Icarus

icarus

Apparently there is a Hindu version of Icarus:

A near parallel to the Icarus story exists in the Hindu epic Ramayana, the demi-god Jatayu and his brother Sampaati, who had the forms of vultures, used to compete as to who could fly higher. On one such instance Jatayu flew so high that he was about to get seared by sun’s flames. Sampaati saved his brother by spreading his own wings and thus shielding Jatayu from the hot flames.

In the process, Sampaati himself got injured and lost his wings. Luckier than Icarus, he did not die a painful death, but had to live wingless for the rest of his life.

The Ramayana is attributed in Hindu tradition to the poet Valmiki who lived about 444 B.C, and presumably the story of Jatayu and Sampaati existed in earlier versions. Thus, it is roughly contemporary with the story of Icarus. Prior to the time of Alexander the Great there was hardly any direct contact between Greeks and Indians, but both were in contact with the Persian Empire and enough trade existed for elements of myth to pass over great distances.

It’s almost as though humanity has been reading from the same Book all this time….

Amazing wings, yes?

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Green Tara

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Here’s a Buddha to whom I’ve been drawn since first seeing a thangka that depicted her. Lots of good information at this site:

The great Buddha Green Tara (the most common form of Tara) who made the vow to return always as a female Bodhisattva is resplendent in her aura of green, radiant with the attainment of all the six perfections of giving, ethics, patience, effort, meditative stabilisation and wisdom, and bright with her ever-compassionate care for all sentient beings.

Tara is immensely beautiful, youthful like a 16-year-old maiden. Her top is naked though not in a lustful way – she is bare in the way that she remains unshackled by the times of samsara, free from suffering. At the same time, she wears the slender, bright pants traditional of Indian ladies to show us that though she is enlightened, she works through samsaric conventions to help us overcome our suffering.

Because of her strong karmic connection to all sentient beings in samsara, Buddha Tara tilts towards us in her great compassion to listen to our prayers, grant us our virtuous wishes and protect us as a mother would for her child. She is emerald green, splendid in the swiftness that the coolness of the colour represents.

Her ability to come to our assistance as we invoke her presence is instant – we need only think of her to have her compassionate heart with us. Unusually, Green Tara does not sit in meditative pose; instead her right leg extends outwards, to show us that she is ready to step forward to help us in our time of need.

Her spiritual energy in the form of sound that helps to transform the mind (Mantra)