Thursday, 7 June 2012

Tara, radiant as the moon

Venerable Holly, one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche's assistants, shared this photo of Mother Tara. I like this Tara very much, because she looks just magnificently beautiful, so I just have to share this. I heard this Green Tara is in Dehradun, India.  

For those not familiar with Mother Tara, she is also known as Jetsun Drolma in Tibetan. She is a female Buddha in Vajrayana Buddhism and is the "Mother of Liberation" and the "Mother of all Buddhas" who swiftly clears one's obstacles. She is also the embodiment of compassion and action. Mother Tara came from the tears of Avalokiteshvara (Guan Yin), who hears the cries of beings experiencing misery in samsara.

Here's the story of how Tara came to be:

Then at last Avalokiteshvara arrived at the summit of Marpori, the 'Red Hill', in Lhasa. Gazing out, he perceived that the lake on Otang, the 'Plain of Milk', resembled the Hell of Ceaseless Torment. Myriads of beings were undergoing the agonies of boiling, burning, hunger, thirst, yet they never perished, but let forth hideous cries of anguish all the while. When Avalokiteshvara saw this, tears sprang to his eyes. A teardrop from his right eye fell to the plain and became the reverend Bhrikuti, who declared: 'Son of your race! As you are striving for the sake of sentient beings in the Land of Snows, intercede in their suffering, and I shall be your companion in this endeavour!' Bhrikuti was then reabsorbed into Avalokiteshvara's right eye, and was reborn in a later life as the Nepalese princess Tritsun. A teardrop from his left eye fell upon the plain and became the reverend Tara. She also declared, 'Son of your race! As you are striving for the sake of sentient beings in the Land of Snows, intercede in their suffering, and I shall be your companion in this endeavour!' Tara was also reabsorbed into Avalokiteshvara's left eye, and was reborn in a later life as the Chinese Princess Wencheng.

Tara vowed, "I have developed bodhicitta as a woman. For all my lifetimes along the path I vow to be born as a woman, and in my final lifetime when I attain Buddhahood, then, too, I will be a woman."

She is as radiant as the moon. 


Here is my favourite version of her mantra: Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha! 

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