Tara And The Eight Fears

In the Praise to the Noble Tara by the First Dalai Lama, A Crown Ornament For The Wise, A Praise of Green Tara, a request is made to Tara to be protected from fear. Fear of illnesses, obstacles, untimely death, bad dreams, bad signs etc.


    Therefore, O Worthy Refuge, I beseech you
    Protect living beings from diseases, ghosts, demons,
    Untimely death, nightmares, evil omens,
    And every cause of error.


Tara has something special: Protection from the Eight Fears. These are not necessarily fears like what we acknowledge as fears, it are the nightmares of the spiritual practitioners. Most of the fears and difficulties we experience, what I call negative emotions, are a result of delusions…

Basically, these are the eight nightmares of spiritual practitioners, with their metaphors. The metaphor are given to help recognizing them within yourself.

Now the question is: If you recognize those negative behaviors within you, what can you do? There is a general solution and there are individual solutions. Each one of those negative emotions has its direct opponent, and each one of the negative emotions has its own tools. All negative emotions are very strongly connected with laziness. Also, one of their biggest points is to hide under the ignorance. By hiding under the ignorance, we don’t get acknowledgment or recognition. By not getting recognition, you give room for denial. So you say: “I am not angry, but…” or, “I am not jealous, but…” And you go on with, blah, blah, blah talk. Negative emotions really function very well under denial, and the ignorance is very good in giving room to that denial. So the best general solution is to attack them on the ignorance: which is with wisdom.

Buddha gave as answer: emptiness. Emptiness is the most important wisdom that you can apply in general on all these emotions. The ‘queen-ant’ is the subject to be refuted. The recognition of a not existing queen-ant is the real, true emptiness. That is the general solution. The queen-ant is not really there, but we think it is there, and we will be working for that. So emptiness here means: being empty of the queen-ant, of the ego.

~ Gelek Rimpoche, Healing and Self-Healing Through White Tara, P. 50 and P. 54, 1997


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