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Green Tara

"She who liberates"

Tibetan (Dölma; སྒྲོལ་མ)

As we see in the image, Green Tara is usually depicted as a compassionate being ready to step down from her lotus throne to offer comfort and protection from all of the sufferings we experience in the world. Tara can be understood is as a manifestation or embodiment of enlightened qualities.

She is shown “in a posture of ease and readiness for action. While her left leg is folded in the contemplative position, her right leg is outstretched, ready to spring into action. Green Tara’s left hand is in the refuge-granting mudra (gesture); her right hand makes the boon-granting [giving] gesture. In her hands she also holds closed blue lotuses (utpalas), which symbolize purity and power.”


Tara is said to have been born from Avalokiteshvara’s tear. As a bodhisattva, Avalokiteshvara worked diligently to free all beings from the hell realms. Having achieved this, he rested a while; but when he awoke, he found the hells completely repopulated with sentient beings born there by the power of their harmful actions. For a moment he despaired and began to weep with sorrow for the plight of these ignorant beings. From one of his tears, Tara emerged and encouraged him on the bodhisattva path, saying, “Do not despair. I will help you to liberate all beings.”

Tara liberates us from eight external and eight internal dangers. While the eight external ones threaten our life or property, the eight internal ones endanger us spiritually by turning us away from the path to awakening.

  1. The Lion of pride

  2. The elephant of ignorance

  3. The fire of anger

  4. The snake of jealousy

  5. The thief of wrong views

  6. The chain of miserliness

  7. The flood of attachment

  8. The demon of doubt


Tara has 21 major forms, each of which has a different color and spiritual attribute. Of these 21 forms, two are especially popular among Tibetan people — White Tara, who is associated with compassion and long life, and Green Tara, who is associated with enlightened activity and abundance.

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Green Tara's Mantra



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