The Talking Tara of Thamel

#Nepal #Neykor #Series

The temple complex of Itum Bahal in Thamel hosts one of the most sacred Tara statues in the world. The Mahashanta Shweta Tara is a large bronze statue of White Tara. It is more sacred than the rest because it is believed to have given teachings. In fact is also known as “The Great White Tara Who Turned the Wheel of Dharma”.

“According to what my father and my grandfather told me, it is believed that she flew to Kathmandu from Potala in Tibet,” says Bupendra Bahadur Sakya, the 8th generation caretaker of the temple. “Many masters and meditators even today have shared powerful experiences after praying and meditating here,” he adds. The statue is said to have to have flown to other parts of Nepal to be of benefit to other sentient beings.

I prostrated three times and made an offering of Rs. 1,000. “It feels very peaceful and powerful at the same time,” I tell him.

Bupendra was very pleased to hear that, and also to know that I am a Bhutanese. He shared that during the long Pandemic shutdown he really missed Bhutanese pilgrims. “You guys show great respect to Tara that my community finds very inspiring”.

Still, while Tara may not be the most favourite deity of the Newari Buddhists, this Tara is highly revered and there are special rituals observed by the Newari community.

The White Tara is in the middle. To her right is Prajnaparamita Tara (Yum Chenmo in Tibetan) in yellow color, and on its left is Green Tara (Dron Jang).

The small caged temple is in the courtyard to the north of Itumbahal.

#kathmandu #itumbahal #tara #vihara #whitetara #greentara

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s