Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Tara (Buddhist Deity) - (Atisha, 21 Taras)

སྒྲོལ་མ། སྣང་བརྙན་ཡོངས། 度母(本尊)(全像)
(item no. 337)
Origin Location Central Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Gelug
Size 41.91x29.21cm (16.50x11.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1997.23.2
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Peaceful

Gender: Female

TBRC: bdr:W25346

Interpretation / Description

White Tara, Completely Accomplishing All Activities (Tibetan: drol ma kar mo): Amitayus Buddha, Green Tara, White Tara, Shadbhuja Mahakala, Sita (white) Mahakala, and Vaishravana Riding a Lion. Number 21 from the set of Twenty-one Taras of the lineage of Lord Atisha.

White in colour with one face and two hands, the right hand is in the mudra (gesture) of supreme generosity holding a white vase extended across the knee. The left hand is held to the heart with the thumb and forefinger holding the stem of a red and blue utpala flower blossoming at the left ear. Peaceful, smiling and youthful she is adorned with flowing silks of various colours and gold and jewel ornaments, gold tiara and the like; seated with the right leg slightly extended in a relaxed manner and the left drawn up. On a moon disc and multi-coloured lotus seat encircled by a blue-orange nimbus and a red aureola she sits surrounded by a lush green landscape. In front a small green goddess facing Tara offers sheets of precious fabrics in a variety of colours.

At the top center is the buddha of long-life, Amitayus, red, seated, with the hands in the posture of meditation. To the left is Green Tara, the primary form of the deity, with one face and two hands in the mudra of generosity and holding a flower blossom. To the right is White Tara, displaying 7 eyes on the body - 3 on the face and 2 each on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet; seated in vajra posture.

At the bottom center is the wrathful protector Shadbhuja Mahakala, dark blue, with one face and six hands. At the left is the wealth deity aspect of Shadbhuja Mahakala - white Chintamani Mahakala, the Wishing Jewel Lord, with one face and six hands. At the right is the Direction Guardian and protector, Vaishravana, yellow, with one face and two hands, holding a banner and mongoose, riding a snow lion.

Tara is a completely enlightened buddha who in a previous life promised to appear, after enlightenment, in the form of a female bodhisattva and goddess for the benefit of all beings. Her primary activity is to protect from the eight fears. Practiced in all Schools of Tibetan Buddhism her various forms are found in all classes of tantra - Nyingma and Sarma.

From the tantra known as the

Front of Painting
English Translation of Inscription: Left ten.

Wylie Transliteration of Inscription: gyon cu pa.

Reverse of Painting
Special Features: (includes "Om Ah Hum" inscription)

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Buddhist Deity: Tara (Atisha Tradition)
Tradition: Gelug Deity Paintings
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 2
Buddhist Deity: Tara Main Page
Painting Set: Tara, Twenty-one (Panchen Lama)