vajrayana realization and practice. As a dakini, she represents the nature of the radiant wisdom-mind of all sentient beings; she also serves especially as protector and nurturer of Tibetan Buddhist practitioners. Above all, Yeshe Tsogyal is a representation of wisdom in our Shambhala Buddhist lineage. Wisdom, in this case, is not merely intellectual knowledge but the natural intuitive wisdom-mind uncovered in meditation practice” (Shambhala Media,, accessed July 7, 2016).