(Green Tara – not my photo)
“There is a true feminist movement in Buddhism that relates to the goddess Tārā. Following her cultivation of bodhicitta, the bodhisattva’s motivation, she looked upon the situation of those striving towards full awakening and she felt that there were too few people who attained Buddhahood as women. So she 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.'”
~Dalai Lama, 1989
Today is Tara Day!!
Tara is the female Buddha of love and compassion. She represents Perfected Wisdom.
OM TARE TUTTARE TURE
This is the mantra for Tara. It appeals to longevity, merit, and wisdom.
It may be easier to understand at first if you read the mantra while listening.
ah- essence of awakened body
o- essence of awakened speech
m- essence of awakened mind
quickly with boldness
clearing away all fear, distress and suffering of all beings
complete victory of truth over all negativity
“There are many who wish to gain enlightenment
in a man’s form,
And there are few who wish to work
for the welfare of living beings
in a female form.
Therefore may I, in a female body,
work for the welfare of all beings,
until such time as all humanity has found its fullness.”
(White Tara – not my photo)
Tara is often mentioned as Green Tara or White Tara.
Green Tara represents youth and vitality. Green Tara is depicted as being youthful and girlish. White Tara is more womanly and mature and more “motherly” or maternal. White Tara is full – breasted and represents day while Green Tara represents night.
Green Tara is said to help people with immediate and worldly concerns such as wealth while White Tara responds to problems relating to emotional and physical health. She is associated with health and beauty. Her love is said to be so powerful, it can cure diseases.
Isn’t that beautiful?!
Also, check out these beautiful legends.
“Origin of White Tara
According to legend, White Tara originated from the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. When Avalokiteshvara witnessed all of the suffering in the world, he was so moved that he began to cry. It is said that White Tara emerged from the tears flowing from his left eye. Her essence is the compassion within Avalokiteshvara’s tears.”
“From the Tears of Avalokitesvara
Tara is a female form of Avalokitesvara, the bhodhisattva of compassion. There are many legends of how Tara came into existence. One legend, similar to the legend of Kuan Yin says that as Avalokitesvara wept for those sentient beings trapped in the lower realms Tara was born from a lotus flower that grew from his tears. Another version of this story tells of how the Green and White forms of Tara were born from 2 tears of Avalokitesvara. Yet another version of the legend says that Tara was created from a blue beam of light emanating from Avalokitesvara’s eye.”
How inspiring these myths are! We can look to this beauty, Tara, in both her White & Green forms, for inspiration. We can channel our inner Tara to be more compassionate to others and be more loving in everything that we do.
When we chant her mantra, we can summon all the love and goodwill and strength we have within, bringing it to the surface of our mind to be more conscious of it.
Here is me channeling my inner White & Green Tara!
Celebrating our femininity. ❤
There are 21 praises of Tara. Here are some of my favorite ones.
Homage to Tara swift and fearless
With eyes like a flash of lightning
Lotus-born in an ocean of tears
Of Chenresig, three worlds’ protector.
Homage to you whose face is like
One hundred autumn moons gathered
And blazes with the dazzling light
Of a thousand constellations.
Homage to you born from a gold-blue lotus
Hands adorned with lotus flowers
Essence of giving, effort and ethics,
Patience, concentration and wisdom.
Homage to you beautifully adorned
By the Three Jewels’ gesture at your heart.
Your wheel shines in all directions
With a whirling mass of light.
Homage to you, radiant and joyful
Whose crown emits a garland of light.
You, by the laughter of TUTTARA
Conquer demons and lords of the world.
Homage to you with crescent moon crown
All your adornments dazzling bright.
From your hair-knot, Amitabha
Shines eternal with great beams of light.
Homage to the blissful, virtuous, peaceful one
Object of practice, nirvana’s peace
Perfectly endowed with SOHA and OM
Overcoming all the great evils.
Homage to you with joyous retinue
You subdue fully all enemies’ forms
The ten-letter mantra adorns your heart
And your knowledge-HUM brings liberation.
Homage to you who holds in your hand
A moon like a celestial lake
Saying TARA twice and the letter PEY
You dispel all poisons without exception.
Homage to you on whom the kings of gods,
The gods themselves and all spirits rely.
Your armor radiates joy to all
You soothe conflicts and nightmares as well.
Homage to you, adorned with three natures
Perfectly endowed with peaceful strength
You destroy demons, zombies and yakshas
O TURE, most exalted and sublime!
They are all beautiful but here are just some.
You can find all 21 and other information about our Tara here!
I hope to one day receive a Tara Empowerment at the Buddhist center. I received the one for Avalokitesvara, the masculine version of Tara.
So, in honor of Tara and Tara Day, which is the 8th day of each month, here’s this post! Sometimes I attend the chanting ceremonies at the center. They are beautiful and inspiring. We chant together to Tara to generate positive energy and receive her love & wisdom into our own minds. Even if you aren’t a Buddhist, it’s an inspiring way to open your mind to greater love for all and just as a state of being. It’s a great ritual to develop inner strength and deepen our wisdom. Tara symbolizes great love & beauty and equality which is good for anyone. Tara is to remind us that a woman can do many things as well as a man can and we can do this while cherishing our feminine nature.
“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.”
Happy Tara Day!! 😀
Much love to you,
Xoxo Kim ❤