At this time when the world is faced with many challenging issues arising from the Corona virus, our Spiritual Teachers are supporting us with advice and guidance as to what practices we can do to help ourselves, and the entire global community. Prayers to Tara have been recommended by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Geshe Tashi Tsering, and many other great teachers. This time of day has been specially selected for this Puja, to offer students around the world the opportunity to recite Tara prayers together.
In this “puja” (prayer service) we use is a traditional Tibetan practice, rich in Tibetan culture and poetry. It is sympathetically translated to blend with the pronunciation of the English language. For those of you who might find Tibetan style pujas a little disconnected from rational Buddhist psychology, we invite you to join us for a different approach to realisations. Geshe Tashi, in his delightful videos on Practising Buddhism in a Pandemic, explains the psychology behind Tara Practice:
“Tara is a female deity, and there are many explanations and inspiring stories about her. Let us consider what and who Tara is.
There are profound explanations about our inner potential. When these inner seeds are fully nurtured, they manifest and come into full action in different ways. As well as in the Sutrayana, these are mainly explained in the Vajrayana teachings.When we are fully awakened our mental state is fully enlightened, and all good qualities like love, compassion, altruism and wisdom are fully developed, and all obstacles – our distorted mental states, either emotional or as views are completely purified and removed from our mind-streams. That is Full Enlightenment.
In Vajrayana teachings, fully awakened beings have four qualities of Body, Speech, Mind and Activities. When fully awakened beings reach out to benefit living beings that is their Activities. Tara, of which there are many different aspects, colours and gestures is the quality of enlightened Activities.
We all have these seeds and potential of holy beings body, speech and mind, and when these are fully cultivated our aspect is called Tara. Of course, there are many fully enlightened beings out there, individually or connectively, and the qualities of their activity manifest as Tara, to remove suffering, pain and fear. When we cultivate these qualities (through prayers and meditation) these activities are enhanced.
The imagery and visualisations of enlightened beings are not necessarily Buddhist in tradition, but this is how we, as practising Buddhists, recognise and connect to the fully enlightened energy of Action, through visualizing and reciting prayers to Tara.”
The above has been lightly edited for reading purposes from the aural video by Ondy Willson. You can listen to Geshe Tashi here for the full episode:
Here is the link to the text for the puja:
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