Mothers of Liberation

Voluptuous tree spirits, maternal nurturers, potent protectors, and dancing female Buddhas—the Indo-Himalayan Buddhist world abounds with goddesses of amazing diversity. Miranda Shaw reveals some of the many powers, symbols, and stories of this often overlooked and misunderstood pantheon.

Miranda Shaw

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Amrit Karmacharya

THE RADIANT WISDOM-MOTHER Prajnaparamita, golden and serene, represents the transcendent understanding of reality that crowns the spiritual quest. The savioress Tara, sparkling emerald green, nurtures beings to the full flowering of joy and perfection. Vajrayogini, a red female Buddha, dances in a ring of yogic fire that consumes all negativity and illusion. In the Buddhist pantheon of India and the Himalayas, goddesses preside over childbirth, agriculture, prosperity, longevity, art, music, and learning. There are goddesses who specialize in protection from natural and supernatural dangers; others directly support practitioners in their quest for spiritual awakening.

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