Red Tara (Kurukulla)
the passionate lotus dakini,
originated from the country of
Uddiyana. She is said to have emanated from the Buddha Amitabha.
Among Amitabha's three female emanations Kurukulla is the most
important one. Kurukulla is often called Red Tara (sgrol-ma
dmar-po) or Tarodbhava Kurukulla, "the Kurukulla who arises from
Tara." According to the
texts, Kurukulla is a sixteen year old maiden because sixteen is
an auspicious number which signifies perfection (four times
four). She is red in color because of her magical function of
enchantment and magnetism.
She has a single face because she embodies non-dual wisdom
beyond conventional distinctions of good and evil. She is naked
because she is unconditioned by discursive thoughts. She has
four arms because of the four immeasurable states of mind,
namely, love, compassion, joy, and equanimity. She holds an
arrow stretched on a bow entwined with flowers and leaves
because she can give rise to thoughts of desire in the minds of
others. In her other two hands she holds the hook that attracts
and summons them into her presence and the noose by which she
binds them to her will. Both of these implements enable her to
catch those of us who have strayed from the path of the Dharma.
a crown of five skulls signifying the five perfections, whereas
she herself embodies the sixth perfection, that of wisdom. She
wears a necklace of fifty freshly severed human heads dripping
blood because she vanquishes the fifty negative emotions. She
is dancing because she is active and energetic, her
compassionate activity manifesting in both Samsara and Nirvana.
She dances, treading upon a male human corpse because she
enchants and subjugates the demon of ego and desire also known
as Kamadeva. She stands within a flaming aura because her
nature is hot and enflamed with passion and upon a lotus blossom
because she is a pure vision of enlightened awareness. In the
practitioner's meditation, such is the recollection of the
purity (dag dran) of the vision of the goddess.
Usually she is one faced but can have 2, 4, 6 or 8 arms. In the
6 armed form she has six Dhyani Buddhas engraved on her crown;
in the 2 armed form she is known as Sukla Kurkulla; in the 4
armed form she is known as Oddiyana Kurkulla and by several
other names. Her mantra is ‘Om Kukulle Hum Hrih Svaha’.
here to see all of the Red Tara, Kurukulla Statues in Dharma Sculpture's