Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Tara (Buddhist Deity) - Green Tara (Eight Fears)

སྒྲོལ་མ། སྣང་བརྙན་ཡོངས། 度母(本尊)(全像)
(item no. 89178)
Origin Location Bhutan
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Kagyu and Drukpa (Kagyu)
Size 97x68cm (38.19x26.77in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Peaceful

Gender: Female

Interpretation / Description

Green Tara Protecting from the Eight Fears (Tibetan: drol ma jang ku jig kyob gye). This painting is from a set of approximately seventeen paintings depicting the deities of the Sadhanasamucchaya text. This text was known in India in the 11th century and later translated into Tibetan in the 13th century. The painting set follows a Bhutanese Drugpa Kagyu editing of the original Sanskrit text. A popular Bhutanese version is said to have been edited by the 9th Je Kenpo of Bhutan, Shakya Rinchen, 1710-1759. The central subject of the painting is Tara Protecting from the Eight Fears, number 53 in the group of 142 deities of the Sadhanasamucchaya.

In the center is Green Tara in her standard pose with the right hand in the gesture of generosity and the left holding a blue lily (utpala) flower. She sits in a relaxed posture with the right leg extended. Eight smaller forms each associated with one of the Eight Fears surround the central Tara figure.

Three Deity Tara of the Sandalwood Forest (Sadhanasamucchaya #53, Thartse Panchen)

"The same [appearance] as the Sandalwood Tara [#48]...on the eight petalled lotus [appears] the eight Taras protecting from the eight fears, reddish-green in colour, etc., the same as the principal deity [Tara]."

"On an and eight petalled lotus...is Holy Tara, reddish-green in colour, one face and two hands. The right [hand] is in the gesture of supreme generosity and the left holds with the thumb and ring finger a lily to the heart. Wearing beautiful jewel ornaments and various silks, the hair as a crown, seated in a posture with the right leg extended and the left drawn up." (Three Deity Tara of the Sandalwood Forest, #48. Thartse Panchen Namka Chime).

Above Tara, in the top half of the composition are seven different forms of Kurukulla, the Buddhist Goddess of Power and subjugation. An eigth form of Kurukulla is found at the bottom right.

In the bottom half of the composition are three forms of Sarasvati, the goddess of wisdom, poetry, composition and dialectics, along with a form of Bhrikuti and another form of Kurukulla.

At the lower left is Vajra Sarasvati, white, with two hands. At the lower right is Vina Sarasvati, white, holding the vina stringed instrument. At the bottom left is Bhrikuti, yellow, with one face and four hands. In the center is the wrathful Vajra Sarasvati, red in colour, with three faces and six hands. At the right is Kurukulla, red, with one face and four hands.

Jeff Watt 6-2006

Tibetan Paintings by Hugo E. Kreijger (list of image plates)

Secondary Images
Related Items
Contents: An Ocean of Methods of Accomplishment (Sadhanas)

Thematic Sets
Region: Bhutan, Deities
Tradition: Drugpa Kagyu Main Page
Region: Bhutan: Painting & Textile Masterworks
Collection of RMA: Bhutan Masterworks
Painting: Periods
Buddhist Deity: Tara, Green (Confusions)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 4
Exhibition: Big!
Collection of Jucker (Tibetan Art)
Buddhist Deity: Tara Masterworks
Subject: Arms of Deities (Numbers)
Buddhist Deity: Tara, Green (Painting Masterworks)
Subject: Halo Art (Key Points & Examples)
Buddhist Deity: Tara (Compendium Paintings)
Region: Bhutan, Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Tara, Green Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Tara, Eight Fears
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Bhutan
Publication: One Doubt About the Ocean of Sadhanas (Gendun Tenpa)
Painting Set: Sadhanamala (Drugpa Kagyu)