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Tara and Lakshmi

Lately I've been focusing on the GreenWhite Tara mantras and have noticed their symbolic similarity with Lakshmi. I tried looking up how Tara originated and such and possible rerences to Hindu dieties. I am aware there are aspects of deities shared between Hinduism and Buddhism, but I am wondering if Lakshmi may have been a precursor to Tara (if you look at their statue representations, they are positioned exactly the same, and have the same symbols, tho Lakshmi has four arms). I really couldn't find too much, just the references to Avolokitesvara and such. Though I read in one article about how there was an early Buddhist group devoted to Lakshmi, but couldn't really find anything else about that.
I am just trying to better understand the female aspects in Buddhist practice. It helps for me to understand the bigger picture and possble connections in the greater context.
Anyone know more about this connection?
JohnG

Comments

  • Look at Durga, Cundi and Kali too
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cundi_(Buddhism)
    also
    http://rywiki.tsadra.org/index.php/The_Twenty-one_Taras

    I am not aware of links with Lakshmi but all the deities are faces of the ineffable
    (or the feminine as it is known to mere males)
  • PatrPatr Veteran
    In TB, Avalokiteswara is known as Chenrezig, nothing to do with the Taras.

    You are correct in assuming there are LOTS of Hindu devas represented in TB.
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited April 2013
    I read that Tara is a manifestation of Shakti in Hinduism, and so is related to Kali, as well.
  • In Tibetan Buddhism, Tara came into existence from a single tear shed by Chenrezig. When the tear fell to the ground it created a lake, and a lotus opening in the lake revealed Tara. In another version of this story, Tara emerges from the heart of Chenrezig. In either version, it is Chenrezig's outpouring of compassion which manifests Tara as a being.

    When Avalokiteśvara ended up in China, gender change . . . feminine (mostly) again
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanyin

    As I said to Guanyin only this morning: 'You the Babe', which somehow came out as
    OM MANI PEME HUM HRIH

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2208772/Sikh-student-defends-facial-hair-photo-goes-viral.html
    EvenThird
  • lobster said:
    lobster said:



    I am not aware of links with Lakshmi but all the deities are faces of the ineffable
    (or the feminine as it is known to mere males)

    I realize I'm late to the party, having recently joined the community.

    I wanted to add that this is the common view for many, many Hindus. Devī, Shaktī, Goddess, takes many manifestations and forms: Lakshmī for good fortune of all kinds, grace, beauty; Saraswatī for knowledge, speech, the arts; Durgā for invincibility and courage; Kālī for fierceness. And then we have Tārā, who may be derived from Durgā. Devī is indeed the "feminine", or rather, energy, aspect of her "male" counterparts, the gods, who are the movers and shakers, as it were. One does not exist without the other.

    I hope that was not too rambling and off course. :o
  • Just noticed this thread but I've been wondering about the connection between Tara and Quan Yin for quite some time.

    I thought maybe Tara emerged in Tibet from Quan Yin in China but I've never looked this up.

    Welcome, @Jainarayan.
  • Thanks. :)

    I'd think that Tara, Guanyin and Avalokiteshvara are all manifestations of compassion. If Tara appeared from Avalokiteshvara's tear, and Guanyin is the Chinese form of Avalokiteshvara, I'd say that at least some of their attributes are the same. One thing I think I know about Green Tara is that she is impulsively willing to help a being in need. White Tara is a little more thoughtful and restrained.

    Is that right? Am I in? Am I Buddhist? (line lifted from The Golden Girls, and horribly reworked :D ).
  • FyreShamanFyreShaman Veteran
    edited June 2013
    It is sometimes thought that Buddhist deities originate with Hindu Tantra, but I have been told that Vajrayogini was depicted in her present form before her near-lookalike Kali. Kali was mentioned long before, like Garuda, Hayagriva, Mahakala etc. but the depictions of these deities (in art and sculpture in the forms we now recognise) seem largely to have arisen almost concurrently with those of Buddhism. Ask a Hindu and of course they're all Hindu.......LOL :)
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    edited June 2013
    Ask a Hindu and everything is Hindu...its like the Greek dad in ' My Big Fat Greek Wedding...' Give him any word and he will 'prove' that it it has a Greek origin.

    Its quite endearing, but results in a good deal of elective deafness... ;)
    FyreShaman
  • Not this Hindu (much to the chagrin of other Hindus). Of course, I'm a watered-down Hindu and lower the average. :p

    Keep in mind that Hinduism and Buddhism co-existed for centuries in India, and many current Hindu philosophies arose well into the first centuries CE and in the Middle Ages. there's no way Hinduism could not have been influenced by Buddhism. Adi Shankara was called a hidden Buddhist.
    FyreShaman
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    If you are consistent about that Jainarayan ..good for you.
  • Oh I am, and it got me run off one Hindu Dharma (dharma... riiiight! :rolleyes: ) site.
    Citta
  • FyreShamanFyreShaman Veteran
    edited June 2013
    I'm certainly no expert in history, but it wouldn't surprise me to find that some of the separations of deity identity occurred for reasons of religious politics, each wanting deities (and stories) which were their own. I know some Hindus even today are seeking to make Jainism and Buddhism officially 'Hindu' for some political advantage or other (BJP in Gujarat). Maybe Buddhist Tara creation revelations arose at a time when it was important to establish that separation.
  • wrathfuldeitywrathfuldeity Veteran
    edited June 2013
    Another idea is that various deities, irregardless of the culture, are psychological archetypes dressed in the relevant culture’s trappings…alla Carl Jung and perennial transpersonal psychology.
  • rivercanerivercane Veteran
    edited June 2013
    I like that idea very much @wrathfuldeity.

    The Tibetan Buddhist center that I've been going to displays images of Green Tara, has a monthly Tara Dance and something called Tara Mantra Accumulations. I've been meaning to ask at the center but I didn't know how to bring it up.

    Is anyone familiar with a Tara Dance? I imagine it's something performed by the female practitioners at the dharma center and I thought it would be mostly women who attend. As a male I would feel kind of uncomfortable watching women dance in a Buddhist setting.
    wrathfuldeity
  • That's what I'm afraid of. ;)

    What if they are attractive and I start getting turned on? I would feel really uncomfortable and would be afraid that they would question my intent on being there. Is it for spiritual reasons or to watch attractive women dance? I would question my intentions too! :lol:

    It's bad enough that there are a couple of nice looking girls I noticed then immediately tried to pretend that I didn't notice. I guess I'm trying to be too pure.
  • John_SpencerJohn_Spencer Veteran
    edited June 2013



    Keep in mind that Hinduism and Buddhism co-existed for centuries in India, and many current Hindu philosophies arose well into the first centuries CE and in the Middle Ages. there's no way Hinduism could not have been influenced by Buddhism.

    Do you mean it the other way round @Jainarayan?

    Buddhism was born out of Hunduism.

    Siddartha was a Hindu as Jesus was a Jew.

    See a Hindu bodhisattva here

    X
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    No, he is aware Hinduism arose before Buddhism....But he is saying that Hinduism has subsequently been influenced by Buddhism....AFAIU.
  • federica said:

    No, he is aware Hinduism arose before Buddhism....But he is saying that Hinduism has subsequently been influenced by Buddhism....AFAIU.

    Thank you @federica - I see what you mean, It works both ways. (AFAYU)

  • rivercane said:

    That's what I'm afraid of. ;)

    What if they are attractive and I start getting turned on? I would feel really uncomfortable and would be afraid that they would question my intent on being there. Is it for spiritual reasons or to watch attractive women dance? I would question my intentions too! :lol:

    It's bad enough that there are a couple of nice looking girls I noticed then immediately tried to pretend that I didn't notice. I guess I'm trying to be too pure.

    guess my other comment got modded...oh well...my bad. Idk, there are many beautiful things and a person can appreciate (or notice) without owning or attachment or judging and same goes there ugly things that don't need to have a re-coil/aversion response. Watching an attractive woman dance, is the same as watching a wiggling bag of bones and blood with maggots crawling out which is equally wondrous.
  • @John_Spencer and @federica

    federica said:

    No, he is aware Hinduism arose before Buddhism....But he is saying that Hinduism has subsequently been influenced by Buddhism....AFAIU.

    Thank you @federica - I see what you mean, It works both ways. (AFAYU)

    Yes, that's it exactly. During the time they co-existed, and well afterwards, there had to be a "back influence". I use "cross-pollination" because none of the philosophies and religions grew up in a vacuum. There had to be a lot of chatter back and forth. Zoroastrianism has elements of Hinduism (even names of deities are cognate); Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism grew out of Hinduism, which itself was a pastoral religion giving rise to Vedic religion; I believe Taoism was influenced by Hinduism and/or Buddhism.
    John_Spencer
  • DaivaDaiva Veteran
    I just returned from a month in Nepal, and I have to say I am more confused than ever. Hindu and Buddhist imagery in street shrines and temples seemed interchangeable, in that they seemed to represent the same dieties (well, except for Ganesha), but as mentioned before, within their respective religious Jungian archtypes. Hndu and Budhhist existed side-by-side and flowed into eachother seamlessly. For example, there were carved stone stupas with a seated buddha, however five snakes rose from behind over his head, similiar to the images of Vishnu with Ananta shesha (I have a pic but don't know how to post it). Some images were easy to decipher in the context of the shrines/temples, but not all. Am starting to think they are all essentially the same diety. Isn't Buddha the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, Balarama? Even Jesus works as the ninth incarnation, Krishna, for me. Towrads the end of my trip in Nepal I almost couldn't separate Hinduism and Buddhism, that is imagery-wise.
    And @Jainarayan - what you stated about Tara, Guanyin and Avalokitseshvara about being manifestations of compassion makes total sense. I like that.
    And Welcome.
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    rivercane said:

    I like that idea very much @wrathfuldeity.

    The Tibetan Buddhist center that I've been going to displays images of Green Tara, has a monthly Tara Dance and something called Tara Mantra Accumulations. I've been meaning to ask at the center but I didn't know how to bring it up.

    Is anyone familiar with a Tara Dance? I imagine it's something performed by the female practitioners at the dharma center and I thought it would be mostly women who attend. As a male I would feel kind of uncomfortable watching women dance in a Buddhist setting.

    I think this is strange. If there were a traditional Tara dance, it would be something only Tibetan dancers would know how to do. What school/sect is this? It's not normal to have the female practitioners do a dance. It's not normal to have an evening only for the female practitioners. Who's the teacher?

  • CittaCitta Veteran
    Dakini said:

    rivercane said:

    I like that idea very much @wrathfuldeity.

    The Tibetan Buddhist center that I've been going to displays images of Green Tara, has a monthly Tara Dance and something called Tara Mantra Accumulations. I've been meaning to ask at the center but I didn't know how to bring it up.

    Is anyone familiar with a Tara Dance? I imagine it's something performed by the female practitioners at the dharma center and I thought it would be mostly women who attend. As a male I would feel kind of uncomfortable watching women dance in a Buddhist setting.

    I think this is strange. If there were a traditional Tara dance, it would be something only Tibetan dancers would know how to do. What school/sect is this? It's not normal to have the female practitioners do a dance. It's not normal to have an evening only for the female practitioners. Who's the teacher?

    Both the Aro gTer and Flaming Jewel Sangha have dances performed by ( western ) female practitioners.
  • @Daiva
    Daiva said:

    ...except for Ganesha...

    Actually there are sects, even in Japan that revere, if not outright worship Ganesha. He is not unknown at all.
    Am starting to think they are all essentially the same diety. Isn't Buddha the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, Balarama? Even Jesus works as the ninth incarnation, Krishna, for me. Towrads the end of my trip in Nepal I almost couldn't separate Hinduism and Buddhism, that is imagery-wise.
    Ekaṃ sat viprāh bahudhā vadanti - "There is One Truth the wise know by many names." Rig Veda 1.164.46 :)

    For some Hindus Buddha is indeed the 9th incarnation of Vishnu, for others it is Balarama. The reason for this is that Balarama is said to be Adi Shesha himself, and took birth with Krishna (Vishnu) to be with Vishnu and serve him. Lakshman is said to be Adi Shesha too, again, to be with and serve Vishnu as Rama.

    Btw, at another site in the Hindu section, the Krishna=Jesus convo is a total train wreck. :eek: :D
    And @Jainarayan - what you stated about Tara, Guanyin and Avalokitseshvara about being manifestations of compassion makes total sense. I like that.
    And Welcome.
    Thanks. :)
  • Dakini said:

    I think this is strange. If there were a traditional Tara dance, it would be something only Tibetan dancers would know how to do. What school/sect is this? It's not normal to have the female practitioners do a dance. It's not normal to have an evening only for the female practitioners. Who's the teacher?

    I'm not sure if it is only female or not, I just thought it might be since there are a lot of women who go to the center and I wasn't sure if any of the men would be interested in dancing.

    The dharma center was founded by a Tibetan teacher, in fact he doesn't even speak English, and it is Nigyama lineage. It's also supposed to serve as a cultural center for the Tibetan students at the university, but it's almost all Westerners who attend.

    That probably explains why the dancers are not Tibetan, but I'm sure they were taught by the rinpoche. I would mention his name but he is a well-respected teacher and I don't want to bring any shame to the organization by my inane posts. ;)

    There does seem to be a very sincere focus on Tara and some of the women paint Tara cards or make pendants to sell, along with other items such as mala beads. I enjoy it since I have always been drawn to Quan Yin as well as the feminine in general. I love and respect women and also try to keep an honorable distance. I try to have a very sincere focus when I attend.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    :wtf:

    :orange:

    :-/ It sounds ok, I guess. Thanks, @Citta and @rivercane. Are you in the MidWest, rivercane? I've heard good things about the sanghas around Wisconsin and thereabouts. You never know, these days. Thanks for sharing.
  • No, unfortunately I'm in the South. I just got back from a couple years spent living on the West Coast but now I'm stuck at home again.
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