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Wednesday’s goddess

August 28, 2013

In the library we have a new tanka, a beautiful painting of the white Tara … she has replaced the Green Tara, who has graced our wall for a few years, and now needs a little repair.  She has watched over us well and she is my favoured goddess and in honour I found some lovely images and a short quote that suits her well.


The feminine energies of the Buddhist pantheon are epitomised in the radiant forms of the goddess Tara.  Whose loving kindness radiates outward to lead a beings from worldly and spiritual peril.  Green Tara’s colour represents a blending of white, blue and yellow ; colours that symbolise ; peace , growth and destruction. In her role as a saviour, Green Tara is said to protect beings from the ‘eight great terrors.’

Sited in the text Protection from the eight perils   the 7th century Buddhist scholar Chandragomin expressed his devotion to the omnipresent goddess:-

Entering upon the road I see you, hand and feet reddened by the blood of a slain elephant.  Upon the road I think of you, a lion trampled beneath your feet; thus I pass through a thick-grown impassable forest.  Those who do not stop for an instant on their path of killing, wandering with the roaring sound of the host of bees flying at a cheek of fragrant intoxicating liquor; O Tara even they are conquered and bow before you.    

A fire blazing as if the firmament were kindled by the wind’s great power at the dissolution of the world; even that will be calmed if a city should call out your name.  

Entering upon the road linking and bending through the mountains, through the ravines and valleys, I see you wandering the road.

I think of Tara greater than the strength of serpents and their poison conquered and turned against them.  

Entering upon the road where robbers bear aloft their weapons, I think of them trampled beneath the feet of Tara and with that power I go swiftly and joyfully to my home.  

A wise man in daily prayer, bound, captive imprisoned by all the lords of this earth; need but think of the feet of Tara and instantly his bounds burst in a hundred pieces.  

Though the seas rise clamorously upward as high as the abode of Brahma, your body, the terror of the sea monster, as in a boat in the midst thereof, by thinking of Tara I lose all fear.

A vampire, his body brown-haired, dark as colyrium, bound by his very sinews to hunger and thirst, delighting in the slaughter of men, even he is conquered by the thought of your lotus feet.

As a mother protects her child, so the cosmic mother Green Tara shelters all beings in her loving embrace.  Green Tara is our spiritual insurance against harm and ill will.   

Images from Celestial Gallery by Romio Shrestha ; text by Ian A Baker ; foreword by Deepak Chopra and afterword by Robert A F Thurman.

2 Comments leave one →
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