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GOLDEN TARA - ChakraSamvara Center

GOLDEN TARA

Golden Tara appears as the life-giving female buddha in a body of radiant golden light. She embodies the light of life itself. The vase in Golden Tara’s hand contains the power to increase our life energy, power, and material and spiritual resources. These resources support us in times of ease and times of difficulty, enabling us to discover and fulfill the purposes of our life on a moment-to-moment basis and over the arc of our lives. Her Tibetan name is Phagma Norter Drolma. She is the 11th Tara in the 21 Tara praise. She is giver of wealth and eliminates poverty by the wrathful energy of HUNG. The word wealth here refers not only to mundane wealth but also supreme wealth of understanding which liberates beings from the poverty of ignorance. Mother Tara Norter Drolma is able to summon ALL earth guardians. One of the guardians is the Goddess of Earth or Sayi Lhamo Tenma Chenmo (great firm earth goddess). Through her love, compassion, and wisdom, ALL the protectors of the ten directions, the Goddess of earth, the ancient Gods and their followers become part of her retinue, under her control.

Tara’s mantra is a loving play on her name. According to Sangharakshita, a traditional explanation of the mantra is that the variations of her name represent three progressive stages of salvation.

Tāre represents salvation from mundane dangers and suffering. Tara is seem as a savioress who can give aid from material threats such as floods, crime, wild animals, and traffic accidents. Tara is therefore said to protect against ordinary worldly dangers.

Tuttāre represents deliverance into the spiritual path conceived in terms of individual salvation. In traditional terms, this is the path of the Arhant, which leads to individual liberation from suffering. This is seen in Mahayana Buddhism as a kind of enlightenment in which compassion does not figure strongly. Tara therefore offers individual protection from the spiritual dangers of greed, hatred, and delusion: the three factors that cause us individual suffering.

Ture represents the culmination of the spiritual path in terms of deliverance into the altruistic path of universal salvation – the Bodhisattva path. In the Bodhisattva path we aspire for personal enlightenment, but we also connect compassionately with the sufferings of others, and strive to liberate them at the same time as we seek enlightenment ourselves. Tara therefore delivers us from a narrow conception of the spiritual life. She saves us from the notion that spiritual progress is about narrowly liberating ourselves from our own suffering, and instead leads us to see that true spiritual progress involves having compassion for others.

Pushtim means wealth, abundance, or increase.

Kuru is a mythical land to the north of the Himalayas, which was said to be a land of long life and happiness (it may have been the original northern home of the aryans). Perhaps the association with the mythical realm of Kuru doesn’t hurt when doing the mantra. But (and with due thanks to Arpad Joo’s comment below) it’s also a verb form meaning “do it!” or “make it so!” The “make it so!” refers back to an increase in wisdom, merit, and wealth (for the practitioner). We’re imploring Golden Tara for these things so that we can gain enlightenment and help ALL sentient beings.

Svaha, according to Monier Monier-William’s Sanskrit Dictionary, means: “Hail!”, “Hail to!” or “May a blessing rest on!” We could see this final blessing as symbolizing the recognition that we are, ultimately, Tara.

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