Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Green Tara

This is the third entry from my fieldwork diary. The original date is 21.04.2010.


Verse 24 from the 37 Practices of Bodhisattva:
"All forms of suffering are like a child's death in a dream.
Holding illusory appearances to be true makes you weary.
Therefore, when you meet with disagreeable circumstances,
See them as illusory -
This is the practice of a Bodhisattva."


Drupon Sangyas explains this text:

"We live in Samsara and have not yet reached Nirvana. There are many forms of suffering in Samsara. The suffering begins already at the moment of your birth. As we grow older, it becomes bigger for we are fearful of old age and the loss of outer beauty.

Another example of suffering in the Samsara is when a poor person dreams of becoming rich. One day, his wish becomes true. But then, should he lose all of his money later by some misfortune, he will suffer again. This is like living in a dream that is not real. This is what we call an illusion - the desire, the wish to own better material things. In order to reach enlightenment, one must realize this.

Buddha (Siddharta) was born in a wealthy family. He was a prince and he had all the fortune he could ever wish for. But when he left his palace and discovered that poverty, disease, death, pain and hunger (suffering) exists in the world, he realized that his good life was just an illusion. So he abandoned the life of luxury and chose to meditate in the forest. He shaved his head and wore the clothes of a poor person. After six years, he had almost reached enlightenment.

Demons mask themselves with beautiful appearances. Likewise, people only find certain appearances attractive and pleasant, like a handsome looking man, groomed and polite, or a beautiful woman in a nice dress. But if you dress like a homeless person and look "ugly", people try to avoid you."


"The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances." - Atisha


One of his students asked Buddha, "Are you the messiah?"
"No", answered Buddha.
"Then are you a healer?"
"No", Buddha replied.
"Then are you a teacher?" the student persisted.
"No, I am not a teacher."
"Then what are you?" asked the student, exasperated.
"I am awake", Buddha replied.


Drupon Sangyas continued:

"It is important to have positive thoughts and not thoughts of jealousy, anger, greed etc.
Ignorance - illusion - intolerance - suffering. To stop this cycle, one needs to find Dharma (a good message or teaching). The path to happiness is to first understand what is an illusion and where it comes from. Buddha gives thousands of messages. If you have a pure and genuine mind, your thoughts are free from suffering. We have the free will to make choices and that is why we must choose wisely. To have harmful thoughts is a bad choice and a hindrance if you want to become happy. So be careful, mindful and conscious of your own thoughts because thoughts carry great influence and power.

The Green Tara is the feminine embodiment of compassion and kindness for all beings. She was the first enlightened female bodhisattva.

People need compassion. And we need to help those in pain. If we don't - we have no compassion. We must develop our compassion."


*Important side note: These diary entries do not reflect every word the teacher said, and there may be some mistakes or misunderstandings, for which I am sorry and accept responsibility. In a few instances, I have interjected my own interpretation or explanation.


After his speech, everybody did the Green Tara practice with their eyes closed, followed up with the Estonian translation as usual.
I meditated and tried to concentrate. The more I said this mantra, the more I felt spiritually elevated. It felt powerful, and I don't think I had ever felt anything more powerful than this before. My stomach got a warm sensation that slowly spread around and in an upwards direction. It turned from simple warmth to heat inside my chest. All of the sudden, I wasn't hungry or cold anymore. That was the strangest thing ever.



TARE means liberating from Samsara. This Samsara means these aggregates: the aggregate of form, or the physical body; of feeling; of recognition; of karmic formations; and of consciousness.

TARE shows that Mother Tara liberates living beings from Samsara, from true suffering, or problems. You can relate this to the particular sufferings of human beings: birth, old age, sickness and death; meeting undesirable objects and experiencing aversion; not finding desirable objects or finding them but gaining no satisfaction. No matter how much pleasure you enjoy, there is no satisfaction. No matter how much you follow desire, there is no satisfaction at all.

TUTTARE liberates you from the eight fears. There are eight fears related to external dangers from fire, water, air, earth, and also from such things as thieves and dangerous animals. However, the main dangers come from ignorance, attachment, anger, pride, jealousy, miserliness, doubt and wrong views. These eight disturbing thoughts that you have in your mind are the main dangers. By taking refuge in Tara and doing Tara practice, you are liberated from these eight internal dangers, these eight disturbing thoughts. In this way, you are also liberated from external dangers, as these external dangers come from the inner disturbing thoughts.

TURE liberates you from disease. Now, of the Four Noble Truths, TURE shows the cessation of suffering, which is the ultimate Dharma. In terms of liberating from disease, the actual disease we have is ignorance not knowing the absolute nature of the I, and all the disturbing thoughts that arise from this ignorance. These are the actual, serious diseases that we have. With cessation of all these diseases of disturbing thoughts, all the true sufferings, all the resultant problems, are also ceased. By liberating us from disease, TURE actually liberates us from the true cause, disturbing thoughts, and also the true sufferings.

The rough meaning of these three words TARE TUTTARE TURE is: "To you, embodiment of all the Buddhas' actions, I prostrate always—whether I am in happy or unhappy circumstances—with my body, speech and mind."

The final word SVAHA means establishing the root of the path within your heart. In other words, by taking refuge in Tara and doing Tara practice, you receive the blessings of Tara in your own heart. This gives you space to establish the root of the path, signified by TARE TUTTARE TURE, in your heart. By establishing the path of the three capable beings within your heart, you purify all impurities of your body, speech and mind, and achieve Tara's pure vajra holy body, holy speech and holy mind, which are signified by OM. Your body, speech and mind are transformed into Tara's holy body, holy speech and holy mind. This is the rough meaning of OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SVAHA.

Om is another variation of the romanized spelling for Aum. It is made up of the three syllabus of A, U and Ma, the universal trinity.
Soha, Svaha and Swahah are just variations in Romanized spellings. It also means 'so be it' or 'hail'.

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