Green Tara: Buddhist goddess

As I described it in my article on the Thangkas, Buddhist art is very codified and each figurine according to its disposal, colour, posture… delivers a different message. Green Tara is an important goddess in Buddhism and probably one of the most popular divinities of Tibetan Buddhism. That’s why one can often find the Green Tara goddess in Thangkas. 

Green Tara, compassion’s goddess 

Tara means « the one who delivers » 

Forged by the Bodhisattva Chenrezig’s tears in order to bring her help to him, Tara works with him to help human beings to free themselves from suffering. Her green colour represents enlightenment and compassion.

But green indicates also that Tara is getting things done for those who pray to her with the speed of the wind (the colour green is also a Buddhism symbol).

détail de green tara peinture

Green Tara’s symbolism 

Green Tara, with her right hand, makes the gift mudra (meaning the fulfilment). With her left hand, Green Tara accomplishes the sanctuary mudra with her thumb and right finger touching each other  (symbolizing the union of the skilful means and knowledge), her 3 other fingers held up to represent the 3 jewels (Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha). The blue lotus stem in her hands indicates that she is fully opened and compassionate. The legs posture, in turn, means that she’s no longer submitted to internal disturbance and ready to rise to rescue creatures. 

détail du thangka green tara