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I ought to preface this with: this is not an original design!! I do not have the patience or imagination to come up with something like this. I just observed the traditional Buddhist representations of Sita Tara (White Tara), found some I particularly liked, and based the drawing on those (occasionally glossing-over the hard to draw parts, heh).

sitatara black and white

sitatara devotional colour

The observant among you will notice that there are some hideous flowers at the bottom of the ink-only version, which have miraculously been transformed into Sanskrit in the pencilled version. This is where I failed, drew ugly-arsed flowers, and gave in and admitted I’d have to take white-out to my lovely work. *sigh* Damn you, nature!

Some more notes (because I’m anal-retentive that way): obviously, I’m a NeoPagan, not a Buddhist, and I very much dislike people who just appropriate other cultures without any regards to research or culture. That being said, I spent most of my teenage years doing extensive research into Buddhism and Hinduism: I am certainly not a Buddhist, but there are many aspects of Mahayana/Zen practice (but not necessarily beliefs) that appeal to me.

I personally agree with the Mahayana belief that the boddhisatvas are not Gods, therefore I see no reason why I can’t admire their characteristics and what they represent, without insulting either them or the theological framework in which I work. However, as much as possible, I try and do so within the context of the culture; hence my fondness for Zen-style meditation, and creating mandalas which I then destroy. I think I’ll keep this picture though, I’m rather proud of it (and that, folks, is why I’m not a Buddhist).

Questions? Comments? Haven’t had a good religious discussion in quite some time, feel free to fill the void!

Comments on: "Devotional Drawing of Sita Tara" (5)

  1. I’d be leery about saying Mahayana/Zen; Zen may be a school of Mahayana Buddhism, but it is pretty unusual as they go. On a first reading it looked like you were saying that they are equivalent terms.

    I have two questions or comments! 1) Do you really feel that it is necessary for a Buddhist to either not feel pride in a thing well done, or to destroy it when completed?

    2) You drew that freehand? HOLY CRAP.

  2. I meant “Mahayana and/or Zen”, but I can see how that’s potentially ambiguous.

    1) No, not necessarily, but it IS rather characteristic, e.g. sand mandalas. What I’m trying to say is that the focus should be on the action of creation, which is a highly meditative process, rather than the end result. That’s what the destruction of it proves. It’s not necessary, it’s more metaphorically representative.

    2) Yeah, lol. I think it took like half a day, was very enjoyable though (and very different from anything that I usually draw, so that was also interesting).

    Yay! Someone reads my blog! 😛

  3. 1) Okay. I can agree with that- and also what you said about practices, not beliefs. [I mean, obviously the latter. I’m an *atheist*.]

    Well I did tell you that I would read it. YOU WERE FAIRLY WARNED

  4. Fabulous drawing – you’re really talented 🙂

    I grew up as part of the ‘Church of England’ though my parents are both Agnostic. When I was 16 I realised that wasn’t working for me and turned my attention to Buddhism for the next couple of years. I studied it thoroughly, went to the Buddhist Meditation centres nearby and really tried to embrace the religion.

    Unfortunately that didn’t work for me either. I think it was something to do with the desire aspect – you’re encouraged to let go of your desires and not be controlled by them. I completely agree with that (humans are so greedy) but, as a young twenty-something who was full of passion and desire to make something of myself, I felt like my choices were conflicting with the religion.

    For the last couple of years I’ve been the most well-adjusted and comfortable living as an atheist. I believe that people are entitled to live how they wish and to their beliefs but should never be forced or pressured into them. I’m only outspoken about the dangers of organised religion when politics comes into it or it’s proving to be dangerous to certain people’s health and wellbeing. 🙂

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