Green Tara

Green Tara is a bodhisattva who embodies the universal feminine principle and, as such, is considered to be the Mother of all the Buddhas. She is the consort of the Buddha Amoghasiddhi, the Dhyani Buddha of the north. She represents a very dynamic aspect of enlightened activity.

Her green color indicates that she is of the Karma Buddha family and stands for enlightened activity and active compassion. She appears as a sixteen-year-old girl sitting on a moon disc on top of a lotus throne, symbols of peacefulness and purity, wearing the silks of royalty and the precious adornments and ornaments that represent her virtues and perfections. Her leg folded in a position of insight, contemplation, and renunciation of the poisons of the mind; her right leg extended outward, always prepared to act swiftly on behalf of all sentient beings.

Her left hand is in front of her heart in a gesture giving refuge, thumb touching the ring finger to signify the joining of wisdom and skillful means while the remaining three fingers represent the Triple Gem. Her right hand is on her right knee in a gesture of supreme generosity, bestowing ordinary and sublime accomplishments to those who call upon her. The hands are each holding three blue utpala or lotus flowers—one still a bud, one blooming, and one already fully blossomed—to represent the Buddhas of the past, present, and future. The blue lotus itself, which only blooms at night, shows that her protection is greatest in times of darkness.

Her hair is tied into a knot on top of her head, forming an ushnisha, one of the marks of enlightenment, before flowing down her shoulders in the “boundless freedom of uncontrived, intrinsic awareness”. Her face gazes warmly and compassionately on all sentient beings. One story tells of how at one time, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Chenrezig, was so moved by all the suffering sentient beings were going through that he shed two tears, one from each eye. From the tear that fell from the left eye arose White Tara. From the tear that fell from the right eye arose Green Tara.

In another story in a universe called Manifold Light, a young princess bearing the name Yeshe Dawa, “Moon of Primordial Awareness”, was so devoted to the Buddha that she made many offerings to Him and His Sangha and was given teachings to develop bodhicitta, the enlightened state of mind. As she continued with her practice, she accumulated oceans of merits. Learning of this, a group of learned men approached her and advised her to dedicate the merits in order to be reborn as a man. She rejected this advice, saying that the labels male and female only existed in an ignorant consciousness. To the enlightened mind, such a distinction was non-existent. Upon attaining Enlightenment, she chose to retain the form of a female bodhisattva until all beings attained Buddhahood.

The practice of Green Tara, if done with the right and pure intention of developing the enlightened mind, helps us overcome eight external dangers which threaten us and give rise to fear, as well as eight internal obscurations that turn us from the Dharma. These eight internal obscurations are the arrogant lions of pride, rampaging elephants of ignorance, fires of anger and hatred, venomous snakes of jealousy, thieves with wrong views, chains of avarice and greed, sweeping floods of attachment and the demons of doubt. In overcoming these internal obstacles, we generate bodhicitta and awaken the eight ordinary accomplishments or siddhis.

Simply put, the mantra helps us overcome our own fears and anxieties so that we can develop peace of mind, loving kindness, and compassion, which are important elements of bodhicitta.


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Stupas are places where the energy of the Buddhas is all abiding; physical embodiments of the Enlightened Minds of the Buddhas,the perfection and balance of compassion and wisdom.