A hidden treasure in Thamel… the Tara temple
I sometimes say to the people that Kathmandu is like one open air museum for me.
Everywhere you find temples and statues … some Buddhist, some Hindu, sometimes a mixture of both … because both religions are somewhere weaved in each other in this country.
In a small street – hidden after a courtyard – is one of the most special temples for me In Kathmandu, the Tara temple.
Most of the time temples are taken care of by families … son to son takes of over the task to take care of the temple.
When we first arrived, the temple was closed – I was a bit disappointed.
But then there he was, the man who take care of this special Tara temple.
I ll asked him if I could take pictures and by my big surprise, he still remembers me … he said you already where here … he even remembered that my company had the name Tara in it … I was stunned – because it was two years ago.
The temple is very small but the statues of white – green and yellow Tara are very special.
Let me first explain a little bit about Tara, of in Tibetan Dölma.
Tārā is a meditation deity worshiped by practitioners of the Tibetan branch of Vajrayana Buddhism to develop certain inner qualities and to understand outer, inner and secret teachings such as karuṇā (compassion), mettā (loving-kindness), and shunyata (emptiness).
Today, Green Tara and White Tara are probably the most popular representations of Tara. Green Tara is usually associated with protection from fear and obstacles.
White Tara is associated with longevity. White Tara counteracts illness and thereby helps to bring about a long life. She embodies the motivation that is compassion and is said to be as white and radiant as the moon.
Buddhist pray to what they call the mother of all Buddha’s by chanting the mantra “ oṃ tāre tu tāre ture soha.”.
But as I mentioned above, we don’t search for the deity outside ourselves – we use the deity to connect with the qualities we all have inside ourselves and by meditation on Tara we try to increase these qualities.
Now you have an idea of this important deity.
Because she is so important I find it a shame that she is so hidden and thereby by many people just not found.
Of course, Tibetan people find the way to worship her.
The temple is small but full of details, the golden plate above the entrance with images of Buddha and other deities.
The wood who keep up the roof is completely carved out with images of deities.And around the temple you can put many candles.
The men told us that there was now a festival for three days and that in the building next to the temple where now all old text and other old statues displayed.
We were not allowed to enter – only to see from outside – waw such nice old statues- paintings … one painting of Tara was so beautiful, only looking at it and I already felt by seeing the beauty my heart opened!
I am so thankful to be here and specially on this occasion that we could see also these old precious statues and text that are normally hidden.
Knowing that I am already asking a few days to come to Pramod – but somehow in Nepal you have much but at the end no time. We need to make many documents for our travel agency and also prepare our pilgrimage tour of next month. Well everywhere you need to wait – come back … again another paper from the office where you where yesterday … and of course today they can’t make it 😉 come back tomorrow sir … unbelievable … I think what we can fix in Europe in 2 days take here at least 10 days … Meaning we are here now 11 days but actually didn’t do nothing else then going to lawyer – bank and several offices …welcome in Nepal ;-).
But yesterday one of my students – friends – send me a message that she was in Nepal.
We went for Diner together and as today was her last day, Pramod suggested to go together to the Tara temple … so this is no coincident … as you know I don’t believe in coincident 😉 … we needed to come just today to this place … to be blessed to see the otherwise hidden things.
Pramod and me bought a candle light to burn with Tara. So, she can protect us for obstacles in our lives … we had some last months … so we can use some protection.
When we held the candle light … the bells around the temple made a sound … I all hope this sound is a sign of our protection ;-).
What I didn’t see two years ago is that next to the Tara temple there are two other courtyards also with each beautiful Tara statues. One with a blue Tara. And the other one a red Tara.
As I said here you need to look everywhere, temples and symbols are hidden in the littlest corners, even trees grow over temples.
A shame is the many pigeons who are here. They destroy many things … and I don’t think Nepali know that because they feed them … so it looks to me that the population of pigeons keep growing …
Well I all hope that this may be the beginning of a wonderful time in Nepal.
Connecting with the people, the beautiful nature, and with all the Buddhist treasures.
Do you want to see all the pictures of the Tara temple … visit our facebook : Tara Himalayan Vision
My next blog will be ‘Nepali life: A day out of the life of a Nepali family’