When one is considering Tara, or in general considering the Dharma, there are two types of erroneous views which it is said traditionally, must be avoided.

The first is called the EXTERNALIST VIEW and this is linked with the religious attitude which is called in Buddhism the Eternalism-view.

Here the practitioner sees Tara as being a Worldly deity of some sort, such as a type of goddess.

Actually, Tara is not a sort of Goddess or a supernatural entity. She is perhaps a mind stream like ourselves, but one that has realised perfect Enlightenment - Buddhahood. On account of her practice of her vows to save all beings through uncounted lifetimes, she has acquired limitless Merit with which she is able to assist beings.

In my view, which may be wrong, to confuse Tara with goddesses from other religions is a type of this error - although it is also true that Tara may have manifested as a goddess-figure to help beings. Over the ages, Tara has manifested in many, many forms - as princesses, as prostitutes, as merchants and as nuns.

This is also called the view of concretisation. Here, one's visualisation of Tara turns solid and heavy. It is good to remember that she is always transparent, because she is made of light.

The second view is called the ANNIHALATIONIST VIEW and here one imagines that Tara does not exist and that the methods of visualisation, mantra and so forth, are like psychological methods. The idea here is that Tara does not exist, except as a method to work with our relative mind. In actual fact, it is our relative mind that does not exist.

In the West there are many 'seminar organisations' which teach various methods of visualisation and affirmation to bring about some change - very often to try to accomplish material goals. This may not be wrong, but it is wrong to think of or use Tara in this relative way, because you are diminishing the Absolute to the Relative (which is the true profanation).

Both of the above views diminish Tara. The second even puts us above Tara: that is, Tara is only a portion of our mind.

One should always bear in mind that Tara is a Buddha, beyond our control, understanding or comprehension....but not beyond our communication.