The Story of Tara
Transcribed from the CD 'Red Tara: The Concise Practice and Commentary'
Countless eons ago, in a time beyond the beginning of our time, a buddha appeared in a worldly realm called 'Various Lights'. A princess in that realm, called Moon of Wisdom, (Tibetan - Yeshe Dawa), developed great faith in, and devotion towards, the buddha. She payed homage in body, speech, and mind, making immeasurable offerings to him and his retinue. When, by virtue of her vast accumulations of merit, and pristine awareness, the thought of supreme awareness and enlightenment awakened in her, the monks of the realm advised her to pray for rebirth in a male body, for they thought that such a body would be a superior vehicle for enlightenment. Because Yeshe Dawa had realized the empty nature of all phenomena, she recognized that there is no inherent reality in either the male body or the female body. Confronted by the relative reality of ignorant insistence on such differentiations,however, she made the commitment to always take rebirth in female form. Eventually she obtained a profound meditative state from which she was able to place innumerable beings in realms beyond suffering. In our own world system, she manifested as Tara, through the compassion of Avalokiteshvara, (Tibetan - Chenrezig), and here she made the particular vow to liberate beings from... any fear of samsaric suffering. For this reason she is called the Swift Savioress.
Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche