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Tara, enlightened female energy

Tara, enlightened female energy

According to legend, a long time ago Tara was a princess with great spiritual realizations. Several monks advised her to pray to reincarnate as a man in her next life, to achieve enlightenment.

Proud of belonging to her gender, Tara answered that not only she would achieve enlightenment as a woman, but also that she would vow to reincarnate as a female forever, to help human beings overcome all obstacles to spiritual realization. This vow made her into a Bodhisattva and into the first feminist goddess, as the Dalai Lama pointed out.

In our time her energy, subtle yet supremely powerful, ready for action and yet compassionate, is an inspiration for both women and men.

Her name, Tara, means Star in sanskrit. Originally worshipped in Hinduism together with other archetypes of the Goddess, she was absorbed in Buddhism around the 5th century CE and in time she became the favourite divinity of Tibetans, who depict her in twenty-one forms, each with a different color or attribute. The best known one is Green Tara, goddess of enlightened activity; she helps to overcome obstacles and ferries human beings across the stormy seas of fear and doubt to the shore of hope. She is also called Ture, the Swift one, because she is always ready to come quickly to the rescue; her right leg is outstretched, so she can get up as soon as she is called upon for help.

White Tara, another popular incarnation of the goddess, helps to achieve long life, compassion and peace. Red Tara, called Kurukulla, magnetizes the energy of attraction, Yellow Tara attracts wisdom and riches, Blu Tara, called Ekajati, protects from enemies, and so on…

In its most esoteric aspect, this deity represents the subtle energy at the base of all phenomena, who arise and dissolve in it.

Tara had a direct realization of Emptyness, which according to Buddhism is the ultimate nature of things: she knows that ultimately Samsara and Nirvana are one and the same, and she is therefore identified also with Prajnaparamita, the Perfection of Wisdom.