Green Tara Iconography
Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Tara Seventeen Deity Mandala Description (below)
- Suryagupta Twenty-one Taras
- 14/15th century: HAR #779, 8098
- 16th century: #30524
- 16/17th century: #12415
Tara Seventeen Deity Mandala (Tibetan: drol ma chu dun kyil kor): comprising the Five Buddha Families and consorts, according to the tradition of Suryagupta (Ravigupta).
In the central position, dark green in colour with one face and two hands, the meditational deity Tara gazes forward in a peaceful appearance. The right hand placed at the heart holds the stem of a lotus flower blossoming at her right shoulder supporting an upright curved knife with a vajra handle. The left hand holds to the heart a white skullcup. Both arms embrace the consort. Her long black hair is piled on the crown of the head with some hanging loose across the shoulders. Adorned with a tiara of gold and jewels, red ribbons, large earrings, bracelets and anklets, she embraces the consort Buddha Amoghasiddhi with the two arms and straddles his waist with the legs. Light green in colour with one face and two hands, he holds a variously coloured vishvavajra in the left and a gold bell in the right. Adorned with a gold crown, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and a jewelled girdle, he is locked in a sexual embrace and passionate kiss; seated in vajra posture above a white moon disc and lotus blossom.
In the surrounding circle, directly above, is the Amitabha Buddha, red in colour, peaceful, with one face and two hands held to the heart. The right holds the stem of a lotus flower blossoming over the right shoulder and the left a gold bell to the heart. Wearing elaborate sambhogakaya vestments he sits in vajra posture. At the right is the consort Pandara Vasini, white, similar in appearance; holding to the heart a lotus handled curved knife and a skullcup. At the right is Akshobhya, blue, similar in appearance; holding to the heart a gold vajra and bell. Below is the consort Mamaki, blue, similar in appearance; holding to the heart a vajra handled curved knife and a skullcup, seated in a relaxed posture. Below is Vairochana, white, holding a wheel to the heart and a bell at the side. At the left is the consort Vajradhatvishvari, white, similar in appearance, holding to the heart a wheel handled curved knife and a skullcup, seated in a relaxed posture. At the left is Ratnasambhava, yellow, holding to the heart a jewel and bell. Above is the consort Buddha-Locani, yellow, holding to the heart a jewel handled curved knife and a white skullcup, seated in a relaxed posture. Each is seated on a moon disc and the inner ring of pink lotus petals, surrounded by variously coloured spheres of light creating the shape of an eight-petalled lotus encircled by a blue ring.
Lineage: Shakyamuni, Arya Tara, Ravigupta, Chandragarbha, Jetari, Vagishvarakirti, Shraddhakaravarma, Tatagata Rakshita, Danashri, Manjushri, Mal Lotsawa, Putser Lotsawa, Ishvarakirti, Dharma Simha, Sthiramati, Gaganakirti, Arya Matidvaja Shribhadra (Chogyal Pagpa, 1235-1280), etc. (Collected Writings of the Great Founding Masters of Sakya, Volume 14. chos rgyal 'phags pa'i bka' 'bum, folio277).
Lineage from Buton Rinchen Drup: Arya Tara, Nagarjuna, Suryagupta, Danashri, Manjushri, Ratnakirta, Kirtidvaja, Punyamurta, Prajnakirta, Shilasthira, Gunamata, Prajna Kumara. (Buton, 1290-1364).
Jeff Watt 5-2014 [updated 5-2017]