“In 1917 after a storm and flood, a 21-carat golden figurine of a female deity of Hindu was found by a Manobo woman on a muddy bank of Wawa River, a tributary of the large Agusan River. This ancient figure seated in lotus position weighs nearly 4 pounds which is the earliest known image identified to be an Indian in origin. The image corroborates a single cultural sphere that developed in the archipelagic regions of Southeast Asia during the height of trade between Butuan and the rest of the Sri Vijaya Empire”
This is what we can see a Web Page of Agusan Del Sur which is a province in the Philippines that can be seen in Northern Mindanao. This image was discovered by a Monobo woman named Bilay Campos in 1917 and it was stolen from a hidden chest inside her traditional Manobo house. It was believed by the tribe that Bae Bilay belongs that the image is a Diwata that protected their ancestral domain’s rain forest and water ways. Now at this present time, the Image of the Golden Tara seated for display in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
The finding of the Golden Tara in Agusan Del Sur is an evidence that before the rise of Islam and Christianity in the Philippines is that there is an early religion that been practiced by our ancestors in contrast to the Claim that Islam is the first religion of the Filipino People and so as our country is a Christian Nation. The Idea of our ancestors in welcoming new religion in our country shows that their strong belief in the Spirit World that is a parallel to the mundane physical existence; and in this world there live a Spiritual Powers that originally we call as Anito; and these Spiritual Powers has direct influence to our lives; thus our ancestors learn how to communicate and interact with these spiritual powers through rituals and those who do and master these rituals were called Babaylan.
The Golden Tara is believed to be a Hindu Sivaite Goddess. Shivaism is a Hindu Tradition that reveres Shiva as a Supreme being. This is the same theory why the pre colonial Tagalog people believe in the Supreme Deity named Bathala. It is because our pre colonial religious views have an influence from Hinduism. Bathala is derived from the Indonesian Language Batara that means God and it is connected to the God Shiva as its South East Asian incarnation.
Who is the Goddess Tara?
The Goddess Tara is the Mother of Liberation, and represents the virtues of success in work and achievements. The worshipers of the Goddess Tara work with her through meditation to develop certain inner qualities such as Compassion, Loving Kindness, and emptiness. It is also believed that the Goddess Tara is the Savior which is a heavenly deity that hears the cries of beings experiencing misery. The Goddess Tara has many manifestation towards her worshipers and on each manifestation there is a specific blessings that a devotee will receive from her.
- Green Tara which is also know as Khadivarani is usually associated with protection from fear, pride, delusion, ignorance, hatred, anger, jealousy, wrong views including fanatical views, avarice and miserliness, desire and attachment and deluded doubts.
- White Tara which is known as Saraswati is associated with longevity and counteract illness. The White Tara embodies the motivation that is compassion and is said to be as white as the radiant moon.
Tārā’s name literally means “star” or “planet”, and therefore she is associated with navigation and travel both literally and metaphorically as spiritual crossing to the ‘other side’ of the ocean of existence (enlightenment). Hence she is known literally as “she who saves”. In the Deities of Philippine Mythology we can find the Goddess Tara as Tala which is the Sister of Mayari (Goddess of the Moon) and Hanan ( Goddess of the Morning) which is all daughters of Bathala from a mortal woman.
From the Goddess Tala our Temple was named intending our members will serve like the Stars that Shine in the Dark Sky of the night. Thus being member of our Temple requires each member to shine their light to the world through service and devotion that will place each members to the sky to shine their light.