Deities

Part 3: 21 Taras of Mahasidda Suryagupta: after curing him of leprosy, Tara taught him Her Twenty-One forms

Suryagupta, one of the great Eighty-four Mahasiddas (7th/8th century), had countless visions of glorious Mother Tara. She so cherished the great master — also known as Ravigupta or “Nyi ma be pa” in Tibetan — that she first ...

Part 2, Surya Gupta 21 Taras: meditating on virtuous body of Tara; distinct embodiments of Tara’s Compassion and Wisdom

"As Tara did, we develop the potential of our minds to attain full Enlightenment through meditation. Meditation is a process of focusing our mind on a virtuous object." — From Tara in the Palm of Your Hand [1] ...

Mother Tara’s many-armed protective embrace: 21 Taras according to Surya Gupta — a very special celebration of Supreme Mother Tara, the Liberator

There's something very precious and special about Tara, the protective Mother, adored by millions around the world. Her energy is, at its root, wisdom — the female Enlightened Buddha. Tara is as approachable as our own mothers. She ...

Sadhanas: the secret sauce recipe of Vajrayana Buddhism — the ingredients that make it effective, and how to embrace its elegant formulas

Sadhanas in Vajrayana are (metaphorically) the recipes to successful Buddhist realizations. As with a chef in the kitchen, you don’t have to use the recipe — but it ensures a good result. The spectacular result, as with fine ...

Longing for Tara — “Hook me with your great love and kindness to liberate me…”

Green Tara is a deity of the “heart.” While all the Buddhas can be seen as Oneness and Omniscient — and therefore practicing one Buddha can be seen as practicing all Buddhas —there is something “precious,” personal and ...

The bridge between science and Buddhism, atoms and no atoms, theism and athiesm; Yidam deity meditation and the Cognitive Science of Tantra

"As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear-headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as ...

Mother Earth: witness of Lord Buddha’s merits: Vasudhara, Phra Mae Thorani, Prithvi, Bhumi — the witness of all our merits

One of the often-overlooked aspects of the story of Buddha’s Enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree is the dual significance of the “Bhumi Sparsha” — the Earth Witness Mudra. By touching the Earth, to be a witness of His ...

Deity Yoga: Science or Superstition? Vajrayana Deity Meditation Proves Invaluable in Preventing Cognitive Disorders. In What Other Ways is Vajrayana Buddhist Deity Practice More Science than Religion?

Deity Yoga in Tibetan Buddhism is very often misunderstood. In apparent contradiction to the implied meaning of "deity" — which is really a mistranslation of the Sanskrit "deva" — there might, in fact, be more science than superstition ...

Miracles of Great Black Mahakala: three Men in Black, the Mahakala brothers, the Dalai Lama, and a crow

"You come from your tree... You, the Great Black One, the Great Crow. Glorious Six-Armed One, homage and praise to you! Sternly protect the doctrine of the Buddha!" [1] Crows and the Men in Black are recurring themes ...

The many faces of Avalokiteshvara’s compassion: sometimes we need a father or mother, sometimes a friend, sometimes a warrior

Sometimes we need the gentle mother or father to guide us. We often need a best friend to console us, pat our back, pick us back up and inspire us to work harder. Or, we might need the ...

Tantra Helps “Stop Ordinary Perception”, and is the Fast Path to Enlightenment. But How Do Modern Buddhists Relate to Deities?

The much revered Guru Lama Yeshe. The great teacher Lama Yeshe once asked: "Why are there so many different deities in tantra?" [1] On one hand, Mahayana Buddhism speaks to universality, emptiness, oneness and the illusion of "I" ...

Chittamani Tara (Cittamani)- the “Mind Jewel” Green Tara, an approachable and appealing Highest Yoga Anuttara practice – one of the main practices of many great Gelug teachers

Green Tara Buddha is almost certainly one of the most popular Yidams in Vajrayana Buddhism. In Tibetan Buddhism especially, Green Tara is accessible to all, Mother of all the Buddhas, and virtually a "universal" symbol of Active Compassionate ...