Goddess of Compassion
Goddess Tara is probably the oldest goddess who is still worshipped extensively in modern times. Tara originated as a Hindu goddess, a Great Goddess -- the Mother Creator, representing the eternal life force that fuels all life.
I am not a religious person, however, It is the goddess Tara who helps us to remain "centered". The myths of the Goddess Tara remind us of our "oneness" with all of creation and the importance of nurturing the spirit within.
Tara or Arya Tara, also known as Jetsun Dolma, is a female Bodhisattva typically associated with Tibetan Buddhism. She is the "mother of liberation", and represents the virtues of success in work and achievements.Tara is actually the generic name for a set of Bodhisattvas of similar aspect. These may more properly be understood as different aspects of the same quality, as Bodhisattvas are often considered metaphoric for Buddhist virtues. As Mahatara, Great Tara, she is the supreme creatrix and mother of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
Tara is the Feminine Goddess Archetype in Hindu Mythology. Tara governs the Underworld, the Earth and the Heavens, birth, death and regeneration, love and war, the seasons, all that lives and grows, the Moon cycles - Luna - feminine - creation. Typically Tara is seen as a slender and beautiful woman of milky complexion, long golden hair and blue eyes.She is the most popular figure in the Tibetan pantheon of deities, the beautiful goddess Tara, (pronounced tah' rah) whose name in means 'Star' - originated in Indian Hinduism as the Mother Creator, and her many representations spread from Ireland to Indonesia under many different names.
In later Hindu scriptures, she is depicted as one of the eight major aspects of the Divine Feminine Principle, a loving manifestation in contrast to the fiercesome Kali. Like a star that perpetually consumes its own energy, Tara represents the never-ending desires that fuel all life.
Adopted by Buddhism from Hinduism by the 3rd century B.C. , Tara appears in Buddhism, Jainism, and particularly, Tibetan Lamaism, as a complex array of manifestations: goddess of ascetism and mysticism, mother creator, protectress of all humans as they cross the sea of life. Tara is known as The Faithful One, The Fierce Protectress, an archetype of inner wisdom. They speak of a transformation of consciousness, a journey to freedom. They teach many simple and direct means for each person to discover within themselves the wisdom, compassion and glory that is Tara. She is the feminine counterpart of the bodhisattva - Buddha-to-be - Avalokitesvara.
According to popular belief, she came into existence from a tear of Avalokitesvara, which fell to the ground and formed a lake. Out of its waters rose up a lotus, which, on opening, revealed the goddess. Like Avalokitesvara, she is a compassionate deity who helps souls 'cross to the other shore'. She is the protectress of navigation and earthly travel, as well as of spiritual travel along the path to Enlightenment.
There are many embodiments of Tara, but the best known are The White Tara- The peaceful, compassionate White Tara is the "Mother of Longevity" gently protects and brings long life and peace & The Green Tara - The more dynamic goddess, Green Tara is the "Mother Earth", and a fierce goddess who overcomes obstacles, and saves us from physical and spiritual danger.
White Tara - The Mother of Longevity
White Tara, also known for compassion, long life, healing and serenity who has the power of granting Longevity. She is also the special Goddess who helps devotees in overcoming life's obstacles. May all enjoy a long life free from sickness, pain and suffering.
Om Tare Tuttare Ture Mama Ayuh Punya Jñana Pustim Kuru Svaha!
Green Tara - "Mother Earth"
The Green Tara (Sanskrit: Shyamatara; Tibetan: Sgrol-ljang) was believed to be incarnated as the Nepali princess. She is considered by some to be the original Tara and is the female consort or sexual partner of Avalokiteshvara. She is generally shown seated on a lotus throne with right leg hanging down, wearing the ornaments of a bodhisattva and holding the closed blue lotus (utpala).
The Goddess Tara vowed:
"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."
The original bronze statue dating back to the 7th or 8th century A.D was found in the north-east of Lanka between Trincomalee and Batticaloa. Its total height is 143.75 cm or 56.6 inches. Her right hand is in the gesture of vara mudra and her left hand is in the gesture of vitarka mudra. The marked contrast of the slender waist against heavy breasts and hips is the ideal of feminine beauty. The goddess, dignified and graceful in this manifestation, represents the chastity and virtue and the embodiment of love, compassion, and mercy.
The White and Green Taras, with their contrasting symbols of the full-blown and closed lotus, are said to symbolize between them the unending compassion of the deity who labours both day and night to relieve suffering.
Tara is an archetype of our own inner wisdom. She guides and protects us as we navigate the depths of our unconscious minds, helping us to transform consciousness, our own personal journeys of freedom.
The journey within is just as important if not the only journey that one really endures.
Travel is an intrinsic part of this journey, of a transformation of consciousness and a journey to freedom.