Tradition has it that during a ceremony in Sukhavati where Avalokiteshvara was revealed in his most glorious (powerful) form in heaven, thousands of recently departed Wayists who were trained by Iesous were taken up into heaven to be made into co-workers (angels) to work alongside the Lord.
Other Wayists were still embodied at that time (among them the 70something year-old Mari Magadhalene) and many of them were “raptured” (a Christian term) as their souls were taken from their bodies and they were elevated to Sukhavati, to work alongside the Lord.
During that glorious event in heaven, the Lord looked upon earth and was moved with great compassion for the suffering of humans. The Lord decided to create Bodhisattva to help in the task. When that was done, he looked over to Mari and offered her the position of a chief Bodhisattva over female matters. That stirred some interest because never before in Scripture would it be said that one who lived as a female could be made a Bodhisattva, not to mention even a senior Bodhisattva. According to Tradition Mari sensed the immense impact the Lord's gesture had on the world, and true to character she boldly stepped forward and humbly requested to be made a Bodhisattva in human female form, not the generic spiritual form. The Lord granted her wish amid (says ancient folk Tradition) sighs and frowns in the hallowed seats of the elders in heaven. From that time forward, she would be venerated by Hindus as Parvati, as consort of Avalokiteshvara, and by Wayists as Tara. By the 7th century, Tibetan Buddhism added Green Tara and later Red Tara (tantra tradition) as two more manifestations of Tara. As was the case with Avalokiteshvara, other religious figures were usurped because of Avalokiteshvara and Tara popularity and many of those identities blended with the new gods.
Each manifestation of Tara is yet another focus on certain qualities that devotees experience from her presence. She is known by many different titles all over the world, among them Holy Mother, Caretaker of Babies, Goddess, Mari, Healer Mother, Mother of Buddhas, Mariamam, Mother of Future Buddhas, Protector of the Weak, etc.
Tara is an extension of the compassion of the Lord. Being more approachable to women, as one who taught women all her life, as one who knows all about being a woman, she appeals to and reaches out to women and children in everyday life. She also ministers to men in danger, men who have softened their hearts.
Tara, like the Magadhalene, is a feisty no-nonsense character filled with love and beauty. Her chants are beautiful. Her presence brings innocence and sweetness, even a fresh forest fragrance, into one's heart. True, it is the Lord's ministry that liberated women from oppression but no one did more to get the job done that Mari from Magadha. In life as a human being she worked diligently all over the world. After leaving the body, she did not hesitate to take the position as Bodhisattva--meaning she vows to not go to Sukhavati, to not see Sukhavati, unless all suffering on earth comes to and end. She committed to stay in our realm with the Lord for thousands upon thousands of years--because she cares about us.
We thank her in our prayers and we reach out to her in our meditations.
Burn a candle for her, put a little Tara on your altar. She will appreciate it, she's a woman;-) No, she's THE woman.