Receiving the Tara empowerment means that through the blessings of Arya Tara’s body, speech and mind, a special power is bestowed upon your continually residing body, speech and mind so that sooner or later they are transformed into the body, speech and mind of an enlightened being.
So we become an enlightened being. That is the meaning of this.
Receiving this empowerment opens the door to the practice of Arya-Tara and accomplishes or establishes a special connection between you who are receiving the empowerment and Arya Tara, who is an enlightened being.
You, who for the moment is a human being, an ordinary being and Tara, who is an enlightened being are making good friends! Best friends. Between you and Tara.
Once you have received the empowerment, if you rely sincerely upon Arya Tara with strong faith you will directly receive her protection and blessings and she will care for you in this life and in life after life.
You need this in future lives actually – this life is very short; maybe it will end tomorrow, There is not much meaning in grasping at it too much for in reality maybe it will end tomorrow, and after tomorrow, then what will happen? Then we will need someone to protect and care for us, like a mother.
If we are really wise, intelligent, we should think this. Just being happy right now is not enough. Just short, you know. Next week, next month, next year, then gradually farther farther, what will happen? We understand that we need someone to care for us and to protect us. So right now it is time to accomplish this.
Of course generally within enlightened beings we cannot say, `This is higher, this is lower. This is powerful, this is not powerful.’ Nothing. But they have specific different functions. Arya Tara has a specific function.
Of course her great kindness generally pervades every living being without exception - each day. There is no single person who will not receive blessings from Arya Tara in one single day. Every day continually they will receive benefit from Arya Tara.
But how? Unless there is some basic Dharma knowledge or understanding, in the beginning this is difficult, but I can give simple reasons.
For example, every day we sometimes experience, as I said, a peaceful mind, and the fulfilment of our conditions. And also what is most important is that we have many temporary freedoms from particular problems and sufferings.
Since we were born from our mother, immediately someone cared for us, helped us, fed us, and clothed us. We received so much care. Continually after that we received help from someone, but possibly from different people, different aspects.
Until now, materially or spiritually, whenever a problem arises, someone helps. Whenever some danger arises, someone helps. This kind of thing. Although generally we are a sentient being and in samsara, so of course have many problems and sufferings, we have many many temporary freedoms from particular sufferings.
So definitely someone is helping. Even your mother. Why can you not say that she is an emanation of Arya Tara?
For example I can say that she is an emanation of Arya Tara and you can say, `No she’s not because she is very ordinary. She gets angry with me. She is causing me many problems’, and so forth. I say you are wrong because the mother that you normally see does not exist. Your mother that you normally see does not exist. Then you are wrong to say she is bad, she is good, she is harming me, she is criticizing me. Wrong.
Who is helping you? Reply: Your mother, certainly. Since you were born you were completely powerless in everything. You could not eat. You could not say anything. Everything was taken care of by your mother. From then until now your mother has cared for you continually.
But the mother who is caring for you that you see, the mother that you normally see, does not exist. So who cared for you? Who is this someone who cares for you continually? I can say it is an emanation of Arya Tara.
But you cannot see. You cannot see the mother who is really caring for you, for you she does not exist. You cannot see the existent caring mother because you see only an inherently existent mother and then say, `She is good, she is bad, she is helping…’, but in reality such a person does not exist.
Then I say, `Oh, if you receive care from someone, then this IS an emanation of Arya Tara.’ If we debate publicly, I will win! So you can think about this carefully.
Some people say the hell realm does not exist. They are very confident in saying that the hell realm does not exist because they already checked throughout the world. But in reality they are wrong. They are always checking inherently existent things, which do not exist! In reality they don’t exist.
If we understand that all things that we normally see do not exist, then we understand that things exist as mere name or as mere appearance, and then we understand that appearance to our mind can be anything. This is shown by our dreams.
So many different things appear in our dreams. Uncertainty – good, bad. So it’s the same, you know – mere appearance, mere name can exist, so it is then very easy to prove the existence of hell realms. But if we search for an inherently existent hell realm, it is impossible to find one. And we cannot find an inherently existent mother anywhere.
So like this your mother who is really continually helping can be an emanation of Tara. Not only your mother – anyone who from time to time helps you, whether spiritually or materially.
So like this we can check carefully how Tara is always helping, whether we are Buddhist or not. Even those who deny Tara, and even those who are angry when they hear Tara’s name, will receive benefit from her every day because this is the enlightened beings’ function.