Seeking Green Tara’s Blessings•
Posted on March 30 2023
The Green Tara is considered to be a beloved deity among the Tibetan Buddhists. She is considered to be the Mother of All Buddhas and renders protection and succour from any unfortunate circumstances that one encounters in this world. She has green coloured skin and a calm posture that distinguishes her from other Taras and female deities.
The deity is portrayed sitting on a lotus throne with her right leg hanging downwards and foot resting on a blue lotus. The Green Tara is widely worshipped by her followers to seek relief from eight fears, namely, lions; demons; elephants; imprisonment; fire, water, thieves and snakes.
Green Tara mantra
The Green Tara mantra Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha is widely chanted for the blessings from the deity.
The word Tare indicates that Mother Tara relieves human beings from various problems or sufferings. By chanting the mantra and taking refuge in the goddess, Green Tara helps you in getting relief from all problems related to true sufferings such as experiencing aversion, death, sickness, old age, not finding desirable objects and so on. In other words, Tare offers protection against the normal worldly dangers.
The word Tuttare helps you get liberated from the eight fears related to external dangers and frees you from all disturbing thoughts and karma. The actual dangers or mind disturbing thoughts arise from various aspects such as ignorance, wrong views, attachment, miserliness, anger, jealousy and pride. In a nutshell, Tuttare renders protection against the three spiritual dangers of delusion, hatred and greed.
The word Ture assists you in getting relief from disease. The disease here refers to ignorance along with the disturbing thoughts that emanate from ignorance. The mantra helps you seek solace from true sufferings and disturbing thoughts. In other words, Ture helps you understand that true spiritual progress is about being compassionate to others rather than being liberated from your own suffering.
The word Soha guides you towards setting up the root of the path in your heart. The mantra bestows you with the blessings of Green Tara in your heart and eliminate all the impurities in your mind, speech and body. Your mind, body and speech get transformed to holy mind, holy body and holy speech.
Offerings to the Green Tara
Eight traditional offerings are made to the Green Tara deity and they are done so in a specific order in order to be bestowed with Her blessings. Seven bowls are arranged in a line with very little distance between each bowl. These bowls have various offerings while the eighth bowl has a diya that is kept behind the seven bowls and before the deity.
Starting from right to left, the seven bowls contain the following items that are filled almost up to the brim. You must make sure that the contents in the bowls do not overflow as this is considered to be a lack of discipline.
- Bowl 1 – This bowl contains argham or water for drinking.
- Bowl 2 – This bowl contains padhyam or water for washing.
- Bowl 3 – This bowl contains pushpe or flowers for the deity.
- Bowl 4 – This bowl contains dhupe or unburnt incense.
- Bowl 5 – This bowl contains gendhe or perfumed water.
- Bowl 6 – This bowl contains nivide or food for the deity.
- Bowl 7 – This bowl contains symbols of music like cymbals, shell or bell.
The water bowls are filled every night and emptied every morning. The water is offered to a plant or two. The bowls for the offerings must be cleaned, dried as well as kept upside down when they are not used. When they are filled, some rice grains are put in them and the offerings are placed on them. Once the rice becomes stale, it is replaced and the stale rice is fed to birds, animals and fishes on either a full moon day or a new moon day.
You can also take some perfumed water from the fifth bowl and pour it at the end of some kush grass. This water is then sprinkled on the offerings and the Ram Yam Kam Om Ah Hung mantra is chanted three times.
Ram – Represents the fire that purifies by burning the impurities
Yam – Represents the wind that purifies by sweeping the impurities
Kam – Represents the water that purifies by washing the impurities
Om – Represents the human body and seeking blessings
Ah – Represents the human speech and seeking blessings
Hung – Represents the human mind and seeking blessings
After the mantra chant, you must bow thrice before the deities.
Significance of the contents in each bowl
The water for drinking in the first bowl is used to clean the face or mouth and represents auspiciousness and positive causes that induce positive effects. This water is believed to bring an end to suffering.
The water for washing in the second bowl symbolises purification and is used to clean the feet of the enlightened deity. This will help you to get relief from your obscuration and negative karmas.
The flowers in the third bowl represents generosity and opens your heart by awakening you to the surroundings. They also guide an individual to the path of enlightenment.
The incense in the fourth bowl signifies discipline and moral ethics. The incense puts an end to unhealthy and unpleasant smells while drawing you towards the magnificent smell of discipline.
The perfumed water in the fifth bowl highlights the fragrance from sandalwood or saffron and represents joyous effort or perseverance. It alleviates negative traits like attachment, ignorance and aggression and develop the virtues needed for enlightenment.
The food for the deity in the sixth bowl is a representation of several tastes that signifies samadhi and awakens your mind. This offering is believed to offer relief from hunger and starvation while ensuring an abundance of food.
The sound source in the seventh bowl represents wisdom that is a special power associated with the mind. It helps you understand that wisdom helps one to achieve compassion and interdependence of all phenomena in your life.
The light in the eighth bowl helps you to get rid of the ignorance in your life and be blessed with a purified mind. It also guides you to be blessed with transcendental knowledge.
When we call on Green Tara with a devout mind for protection from our fears and dangers, we will not only be relieved from our sufferings but also be blessed with multiple other benefits such as compassionate action, selfless altruism and become happier in life.
Written by - Deepthi K