Tārā or Ārya Tārā, also known as Jetsun Dolma (rje btsun sgrol ma) in Tibetan, is a female Buddha typically associated with Buddhist tantra practice as preserved in Tibetan Buddhism. Definitions of Tibet See also Definitions of Tibet Name In English The English word Tibet, like the word for Tibet in most European The Rubin Museum of Art (RMA is a museum dedicated to the collection display and preservation of the art of the Himalayas and surrounding regions Karma Kagyu ( or Kamtsang, is the largest lineage within the Kagyu school one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. A Dharma centre is a non monastic Buddhist centre in the community In Buddhism, buddhahood ( Sanskrit: buddhatva. Pali: buddhatta. Tantra ( Sanskrit: तन्त्र; " Weave " denoting continuity) tantricism or tantrism is any of several esoteric Tibetan Buddhism is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet and certain regions of the Himalayas, including She is the "mother of liberation", and represents the virtues of success in work and achievements. Tārā is a tantric deity whose practice is used by practitioners of the Tibetan branch of Vajrayana Buddhism to develop certain inner qualities and understand outer, inner and secret teachings about compassion and emptiness. Vajrayana Buddhism is also known as Tantric Buddhism, Tantrayāna, Mantrayana, Mantranaya, Secret Mantra, Esoteric Buddhism and Mettā meditation the practice of loving-kindness Mettā signifies Friendship and Non-violence as well as "a strong wish for the happiness of others" In Japan she is known as Tarani Bosatsu but virtually unknown in China
Tārā is actually the generic name for a set of Buddhas or bodhisattvas of similar aspect. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Japan topics. China ( Wade-Giles ( Mandarin) Chung¹kuo² is a cultural region, an ancient Civilization, and depending on perspective a National In Buddhism, buddhahood ( Sanskrit: buddhatva. Pali: buddhatta. In the Buddhist context a bodhisattva (बोधिसत्त्व bodhisattva;; Vietnamese Bồ Tát; बोधिसत्त bodhisatta These may more properly be understood as different aspects of the same quality, as bodhisattvas are often considered metaphoric for Buddhist virtues. Metaphor (from the Greek: μεταφορά - metaphora, meaning "transfer" is language that directly compares seemingly unrelated subjects Virtue ( Latin virtus; Greek) is moral Excellence. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting individual
The most widely known forms of Tārā are:
There is also recognition in some schools of Buddhism of twenty-one Tārās. Buddhism is a family of beliefs and practices A practice text entitled "In Praise of the 21 Tārās", is recited during the morning in all four sects of Tibetan Buddhism.
The main Tārā mantra is oṃ tāre tuttāre ture svāhā (pronounced by Tibetans and Buddhists who follow the Tibetan traditions as oṃ tāre tu tāre ture soha). In Hinduism, the Goddess Tara ( Sanskrit: Tārā, Devanagari: तारा) meaning "star" is the second of the
Within Tibetan Buddhism Tārā is regarded as a Boddhisattva of compassion and action. Tibetan Buddhism is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet and certain regions of the Himalayas, including In the Buddhist context a bodhisattva (बोधिसत्त्व bodhisattva;; Vietnamese Bồ Tát; बोधिसत्त bodhisatta She is the female aspect of Avalokitesvara (Chenrezig) and in some origin stories she comes from his tears:
Tārā is also known as a saviouress, as a heavenly deity who hears the cries of beings experiencing misery in samsara. In Theology, salvation can mean three related things being saved from or Liberation from something such as Suffering or the punishment of
The Tārā figure originated not in Buddhism but in Hinduism, where she, Tārā, was one of a number of Mother Goddess figures alongside Sarasvati, Lakshmi, Parvati, and Shakti. Hinduism is a religious tradition that originated in the Indian subcontinent. In Hinduism, the Goddess Tara ( Sanskrit: Tārā, Devanagari: तारा) meaning "star" is the second of the A mother goddess is a Goddess, often portrayed as the Earth Mother who serves as a general Fertility deity the bountiful embodiment of the Earth. Saraswati (pronounced as; Sanskrit: sa सरस्वती sarasvatī; Malay: Saraswati Thai: สุรัสวดี is the Lakshmi or Mahalakshmi (pronunciation; Sanskrit: लक्ष्मी lakṣmī) is the Hindu Goddess of Wealth Parvati ( Sanskrit: Pārvatī sa [[wiktपार्वती पार्वती]] sometimes spelled Parvathi or Parvathy, is a Hindu Shakti, meaning sacred force, power, or energy, is the Hindu concept or personification of the divine feminine aspect sometimes referred In the 6th century C. E. , during the era of the Pala Empire, Tārā was adopted into the Buddhist pantheon as an important bodhisattva figure just a few centuries after the Prajnaparamita Sutra had been introduced into what was becoming the Mahayana Buddhism of India. The Pala Empire was a dynasty in control of the northern and eastern Indian subcontinent, mainly the Bengal and Bihar regions from the 8th to " Perfection of Wisdom " is a translation of the Sanskrit term prajñā pāramitā ( Devanagari: प्रज्ञा पारमिता Mahayana ( Sanskrit: mahāyāna, Devanagari: महायान 'Great Vehicle' is one of the two main existing schools of Buddhism and a term for It would seem that the feminine principle makes its first appearance in Buddhism as the "Mother of Perfected Wisdom" and then later Tārā comes to be seen as an expression of the compassion of perfected wisdom. However, sometimes Tārā is also known as "the Mother of the Buddhas", which usually refers to the enlightened wisdom of the Buddhas, so in approaching Buddhist deities, one learns not to impose totally strict boundaries about what one deity covers, as opposed to another deity.
They all can be seen as expressions of the play of the energies of manifested form dancing out of vast emptiness. Be that as it may, Tārā began to be associated with the motherly qualities of compassion and mercy. Undoubtedly for the common folk who were Buddhists in India of that time, Tārā was a more approachable deity. See also List of deities A deity is a Postulated Preternatural or Supernatural Being, who is always It is one thing to stare into the eyes of a deity who represents wisdom as void. It is perhaps easier to worship a goddess whose eyes look out with infinite compassion and who has a sweet smile.
Tārā then became very popular as an object of worship and was becoming an object of Tantric worship and practice by the 7th century C. E. With the movement and cross-pollination of Indian Buddhism into Tibet, the worship and practices of Tārā became incorporated into Tibetan Buddhism. Buddhism is a world religion which arose in Bihar, India and is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who is known as the Buddha (literally Independent of whether she is classified as a deity, a Buddha or a bodhisattva, Tārā remains very popular in Tibet and Mongolia. Definitions of Tibet See also Definitions of Tibet Name In English The English word Tibet, like the word for Tibet in most European Mongolia (mɒŋˈɡoʊliə, literally Mongol country/nation,) is a Landlocked Country in East And as Ms. Getty notes, one other reason for her popularity was that Tārā became to be known as a Buddhist deity who could be appealed to directly by lay folk without the necessity or intervention of a lama or monk. Lama ( is a title for a Tibetan teacher Thus, as Tārā was accepted into the ranks of Buddhist bodhisattvas, she became popular to both common folk as one to appeal to in daily life, and for monastics, as an entry way into understanding compassion and mercy as part of one's evolving path within Buddhism. (See also Guan Yin, the female aspect of Avalokitesvara in Chinese Buddhism. Guanyin (觀音 pinyin guānyīn, Wade-Giles kuan-yin) is the Bodhisattva of compassion as venerated by East Asian Buddhists )
Today, Green Tara and White Tara are probably the most popular representations of Tara. Green Tara/Khadiravani is usually associated with protection from fear and the following eight obscurations Lions = Pride; Wild Elephants = Delusion/Ignorance; Fires = Hatred and Anger; Snakes = Jealousy; Bandits and Thieves = Wrong Views (incl. fanatical views); Bondage = Avarice and Miserliness; Floods = Desire and Attachment; Evil Spirits/Demons = Deluded Doubts. White Tara/Sarasvati is associated with longevity of life (she is one of the three deities of long life). White Tara counteracts illness and thereby helps to bring about a long life. She embodies the motivation that is compassion and is said to be as white and radiant as the moon.
Tārā has many stories told which explain her origin as a bodhisattva. In the Buddhist context a bodhisattva (बोधिसत्त्व bodhisattva;; Vietnamese Bồ Tát; बोधिसत्त bodhisatta One in particular has a lot of resonance for women interested in Buddhism and quite likely for those delving into early 21st century feminism.
In this tale there is a young princess who lives in a different world system, millions of years in the past. Princess is the feminine form of Prince (from Latin Princeps, meaning principal citizen Her name is Yeshe Dawa, which means "Moon of Primordial Awareness". For quite a number of aeons she makes offerings to the Buddha of that world system "Tonyo Drupa". The word aeon, also spelled eon or æon, means "age" "forever" or "for Eternity " She receives special instruction from him concerning bodhicitta — the heart-mind of a bodhisattva. In Buddhism, bodhicitta (Ch 菩提心 pudixin, Jp bodaishin, Tibetan jang chub sem, Mongolian бодь сэтгэл) is the wish After doing this, some monks approach her and suggest that because of her level of attainment she should next pray to be reborn as a male to progress further. At this point she lets the monks know in no uncertain terms that from the point of view of Enlightenment it is only "weak minded worldlings" who see gender as a barrier to attaining enlightenment. Bodhi (बोधि is both the Pāli and Sanskrit word traditionally translated into English as "enlightenment Bodhi (बोधि is both the Pāli and Sanskrit word traditionally translated into English as "enlightenment She sadly notes there have been few who wish to work for the welfare of beings in a female form though. Therefore she resolves to always be reborn as a female bodhisattva, until samsara is no more. She then stays in a palace in a state of meditation for some ten million years, and the power of this practice releases tens of millions of beings from suffering. As a result of this Tonyo Drupa tells her she will henceforth manifest supreme bodhi as the Goddess Tārā in many world systems to come. Bodhi (बोधि is both the Pāli and Sanskrit word traditionally translated into English as "enlightenment
With this story in mind it is interesting to juxtapose this with a quotation from H. H the Dalai Lama about Tārā, spoken at a conference on Compassionate Action in Newport Beach, CA in 1989:
Tārā then, embodies certain ideals which make her attractive to women practitioners, and her emergence as a Bodhisattva can be seen as a part of Mahayana Buddhism's reaching out to women, and becoming more inclusive even in 6th century C. Mahayana ( Sanskrit: mahāyāna, Devanagari: महायान 'Great Vehicle' is one of the two main existing schools of Buddhism and a term for E. India. India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country
Tārā also embodies many of the qualities of feminine principle. She is known as the Mother of Mercy and Compassion. She is the source, the female aspect of the universe, which gives birth to warmth, compassion and relief from bad karma as experienced by ordinary beings in cyclic existence. She engenders, nourishes, smiles at the vitality of creation, and has sympathy for all beings as a mother does for her children. As Green Tārā she offers succor and protection from all the unfortunate circumstances one can encounter within the samsaric world. As White Tārā she expresses maternal compassion and offers healing to beings who are hurt or wounded, either physically or psychically. As Red Tārā she teaches Discriminating Awareness about created phenomena, and how to turn raw desire into compassion and love. As Blue Tārā (Ekajati) she becomes a protector in the Nyingma lineage, who expresses a ferocious, wrathful, female energy whose invocation destroys all Dharmic obstacles and engenders good luck and swift spiritual awakening. Ekajati or Ekajata (Tibetan ral chig ma. English One Braid of Hair one of the 21 Taras is one of the most powerful and fierce goddesses of Tibetan mythology The Nyingma tradition is the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism (the other three being the Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug) 
In all within Tibetan Buddhism she has 21 major forms, each tied to a certain color and energy. And each offers some feminine attribute, of ultimate benefit to the spiritual aspirant who asks for her assistance.
Another quality of feminine principle which she shares with the dakinis is playfulness. A Dakini ( Sanskrit: ḍākinī Tibetan: khandro; Wylie: mkha'-'gro-ma; TP: Kandroma; Chinese language As John Blofeld expands upon in Bodhisattva of Compassion, Tārā is frequently depicted as a young sixteen year old girlish woman. She oftens manifests in the lives of dharma practitioners when they take themselves, or spiritual path too seriously. The Sanskrit term ( Devanāgarī: धर्म Pali transliteration dhamma) is an Indian spiritual and religious There are Tibetan tales in which she laughs at self-righteousness, or plays pranks on those who lack reverence for the feminine. In Magic Dance: The Display of the Self-Nature of the Five Wisdom Dakinis, Thinley Norbu explores this as "Playmind". Applied to Tārā one could say that her playful mind can relieve ordinary minds which become rigidly serious or tightly gripped by dualistic distinctions. She takes delight in an open mind and a receptive heart then. For in this openness and receptivity her blessings can naturally unfold and her energies can quicken the aspirants spiritual development.
These qualities of feminine principle then, found an expression in Indian Mahayana Buddhism and the emerging Vajrayana of Tibet, as the many forms of Tārā, as dakinis, as Prajnaparamita, and as many other local and specialized feminine divinities. Mahayana ( Sanskrit: mahāyāna, Devanagari: महायान 'Great Vehicle' is one of the two main existing schools of Buddhism and a term for Vajrayana Buddhism is also known as Tantric Buddhism, Tantrayāna, Mantrayana, Mantranaya, Secret Mantra, Esoteric Buddhism and " Perfection of Wisdom " is a translation of the Sanskrit term prajñā pāramitā ( Devanagari: प्रज्ञा पारमिता As the worship of Tārā developed, various prayers, chants and mantras became associated with her. These came out of a felt devotional need, and from her inspiration causing spiritual masters to compose and set down sadhanas, or tantric meditation practices. For Sadhana the actress see Sadhana (actress Sadhana (Sanskrit sādhanam) is a Sanskrit term for "a means of accomplishing something" Two ways of approach to her began to emerge. In one common folk and lay practitioners would simply directly appeal to her to ease some of the travails of worldly life. In the second, she became a Tantric deity whose practice would be used by monks or tantric yogis in order to develop her qualities in themselves, ultimately leading through her to the source of her qualities, which are Enlightenment, Enlightened Compassion, and Enlightened Mind. Tantra ( Sanskrit: तन्त्र; " Weave " denoting continuity) tantricism or tantrism is any of several esoteric
Tārā as a focus for tantric deity yoga can be traced back to the time period of Padmasambhava. Yoga ( Sanskrit: योग, IAST: yóga, joːgə refers to traditional physical and mental disciplines originating in India, to the Padmasambhava () The Lotus Born, is said to have transmitted Tantric Buddhism to Bhutan and Tibet in the 8th century. There is a Red Tārā practice which was given by Padmasambhava to Yeshe Tsogyal. Yeshe Tsogyel, also known in the Nyingma tradition as the Great Bliss Queen, is a semi-mythical female Deity or figure of enlightenment ( He asked that she hide it as a treasure. Terma are key Tibetan Buddhist and Bön teachings originally Esoterically secreted hidden by various adepts such as Padmasambhava and his It was not until the 20th century, that a great Nyingma lama, Apong Terton rediscovered it. This lama was reborn as His Holiness Sakya Trizin, present head of the Sakyapa sect. The Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism refers to its head as the Sakya Trizin. This articles concerns the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism For information on the ancient Śākya tribe see Shakya. A monk who had known Apong Terton succeeded in retransmitting it to H. H. Sakya Trizin, and the same monk also gave it to Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche, who released it to his western students. HE Chagdud Tulku ( Rinpoche (1930-2002 was a renowned teacher of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism.
Martin Willson in In Praise of Tārā traces many different lineages of Tārā Tantras, that is Tārā scriptures used as Tantric sadhanas. For example a Tārā sadhana was revealed to Tilopa, (988-1069 C. Tilopa ( Tibetan; Sanskrit: Talika, 988–1069 was born in either Chativavo ( Chittagong) Bengal or Jagora Bengal E. ) the human father of the Karma Kagyu. Karma Kagyu ( or Kamtsang, is the largest lineage within the Kagyu school one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Atisa, the great translator and founder of the Kadampa school of Tibetan Buddhism, was a devotee of Tārā. Early life Atisha is most commonly said to have been born in the year 980 in Vajrayogini village in Bikrampur, the northeastern region of Bengal (located in The Kadam ( tradition was a Tibetan Mahayana Buddhist school Dromtönpa a Tibetan lay master and the foremost disciple of the great Indian Buddhist He composed a praise to her, and three Tārā Sadhanas. Martin Willson's work also contains charts which show origins of her tantras in various lineages, but suffice to say that Tārā as a tantric practice quickly spread from around the 7th century C. E. onwards, and remains an important part of Vajrayana Buddhism to this day.
The practices themselves usually present Tārā as a tutelary deity (thug dam, yidam) which the practitioners sees as being a latent aspect of one's mind, or a manifestation in a visible form of a quality stemming from Buddha Jnana. In Vajrayana Buddhism an Ishta-deva or Ishta-devata ( Sanskrit) ( Yidam in Tibetan) is a fully enlightened being who is the focus Jñāna (also spelled Gñāna; Devanagari ज्ञान is the Sanskrit term for Knowledge or Philosophy. As John Blofeld puts it in his The Tantric Mysticism of Tibet:
Sadhanas in which Tārā is the yidam (meditational deity) can be extensive or quite brief. In Vajrayana Buddhism an Ishta-deva or Ishta-devata ( Sanskrit) ( Yidam in Tibetan) is a fully enlightened being who is the focus Most all of them include some introductory praises or homages to invoke her presence and prayers of taking refuge. Then her mantra is recited, followed by a visualization of her, perhaps more mantra, then the visualization is dissolved, followed by a dedication of the merit from doing the practice. A mantra ( Devanāgarī मन्त्र (or mantram is a religious or mystical syllable or poem typically from the Sanskrit language Additionally there may be extra prayers of aspirations, and a long life prayer for the Lama who originated the practice. Many of the Tārā sadhanas are seen as beginning practices within the world of Vajrayana Buddhism, however what is taking place during the visualization of the deity actually invokes some of the most sublime teachings of all Buddhism.
In this case during the creation phase of Tārā as a yidam, she is seen as having as much reality as any other phenomena apprehended through the mind. By reciting her mantra and visualizing her form in front, or on the head of the adept, one is opening to her energies of compassion and wisdom. After a period of time the practitioner shares in some of these qualities, becomes imbued with her being and all it represents. At the same time all of this is seen as coming out of Emptiness and having a translucent quality like a rainbow. Then many times there is a visualization of oneself as Tārā. One simultaneously becomes inseparable from all her good qualities while at the same time realizing the emptiness of the visualization of oneself as the yidam and also the emptiness of one's ordinary self. In Vajrayana Buddhism an Ishta-deva or Ishta-devata ( Sanskrit) ( Yidam in Tibetan) is a fully enlightened being who is the focus
This occurs in the completion stage of the practice. One dissolves the created deity form and at the same time also realizes how much of what we call the "self" is a creation of the mind, and has no long term substantial inherent existence. This part of the practice then is preparing the practitioner to be able to confront the dissolution of one's self at death and ultimately be able to approach through various stages of meditation upon emptiness, the realization of Ultimate Truth as a vast display of Emptiness and Luminosity. Emptiness as a Human condition of generalized Boredom, Social alienation and Apathy. At the same time the recitation of the mantra has been invoking Tārā's energy through its Sanskrit seed syllables and this purifies and activates certain psychic centers of the body (chakras). Sanskrit (sa संस्कृता वाक् saṃskṛtā vāk, for short sa संस्कृतम् saṃskṛtam) is a historical Chakra ( Pali: chakka Tibetan: khorlo Malay: cakera is a Sanskrit term meaning Circle or Wheel This also untangles knots of psychic energy which have hindered the practitioner from developing a Vajra body, which is necessary to be able to progress to more advanced practices and deeper stages of realization.
Therefore even in a simple Tārā sadhana a plethora of outer, inner, and secret events is taking place and there are now many works such as Deity Yoga, compiled by the present Dalai Lama, which explores all the ramifications of working with a yidam in Tantric practices. For Sadhana the actress see Sadhana (actress Sadhana (Sanskrit sādhanam) is a Sanskrit term for "a means of accomplishing something" In Vajrayana Buddhism an Ishta-deva or Ishta-devata ( Sanskrit) ( Yidam in Tibetan) is a fully enlightened being who is the focus
The end results of doing such Tārā practices are many. For one thing it reduces the forces of delusion in the forms of negative karma, sickness, afflictions of kleshas, and other obstacles and obscurations. The mantra helps generate Bodhicitta within the heart of the practitioner and purifies the psychic channels (nadis) within the body allowing a more natural expression of generosity and compassion to flow from the heart center. Nāḍi (the Sanskrit for "tube pipe" are the channels through which in traditional Indian medicine and spiritual science the energies of the Subtle body Through experiencing Tārā's perfected form one acknowledges one's own perfected form, that is one's intrinsic Buddha nature, which is usually covered over by obscurations and clinging to dualistic phenomena as being inherently real and permanent. A phenomenon (from Greek φαινόμενoν, pl φαινόμενα - phenomena) is any observable occurrence
The practice then weans one away from a coarse understanding of Reality, allowing one to get in touch with inner qualities similar to those of a bodhisattva, and prepares one's inner self to embrace finer spiritual energies, which can lead to more subtle and profound realizations of the Emptiness of phenomena and self.
As Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche, in his "Introduction to the Red Tārā Sadhana", notes of his lineage: "Tārā is the flawless expression of the inseparability of emptiness, awareness and compassion. HE Chagdud Tulku ( Rinpoche (1930-2002 was a renowned teacher of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. Just as you use a mirror to see your face, Tārā meditation is a means of seeing the true face of your mind, devoid of any trace of delusion". Meditation is a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the conditioned "thinking" mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness
Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo discovered Phagme Nyingthig (Tib. Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820-1892 was a renowned teacher scholar and Tertön of 19th century Tibet. spelling: 'chi med 'phags ma'i snying thig, Innermost Essence teachings of the Immortal Bodhisattva [Arya Tārā]). 
Earlier in the 19th century, according to a biography, Nyala Pema Dündul received a Hidden Treasure Tārā Teaching and Nyingthig (Tib. Nyala Pema Dündul (1816-1872 also known as Terton Nyala Pema Duddul was a teacher of Dzogchen and Tantric Buddhism in Eastern Tibet. nying thig) from his uncle Kunsang Dudjom (Tib. kun bzang bdud 'joms). It is not clear from the source whether the terma teaching and the nyingthig teachings refer to the same text or to two different texts. Terma are key Tibetan Buddhist and Bön teachings originally Esoterically secreted hidden by various adepts such as Padmasambhava and his