A little known story of White Tara … Quan Yin … Yashodara…
Yashodara was married to Siddartha, who was a Prince soon to become a King. He was torn between the path of a king and householder, and the ascetic path to enlightenment. He chose what was at that time the “higher path” or the only known path to enlightenment, the path of renunciation.
This path, although it was along the way to the opportunity we have now of bringing it all together and in balance, has kept the separation of spirit and earth, male and female, higher and lower, sacred and profane. Now, that path has led to the current opportunity of being responsible as one with all (enlightenment) and as our individual selves/roles on earth. One earth in heaven … in 2011.
Buddha was a deadbeat dad …
Siddhartha, who became Buddha, had left his worldly responsibilities as a prince soon to become a king and left his wife and son on the day his son, Rahula (meaning fetter or chain), was born.
This had karmic ramifications. As I was driving one day, I had the thought, Buddha is a “dead beat dad”! Just after I had that thought, I turned on the radio and heard a story, from a book a woman had just written, about current religious impacts. She was telling the story of a woman who had brought the father of her child to court to get child support. Her face fell, knowing it was a lost cause as she heard the father tell the judge that he had taken vows of poverty. Of course Buddha’s family was taken care of financially as royalty, but not in the other ways of husband and father.
As I was sharing this story with some friends, I said how calling Buddha a deadbeat dad, is likely to upset some people. My friend pointed out that “outing” our religious hypocrisies within Buddhism won’t set off any holy wars … or hatred. What a perfect venue … compassionate teaching … to begin debunking myths that people believe in instead of work with.
Yashodara was left to raise Rahula in the palace. Which she did as an ascetic of sorts … removing all her jewels and fine clothing. When her son grew up they went to join Siddhartha who was now Buddha.
Rahula was “dragged” onto their chosen path. Although he was thought of as “spoiled” by riches, he never had a good role model, to show how to be responsible for his privilege. And never shown how to be a responsible leader/King/Steward of the land. His well-meaning parents tried to drag him onto their paths of renunciation (for his own good). Though his path was to learn to be in the world, taking responsibility for his worldly lineage/role that his father renounced. This dynamic of the parent/offspring relationship, continues through the ages.
Rahula ended up like so many of the challenged youth of today. Bipolar, schizophrenic, suicidal … he didn’t make it on this earth for long. Though, he has also reincarnated now (as we can see in so many of our youth) to heal, to balance, to learn to be responsible for privilege.
Yashodara as a woman wasn’t allowed to be on the path or a teacher of the path. Yet as she traveled with Buddha, she began seeing how she could help and offered her help to untouchable women. At first these women thought she was lower than low for wanting to help untouchables. But they let her in, as they were so needy. And eventually her reputation preceded her and she was revered … known by different names in the different places they traveled. Quan Yin, Kuan Yin, Kwan Yin, Guan Yin, Quan’Am, Kannon … White Tara.
She brings this service of compassion to the world. And she passes along the challenge of guiding our children while allowing them to find their own path, thus strengthening their own inner guidance. As we learn to give support only as it works for us to do so, trusting our own inner guidance with compassion for mistakes made by us all.
One myth of White Tara says she showed up as the tear of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of all Buddhas, also known as Chenzering, who the Dali Lama is a reincarnation of.
She appeared when Avalokiteshvara moved into a state of compassion… when “his” mind and his heart met in wisdom… and the suffering “he” saw because of the lack of this balance, brought a tear to his eye. It is said she appeared, though I see, moving into this state of compassion, is seeing.
In many texts, Avalokiteshvara is also called Quan Yin and seen as an androgynous, bisexual god. It could be that only as a male, as Avalokiteshvara, could Yashudara teach. As women taking on male personas have done throughout history.
And it’s time to see this not as a suppression of women but part of our transformation. As an androgynous god(dess), the teaching goes beyond male and female and therefore the balance of male and female could be initiated. As we see we are one with all … Love in balance … realization into actualization … the embodiment of enlightenment … one earth in heaven.
Many see these times as “Judgement Day” , I see it as non-judgement day … either way … it’s all relatives!