Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Tara, Green Iconography

Green Tara Main Page

Three Categories of Green Tara:
- Principal Form
- Minor Forms
- Complex Forms

Video: Green Tara: Three Iconographic Categories

- Principal Form:
--- Green Tara, Solitary Form
--- Green Tara, Three Deity Configuration (Sandalwood Forest)
--- Green Tara Protecting from the Eight Fears
--- Green Tara & the Twenty-one Taras (Five Systems)

- Minor Forms:
--- Six Branches (Nyen Lotsawa)
--- Four Deities (Kadam Tradition)
--- Kapali Tara
--- Tara (Shakyashri Bhadra)
--- Peaceful by Day, Wrathful by Night
--- Manidatta
--- Tara & Kurukulla
--- Rinjung Lhantab Compendium
--- Others...

- Complex Forms:
--- Green Tara Seventeen Deity Mandala (Surya Gupta)
--- Samaya Tara Yogini with Eight Arms (Atisha)
--- Four Faces, Eight Arms: HAR #77196, 7180 (Kadam)
--- Four Faces, Eight Arms (Lhantab)
--- Others...

Confusions: Janguli, Maha Mayuri, Peaceful Vajrapani

The principal and minor forms of Tara all have one face and two hands, green in colour, and seated with the right leg extended and the left drawn up. The right hand is typically extended across the knee in a gesture of generosity. In some examples the hand is placed over the knee with the fingers pointing upwards in a fearless gesture. All are peaceful in appearance with corresponding ornaments and heavenly garments. The only exception to this is the Peaceful by Day, Wrathful by Night Tara that also has the fierce form.

"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. On the right [side] is orange Marichi holding in the left [hand] a branch of the Ashoka tree. On the left is black Ekajati holding a skullcup in the left. Both hold in the right [hands] a fly-whisk; adorned with jewels and beautiful silk clothing, with the two legs placed equally in a standing manner." (Thartse Panchen Namka Chime).

Database Search: All Images | Paintings | Sculpture | Mandalas

Jeff Watt [updated 5-2017, 3-2020]

(The images below are only a selection of examples from the links above).