Other Wayists were still embodied at that time (among them the 70something year-old Mari Magadhalene) and many of them were “raptured” (a Christian term) as their souls were taken from their bodies and they were elevated to Sukhavati, to work alongside the Lord.
During that glorious event in heaven, the Lord looked upon earth and was moved with great compassion for the suffering of humans. The Lord decided to create Bodhisattva to help in the task. When that was done, he looked over to Mari and offered her the position of a chief Bodhisattva over female matters. That stirred some interest because never before in Scripture would it be said that one who lived as a female could be made a Bodhisattva, not to mention even a senior Bodhisattva. According to Tradition Mari sensed the immense impact the Lord’s gesture had on the world, and true to character she boldly stepped forward and humbly requested to be made a Bodhisattva in human female form, not the generic spiritual form. The Lord granted her wish amid (says ancient folk Tradition) sighs and frowns in the hallowed seats of the elders in heaven. From that time forward, she would be venerated by Hindus as Parvati, as consort of Avalokiteshvara, and by Wayists as Tara. By the 7th century, Tibetan Buddhism added Green Tara and later Red Tara (tantra tradition) as two more manifestations of Tara. As was the case with Avalokiteshvara, other religious figures were usurped because of Avalokiteshvara and Tara popularity and many of those identities blended with the new gods.
Each manifestation of Tara is yet another focus on certain qualities that devotees experience from her presence. She is known by many different titles all over the world, among them Holy Mother, Caretaker of Babies, Goddess, Mari, Healer Mother, Mother of Buddhas, Mariamam, Mother of Future Buddhas, Protector of the Weak, etc.
Tara is an extension of the compassion of the Lord. Being more approachable to women, as one who taught women all her life, as one who knows all about being a woman, she appeals to and reaches out to women and children in everyday life. She also ministers to men in danger, men who have softened their hearts.
Tara, like the Magadhalene, is a feisty no-nonsense character filled with love and beauty. Her chants are beautiful. Her presence brings innocence and sweetness, even a fresh forest fragrance, into one’s heart. True, it is the Lord’s ministry that liberated women from oppression but no one did more to get the job done that Mari from Magadha. In life as a human being she worked diligently all over the world. After leaving the body, she did not hesitate to take the position as Bodhisattva - meaning she vows to not go to Sukhavati, to not see Sukhavati, unless all suffering on earth comes to and end. She committed to stay in our realm with the Lord for thousands upon thousands of years -because she cares about us.
We thank her in our prayers and we reach out to her in our meditations.
Burn a candle for her, put a little Tara on your altar. She will appreciate it, she’s a woman;-) No, she’s THE woman.
You can read more about the real “Mary Magdalene” from our various publications. Here, I just want to give a quick overview and leave first timers with a few word-foods for thought.
Iesous met Mari, a 14/15 year-old girl from Magadha, when she was a sex slave indentured to a pimp. He liberated her and she followed him, refusing all the Lord’s attempts to shake her off. From Gilgit (in the Himalayas) where they met, she followed the Lord as his only full time disciple all the way into Nepal, west to the mouth of the Indus, all the way up to Judea. She became his foremost disciple. Wherever they traveled, Mari ministered to women and children, teaching the Way.
Mari was present at the crucifixion. Afterward, she led a group of learned Wayists for a while and authored a Scripture for the movement. Once the group had settled and teachers were trained, Mari went down into Egypt and Ethiopia to spread the Wayist message. She made her way back to Kashmir via Aksum when she was about 70 years old to await the return of the Lord.
The Lord had promised he would return, as a glorified spiritual being, within a generation (40 years maximum). The signs of the Lord’s “second coming” were in the air—Jerusalem had been sacked, the Jews driven from their land, and the Temple had been destroyed, Pompeii had erupted, etc. Mari had worked all her life for the cause. No one was better trained than Mari.
Nevertheless, when the naysayers in Judea learned that Mari and thousands of others recognized Avalokiteshvara as the Christ, they disowned her. They changed her Scripture, removed her name from it, and called it the Gospel According to John. They were awaiting a Christ according to Old Testament promises. They were (are) awaiting a supernatural military commander who would wage war against evil (Rome, the dragon with seven heads) and establish the Jews as rulers of the world. They were not satisfied with an Avalokiteshvara.