Friday, March 03, 2006

Friday Morning Goddess: Tara

The Goddess Tara's Story:
Tara, a goddess believed to have originated as a Hindu goddess, the Mother Creator, is revered within Tibetan Buddhism as the mother of all Buddhas. In Sanskrit, Tara means "Star." She has also been called "She Who Brings Forth Light," "The Great Compassionate Mother," "The Embodiment of Wisdom," and "The Great Protectress."

According to legend, prior to attaining enlightment, Tara was a human princess called "Moon of Wisdom." She was devoted to the Buddha and made offerings and practiced meditation. The monks recognized her spiritual development and urged her to pray to be reborn in a male body so that she could more easily achieve enlightenment.

Tara refused, saying: "Here there is no man, there is no woman, No self, no person, and no consciousness. Labeling 'male' or 'female' has no essence, But deceives the evil-minded world." Tara made a vow: "Until every being without exception is enlightened, I shall work for the benefit of all in a woman's body." She ultimately attained enlightment in her female form and is now worshipped as a female Buddha.

Here is the Prayer to the Noble Tara:
I take refuge in Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, and Tara.
May I reach enlightenment for the benefit of all.
May all beings have happiness.
May they be free from suffering.
May they find the joy that has never known suffering.
May they be free from attachment and hatred.
In the space before me appears a white lotus.
Upon it is a moon cushion, and upon that, the love and compassion of all the enlightened appear as the seed syllable TAM. Light radiates from the TAM and transforms into the Noble Wish-Fulfilling Tara.
She sits on the lotus and moon with a luminous aura surrounding her.
Youthful and radiant, her right hand gestures an invitation to liberation. Her left hand indictates the Three Jewels, giving courage and assurance to those dominated by fears.
At her crown, a white OM.
At her throat, a red AH.
At her heart, a white TAM, marked by a blue HUM.
Light radiates from the syllables, inviting the wisdom beings and empowering deities. The wisdom beings unite inseparably with Tara. The empowering deities anoint her, confer initiation and with the overflowing nectar, a Buddha of Infinite Life appears on her crown.
I bow down in body, speech, and mind.
I offer the best I have to give, both real and imagined,
to fill the space between us.
I regret and purify all transgressions.
I rejoice in all virtues.
I request you to remain until total enlightenment.
I request wise and compassionate guidance.
I dedicate my merit for the sake of all beings.
Brilliant light emanates from the syllable TAM within her heart, reaching infinite universes, and collecting back the essence of inexhaustible vitality and the powerful blessings of wisdom mind.
The energy streams forth from Tara's heart and body, and completely absorbs this nectar of light, cleansing and revitalizing my body, speech, and mind.
If foreseeing signs of premature death, by consistently practicing the path of Noble Tara, may I become a vessel worthy of receiving the powerful
blessings of immortality.
By this virtue may I quickly attain the essence of Noble Tara and secure every being without exception in that state.


Anonymous said...

Tara is a badass.

Buttercup said...

I completely agree. She's my favorite.

Bean said...

Tara is a kick ass...She reminds me of myself! Silly monks...they should have known she wouldn't give and be reborn into a male's body. She probably would have list her powers and strength!