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InfinityTruth

Green Tara Mantra - The Joy Mantra

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The Green Tara is a god in tibetan buddhism. It's one of the beginning practices of tibetan buddhism. I thought this was a hindu practice when I first saw it. She looks like a hindu god, I didn't even realize buddhism had various gods (There goes my ignorance dammit! :lol: )

 

I used it a couple of times last night and it puts me at peace. It's supposed to rid you of fear, anxiety, and unhappiness. You can't beat the beauty of this mantra either. :)

 

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Buddhism was imported into Tibet from India. Tibetans loved their pre-Buddhist deities. So instead of throwing the deities out they Buddhisized all of them.

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GIH is absolutely correct. Tara was imported into Tibetan buddhism, but she was not an indigenous Tibetan deity. She was a hindu goddess. She is one of the ten Mahavidyas (Great Wisdoms). Her Moola (Base) mantra is the one you shared. Tara means "star" in sanskrit. According to Vedic knowledge (which predates both Hinduism and Buddhism), She is the Shakti of Brihaspati (Lord of Prayers) who is an aspect of Brahma. He is the teacher of the gods and is the master of mantra and ritual ceremony. He is connected to the planet Jupiter. After marrying Brihaspati, Tara was seduced by the Moon and she left Brihaspati for the moon but was given back to Brihaspati later.

 

Tara represents the aspect of Divine intelligence that first learns the "rules" of spirituality and then "rebels" to learn unorthodox secrets and then brings that secret knowledge back to orthodox understanding. Tara is an aspect of Saraswati, the wife of Brahma. She is the master of the Word and of Mantra. She is the deepest aspect of Wisdom.

 

Tibetan buddhists have their roots in Tantric hinduism. It was tantric hinduism that was used to defeat the indigenous Tibetan gods and "convert" them to buddhism. This is why Tibetan buddhism is so rooted in magic and tantra as opposed to say, the "Ch'aan (Zen) buddhists.

 

Many of the Tibetan buddhist deities are actually tantric hindu gods renamed as buddhas.

 

I know some of the buddhists here will want to argue this point but the history is pretty clear that Tantric buddhism has it's roots in Tantric Hinduism.

Edited by fiveelementtao
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GIH is absolutely correct. Tara was imported into Tibetan buddhism, but she was not an indigenous Tibetan deity.

 

Historically, there is no record of Tara before around the 5th or 6th century C.E. She seems to have evolved from the early Brahminical goddess Durgā [Durgaa] ("difficult or narrow passage") with whom she shares many attributes and names. According to the Hindu classic, the Mahābhārata, Durgā gets her name because she rescues people from difficult passage.

 

http://www.wildmind.org/mantras/figures/greentara

 

Before she was adopted by Buddhism, Tara was worshipped in Hinduism as a manifestation of the goddess Parvati. The feminine principle was not venerated in Buddhism until the fourth century CE, and Tara probably entered Buddhism around the sixth century CE.

 

http://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/deities/tara.htm

 

Tara is also worshipped in Buddhism as a deity--the Mother Goddess. Historically, many aspects of Tara are borrowed from Hindu Goddesses, especially Durga (Devi). She represents the feminine attributes in all of us, therefore, even though she in an Indian Goddess, her popularity extends well beyond India. Tara the Mother Goddess is the Goddess of the Underworld, Earth, and the Heavens.

 

http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhism/A%20-%20Tibetan%20Buddhism/Subjects/Tantra/Practices-%20%28Sadhanas%20and%20commentaries%29/Tara/The%20Green%20Tara%20I-IV/III/deity.htm

 

According to B. J. Terweil, who delivered a paper (entitled The Goddess Tara and Early Ahom Religion) to the seminar on Minorities in Buddhist Polities (at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, on 24-28 June 1985), she may be seen as the East Indian Buddhist version of the Chinese Guanyin (Kuan-yin), or the Hindu Goddess Durga, both of whom preceded her in time (p. 20). What is of note is that she is a development of the Mother-Goddess figure as saviouress within Buddhism. Tara's later dominance in Assam, within Ahom religion, may be a logical extension or adaption to the original cult there of Durga, especially in her aspect of the Buffalo-demon killer, Mahisasuramardini (again a Bull-Slaying divinity).

 

http://www.ccg.org/english/s/b7_7.html

Edited by Simplicity Rules
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GIH is absolutely correct. Tara was imported into Tibetan buddhism, but she was not an indigenous Tibetan deity. She was a hindu goddess. She is one of the ten Mahavidyas (Great Wisdoms). Her Moola (Base) mantra is the one you shared. Tara means "star" in sanskrit. According to Vedic knowledge (which predates both Hinduism and Buddhism), She is the Shakti of Brihaspati (Lord of Prayers) who is an aspect of Brahma. He is the teacher of the gods and is the master of mantra and ritual ceremony. He is connected to the planet Jupiter. After marrying Brihaspati, Tara was seduced by the Moon and she left Brihaspati for the moon but was given back to Brihaspati later.

 

Tara represents the aspect of Divine intelligence that first learns the "rules" of spirituality and then "rebels" to learn unorthodox secrets and then brings that secret knowledge back to orthodox understanding. Tara is an aspect of Saraswati, the wife of Brahma. She is the master of the Word and of Mantra. She is the deepest aspect of Wisdom.

 

Tibetan buddhists have their roots in Tantric hinduism. It was tantric hinduism that was used to defeat the indigenous Tibetan gods and "convert" them to buddhism. This is why Tibetan buddhism is so rooted in magic and tantra as opposed to say, the "Ch'aan (Zen) buddhists.

 

Many of the Tibetan buddhist deities are actually tantric hindu gods renamed as buddhas.

 

I know some of the buddhists here will want to argue this point but the history is pretty clear that Tantric buddhism has it's roots in Tantric Hinduism.

 

Wow, very informative! I KNEW there was something hindu about her appearance.

 

My intuition was telling me earlier that she had something to do with jupiter(Don't ask...I have no idea...lol), so it's cool that that was mentioned also.

 

I think I have a connection to her in a past life, but I'm not sure.

Edited by InfinityTruth

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fiveelementtao, simplicity rules,

 

Wow, you people are great. :) Hehe.. So I was assuming Tara is from the indigenous Bon tradition of Tibet, but I am pretty sure I am wrong and you are right about the origin of Tara.

 

So Tara and other deities were mixed with Buddhism while Buddhism was still in India, and then the already-mixed Buddhism came into Tibet? Is that the right order of events? It's an interesting topic.

 

I'm a bit sorry for hijacking this thread to talk about Tara's origins. The mantra above is very nice, and youtube has many cool mantras on it for those who want to find such things.

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fiveelementtao, simplicity rules,

 

Wow, you people are great. :)

So Tara and other deities were mixed with Buddhism while Buddhism was still in India, and then the already-mixed Buddhism came into Tibet? Is that the right order of events? It's an interesting topic.

 

Hmm, I'm not quite sure if Tara was absorbed into buddhism in India first or tibet. I suspect that she wasn't absorbed into Indian buddhism at all. Tibetan buddhism is unique in that it it is very tantric (by tantric, I mean esoteric Hindu magic) Tara is BIG in tantric hinduism. She is one of the TEN manifestations of Parvati/Durga. wait..I'm getting ahead of myself...let me back up.

 

According to my sources, orthodox Buddhism was first introduced into Tibet in the 8th century. It was received well by the Ruling classes but as you can imagine, the indigenous Bon-Po shamans did not take kindly to their ancestral path being overtaken by a foreign religion. So, as the story goes, the Bon -Po shamans began launching magical attacks against Buddhists and Buddhist missionaries these attacks lasted for a hundred years. Orhtodox Buddhism was not powerful enough to combat the magic of the shamans. So, the ruling buddhists called in spiritual mercenaries from India to combat the Black magic of the shamans... Enter Padmasambhava, the founder of Tantric Buddhism in Tibet... Bear in mind that Buddhism in India can be considered as a sect of Hinduism. Indian Hindus have incorporated buddha into Hinduism and they consider Buddha to be one of the ten incarnations of Visnhu. So, a Hindu could worship Buddha without becoming an orthodox Buddhists.

 

Anyway, my point is that Padmasambhava was a buddhist who incorporated traditional Indian magic into his religion...Vedic and Tantric Hinduism into his religion which included Vedic rituals, mantras and spells. In order to combat the Bon-Po shamans, Padmasambhava used Indian Tantric Rituals, mantras and spells to defeat the indigenous gods of Tibet and then he masterfully "converted" these "demons" into buddhist protection spirits. So, today in Tibet, you have a combination of Buddhism, Tantric Hinduism, Vedic ritual AND converted tibetan deities who now act as "Protectors" of buddhism in Tibet. It was a brilliant strategy!

Edited by fiveelementtao
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Not sure how reliable the information is - Akshobhya another name for Shiva?! - but here's another link on the Hindu and Buddhist Taras:

 

Tara The "Star"

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Yes. Akshobhya is a form of Shiva that was incorporated as a buddha into Tibetan buddhism. As I understand it, He is the Shiva aspect of Brihaspati or Brahma related to the planet Jupiter.

 

Not sure how reliable the information is - Akshobhya another name for Shiva?! - but here's another link on the Hindu and Buddhist Taras:

 

Tara The "Star"

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Yes. Akshobhya is a form of Shiva that was incorporated as a buddha into Tibetan buddhism. As I understand it, He is the Shiva aspect of Brihaspati or Brahma related to the planet Jupiter.

Thanks! Do you know of a source of independent scholarly research on this that doesn't come from Hindu sources?

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Not offhand. Let me know if you find any. From what little research I have done, you sort of have to choose between buddhist sources or Hindu sources. IMO, buddhist sources are extremely biased and want to Buddhicize everything. The Hindu sources are biased too, but IMO, not as much... But, IMHO, if a deity were truly an indigenous Tibetan deity, the name would not be in Sanskrit. I suppose they could Sanskritize any name they wished, but Tibetans still do have indigenous deities without sanskrit names. So, it is a reasonable (although not infallible) assumption to me that any indigenous Tibetan deity would not have a foreign name...

 

But if any source can be truly independent, I would be very interested in learning what they find...

 

Thanks! Do you know of a source of independent scholarly research on this that doesn't come from Hindu sources?

Edited by fiveelementtao

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So, it is a reasonable (although not infallible) assumption to me that any indigenous Tibetan deity would not have a foreign name...

 

There are a few significant deities whose names were not Sanskritized. Among the principal ones, Sherab Chamma (Loving Mother of Wisdom) is considered to be of great importance. The Bons regard her as a contemporary deity of Tara (also known as the Great Mother of Liberation to the Buddhists) - both are of equal stature.

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Not offhand. Let me know if you find any. From what little research I have done, you sort of have to choose between buddhist sources or Hindu sources. IMO, buddhist sources are extremely biased and want to Buddhicize everything. The Hindu sources are biased too, but IMO, not as much... But, IMHO, if a deity were truly an indigenous Tibetan deity, the name would not be in Sanskrit. I suppose they could Sanskritize any name they wished, but Tibetans still do have indigenous deities without sanskrit names. So, it is a reasonable (although not infallible) assumption to me that any indigenous Tibetan deity would not have a foreign name...

 

But if any source can be truly independent, I would be very interested in learning what they find...

I don't think a source can be truly independent either but when I stumble upon any sources that shed some more light in this area I'll be sure to post. It would be interesting to see which Indian Buddhist deities can be totally separated from Hindu deities. Some share the same name: Hayagriva, Tara, Garuda, (Vajra)Bhairava while others similar, but not exact, mantras and iconography like Chinnamasta and Vajrayogini.

 

There are terma and visionary sources of purely Tibetan Buddhist deities such as wrathful forms of Padmasambhava/Guru Rinpoche in sambhogakaya form, Dorje Drolo being an example.

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But, IMHO, if a deity were truly an indigenous Tibetan deity, ..

Ummm... seems to me that a celestial deity is not indigenous to any particular land mass or culture. A celestial deity is indigenous to the celestial realm in which they primarily reside... and even that is a little iffy as deities are consciously vast and multi-dimensional.

 

Now, a people of a culture might align themselves with a deities grace-stream through focus and devotion, but that doesn't mean that the deity came from that culture. Many cultures could devote to a single deity, doesn't mean that the deity came from anywhere local. ;)

 

"There are lots of rooms

in my Father's Palace."

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I 100% agree with you. But you are raising a different subject. No one is suggesting that any of the deities are confined to any locales. The discussion right now, is centered on the language of the names of some of the deities in Tibetan Buddhism not the essence of them... and how these particular names in Sanskrit were introduced into Tibet. My opinion is that those with sanskrit names are most likely imported (at least in name not essence) from India. That however has nothing to do with the essence of the deity in question or where they reside in the Universe which is another subject entirely however worthy of discussion it may be....

 

Ummm... seems to me that a celestial deity is not indigenous to any particular land mass or culture. A celestial deity is indigenous to the celestial realm in which they primarily reside... and even that is a little iffy as deities are consciously vast and multi-dimensional.

 

Now, a people of a culture might align themselves with a deities grace-stream through focus and devotion, but that doesn't mean that the deity came from that culture. Many cultures could devote to a single deity, doesn't mean that the deity came from anywhere local. ;)

 

"There are lots of rooms

in my Father's Palace."

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Posted (edited)

Ohm Tare Tuttare Ture So ha...

 

She's been lilting about our home all morning!

Synchronicity.

 

Love.

 

Peace.

 

Gratitude.

 

this has been on loop for the past hour or so

 

Edited by silent thunder
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I sometimes struggle with social awkwardness and self esteem issues. The Tara mantra is supposed to make you fearless and it really helped me when I started a new job. 

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