Ma's India Blog: The Mother Goddess Tara as the Great Feminine Savior of Mankind Mas India

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

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The Goddess Tara is commonly thought of as a Tibetan goddess; however, a version of this Goddess exists in virtually every culture. Goddess Tara is by far the most popular deity in the Tibetan pantheon, so much so that some have suggested that Tibetan Buddhism should be called Taraism. Tara is worshipped throughout Tibet, Nepal and much of Southeast Asia. It is said that the Goddess Tara will assume as many forms on earth as there are needs for her by the people. taracard-2693156Tara originated as a Hindu goddess known as the Mother Creator, representing the life force that fuels all of life. In Sanskrit, the name Tara means star, but she is also known as “she who brings forth life as the great compassionate mother and the embodiment of wisdom and protection. 

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The best-known forms in the Tibetan tradition Tara are White Tara and Green Tara. How they came into being according to Tibetan legend is that Avalokiteshvara, Lord of the Universe, wept to see how humanity continued to suffer no matter how much he aspired to help it. So he brought the two Mother Taras into existence. White Tara is believed to be the more gentle compassionate form that protects and brings longevity and peace. Green Tara is thought to be more dynamic, a “Mother Earth,” as it were because of her green color. Nevertheless, Tara is the fierce goddess who overcomes obstacles and saves all from physical and spiritual danger. As the wise White Tara and the Playful Green Tara, it is believed that they each guide devotees across the sea of ignorance to enlightenment. Green Tara is of the night; White Tara guards the day.

Green or White Tara is shown with her right hand as the conventional truth, positioned in the perfection of charity and her left hand symbolizing the absolute truth and protection from terror. Tara’s right foot stretched out is the abandonment of all defects, and her left foot is drawn back to symbolize the understanding of qualities. The lotus flower represents the giving of great joy to all and is the universal Tibetan symbol of compassion. 

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Tara is also a representative of compassionate womanhood and it is known that she refuses to incarnate into anything other than female. She loves being in a female form and will not renounce that for anything. Tara is compassionate, but never subservient.
tarabook-6961050 There are twenty-one manifestations of Tara that are well documented in prayers; liturgies, sculpture and painting, each personifying a specific quality that can allay the sixteen kinds of fears. Eminent Tibetan teachers have emphasized the importance of Green Tara practice to help the growth of the dharma in the west. Goddess Tara is also universally known and loved in many cultures, in Latin she is the name for the earth; in Polynesian mythology she is the beautiful sea goddess; the Druids called their mother goddess Tara; and in South America, an indigenous tribe calls their goddess Tarahumara.

In Buddhist tradition, Tara is considered greater than a goddess. She is a female Buddha, an enlightened one who has attained the highest wisdom, capability and compassion. She is also considered the Mother of all Buddhas. She is a bodhisattva who works for the benefit of all mankind until we are all enlightened. 

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In the Hindu tantric pantheon she is the second of ten Mahavidyas as she has evolved to the highest aspect of universal consciousness. Like the Chinese Buddhist’s Quan Yin, Tibet’s Tara suffers for humans, especially her followers who were tortured and killed in Tibet. She is the mediator between the Buddha and humankind, and all who ask for her help and mercy will be answered. One can see how Tara is such a popular goddess. She is truly the Mother of all Creation and serves so beautifully. In particular, as one worships the Goddess Tara, one is conscious of the beauty of her form as well as the beauty of her consciousness. All women should place Green or White Tara in some form upon their pujas. They will be well rewarded by this feminine deity. To all women who have suffered through the ages, Tara restores faith in the strength and courage of womanhood. Her mantra is Om Tare Tuttare Ture Swaha. Hail to the Savior of Mankind in the form of Tara, the bountiful and protective Mother!

by: Mas India icon18_email-7781555icon18_edit_allbkg-7824300

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