Friday, January 19, 2007

Origins of Tara

Tara’s Origin is not Buddhism, before adopted by “Buddhism”, Tara was worshipped as one of the Mother Goddess figures in Hinduism. Feminine principle was not venerated in “Buddhism” until somewhere around the 4th century CE, and Tara entered Buddhism around the 6th century CE during the ear of Pala Empire as an important bodhisattva figure.

At last, a feminine principle makes has made its first appearance in “Buddhism” as she was widely known as "Mother of Perfected Wisdom". As Tara’s being “adopted” by Buddhism, Tara is also associated with the motherly qualities of compassion and mercy. Tara became very popular object of worship and was an object of “Tantric” worship as well since the 7th century C.E.

With the movement of Indian Buddhism into Tibet, the practices of Tara became incorporated with Tibetan Buddhism and remains very popular in Tibet and Mongolia until today.

According to Buddhism, Tara was born from the tears of Avalokiteshvara the bodhisattva of compassion. It is believed that he wept as he looked upon the world filled of suffering sentient beings, and he wept so much until his tears had formed a lake in which a lotus sprung up and bloomed. As soon as when the lotus opened, Tara was revealed. It was believed that White Tara born from the tears of Avalokiteshvara's left eye and the Green Tara from the right.

Another legend states that Tara was born from a beam of radiant blue light emanating from one of the eyes of Avalokiteshvara. Both Green and White Tara symbolize the compassion without ending of the goddess who labors day and night just to relieve our suffering. Green Tara’s half-open lotus, represents night, and White Tara’s full bloom lotus, symbolizes day. Green Tara also embodies virtuous activity while White Tara displays serenity and grace.

Tara especially came to be associated with the historical “First” Buddhist king of Tibet, Srong-brtsan-sgam-po (d. 649). He has two Beautiful wife which is believed as the emanation of Tara, His wife from China was said to be an incarnation of White Tara, while his Nepalese wife as the incarnation of Green Tara. It may be that the desire to regard both these pious women as incarnations of Tara led to the concept of the goddess's green and white forms.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Tara's Determination

In this world known as Various Light, in this world, there was a Buddha known as Lord of the Sound of Drums or Dundubh-ishvara. A princess known as Wisdom Moon or Jnanachandra was a devotee of Lord of the Sound of Drums. It has been a long time since the Princess had been making offerings to him and the bodhisattvas, until at one point she finally there arose in her determination to become a Buddha herself.

She was later advised to seek a rebirth in a male’s body as at that time, no one ever heard of a female Buddha.

"Nonsense!" she thought and as most of us will think so too. "What is actually the difference in the form of the body? Does it really matter? But In fact, to correct these wrong views from the minds of certain beings, I shall forever be reborn as a female! She said.

“There are many who wish to attain enlightenment in a man's body, but there are not much who wished to serve the aims to attain enlightenment in a woman's body are few indeed. Therefore until this world is emptied out, may I be able to serve the aims of beings with none but a woman's body” she said.

Then the princess sat determinedly in meditation for a very long time and she had attained the state called Saving All Beings.Every single morning and evenings before she had her meals, she will introduce and fixed innumerable beings in the state of acceptance and so slowly she became known as “Tara the Saviour”.

Being reborn into the realm of Buddha Amoghasiddi the princess, now known as Tara took another vow before him. She is determined to protect all sentient beings of the infinite worlds of all the ten directions from harm. She settled into the state of meditation defeating all Maras.

Then, in the era called “Beginningless”, there was a monk who was known as “Stainless Light” was empowered via the light of compassion of all the tathagathas [buddhas] and and become known as Avalokiteshvara or known as Chenrezig in Tibetan.

In him, there are two lights emanating from all the Buddha that of “Understanding and Compassion”, united as both a father and mother. These lights, these energies, engendered Tara who was by then born from the heart of the Lord of the World as a bud from the lotus.

That is how Tara is understood to have came out of Emptiness to us, but by the merits of her devotion and determination which, manifested as care will find its way through the union of “Wisdom and Compassion” to all sentient beings.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Introduction to Tara

Tara also known as Arya Tara or Jetsun Dolma (sgrolma) is very well known in Tibetan Buddhism, Tara is a Buddha with the body of a female. Tara is typically associated with Tantric Practices Varjayana or known as Tibetan Buddhism.

Mother Tara is considered as the "mother of liberation", and she represents the virtues of success in both work and the achievements on oneself. “Tara” is a “Tantric” deity and commonly practiced by practitioners of Tibetan Buddhist also known as Vajrayana since the 7th century C.E., the practice of Mother Tara is to develop a certain inner qualities of one self and to understand the outer, inner and also the secret teachings about both compassion and emptiness.

Tara in fact is actually the “generic” name for a set of Buddha or Bodhisattvas of identical qualities. In Tibetan Buddhism or Varjayana Tara is regarded as a Female Buddha of both compassion and action. She is actually the female aspect of Avalokitesvara / Chenrezig / Kwan Yin and it was widely belief that “Tara” originated his tears. Tara is known as a heavenly deity who always hears the cries of all sentient beings experiencing misery and suffering in samsara.

In Sanskrit Tar means "cross over" as in using an object like “a bridge” to cross over a stream. In the Indian sacred tradition, the word Tara refers to the second means of the “Ten Means” to Realization and as according to Hindu tantra. As a Tarini, “she will carries you across” Tara serves as a bridge for us to get to the path immortality.