Free and Open to the public
Speaker: Lama Tsultrim Allione (Author, founder and spiritual director of Tara Mandal)
When the prince Siddhartha decided to cease fasting and embrace the middle way, it was a woman who fed him his first meal of milk rice. When Mara, the demonic shadow figure, challenged Siddhartha to provide a witness for his right to take his seat under the Bodhi tree the night of his enlightenment, he reached forward and touched the earth. He invoked the goddess of the earth, Prithivi, who knows and remembers all that has happened on her vast body. She gave her testimony by quaking and roaring, and caused Mara and his hordes to retreat, opening the space for Siddhartha's enlightenment. The precise way she intervened differs according to various accounts, but always the earth goddess bears witness and acts as the Siddhartha's principle ally at this pivotal moment in his life.