Tag Archive: lakshmi


Goddess Kamala

“Kamala’s themes are spirituality, love, relationships, passion and pleasure. Her symbols are the color yellow and lotuses.  The Hindu ‘lotus girl’ of pleasure promotes ongoing faithfulness in our relationships inspired by mutual enjoyment and an abundance of love. Kamala also makes us aware of the spiritual dimensions in our physical exchanges that sometimes get overlooked.

In India, today is a time to celebrate the birth of Krishna, the most charming and kind incarnation of Vishnu. Kamala, as one of Lakshimi’s incarnations, joins in this festivity as his lover and companion. To participate in the gala, eat Indian food, especially hot, spicy items that ignite passion (although you may want to follow this meal with breath mints and antacids). Anything that includes cinnamon, garlic or saffron is a good alternative choice, as these items bear Kamala’s lusty energy.

To improve your ability to give and receive love, including self-love, wear yellow-colored clothing today, especially an item that is worn near the heart chakra (a blouse, shirt, tie, bra or perhaps a gold necklace or tie back). As you don that item, say,

‘Let pleasure flow freely from my heart;
Kamala, abide there – your love impart.’

Wear this piece of clothing or jewelry again anytime you enact spells or rituals focused on sexuality or relationships.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Goddess Kamala is one of the Ten Mahavidyas who is known as the wisdom Goddesses.  She is also the Hindu Goddess of consciousness and creation.  Goddess Kamala is represented as a beautiful woman adorned with golden skin and seated or standing on a lotus.  She is also seen holding two more lotuses that symbolize both fertility and purity.  The Goddess is accompanied by huge elephants who pour jars of nectar on Her.  Goddess Kamala is considered as the Mahavidya form of Goddess Lakshmi, who represents wealth and beauty.  As one of the Ten Mahavidyas Goddess Kamala represents the unfolding of inner consciousness into the richness of creation.  The Goddess is known for the power to eradicate poverty, both material and spiritual.  Kamala’s name, which means, ‘She of the lotus’ is also seen as Kamalatmika.

Kamala Goddess has an elegant golden complexion.  In Her four hands She holds two lotuses and is seen granting boons and giving assurance to Her devotees.  She wears a dazzling crown on Her head and puts on a silken dress.  She also wears a kaustibha Gem and has a smiling face.  The Goddess is seen seated on a lotus in a lotus posture.  As the Goddess of material and spiritual wealth and beauty, Kamala is worshipped during tough economic times.  She is a benign Goddess who blesses Her devotees with good luck, power, wealth and safety.

Goddess Kamala is also widely known for Her creative force.  She has the power to create beauty and wealth around us, and to see beauty in everything.  The bija mantra or the seed mantra of the Goddess is EE.  In transliterated Sanskrit there would be an i with the line over the top.  One needs to place an M after the EE, to make EEM.  This would show Her complete energy in beej form.  From EE sound to closed M makes the range of Her Shakti.  This is the primal Shakti beej, this sound is heard in all other beejam such as Shreem, Hreem, Kreem.  This EEM beej is sometimes named as Yoni beej.  Yoni is the form of a female’s sex organ and is in form of a lotus.  It is the basic female principle.  Goddess Kamala is also considered the most beautiful Mahavidya.” [1]

“Kamala as lotus Goddess also represents developement of the person by maintaining the dharma of keeping the seven chakras open. She upholds sadhana. Lotus=chakra. Lotus Goddess is advancement Goddess. This is why She, as Shree or Lakshmi, is called Shakti of Shiva.

In beauty the Goddesses who most represent Her are Shree, Lakshmi, Bala, and Lalita. She is very sattvic like Venus or Aphrodite, and of the Mahavidyas most like the Christian Mary.

Kamala is the first and most primal female energy. More developed, She takes on the other qualities of the other Mahavidyas. In fact, there is really no difference here because we are discussing deities that can change forms like lycantropes.

When God manifests She does so to suit the moment like how we humans dress for success. We don’t always try to look uptight and professional, sometimes we like to dress down in bikinis and relax. Kamala is very much dressed down and relaxed.

To worship Her in any form is acceptable because She is in all forms as all forms are from Prakriti or Mother Nature. We still maintain decorum even in bikinis. So also Her worship entails restraint. She is the Light Goddess and likes fine and sattvic things and actions like charity.

As bride of Vishnu She loves a person who preserves other lives.

Ask Her to help and She will give you Her blessings. But remain generous and faithful or She will be fickle. You should worship Her during hard times for relief. She gives peace, prosperity and pleasure, and moksha.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Bernhardt, Kirk. Shaktisadhana.50megs.com, Shakti Sadhana – Kamala“.

Indianetzone.com, “Goddess Kamala, Indian Goddess“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Divinetantrictouch.com, “How to Worship Kamala – Lotus Goddess of Spiritual Wealth“.

Kamakhyamandir.org, “Kamala: Lotus Goddess of Spiritual Wealth“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Kamala“.

Wikipedia, “Kamalatmika“.

“Light of the Dharma” by Anya Langmead

“Buddhabodhiprabhavasita’s themes are wisdom, meditation, Universal Law, overcoming, spirituality and banishing. Her symbols are the color yellow and Prayer Wheels.  This Buddhist Goddess controls the awareness of Buddha, personifying spiritual regeneration and the power of light to overcome any darnkess in our lives. Since Buddhabodhiprabhavasita has the ear of Buddha, She makes an excellent mediator and teacher of universal truths.

In Tibet, this is a time for the Cham-ngyon-wa (“Old Dance”) in which monks to bring out costumes fashioned after Manchu dynasty tradition and dance in a parade of cymbals, flutes, gongs and drums. Their dance portrays the demons of hell fighting against the favorite regional deities (who of course win the symbolic battle by the end of the exhibition). To adapt this, go through your living space making lots of noise to banish any negativity that lurks within. Turn on the lights as you go to literally ‘turn on’ Buddhabodhiprabhavasita’s insight within yourself and use any wheel as the focus for your prayers. For example, write your needs on your automobile tires or attach them to bicycle spokes so that each time the wheel goes round, the prayer goes out to the Goddess.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Expansion and Fulfilment” from Circle of Good Will

I could not find anything on a specific Goddess called Buddhabodhiprabhavasita (try saying that 3 times fast!).  I did run across this tidbit of information from a blog called The One and Only; according to it’s author, ketutar, “Buddha and Bodhi are basically the same – Bodhi means enlightenment and Buddha The Enlightened Prabha is the Universal Light and one of the names of Lakshmi.  Vashita is the Goddess of Air and communication – She controlls the senses and thus can make you see and hear what ever She wants. (Vasitas are minor Buddhist Goddesses).  So Buddhabodhiprabhavasita is one of Lakshmi’s aspects, the Light and Air that carries communication – that makes communication possible.” [1]

So, I’ve got the “Buddha” and “Bodhi” broken down.  Looking up “Prabhavati”, I found mention of “a 4th century regent of the western Indian Vakataka dynasty” [2] and Prabhavati Devi whowas at the forefront of freedom struggle in Bihar” [3].  According to babynamesworld.parentsconnect.com, Prabhavati means “Having light; luminous” in Sanskrit and Indian. [4]

I FINALLY came across this entry in the Encyclopedia of Hinduism by Sunil Sehgal: “Buddhabodhiprabhavasita (Control of the light of knowledge of Buddha) Minor Goddess. Buddhist. One of a group of twelve vasitas personifying the disciplines of spiritual gegeneration. Colour: yellow. Attributes: prayer wheel and jewelled banner” (p. 309). [5]

 

 

 

Sources:

babynamesworld.parentsconnect.com, “Prabhavati“.

ketutar. The One and Only, “Buddhabodhiprabhavasita“.

Sehgal, Sunil. The Encyclopedia of Hinduism, “Buddhabodhiprabhavasita“.

Wikipedia, “Prabhavati“.

Wikipedia, “Prabhavati Devi“.

Goddess Sri

“Sri’s themes are joy, protection, fertility, insight, and wealth.  Her symbols are the color blue and pink lotuses. In Nepal, Sri, which means ‘prosperity’, is said to protect the Dalai Lama. Invoke Her to bring abundance for tax paying! Sri is portrayed as having three eyes, giving Her the additional power of perspective when ours is lacking.

Celebration of the Nepalese new year, Nava Varsha, includes heartfelt greetings for luck and ritual bathing for fertility. As you see people today, smile brightly and wish them a good day. This provokes Sri’s fortunate energy and a little extra felicity wherever you go.

Wearing something blue today makes Sri happy, which in turn sharpens Sri’s shrewdness in you to promote a safe, frugal day. Or, carry a tumbled soldalite for Sri’s focus, a blue topaz for Her help in maintaining financial reserves, or a turquoise so that Sri will preserve your well-being.

Try this visualisation when you need Sri’s attributes to begin blossoming in your spirit: Envision an unopened pink flower in the region of your heart. Above, the sun shines with the pink-blue light of dawn and beats with the rhythm of your blood. You feel your heart’s petals open to embrace it, accepting the warmth and energy without reservation. As your soul-flower absorbs the light, you can see it is a lotus, Sri’s flower. She is there with you now, in your hearth, to call on as needed.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Goddess Shri Devi, or Sridevi, is one of the numerous forms of Goddess Lakshmi and is the prime Goddess among the various Vishnava Goddesses, to include Bhūmi, or Bhu Devi, and Nila Devi who are also said to be different manifestations of Lakshmi worshipped in Hindu religion. Legend has it that Goddess Laxmi appeared in the form of Sridevi during the Samudra manthan or the ‘churning of the ocean’. This is mentioned in the Vishnu Purana. Goddess Shri Devi was one among the precious items that appeared during the churning of the ocean.

Hindu holy scriptures mention that in the form of Sridevi, Goddess Lakshmi has the face like that of full moon with red lips. She has a benign and smiling face. In this form, She is dressed in white color sari and wears jewelry. The young age of Goddess Lakshmi is depicted in the Sridevi form.

Goddess Sridevi is usually visualized as having two hands and sitting in Padmasana. In some scriptures She is mentioned as having four hands and She carries a pasha (noose), ankush (shining hook), rosary and lotus.” [1]

She is the beloved inseparable consort of Vishnu, his ‘Shakti‘ or power, enjoying the same status of Vishnu.  “When Sri Devi (Lakshmi) and Vishnu are depicted together they are known as Lakshmi-Narayana. In many instances, as seen below, Devi Lakshmi manifests as two separate Goddesses, Shri Devi and Bhu Devi, who appear on either side of Lord Vishnu. While the former denotes energy, the latter represents fertility.

Both the Goddesses are depicted similarly, wearing exactly the same clothes, ornaments and even a similar crown, signifying that the Lord holds equal affection for both. Their red saris and green blouses have wide gold borders, much like the beautiful zari saris made in South India. The South Indian influence is also evident in the high tower-like crown of Lord Vishnu, while that of the two ladies definitely betrays a Mughal influence.” [2]

“While Sri Devi as previously mentioned enjoys the same status as Vishnu, She is however held in higher esteem by the Vaishnava acharyas.  This is due to the fact that She possesses certain motherly qualities such as compassion (daya) and forgiveness (ksama) on account of which She has a tendency to overlook the offenses of the devotees.  She also has a tender affection (vatsalya) towards all beings like a mother towards a child, by not taking notice of their offenses.  Above all, She has natural inclination to shower grace (anugraha) upon all.” [3]

 

There were some really beautiful videos on Youtube dedicated to Lakshmi and I ended up choosing this one to share with you all.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Exotic India, “Lord Vishnu with Manifested Energy and Fertility“.

IndiaNetzone, “Goddess Sri, Vaishnava Goddess“.

IndiaNetzone, “Vaishnava Goddesses“.

Rajendran, Abhilash. Hindu Blog, “Goddess Shri Devi – About Hindu Goddess Sridevi“.

 

Suggested Links:

Devotional Only, “VaraLakshmi Vratam – Pooja Procedure and Story“.

Exotic India, “Lakshmi: The Lotus Goddess“.

Sai MahaLakshmi.com, “Goddess Lakshmi Maha Lakshmi“.

SaiSathyaSai.com, “Mother Lakshmi Devi – Goddess of Wealth“.

Sri Venkateswara Temple, “About Temple – Sridevi (Lakshmi) and Bhudevi (Andal)“.

Wikipedia, “Sri sukta“.

Goddess Maheswari

“Maheswari’s themes are protection, overcoming and prayer.  Her symbols are masks, drums and prayer wheels.  An epic mother-Goddess figure in the Hindu pantheon and a protective aspect of Lakshmi, Maheswari hears our prayers for assistance in risky, threatening, or seemingly impossible situations. When your back’s to the wall, Maheswari opens a doorway for a clever, smooth exit.

Consider following the Indian custom of dancing to drums while masked and enacting a pantomime in which you victoriously overcome some negativity in your life. If you’re trying to quit smoking, for example, dance over your cigarettes and destroy them. To overcome a broken heart, jump over a paper heart, then carry it with you to manifest Mahesvari’s life-affirming energy in your heart.

A fun version of the Buddhist prayer wheel can be fashioned from a children’s pinwheel. Write your prayers to Maheswari on the blades of the wheel. Then focus on your intent and blow! The movement releases your prayers so Maheswari can begin answering them.

Finally, find something that can act as a drum in this spell for protection and victory. Sprinkle the head of your makeshift drum lightly with rosemary and powdered cinnamon. Then tap it, saying:

 ‘Away, away, Maheswari, take the problems away.’

Continue until the herbs have been cleared off completely, symbolically clearing away that obstacle.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

Shiva (leftmost) with the Matrikas: (from left) Brahmani, Maheshvari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Indrani, Chamunda.

“Goddess Maheshwari is one among the seven mother Goddesses or Sapta Matrikas.  Matrikas (Sanskrit: lit. ‘The Mothers’), also called Matara and Matris, are a group of Hindu Goddesses who are always depicted together.  Since they are usually depicted as a heptad,  (Sanskrit: ‘Seven Mothers’): Brahmani, Vaishnavi, Maheshvari, Indrani, Kaumari, Varahi, and Chamunda or Narasimhi.  However, they may sometimes be eight (Ashtamatrikas: ‘Eight Mothers’).  Whereas in South India, Saptamatrika is prevalent, the Ashtamtrika are venerated in Nepal.” [1]

The Sri Chakra, frequently called the Sri Yantra.

“In the scheme of the Khadgamala, each of these Eight Mothers represent a human passion that must be overcome and controlled before we can enter further into Sri Chakra. We worship each passion as an aspect of Devi, then internalize it; and when we internalize each deity, we *become* Her, so that She is not separate from us. In that way, we “conquer” each passion, just as – in the first enclosure wall – we conquered each siddhi.

MAheshwari here represents Her subtle aspect as ANGER.” [2]

 

 

 

“The Matrikas assume paramount significances in the Goddess-oriented sect of Hinduism, Tantraism.  In Shaktism, they are ‘described as assisting the great Shakta Devi (Goddess) in Her fight with demons.’  Some scholars consider them Shaiva Goddesses.  They are also connected with the worship of the warrior god Skanda.

The Seven Matrikas

In most early references, the Matrikas are described as having inauspicious qualities and often described as dangerous. They come to play a protective role in later mythology, although some of their inauspicious and wild characteristics still persist in these accounts.  Thus, they represent the prodigiously fecund aspect of nature as well as its destructive force aspect.” [3]

"Goddess Rudrani (Shodash Matrikas) by Rabi Behera

The Goddess Maheshwari is the power of the god Shiva, also known as Maheshvara.  Maheshvari is also known by the names Raudri, Rudrani and Maheshi, derived from Shiva’s names Rudra and Mahesh. The vehicle or Vahana of Goddess Maheswari is Nandi (the bull).  Goddess Maheswari is usually depicted as having four arms – two arms are in Varada Mudra (granting wishes) and one is in Abhaya Mudra (protection) and two arms are depicted as holding the Sula (lance) and a Akshamala or a Damaru.  The white complexioned, Trinetra (three eyed) Goddess holds similar weapons to Shiva and has numerous other symbols and characteristics of Shiva: when She is depicted with six arms, She carries a Trishula (trident), Damaru (drum), Akshamala (a garland of beads), Panapatra (drinking vessel) or axe or an antelope or a kapala (skull bowl) or a serpent and is adorned with serpent bracelets; and two hands are in the Varada Mudra and the Abhaya Mudra.  Sometimes She is shown wearing a crescent moon and the jaṭā mukuṭa (a headress formed of piled, matted hair).  In some very rare images, Goddess Maheshwari is depicted as having five face.  [4] [5]

 

 

 

Sources:

Rajendran, Abhilash. Hindu Blog, “Goddess Maheshwari“.

Shakti Sadhana Org,  “Maheshwari Devi“.

Wikipedia, “Matrikas“.


Suggested Links:

Divine Downloads, “Sapta Matrukas – Divine Mothers“.

Exotic India, “Conception and Evolution of the Mother Goddess in India“.

Jai Maa Vaishnavi.com, “51 Shakti Peethas of Maa Durga – Maa Sati, Dakshayani| Jai Maa Vaishnavi“.

Krishnaraj, Veeraswamy. “The Saktas“.

Omsakthi.org, “Supreme Goddess Adhiparasakthi and the Seven Goddesses“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Kamala“.

Sri Chinmoy Library, “Will You Speak About the Divine…

Write Spirit, “Maheshwari“.

Wikipedia, “Goddess Maheshwari“.

Wikipedia, “Shakti“.

Wikisource.org, “The Bhagavad Gita (Telang translation)/Chapter 12“.

Goddess Tara

Painting in the Dunhuang Series by Zeng Hao

“Tara’s themes are Universal Unity, peace, cooperation, destiny, energy and spirituality.  Her symbol is a star.  In Hindu mythology, Tara is a star Goddess who encompasses all time and the spark of life. She extends this energy to us, fulfilling our spiritual hunger. In so doing, Tara strengthens our understanding of the Universe and its mysteries and gives us a glimpse of our destiny.

Tara’s name literally means ‘star’. In works of art She is depicted as beautiful as the silver turret points of the night sky, young and playful. From Her celestial home Tara challenges us to live life fully no matter the day or season, looking to the stars and our hearts to guide us.

I cannot help but believe that Tara was standing by whispering in scientists’ ears as they launched Pioneer10 into space on this date in 1972, bearing a message of peace to anyone who might find it. In this spirit of exploration and hope, today is definitely a time to reach for the stars! Try something new or set some bold goals for yourself.

If you live in an area where you can observe the night sky, go out tonight and absorb Tara’s beauty firsthand. As you watch, let the starlight and Tara’s energy trickle into your soul.

Make a wish on the first star that appears, and then find concrete ways to help that wish come true. If you see a falling star, it is Tara coming to join you!”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Goddess Tara is probably the oldest Goddess who is still worshipped extensively in modern times. Tara originated as a Hindu Gddess, a Great Goddess — the Mother Creator, representing the eternal life force that fuels all life.

There are 21 embodiments of Tara, but the best known are the White Tara and the Green Tara.

The peaceful, compassionate White Tara gently protects and brings long life and peace. The more dynamic Goddess, Green Tara is the ‘Mother Earth’, and a fierce Goddess who overcomes obstacles, and saves us from physical and spiritual danger.

In Sanskrit, the name Tara means ‘Star’, but She was also called ‘She Who Brings Forth Life’, The Great Compassionate Mother, and The Embodiment of Wisdom, and the Great Protectress.

Adopted by Buddhism, She become the most widely revered deity in the Tibetan pantheon. In Buddhist tradition, Tara is actually much greater than a Goddess — She is a female Buddha, an enlightened one was has attained the highest wisdom, capability and compassion. . . one who can take human form and who remains in oneness with the every living thing.

In the legends of Tibet where the worship of the Goddess Tara is still practiced in the Buddhist tradition, it is told that the Goddess Tara is the feminine counterpart of the Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva who is reincarnated as the Dalai Lama.

Bodhisattvas are beings who have reached enlightenment and are ‘eligible’ for Budda-hood but have postponed their own Nirvāṇa, choosing instead to be remain in the cycle of birth and rebirth in order to serve humanity and assist every being on Earth in achieving Nirvāṇa themselves.

It is told that Tara first appeared rising from a lotus blossom in the lake that had formed from Avalokitesvara’s tears of compassion, tears that fell when he first beheld the scope of suffering in the world.

“White Tara Thanka” by Penny Slinger

Because of Her essential goodness, She was granted the right to assume Her human form as a man. But Tara elected instead to remain in Her womanly form.

The Goddess Tara vowed:

‘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.’

One of the myths of the Goddess Tara demonstrates Her compassionate and loving nature and tells how She got the name “Tara of the Turned Face”.

An elderly woman who was a sculptor worked in a city where there was a large Buddhist temple called the Mahabodhi (Great Wisdom). She sculpted a statue of the Goddess Tara and built a shrine to house it. Upon completing the project she was filled with regret when she realized that she had not considered the placement of the shrine. ‘Oh no,’ she thought, ‘Tara has Her back to the Mahabodhi and that isn’t right!’

Then she heard the sculpture speak to her, saying ‘If you are unhappy, I will look toward the Mahabodhi.’ As the woman watched in amazement, the door of the shrine and the image of the Goddess Tara both turned to face the Temple.

Such is the love and compassion of the Goddess Tara.

The ancient Goddess Tara in Her many incarnations has many gifts to share with contemporary women. Tara embodies the feminine strengths of great caring and compassion, the ability to endure stressful and even terrifying moments, the acts of creation, and the source of sustenance and protection.

Demonstrating the psychological flexibility that is granted to the female spirit, the Goddess Tara, in some of Her human forms, could be quite fierce and wild.

Refugees fleeing the horrors of the occupation of Tibet by the Chinese armies recounted numerous stories of the Green Tara that protected them during their torture and guided their flight to freedom.

In other of Her forms, such as the White Tara, She embodied inner peace and spiritual acceptance. She symbolizes purity and is thought to be part of every good and virtuous woman.

Tara is an archetype of our own inner wisdom. She guides and protects us as we navigate the depths of our unconscious minds, helping us to transform consciousness, our own personal journeys of freedom.

It is the Goddess Tara who helps us to remain ‘centered’. The myths of the Goddess Tara remind us of our ‘oneness’ with all of creation and the importance of nurturing the spirit within.” [1]

 

“White Tara” by Marianna Rydvald

White Tara (Sveta Tara) is the incarnation of Bhrikuti Devi or Tritsun, princess of Nepal and wife of the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo.  She is regarded as companion of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. She is closely related to the Dalai Lama who is also regarded as an incarnation of Avalokiteshvara.  She is generally portrayed as seated, dressed and crowned like a Bodhisattva with an extra eye on the forehead.  Her right hand is in Varada Mudra (Boon Granting Gesture) and sometimes in Abhaya Mudra (Protection Gesture) with a full blown lotus at one or both shoulders.  Her left hand is in Jnana Mudra (Teaching Gesture) or holding the stem of a lotus.  Her right leg is sometimes hanging down supported by a lotus, this is also known as lalita asana.  She is often depicted in a standing or half dancing pose.  White Tara has seven eyes.  An eye of knowledge is found on Her forehead while the remaining ones are the usual eyes on the face and on one on each of the palms of her hands and soles of Her feet.” [2]

“She is described in manuals as having ‘the youth of 16 years’ but is often depicted as more full-bodied than Green Tara.  White Tara is referred to as “Mother of all the Buddhas.”  This is because she embodies the motivation that is compassion.  Her whiteness “Radiant as the eternal snows in all their glory” is indicative of the selflessness — the purity — of this compassion but especially the undifferentiated Truth of the Dharma.

 

Chintamani Chakra Tara (The Jewelled Wheel) is a protector form of White Tara with a violet or rainbow aureole.” [3]

 

“Green Tara” by Zeng Hao

Green Tara (Harit Tara) also known as Arya Tara in Nepal is considered the consort of Amoghasiddhi.  In sculpture She is portrayed in the same form as White Tara but She has a water lily (utpala).  She is a Buddhashakti and is regarded as a protector.  She is often depicted as slender and graceful.  Green Tara is often represented with a mischievous or playful smile on Her face. Green Tara’s powers are focused on protection. However, She is also a powerful guide during meditation.  Her most common identifying symbols are the utpala (blue lotus) and vara and vitarka mudras. The utpala opens at sunset, blooms and releases its fragrance with the appearance of the moon, with which it is associated. Tara’s right hand is outstretched in boundless giving-the vara mudra. Her left hand is in vitarka mudra. All fingers extend upward, except the ring finger which bends to touch the tip of the thumb. Vitarka is usually translated as “reflection” and is known as the the Three Jewels Mudra, or the mudra of Giving Refuge. Green Tara is often depicted with one leg out of the lotus position, extended down and ready to rise indicating Her quick response when needed.” [4]

“Green Tara is typically pictured as a dark, green-skinned girl of 16. In Tibetan culture, and some others, green is considered to include all the other colors. Buddhaguyha says that Tara’s green color is the result of the mixing of white, yellow and blue standing for pacifying, increasing and destroying respectively.  That means that Green Tara practice incorporates that of White Tara and of all the others, including that of golden Goddess of wealth, Vasundhara (Tib. Norgyun, Norgyuma). ” [5]

 

Nila Saraswati (The Blue Tara)

Blue or Ugra Tara (Ekajata Tara, Khadga Yogini or Vajrayogini*) is a dreadful manifestation of Tara and has a ferocious form and is associated with transmutation of anger.  She was overpowered by Padmasambhava.  She typically wears a five-skull crown.  These five skulls symbolize the first five perfections attainable on the Vajrayana path which are: generosity, discipline, patience, effort and meditative Concentration.  She has three eyes, symbolizing Her ability to see past, present and future simultaneously.  In Her left hand, She holds a skull cup filled with swirling brains and entails of the enemies of the Dharma and in Her right hand is the kartri, a curved flaying knife, the instrument used to annihilate these enemies.  She wears a garland of 50 human skulls.  She is adorned with six kinds of ornaments, as is usually the case with tantric divinities symbolizing their perfection in the six paramitas.  Vajrayogini helps those with strong passion to transform it into the realization of great bliss.  Vajrayogini, Vajravarahi or Bijeshvari Devi ranks first and most important among the dakini.  She is a Vajrayana Buddhist mediation deity and as such She is considered the female Buddha.  Vajrayogini is a key figure in the advanced Tibetan Buddhist practice of Chöd where She appears in her Kalika or Vajravarahi forms.” [6]

“According to the ‘Hindu’ Yogini Tantra: ‘Tara is the same as Kali, the embodiment of supreme love. So also is Kamakhya.  In thinking of them as different from Kali, one would go to hell.'” [7]

 

 

Vajrayogini

*Vajrayogini is not so terrifying and She is not blue but red, which is the proper color of Vajrayogini. Yet She has been called Ugratara-Vajrayoginiat least since 1775 when King Pratap Malla of Kathmandu put up that inscription after he built the present temple. Perhaps the most that can be said is the She is a peculiarly Nepalese form of the terrifying Blue Tara, possibly based on an iconographic source that has been lost.” [8]

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Golden Tara” by Marianna Rydvald

Bhrikuti Tara (Yellow Tara) is affiliated to the Dhyani Buddha, Amitabha.  She is typically either in a standing or sitting pose, one faced and three eyed.  In painting She is yellow in color.  She is associated with wealth and prosperity.  One of Her hands is usually in the boon granting gesture while the other holds a Buddhist rosary also known as malas, a vase and a triple staff.  She wears a crown on which a figure of Amitabha is carved.” [9]

“She is related to Hindu great Goddess Lakshmi, and Her Sanskrit name Vasundhara indicates She is the source of the eight ‘bountiful Vasus.’  Therefore, according to the epic Mahabharat, She is the bounty that is the waters of the river Ganges — the Goddess, Ganga whose origin is the snows of the Himalayas.

Ritro Loma Chen An emanation of Tara that is golden, with three faces and six arms.  Her power helps overcome plagues and epidemics, and illnesses new to the world.  Those who suffer from incurable conditions can still benefit from Her blessings.

Orange Tara As The Liberator, She is believed to be able to free prisoners and those confined in other ways.  This ‘freeing’ extends to Her efficacy in helping with childbirth.” [10]  She is also said to purifying all poverty. [11]

The Red Tara Kurukulla

Red Tara (Kurukulla) the passionate lotus dakini, originated from the country of Uddiyana.  She is said to have emanated from the Buddha Amitabha.  Among Amitabha’s three female emanations Kurukulla is the most important one.  Kurukulla is often called Red Tara (sgrol-ma dmar-po) or Tarodbhava Kurukulla, “the Kurukulla who arises from Tara.”  According to the texts, Kurukulla is a sixteen year old maiden because sixteen is an auspicious number which signifies perfection (four times four).  She is red in color because of Her magical function of enchantment and magnetism.

She has a single face because She embodies non-dual wisdom beyond conventional distinctions of good and evil.  She is naked because She is unconditioned by discursive thoughts.  She has four arms because of the four immeasurable states of mind, namely, love, compassion, joy, and equanimity.  She holds an arrow stretched on a bow entwined with flowers and leaves because she can give rise to thoughts of desire in the minds of others.  In Her other two hands She holds the hook that attracts and summons them into Her presence and the noose by which She binds them to Her will.  Both of these implements enable Her to catch those of us who have strayed from the path of the Dharma.

Kurukulla wears a crown of five skulls signifying the five perfections, whereas She herself embodies the sixth perfection, that of wisdom.  She wears a necklace of fifty freshly severed human heads dripping blood because She vanquishes the fifty negative emotions.  She is dancing because She is active and energetic, Her compassionate activity manifesting in both Samsara and Nirvana.  She dances, treading upon a male human corpse because She enchants and subjugates the demon of ego and desire also known as Kamadeva.  She stands within a flaming aura because Her nature is hot and enflamed with passion and upon a lotus blossom because She is a pure vision of enlightened awareness.  In the practitioner’s meditation, such is the recollection of the purity (dag dran) of the vision of the Goddess.  Usually She is one faced but can have 2, 4, 6 or 8 arms.  In the 6 armed form She has six Dhyani Buddhas engraved on Her crown; in the 2 armed form She is known as Sukla Kurkulla; in the 4 armed form she is known as Oddiyana Kurkulla and by several other names.  Her mantra is ‘Om Kukulle Hum Hrih Svaha’.” [12]

“The Drikung Kagyu Four-Armed Red Arya Tara is less common. Her activity is described as ‘overpowering’ in the sense of overcoming obstacles.” [13]

“Black Tara” by Paul Heussenstamm

Black Tara is a wrathful manifestation, identical in form and, no doubt, source, to Hindu Kali and is associated with power. Like Kali, She has a headdress of grinning skulls, like Kali, she is black, like Kali She has three eyes. Like many Tibetan deities in the wrathful aspect, She has the fangs of a tiger, symbolizing ferocity, a ferocious appetite to devour the demons of the mind. Her aura or halo is fiery, energetic, full of smoke symbolizing the transformation of fire.” [14]  “The Black Tara has been compared to the perfect guardian of the void, the Divine Mother of compassion and a firm Goddess to ward off any forms of evil.” [15]

 

“There are several ‘Black’ Taras invoked by Buddhists:

The Terrifier (Jigjema, Skt. Bhairava): brownish-black with tinges of red. She is “Victorious Over the Three Worlds.” She subdues evil spirits and cures any illness caused by them.

The Invincible (Shen.gyi.mi.tub.ma) “Crushes the Forces of Others” is black.  She causes your acts, intentions and aspirations to be invincible.

The Conqueror of Opponents (Shen.le Nam.par Gyel.ma) is red/black.  “Pulverizer of the Maras,” She nullifies the influences of any who oppose one’s spiritual aspirations.” [16]

 

“Some have a vision of you (Tara) as red as the sun with rays more brilliant and red than lac and vermilion.  Others see you blue like the sapphire.  Some again see you whiter than the milk churned out of the milky ocean.  Still others see you golden.  Your vishva-rupa is like a crystal which changes its color with the change of the things around it.” ~ Arya Tara Shragdhara stotra [Nitin Kumar’s newsletter, Nov. 2000)

 

 

 

ASSOCIATIONS:

General: Star, third eye (in the middle of the forehead), seven eyes (including eyes in the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet), full moon, lakes, rainbows, the numbers 3, 7, and 11.

Animals: Owl, raven, sow and mare.

Plants: Lotus blossom, either open or closed and any orange flowers.

Perfumes/Scents: Incense, rose and musk, jonquils

Gems and Metals: Diamonds, rose quartz, pink tourmaline, emerald, (any pink or green stones)

Colors: All colors, but especially white and green. [17]

 

 

 

* On a personal note, Green Tara holds a very special place in my heart.  She helped me through some very tough times a few years ago.  These two songs are my absolute favorite renditions of the Green Tara Mantra and fill me with peace, love and joy every time I listen to them.  Namaste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Amelia. Friendburst.com, “Tara: Goddess of Peace and Protection“.

Dharma Sculture, “Tara, the Mother of All Buddhas“.

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols: Tara“.

Khandro Net, “Tara

Locke, John Ph.D. Digital Library & Museum of Buddhist Studies, “Vajrayogini Temple of Samkhu

Threads of Spiderwoman, “Black Tara“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Devika. Order of the White Moon, “Tara, Goddess of Compassion“.

Exotic India Art,Tara and the Cult of the Female in Buddhism“.

Kagyu Samye Dzong Finland, “Green Tara: The Praise of 21 Taras

Religion Facts,Tara: Buddhist Goddess in Green and White“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Tara

Stolan, Mihai. Liveonlineyoga.com, “Yoga of the Ten Great Cosmic Powers“.

Vortex Distribution, “21Taras.HTM

Wikipedia, “Tara (Buddhism)“.



Goddess Shakti

“Shakti’s themes are protection, banishing and communication.  Her symbols are the number six, magic charms and lotuses.  The Tibetan supreme feminine power, Shakti does not stand by idle when we are in distress. She is an active, loving force for change. When called upon, Shakti manifests within us as intelligence, instinct, willpower, energy, action, and ultimately, magic. Shakti especially energizes communication skills, so that our words will be heard clearly and understood.

Losar is the Tibetan new year celebration, highlighted by monks casting out negative influences using brilliant colored costumes, masks and joyful dancing. Burn lotus incense (or any sweet, floral scent) to remember Shakti today, and fill your living space with Her abundant power for positive transformation.

Alternatively, boil some pleasant-smelling cooking spices in water to release their aroma and energy throughout the sacred space of your home.

If possible, make a mask or a token that represents what you want Shakti to banish. Put it on (or carry it) early in the day, and remove it vigorously sometime during your festivities. Bury this with six stones (to represent Shakti’s control) to symbolically bury the bad habit or situation, giving it into Shakti’s care.

In keeping with today’s celebrations, wear bright-colored clothing to chase away evil influences, which cannot bear the sight of radiant beauty.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Shakti (Devanagariशक्ति) from Sanskrit shak – “to be able,” meaning sacred force or empowerment, is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe in Hinduism.  Shakti is the concept, or personification, of divine feminine creative power, sometimes referred to as ‘The Great Divine Mother‘ in Hinduism. On the earthly plane, Shakti most actively manifests through female embodiment and creativity/fertility, though it is also present in males in its potential, unmanifest form.

Not only is the Shakti responsible for creation, it is also the agent of all change. Shakti is cosmic existence as well as liberation, its most significant form being the Kundalini Shakti, a mysterious psychospiritual force.  Shakti exists in a state of svātantrya, dependence on no-one, being interdependent with the entire universe.

In Shaktism, Shakti is worshiped as the Supreme Being. However, in other Hindu traditions of Shaivism and Vaishnavism, Shakti embodies the active feminine energy Prakriti of Purusha, who is Vishnu in Vaishnavism or Shiva in Shaivism. Vishnu’s female counterpart is called Lakshmi, with Parvati being the female half of Shiva.” [1]

"Shakti" by Dhira Lawrence

“The primal stirring of pure awareness that gives rise to existence is Shakti. Pure awareness is static, transcendent, peace, unmoving, and unchanging. Shakti is dynamic energy, immanent, love, and perpetually moving and changing. Pure awareness is masculine while Shakti is feminine. Thus, it is the divine feminine that produces universes without end and all the beings that occupy them. In Taoist terminology, pure awareness would be yang while Shakti would be yin. Thus Shakti is resolve, will and energy and She is expansive. The sum total of all the energy in existence and the will to direct it is Shakti. Every God in Hinduism has his Shakti and without Her energy they have no power. The play of female energy has no beginning and no end. Although restless by nature, it cycles through periods of rest and motion.” [2]

“For men to fully understand women and for women to realize their nature and be it, both have to come to understanding of the Shakti, the Goddess, or the Kundalini energy, the feminine of the Universe. The nature of this phenomena is very complex, but if you get friendly with Her it will tell you Her secrets. There is no forceful way to Her; She will be only furious in reply, or depressed, or tricky. Love and playfulness, sincerity and innocence are Her ways. She can be innocent about dirtiest things in the world, but responsible and protective like mother as well. She has few main aspects you have to understand and She can play different roles at different times. Woman – she is the: mother, home keeper, lover, destroyer. Shakti is the mother of all, and of you, too; She is a cuddly and warm, protecting you from the troubles of the world and emotional turmoil, a healer. She is the beautiful maiden, the vessel of desire and passion, and she is the bitch who can destroy you better than anybody else. All Goddesses of the world are manifestation of Shakti, the mother of All, who has many names and forms. In Indian folklore, for example, Tara is a healer, who guides you safely through emotional floods, Shodashi is the beautiful ever-young maiden who loves you, and Kali is the destroyer, who, however, help you to overcome ignorance and fear of death. They all are aspects of the Goddess.” [3]

Click  here for more information on Shakti

Descent of The Divine Mother

Goddess Sarasvati

“Goddess Saraswati”

“Sarasvati’s themes are learning, wisdom and communication.  Her symbols are white flowers (especially Lotus), marigolds and swans. A Hindu Goddess of eloquence and intelligence, Sarasvati extends a refreshing drink from her well of knowledge to complete the month with aptitude. In Hindu tradition, Sarasvati invented all sciences, arts and writing. In works of arts she is depicted as white-skinned and graceful, riding on a swan or sitting on an open lotus blossom.

Today is an excellent time to embark on any course of study or to reinforce your learning in a specific area. In Hindu tradition, Sarasvati’s festival is held on or around this date. During the celebration, students gather in the Katmandu Valley (Nepal) bearing gifts for the Goddess, who visits here today. Traditional offerings at the temples include lotus and marigold blossoms and incense, while students often bring pens or books to invoke Sarasvati’s aid with their studies.

Adapting this a bit, try dabbing your personal tools or educational books with a little lotus oil, and burn any sweet-scented incense to improve your awareness (rosemary is a good choice).

To generate Sarasvati’s assistance in matters of communication, find a white flower and remove its petals. Place these in any moving water source, saying something like:

‘Sarasvati, let my words bear gentle beauty and truth
falling lightly on other’s ears
even as these petals to the water.’

Let the water (which also represents this Goddess) carry your wish.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

Patricia Monaghan wrote: “As every Hindu god must have a Shakti, or enlivening female force, to function, so Brahma the creator needed Sarasvati for the world to come into being. She is not only the water Goddesses, one of the trinity that also includes Ganga and Yamuna, but She is also the Goddess of eloquence, which pours forth like a flooding river.

Inventor of all the arts and sciences, patron of all intellectual endeavors, Sarasvati is the very prototype of the female artist. She invented writing so that the songs She inspired could be recorded; She created music so the elegance of her being could be praised. In her identity as Vach, Goddess of speech, She caused all words to come into being, including religious writings. Sometimes it is said that She is the rival of Laksmi, Goddess of material wealth; if anyone has the favor of one Goddess, the other will turn away so that no one is ever blessed with both Sarasvati’s genius and Laksmi’s blessing” (p. 273).

Saraswati, known as Sraosha in Zoroastrianism is the guardian of earth. Sraosha (“obedience”) is also the wife and messenger of Ahura Mazda, and her role as the “Teacher of Daena”, Daena being the hypostasis of both “Conscience” and “Religion”. She also guides the souls of the deceased to find their way to the afterlife. Her symbolic animal is the peacock, whose crowing calls the pious to their religious duties. She is also called Druga for fighting off Drug (Drug, the name for female demon in ancient Veda, from the Sanskrit root druh “to be hostile”). The name Druga is made of Sanskrit dru or dur “with difficulty” and gā or jā (“come”, “go”). Saraswati is known as a guardian deity in Buddhism who upholds the teachings of Gautama Buddha by offering protection and assistance to practitioners. She is known in Burmese as Thurathadi or Tipitaka Medaw, Chinese as Biàncáitiān (辯才天), in Thai as Surasawadee (สุรัสวดี) and in Japanese as Benzaiten (弁才天/弁財天). In the East Indian states of Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa: Saraswati is considered to be a daughter of Lord Shiva and Durga along with her sister Lakshmi and her brothers Ganesha and Karthikeya. [1]

It is believed that Goddess Saraswati endows human beings with the powers of speech, wisdom and learning. She has four hands representing four aspects of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness and ego. [2]

“Sarasvati is one of the many faces refelceted in the image of the Divine Mother.  Called the Goddess of the Word, Sarasvati means “the one who gives the essence (Sara) or our own Self (Swa).”  She is also known as the Goddess of Learning and is the consort (wife) of the Hindu God Brahma (the Creator).

Considered knowledge itself personified as a feminine deity, Sarasvati is closely identified with culture, language, speech, wisdom, intellect, creativity and inspiration.  She contains all forms within Her, pervades all creation and is the power of intellegence and thought.” [3]  She is the Goddess of eloquence, and words pour from Her like a sweetly flowing river. One myth of this Goddess is that She is a jealous rival of the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, and that pursuing wealth alone will assure that Sarasvati’s gifts will desert you.

“She holds in her four hands a vina instrument, an akshamala (prayer beads) in the right hand, and a pustaka (book) in the left, which represents the knowledge of all sciences. Holding the book or scriptures in one hand also indicates that this knowledge alone can bring us to the Truth. The vina shows the beauty of learning the fine arts. Playing her vina, she tunes the mind and intellect with her knowledge, and thus the seeker can be in harmony with the universe. The prayer beads represent all spiritual sciences, like meditation and japa (chanting the holy names of God), and, being held in the right hand, that it is more important than the secular knowledge contained in the book in her left hand. Her four arms represent her unrestricted power in the four directions. She also represents creativity, or the combination of power and intelligence, the basis of creativity.” [4]

The following popular ‘pranam mantra’ or Sanskrit prayer, Saraswati devotees utter with utmost devotion eulogizes the goddess of knowledge and arts:

Om Saraswati Mahabhagey, Vidye Kamala Lochaney |

Viswarupey Vishalakshmi, Vidyam Dehi Namohastutey ||
Jaya Jaya Devi, Charachara Sharey, Kuchayuga Shobhita, Mukta Haarey |
Vina Ranjita, Pustaka Hastey, Bhagavati Bharati Devi Namohastutey ||

The beautiful human form of Saraswati comes to the fore in this English translation of the Saraswati hymn:

“May Goddess Saraswati,
who is fair like the jasmine-colored moon,
and whose pure white garland is like frosty dew drops;
who is adorned in radiant white attire,
on whose beautiful arm rests the veena,
and whose throne is a white lotus;
who is surrounded and respected by the Gods, protect me.
May you fully remove my lethargy, sluggishness, and ignorance.”
[5]

I had to throw this in.  Looking at the Hindu Sarasvati, Goddess of learning and the creative arts, She bears some striking resemblances to Brigit, as well as some important differences. Click here to read further in exploring  the image of Sarasvati as She appears in the Vedas and is developed in later Hinduism, compared images of  Brigit.

Sources:

Das, Subhamoy. About.com, “Saraswati: Goddess of Knowledge & Arts“.

Knapp, Stephen. Stephen-knapp.com, “Sarasvati, the Goddess of Learning“.

Prophet, Elizabeth & Mark L. Sacredwind.com, “Sarasvati“.

Wikipedia, “Saraswati“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Faerywillow. Thegoddesstree.com, “Sarasvati“.

Wood, Hilaire. Brigitsforge.co.uk, “Sarasvati, Brigit and the Sacred Word“.

Yarber, Angela. Feminismandreligion.com, “Painting Saraswati By Angela Yarber“.

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