Green Tara

Buddhist Green Tara: A Symbol of Compassion and Healing in Buddhist Philosophy

Green Tara, Jetsun Dolma or Arya Tara, a revered deity in Tibetan Buddhism, embodies the principles of compassion, protection, and enlightenment. The name "Tara," meaning "star" or "savior," underscores her role as a guiding light for followers seeking solace amid life's challenges. This comprehensive article explores Green Tara's origins, iconography, symbols, worship, and teachings.

Key Takeaways

  • Green Tara is a prominent Tibetan Buddhist figure known for her compassion and protective qualities.
  • Her green color symbolizes youthful energy and fertility.
  • Mudras and Eyes are essential elements of Green Tara's iconography, representing her readiness to help and watch over devotees.
  • Worship of Green Tara involves the recitation of mantras and the offering of various items.
  • She is celebrated in several Buddhist festivals, including the Tara Puja.

Origins of Green Taragreen tara statue sale

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Tracing back to ancient Indian scriptures and legends, Green Tara's origin is rooted in the captivating tale of Arya Tara. According to belief, she emerged from a solitary tear shed by the esteemed bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. This tear metamorphosed into a stunning green lotus, unveiling Tara in all her splendor. Often considered an emanation of Arya Tara, the female Buddha linked to swift compassion and wisdom, she holds a unique place in the Buddhist narrative.

Evolution in Buddhism

Green Tara's significance underwent a transformative journey as Buddhism traversed from India to Tibet and beyond. In Tibetan Buddhism, she became an integral part of the Buddhist pantheon, symbolizing the compassionate and protective aspects of the dharma. Her story and attributes seamlessly adapted to the cultural and spiritual nuances of Tibetan Buddhism, solidifying her prominence in the region.

Teachings and Significance of Arya Tara

Green Tara embodies crucial teachings and holds profound significance in Tibetan Buddhism:

  • Compassion: At the core of Green Tara's essence is unconditional love and kindness. Devotees turn to her for solace and guidance during times of suffering, emphasizing the importance of empathy and altruism in their spiritual journey.
  • Protection: Revered as a protective deity, Green Tara's presence is believed to shield devotees from various dangers, both physical and spiritual. She instills a sense of security, inspiring courage and resilience in the face of life's challenges.
  • Enlightenment: In her various forms, Tara is associated with the path to enlightenment. Seekers aspire to progress on their spiritual journey by seeking her guidance, ultimately achieving wisdom and liberation. She serves as a guiding light towards self-realization and inner transformation.

Offerings & Festivals Related to the Deity

In traditional Tibetan Buddhist practice, devotees make offerings to Green Tara as a gesture of respect and devotion. Standard offerings include flowers, incense, fruits, and water, symbolizing gratitude and reverence. Some rituals involve offering lighted lamps to illustrate dispelling the darkness of ignorance.

Devotees celebrate various festivals dedicated to Green Tara, with the Tara Puja being especially significant. This festive occasion involves elaborate rituals, prayers, and offerings, fostering a sense of community and devotion among followers.

Green Tara Goddess - Physical Attributes and Iconographygreen tara iconography

  1. Green Tara's Symbolic Green Color: Green Tara is typically depicted with vibrant green skin, symbolizing youthful energy, vitality, fertility, abundance, renewal, growth, and her compassionate nature.
  2. The posture of Readiness: Seated in a royal ease posture, Green Tara extends her right leg outward while folding her left leg in a meditative stance. This signifies her readiness to aid devotees and emphasizes her meditative and transcendent qualities.
  3. Hands and Mudras: Green Tara's hands and mudras hold significant meaning in her iconography. Her right hand in the Varada Mudra symbolizes generosity, offering blessings and aid. The left hand in the Abhaya Mudra assures devotees with a gesture of fearlessness, reflecting her protective nature.
  4. Seated on the Lotus: Green Tara is often portrayed sitting on a lotus flower, symbolizing purity, enlightenment, and spiritual growth. This highlights her role in guiding individuals toward awakening and liberation.
  5. Attire and Jewelry: Adorned with divine jewelry and flowing garments, Green Tara embodies a celestial and transcendent nature, emphasizing her royal status as a bodhisattva. Click here to learn more about the Tara Attire.
  6. Eyes of Wisdom: Green Tara possesses three eyes, representing profound wisdom and insight. The third eye on her forehead signifies her ability to perceive the suffering of sentient beings and respond swiftly with compassion.
  7. Crown and Headdress: Green Tara is often depicted wearing a crown or headdress adorned with precious jewels, symbolizing her royal status as a bodhisattva and enlightened being.
  8. Flowing Hair and Serene Expression: Her long, flowing hair, depicted elegantly, symbolizes grace and beauty. A calm and serene facial expression reflects her inner tranquility and compassion.

Green Tara Mantra

The mantra associated with Green Tara is the powerful and widely recited mantra known as the "Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha" mantra. Each syllable in this mantra carries profound significance, and its recitation is believed to benefit those who practice it.

Green Tara Mantra Meaning:

"Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha" 

  • Om, a sacred syllable, encapsulates the essence of ultimate reality or enlightenment. It symbolizes the entirety of the universe and resonates as the sound of creation, preservation, and dissolution.
  • Tare serves as the seed syllable for Green Tara, symbolizing liberation from suffering and offering protection from fear and danger.
  • Tuttare represents the qualities of quick action, signifying the rescue of sentient beings from suffering and difficulties.
  • Ture signifies the capability to eliminate the negative influences of the three poisons—ignorance, attachment, and aversion.
  • Soha, a traditional Tibetan concluding mantra, is frequently used to affirm the dedication of merits and offerings to the intended recipient or purpose.

Green Tara Mantra Benefitsgreen tara magestic throne statue

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  • Protection: The mantra acts as a protective shield against obstacles, negative energies, and adversities. Green Tara, revered as a swift and mighty protector, is invoked through this mantra.
  • Compassion: Chanting fosters compassion, empathy, and loving-kindness towards all beings, aligning practitioners with Green Tara's inherently compassionate nature.
  • Removal of Obstacles: The mantra aids in overcoming obstacles and challenges on the spiritual path, facilitating progress towards enlightenment.
  • Longevity: Invoking blessings for a long and healthy life, the mantra is believed to extend one's lifespan and enhance vitality.
  • Courage and Fearlessness: Reciting the mantra instills courage and fearlessness, empowering individuals to confront difficulties with resilience.
  • Healing: Green Tara's compassionate energy, channeled through the mantra, is thought to bring physical and emotional healing, alleviating suffering and illness.
  • Wisdom: Chanting enhances wisdom and understanding, promoting spiritual growth and enlightenment.
  • Peace and Calm: The mantra brings inner peace and tranquility, reducing stress and anxiety in daily life.

Chanting the Green Tara mantra "Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha" with sincerity, devotion, and clear intention deepens one's connection with Green Tara. It is a powerful tool for invoking her blessings, protection, compassion, wisdom, and swift action to benefit all sentient beings.

In Tibetan Buddhism, the Green Tara symbolizes compassion, protection, and enlightenment. Her vivid green color, iconographic elements, and deep symbolism make her revered among followers. Through rituals, mantras, and festivals, devotees express their devotion, seeking her blessings in various aspects of life. Green Tara is a continual source of inspiration and guidance on the journey to spiritual awakening, illuminating the hearts and minds of those seeking solace and support.

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