Niguma took rebirth in Kashmir, India, after having generated Bodhicitta through three incalculable eons of practice. She chose the auspicious circumstances of a noble Brahmin family and was born as the sister of the Exalted Kagyu master Naropa.
The inherently enlightened qualities of her mind were swiftly made manifest, through receiving only a few instructions from the highly accomplished Lama Lavapa and others. Transcending her worldly body, speech and mind, she was able to receive the four empowerments directly from Vajradhara, the primordial Buddha through which she received initiation into all levels of the teachings, including Sutra, Abhidharma, and Tantra. She attained the fruition of the Path of Meditation, exhibiting the signs of a tenth level Bodhisattva.
The fortunate Khyungpo Naljor, who travelled from Tibet to India on various occasions, became her foremost disciple. She conferred the full transmission and oral instructions for achieving buddhahood in one lifetime upon him. She commanded a seven generation seal of secrecy, and according to her wishes, these teachings were only transmitted in full to one single disciple for seven generations. These disciples became known as the ‘Seven Jewels of the Shangpa lineage’. With the acknowledgement that this lineage was special, she promised Khyungpo Naljor that all future disciples and Shangpa lineage holders would undoubtedly go to the Pure Land of the Dakini. They would continue to receive the blessing of Dakinis, encounter liberated beings, and attain perfect enlightenment.
In her limitless compassion, she continues to manifest in whatever form will bring benefit to beings. In particular, she looks lovingly over the Shangpa lineage holders and their activity.