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21 Tara


Tara, (Tibetan: Drol-ma), Buddhist saviour-goddess with numerous forms, is widely popular in Nepal, Tibet, and Mongolia. She is the feminine counterpart of the bodhisattva (“buddha-to-be”) Avalokiteshvara. According to popular belief, she came into existence from a tear of Avalokiteshvara, which fell to the ground and formed a lake. Out of its waters rose up a lotus, which, on opening, revealed the goddess. Like Avalokiteshvara, she is a compassionate, succouring deity who helps men “cross to the other shore.” She is the protectress of navigation and earthly travel, as well as of spiritual travel along the path to enlightenment. In Tibet she is believed to be incarnate in every pious woman, and the two wives—a Chinese princess and a Nepali princess—of the first Buddhist king of Tibet, Tsongsen Gampo, were identified with the two major forms of Tara. The Green Tara or Arya Tara was believed to be incarnated as the Nepali princess. She is considered by some to be the original Tara and is the female consort of Amoghasiddhi, one of the Dhyani-Buddha, or “self-born” Buddhas. Green Tara is generally shown seated on a lotus throne with right leg hanging down, wearing the ornaments of a bodhisattva and holding the closed blue lotus (utpala). The main Tara in this painting is Green Arya Tara. The White and Green Taras, with their contrasting symbols of the full-blown and closed lotus, are said to symbolise between them the unending compassion of the deity who labours both day and night to relieve suffering. Under the influence of Tibetan Buddhism the different forms of Tara multiplied to a traditional 108. Tibetan temple banners frequently show 21 different Taras, colored white, red, and yellow, grouped around a central Green Tara. The figure of the “self-born” Amitabha Buddha is often shown in her headdress.


度母(藏語:Drol-ma)是佛教中的守護者,持多個示現形象,被尼泊爾、西藏和蒙古人民尊崇依止。她是觀世音菩薩的女性化身。傳統說法她是從觀世音菩薩的眼淚代身,眼淚掉在地上形成了一個湖。水里生出一朵蓮花,度母隨即化現。如觀音菩薩一般,她是一位慈悲、助人的聖度母,慈悲救渡一切苦難的眾生。她是航海和塵世的守護者,也是邁向證悟道上的保護者。 在西藏,她被認為是每個虔誠的女人的化身,西藏第一位佛教國王松贊乾布的兩位妻子—中國文成公主和一位尼泊爾公主,也被認為是度母的化身,尼泊爾公主則被示為綠度母的化身。一些人認為她是不空成就佛的明妃,不空成就佛是五方如來佛之一。綠度母通常於唐卡中坐在蓮花寶座上,右腿垂下踏在蓮花上,代表隨時準備起身救度表示眾生。頭帶五佛寶冠,手持半開的烏巴拉花(Utpala 藍蓮花)。 這唐卡中的主要度母為聖救綠度母。白度母和綠度母分別手持著盛開和半開蓮花,象徵著本尊日夜不忘為減輕眾生之苦的無止盡慈悲。在藏傳佛教傳統下,不同形式的度母衍生成 108 種度母。藏傳寺廟經常會看到是 21 度母,顏色為白色、紅色和黃色,圍繞著中央的綠色度母,阿彌陀佛的形象經常出現在她的頭冠上。

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