White Tara, Reverse Painting On Glass, Copyright Liza Cowan 2004
In the excruciatingly long couple of months from the day Barack Obama became the Democratic Nominee for President Of The United States Of America to the night he was elected (yesterday) I have posted in this blog almost exclusively about the election. I felt it was my civic duty to suspend regular programming to focus on this world changing event.
I've tried to tie my posts to art about Obama, and in so doing, discovered one of my new favorite artists, TMNK, The Me Nobody Knows. My gallery has been filled with Obamabelia - that kind of rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? I have given away over 5,000 Obama Or Else postcards, and sold over two dozen handmade limited edition Obama handbags by Flashbags. In the gallery I have blasted the Obama cd, Yes We Can, Voices From A Grassroots Movement, until I have every word memorized, and my customers have now come to expect to hear Obama's inspring words when they step inside the PSAW zone.
I've also kept some Tibetan White Taras around the gallery, particularly in my show window, hovering over the Obamabelia and Obama art. Why? Because I wanted to wrap Obama in the aura of this powerful protector goddess. Call me spiritual, call me superstitious, but I felt compelled to ask Tara for her help. And, help she did. Along with all other protective deities from multitudes of religions and spiritual practices from every corner of the globe.
Green Tara would have been a good choice as well. But I had a series of paintings of White Tara that I did several years ago, so she is the Goddess I invoked. Link here for more images and text on my Tara Paintings.
Tara, (Sanskrit, "star") is a Buddhist
savior-goddess especially popular in Tibet, Nepal and Mongolia. In
Tibet, where Tara is the most important deity, her name is Sgrol-ma, meaning "she who saves." The mantra of Tara (om tare tuttare ture svaha) is the second most common mantra heard in Tibet, after the mantra of Chenrezi (om mani padme hum).
The goddess of universal compassion, Tara represents virtuous and
enlightened action. It is said that her compassion for living beings is
stronger than a mother's love for her children. She also brings about
longevity, protects earthly travel, and guards her followers on their
spiritual journey to enlightenment
According to Buddhist tradition, Tara was born out of the tears of
compassion of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. It is said that he wept
as he looked upon the world of suffering beings, and his tears formed a
lake in which a lotus sprung up. When the lotus opened, the goddess
Tara was revealed.
White Tara (Sanskrit: Sitatara; Tibetan: Sgrol-dkar) is sometimes
called the Mother of all Buddhas and she represents the motherly aspect
of compassion. Her white color signifies purity, wisdom and truth.
In iconography, White Tara often has seven eyes – in addition to
the usual two, she has a third eye on her forehead and one on each of
her hands and feet. This symbolizes her vigilance and ability to see
all the suffering in the world. The "Tara of Seven Eyes" is the form of
the goddess especially popular in Mongolia.
In religious practice, White Tara is believed to help her followers
overcome obstacles, espeically those that inhibit the practice of
religion. She is also associated with longevity.
Green Tara (Sanskrit: Syamatara; Tibetan: Sgrol-ljang),
filled with youthful vigor, is a goddess of activity. She is the
fiercer form of Tara, but is still a savior-goddess of compassion. She
is the consort of Avalokiteshvara and considered by some to be the
original Tara. Like Avalokiteshvara, the Green Tara is believed to be
an emanation of the "self-born" Buddha Amitabha, and an image of
Amitabha is sometimes depicted in Tara's headdress.
In Buddhist religious practice, Green Tara's primary role is
savioress. She is believed to help her followers overcome dangers,
fears and anxieties, and she is especially worshipped for her ability
to overcome the most difficult of situations. Green Tara is intensely
compassionate and acts quickly to help those who call upon her.
So thanks and prayers to Tara, om tare tuttare ture svaha. Goddess bless Obama and all sentient beings working to make the Earth a better, safer, saner, healthier home filled with justice for all.
We now return to our reguarly scheduled programming.