Bracelet Mala of Taras

Yutang Lin

In early morning of July 14 I suddenly got the inspiration that I could use a specially designed bracelet mala (prayer beads) to represent the twenty-one Taras so as to maintain constant remembrance of their gracious merits and for practice of chanting Tara mantras.

Use a red bead as the father-bead to represent Red Chenrezig (Guan Yin), and a white bead as the mother-bead to represent White Chenrezig; this is the source of miraculous origination for all Taras. Use twenty-one beads as offspring beads to represent the twenty-one Taras respectively. Among the twenty-one Taras the color of their individual bodies are variegated to signify their various salvation activities and merits. Nevertheless, the main Yidam is Green Tara and the main companion Tara is White Tara. Hence the Taras are to be represented by twenty green beads and one white bead. This white bead is to be placed at the 11th place, and hence it will be on the exact opposite side of the mala circle in correspondence with the white bead that represents White Chenrezig. While the pair of ten green beads each will be on two sides forming a balanced symmetric correspondence that would look nice and neat.

Right then I drew a simple figure to express this idea and gave it to a Buddhist friend. That afternoon she came back with a bracelet mala made according to this idea. When I showed it to visiting Buddhists they all expressed approval and appreciation of its full representation of the essential significance of Taras. Hence I wrote this article to share the Dharma idea and its benefits with all Buddhists.

Written in Chinese on July 17, 2004
Before the fire puja to Red Chenrezig
Yang Ming Mountain, Taipei, Taiwan
Translated on August 8, 2004
El Cerrito, California

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