The Red Banner-Bearer

Tara of Victory In a rich red, Tara as Jigten Sumle Gyalma is the banner holder leading the parade in our spiritual discipline. She is marching at the front, leading all the other Taras in formation around us as we walk the path, keeping us on course. Destroying the internal distractions is the easy is the outside influences which keep us from our practice which are more difficult to combat; especially because these can often appear in a form out of our control. And how does She do it? With joyful laughter...She keeps the way light-hearted, showing us that any problem can be overcome with perseverance and a good sense of humor. Jigten Sumle teaches us to not take things so seriously, when we do it is a form of attachment by placing too much importance on something which will not benefit our spiritual pursuits.

A perfect example is some of the distractions I have recognized in my own practice. My daughter is someone I cannot ignore, and will not; but as a toddler She is always trying to vie for my attentions, especially during meditation time. I could get up earlier in the day to meditate, or stay up incredibly late for my practice, but I want to give my best time and attention possible. At first I was getting frustrated as my daughter didn't understand what I was doing and wanted to just play. It wasn't until I thought about the joy she brings me that I understood fully how I love watching her. So now when I am sitting on the cushion and my daughter comes in I keep praying and chanting, but with a smile. She sometimes just sits with me in lotus, watching or closing her eyes; or she might curl up on my lap and want hugs. Often she loses interest and goes to play quietly in another room. The point is, I didn't get irritated and tell her to get out, I quietly became aware of her whilst maintaining my meditation. This is when I realized I could meditate anywhere and do anything. Being mindful and aware of what is around me whilst staying in a spiritual state is the ultimate multi-tasking challenge.

Jigten Sumle Gyulma blesses us with joyful wisdom not by showering it over us, but by magnifying the way already within. Joy and bliss does not need to come from outside influences; we are perfectly capable of manifesting happiness without becoming attached to worldly things. Her crown/diadem is the amplifier and director of Her blessings...the banner of victory is carried in the lotus. Her laughter causes outside influences to shake and tremble, Her mockery defeats any arrogance present in ourselves or those who try to distract us from the path.


As Conqueror of the Three Worldly Realms, I invoke the power and presence of I give to you my body, heart, and soul. Influence me with your graces, lead the way in my spiritual path, so that I may be a blessing to all who come before me. May all my enemies no longer hold my attentions as they shiver and run from the wind of your banner.