Shyama Tara – The Green Tara
  See it in the Museum
Orientation 2
Display 3

ABS 013

 Code: ABS 013

  Country: Tibet (central)


  Date: 1300 - 1400

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 15.4 x 21.5 x 8.3

  Materials: Brass; eyes inlaid with silver, lips with copper

Shyama Tara – The Green Tara

Shyama Tara- or "the Green liberator" is probably the most important female deity of all Buddhism. She is famous for reacting swiftly and efficiently to help sentient beings. Her green emerald colour symbolises awakened activity and active compassion.

Young and beautiful, she sits on a lotus pedestal, her right leg stretched, supported by a smaller flower, as if she was about to stand, always ready to move to help beings. Her right hand forms the mudra of generosity and with her left hand she holds the stem of a blue lily, the three raised fingers representing the three jewels: Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Blue water lilies blossom near her shoulders.

Tara is a bodhisattva who, according to tradition, vowed to manifest as a female until all beings are liberated from samsara. The devotion for Tara was popularised in Tibet by the Indian scholar Atisha (982-1054). There are a multitude of aspects of Tara –green, white, 21 manifestations, etc.–  each with a different appearance and function, and the Green or "Dark" Tara is the source of them all.