February 5th, 2009 by sabrina

This is the Buddhist Tara, following from yesterday’s Hindu Tara.


Tara is the Buddhist Goddess of compassion. She is said to have been born from the tears of Avalokiteshvara, the Lord of the World. He was looking down from heaven at all the people suffering in the world and he wept to see their pain. From his tears there emerged two Goddesses, the peaceful White Tara and the fierce Green Tara. White Tara represents the day and calm serenity; Green Tara represents the night and helpful activity.

Green Tara is depicted seated on a lotus, but with one leg outstretched and ready for action. She holds blue lotuses, symbols of purity, and she is adorned with jewels. She is a savior Goddess, called on by followers to overcome fears and dangers. White Tara also sits on a lotus, but she is at rest. She is often shown with seven eyes—the usual two, one on her forehead, and one on each of her hands and feet. White Tara is called on to help followers overcome obstacles.

Aside from green and white, other forms of Tara are seen as red (associated with magnetism), black (associated with power), yellow (associated with abundance and generosity), or blue (associated with protection). In Tibetan Buddhism, where Tara is most venerated, she has 21 forms in various colors, as follows:
•Green Tara, the source of all Taras
•The Tara who averts disasters (white)
•The Tara who averts earth-born calamities (blue)
•The Tara who bestows prosperity (yellow)
•The Tara who fulfills wishes (green)
•The Tara who bestows longevity (white)
•The Tara who averts the evil effects of poison (white)
•The Tara who averts destruction wrought by fire (yellow)
•The Tara who averts destruction wrought by water (red)
•The Tara who averts evil caused by wild beasts (blue)
•The Tara who averts evil affecting cattle (red)
•The Tara who averts evil caused by demons (blue)
•The Tara who increases power (red)
•The Tara who increases wisdom (yellow)
•The Tara who averts hell-born calamities (red)
•The Tara who averts destruction caused by wind (white)
•The Tara who averts evil caused by robbers (blue)
•The Tara who averts destruction caused by armies (blue)
•The Tara who averts heaven-born calamities (green)
•The Tara who subdues demons (blue)
•The Tara who heals sickness (green)

Tara’s name means “to cross over,” and other names and epithets for her include:
Arya Tara
Cittamani Tara
Khadiravani Tara
Nila Tara
Shveta Tara
Sita Tara
Syama Tara
Ugra Tara
Vajra Tara
Tara Amba
Tara Dharani
Tara Utpala
Dol Jyang
Jetsun dolma
Dolma Sermo
Dolma Karmo
Ritro Loma Chen
Shen.le Nam.par Gyel.ma
Tarani Bosatsu
Mother of Perfected Wisdom
Mother of the Buddhas

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3 responses about “Tara”

  1. AnnaPerenna said:

    Beautiful image, I like the double colours according to different moods of Tara. So is she a goddess of buddhism or hinduism?

  2. AnnaPerenna said:

    I mean.. sorry, just read the other Tara.. but this one still seems like she was taken from Hinduism and then added to the Buddist lore..

  3. Jeet said:

    Tara is a Buddhist Goddess. In Hinduism also there is Tara Devi, who is one of the incarnations of Parvati. She is seen in the Dasa Mahavidyas in Hinduism. Tara in Buddhism was adopted from Hinduism after the Prajnaparamita sutra had been introduced. But in Buddhism there are many aspects of Tara. Both Buddhism and Hinduism have the same place for Tara; as a saviour and the one who is ocean of wisdom.