Tara – Savior Goddess of Compassion

Tara – Savior Goddess of Compassion

Introduction

Tara is one of the most popular deities in Tibetan Buddhism. She is revered as a savior goddess of compassion who helps her followers overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. Tara is also a symbol of the universal mother, representing the motherly qualities of love, compassion, nurturing, and protection.

In this article, we will discuss Tara and her role in Tibetan Buddhism. We will delve into her history, the significance of her name, and the different forms of Tara. We will also answer some frequently asked questions related to this powerful goddess.

Who is Tara?

Tara is a bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism, who is highly revered in Tibetan Buddhism. She is believed to have originated as a Hindu goddess and was later adopted by Buddhism.

According to legend, Tara was born from the tears of the god Avalokiteshvara, who wept for the suffering of all beings. Tara embodies the compassion of all Buddhas and is considered their female counterpart.

What is the Significance of Tara’s Name?

The name Tara is derived from the Sanskrit word “tārā”, which means “star” or “guide.” Just as a star guides sailors on their journey, Tara guides her followers on their spiritual path.

Tara’s name is also associated with the verb “tṛ”, which means “to cross over” or “to overcome.” Tara is believed to help her followers overcome the obstacles and challenges of life.

What are the Different Forms of Tara?

Tara is depicted in various forms, each of which represents a different aspect of compassion and protection. Some of the popular forms of Tara are:

– Green Tara: The most popular form of Tara, she is associated with quick and compassionate action. Green Tara is depicted with one leg outstretched and one leg folded, ready to spring into action.
– White Tara: She is associated with longevity, healing, and serenity. White Tara is depicted with seven eyes, symbolizing her ability to see the suffering of all beings.
– Black Tara: She is associated with power, protection, and fierce compassion. Black Tara is depicted with three eyes, symbolizing her ability to see the past, present, and future.

What is the Importance of Tara in Tibetan Buddhism?

Tara plays a significant role in Tibetan Buddhism. She is considered a protector and savior goddess who can help her followers overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. Tara is also a symbol of the universal mother, representing the motherly qualities of love, compassion, and protection.

In Tibetan Buddhism, there are many practices and rituals associated with Tara. These practices include reciting her mantra, making offerings to her, and visualizing her in meditation.

What is the Tara Mantra?

The Tara mantra is “Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha.” This mantra is believed to invoke the power of Tara and help her followers overcome their obstacles and achieve their goals.

The mantra is usually recited 108 times or more, as a form of meditation or prayer. It is also inscribed on prayer flags, amulets, and other objects to enhance its power.

What are the Benefits of Reciting the Tara Mantra?

Reciting the Tara mantra is believed to have many benefits, including:

– Overcoming obstacles and challenges
– Achieving success in one’s endeavors
– Enhancing one’s compassion and wisdom
– Protecting oneself from harm
– Bringing peace and harmony to one’s life

How to Practice Tara Meditation?

Tara meditation involves visualizing Tara and reciting her mantra. Here are the steps to practice Tara meditation:

1. Find a quiet and peaceful place to practice.
2. Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight, and your hands resting on your lap.
3. Visualize Tara in front of you, either in her green form, white form, or whichever form you connect with the most.
4. Focus on Tara’s qualities of compassion, protection, and motherly love.
5. Recite the Tara mantra, “Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha,” either silently or out loud.
6. As you recite the mantra, imagine that you are invoking Tara’s power and protection.
7. Continue the practice for a few minutes or as long as you like.

What is the Story of the Tibetan Nun who Became a Tara?

There is a famous story in Tibetan Buddhism about a nun named Yeshe Tsogyal, who became a Tara. Yeshe Tsogyal was a consort of Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, and was highly regarded for her spiritual attainments.

According to the story, after her death, Yeshe Tsogyal transformed into a Tara and appeared to her disciples in a vision. She promised to help them overcome their obstacles and fulfill their spiritual aspirations.

This story highlights the transformative power of Tara and her ability to help her followers even after death.

Why is Tara Popular Among Women?

Tara is highly revered among women in Tibetan Buddhism. She is often seen as a symbol of female empowerment, representing the feminine qualities of compassion, wisdom, and protection.

Tara’s teachings and practices are also believed to be highly effective in helping women overcome the challenges they face in life. Many women turn to Tara for guidance and support in their spiritual journey.

What is the Connection Between Tara and the Environment?

Tara is also associated with the environment and ecology. In Tibetan Buddhism, Tara is seen as a protector of the natural world and the animals that inhabit it.

Tara’s green form, in particular, is associated with the green world of plants and trees. Practices and rituals associated with Tara often involve making offerings to the natural world and taking steps to protect the environment.

What is the Significance of Tara’s Eyes?

Tara is often depicted with multiple eyes, each of which represents a different aspect of her power and compassion. For example:

– Two Eyes: Symbolize Tara’s ability to see the suffering and needs of all beings.
– Four Eyes: Symbolize Tara’s ability to see the suffering in all four directions of the world.
– Six Eyes: Symbolize Tara’s ability to see the suffering on land, sea, and in the sky.
– One Thousand Eyes: Symbolize Tara’s all-seeing wisdom and compassion.

The eyes of Tara are a powerful symbol of her ability to see and understand the needs of all beings.

Conclusion

Tara is a savior goddess of compassion who is highly revered in Tibetan Buddhism. She is a symbol of the universal mother, representing the qualities of love, compassion, and protection.

Tara’s teachings and practices are believed to be highly effective in helping her followers overcome obstacles, achieve their goals, and lead a fulfilling life. Reciting the Tara mantra and practicing Tara meditation are some of the ways to connect with her power and compassion.

Tara is a powerful and transformative deity who offers guidance and support to all beings, regardless of their gender or background. Her teachings continue to inspire and empower people around the world to lead a more compassionate and fulfilling life.

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About Olivia Moore

Olivia is a writer and Literature major who is interested in studying ancient civilizations, symbolism, history, and how these subjects have shaped modern thought and culture. She has specialized in Greek mythology, a subject that has always stimulated her passion for learning.

In her free time, Olivia enjoys going to the cinema, reading the classics, and playing with her kittens, Rocky and Fluffy. She lives with her husband, David, and their daughter, Samantha, in Aberdeen, Washington State.

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