Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Tara (Buddhist Deity)

སྒྲོལ་མ། སྣང་བརྙན་ཡོངས། 度母(本尊)(全像)
(item no. 43791)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Nyingma, Kagyu and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Tara, Red, Secret Accomplishment according to the tradition of Dzigar Terton Dragpo Tsal (1740-1798), the 4th Dzigar incarnation [P691].

At the center is Red Tara, peaceful in appearance, with one face and two hands. She holds in the right hand a hook of gold and jewels. In the left hand held at the heart she grasps the stem of a red utpala flower blossoming at the left shoulder. Wearing all of the ornaments and garments of a peaceful deity, she sits in a relaxed posture with the right leg extended forward and the left drawn up.

"..., to Arya Rakta Tara I bow and praise.

Above a lotus - free from attachment, a sun and moon - method and wisdom,
Bhagavan, your body ruby coloured,
With one face and two hands, in a peaceful joyous form;
To the complete marks and examples of sambhogakaya, I bow and praise.

An attractive smiling face, mark on the forehead & the [shape of the] nose,
Beautiful eyes like the petals of a blossoming lotus,
The hair black like a swarm of bees, tied in a braid;
To the swelling bosom and shapely [form], I bow and praise.

Holding a hook in the right hand & an utpala in the left,
Completely joyful, in the appearance of a youth of sixteen years,
Seated with the two legs - the right extended & the left drawn up;
In this world & beyond, to you the most attractive, I bow and praise.

The [very finest] in the world - gold, pearls, etc.,
Beautifully adorned with a crown, earrings, necklace, bracelets & anklets,
At the hips a garland of jewels;
To [you] adorned with a red utpala, I bow and praise.

Wearing heavenly upper garments, red & stainless,
The lower body wrapped with various garments, [crown] ribbons fluttering,
Having an attractive backrest of the 'powerful water crystal' [moon];
To the Mother of the Conquerors of the Three Times, I bow and praise."

(Dzigar Terton Dragpo Tsal, 1740-1798. Compiled by 'dzi sgar mkhan po 'jam dbyangs kyi phyogs sgrig mdzad pa. Volume 6, cha, page 89-108. Title: sgrol ma gsang sgrub kyi las byang dngos grub 'dod 'jo zhes bya ba bzhugs so by 'dzi sgar rdo rje drag po rtsal. Translation by Karma Gellek, 12-2012).

At the top center is Amitabha Buddha with Simhanada Avalokiteshvara immediately below to the left and Padmasambhava on the right. On the far left is a standing figure of Avalokiteshvara and on the far right is Tara Holding the Eight Auspicious Symbols.

At the middle left is Guru Dragpur, red in colour, with a peg as a lower body. On the right is Yellow Marichi riding atop a brown sow. At the lower left and right sides are White Tara and Green Tara. At the bottom center is Yellow Vasudhara with four retinue figures.

The Red Tara of Dzigar Terton Dragpo Tsal closely follows the description of Red Tara brought to Tibet from India and taught by Bari Lotsawa Rinchen Drag, 1040-1112 [P3731].

...Holy Tara with a body red like the colour of ruby, having one face, two arms, and three eyes. The right hand holds a hook and the left a red utpala marked with a lasso. Youthful, sixteen years of age, and in the appearance of the best virini. Seated with the legs in sattva posture. Wearing jewel ornaments and various [coloured] garments, encircled by garlands of red rays of light. (sgrub thabs kun btus, Vol. 8, folio 687 [w23681]).

Bari Tradition Lineage: Munishvara, Arya Tara, Vagishvarakirti, Vajrasana, Bari Lotsawa, Jetsun Tsewache [Sachen], Sonam Tsemo, Dragpa Gyaltsen, Sakya Pandita, Shakya Ozer, Gyaltsa Lung Mangpo, Kachog Yontan Tri, Sengge Pal, Sengge Gyaltsen, Lhupa Sodar, Marton Gyaltsen, Dragpa Jungne, Sonam Gyaltsen, Rinchen Chogyal, Salo Jambeyang, Konchog Lhundrub, etc.

Jeff Watt 12-2012

Secondary Images
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Buddhist Deity: Tara, Red (Dzigar Terton Dragpo Tsal)