The Mother Goddess Tara
The Goddess Tara has a connection to the ancient Mother Creator, Kwan Yin (read about her here), Mother Mary, Astarte, Ishtar, Aphrodite and is expressly worshipped as Tara from Tibet to Ireland. “The name Tara comes from the same root as the Terramata (Earth Mother), Latin Terra Mater, Hebrew Terah, and Gaulish Taranis. The Sky Father’s name, meaning thunder, was Taran in Wales and Torann in Ireland. In remotest times the fanfare Taran-tara began as a magic call expressing the union of the two deities.¹”
Generally speaking, in Tibetan Buddhism, she is the most popular deity. So much so, that some have suggested the religion be renamed “Taraism.” A practice text entitled “In Praise of the 21 Taras“, is recited during the morning in all four sects of Tibetan Buddhism. Some practice a mantra meditation called Tara Practice. The main Tara mantra is; Om Tare Tu Tare Ture Svaha.
In Tibet, Tara is actually the generic name for a set of Bodhisattvas of similar aspect. As Mahatara, Great Tara, she is the supreme creator, the mother of liberation, and mother of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
The 7 most well known Taras are:
- Green Tara, known for the activity of compassion, represents virtuous and enlightened activity. She helps overcome fears, dangers, and anxieties.
- White Tara, also known for compassion, long life, healing, and serenity; also known as The Wish-fulfilling Wheel, or Cintachakra. As White Tara, she rose from a lotus blooming in the lake that formed from the first tear of compassion of great bodhisattva Avalokiteswara (whose human incarnation is the Dalai Lama).
- Red Tara, of fierce aspect associated with magnetizing all good things.
- Black Tara, associated with power .
- Yellow Tara, associated with wealth, prosperity, and stability.
- Blue Tara, associated with transmutation of anger and is the Mistress of the Blue Protector Wolves, Dogs, and Hounds of Heaven. She is connected with the blue star Sirius (called the “Wolf Star” in Chinese; the “Dog Star” in some other languages), and you can meditate on that star in the sky to receive her Blessings. Blue Tara offers protection to the Oceans and those born of the Water Signs.
- Cittamani Tara, a form of Tara widely practiced in the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism, portrayed as green and often confused with Green Tara.
“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.”
In Sanskrit, the name Tara means Star and consequently, she has served as a guiding light for many. In Hinduism, Tara Devi has eight forms called Ashta Tara and the names are Tara, Ugra Tara, Maha Ugra Tara, Kam Tara, Ekjata, Nil Saraswati, Vajra, and Bhadra-kali. Tara is the Feminine Goddess Archetype in Hindu Mythology. She governs the Underworld, the Earth, and the Heavens, birth, death and regeneration, love and war, the seasons, all that lives and grows, as well as the cycles of the moon.
Tara Devi stands upon a supine Shiva in an inert or corpse-like form. She is blue in color and wears minimal clothing. She wears a garland of severed human heads, has a lolling tongue, and blood oozes from her mouth to emphasize a darker side of her. Tara Devi has four arms holding a sacrificial sword, a severed head or skull cup, a lotus, and scissors. In this case, the scissors symbolize Tara’s ability to cut through unwanted habits and thus frees the individual for spiritual transcendence.
Mother Goddess to Many
White Tara, specifically, is likened to Mother Mary and H.H. the Dalai Lama has allowed this parallel saying “Yes, Tara and Mary create a good bridge. This is a good direction to go in.” Tara transcends sect, class, religion, and culture. In fact, a version of the Goddess Tara exists in almost all cultures. She is a true warrior in her own right, vanquishing fear and ignorance. As can be seen, Tara is the connection to feminine wisdom and energy. She reminds us of our own wisdom and embodies all the forms of the mother from the fierce protector to the nurturer of our spirits. As we embark on our personal journeys of transformation toward liberation, she protects us, guides us, and showers us with her love. Whenever we need her help, she is there. All we need to do is remember to ask.
Mantra Meditations for Tara Practice
Kalea is a writer, photographer, and energy healer from Hawaii. She’s obsessed with Sunrises & Sunsets and has a great love of books and yoga.