Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Tara, Vajra

Tara Miscellaneous

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Study Topics
--- Origin & Function
--- Iconography & Textual Collections (sadhana)
--- Styles, Regions & Periods
- Anuttarayoga Forms of Tara
- Complex Forms of Tara (Green Tara)
- Deity Colour: Yellow
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

Video: Vajra Tara

Iconographic Forms:
- Solitary
--- Bari Gyatsa
--- Drub Thab Gyatso
--- Rinjung Gyatsa
--- Others
- 11 Deity (Vajravali)
- 19 Deity (Mitra Gyatsa)
- 21 Deity (Drub Thab Gyatso)
- Others...

The description of Vajra Tara originates with the Hevajra Cycle of Tantras and described in the Vajrapanjara Tantra. There are a number of forms of Tara that are yellow. In general, forms of Tara can be classified as Kriya Tantra and others as Anuttaryoga Tantra. There are very few if any forms of Tara that are classified as Charya and Yoga Tantra.

In the Vajravali Collection of Mandalas Vajra Tara is included under the Fourteen Mandalas of the Non-dual Tantra, Vajra Tara 11 Deity.

According to the Mitra Gyatsa Collection of Mandalas (rgyud sde kun btus, vol.30, pages 213-219) Vajra Tara is included in the Eighteen Anuttarayoga Mother Tantra Mandalas, 106. Vajra Tara 19 Deity (#106).

In the Ocean of Sadhanas, edited version by Namkha Chime, there are two Vajra Taras mentioned:
- #51. Tara, Vajra, Yellow with Four Faces and Eight Hands, Twenty-one Deities.
- #52. Tara, Vajra, White with One Face and Two Hands.

[58] Vajra Tara: Vajra Tara arising from the [Vajra] Panjara [tantra].
Vajra Tara, with four faces and eight hands. The main face is yellow, the right black, the left red, and behind white. Each face has three eyes. The four right hands hold, a vajra, arrow, conch and [gesture of] supreme generosity. The four left, an utpala, bow, hook and wrathful [gesture] together with a lasso. ... Having three eyes [and the faces both] smiling and fierce. Having jewel ornaments and garments of silk. Seated in the vajrasana [posture]. (Extracted from the text 'A Lamp Removing Obscurations' by Ngorchen Konchog Lhundrub, 1497-1557. Based on the Bari Gyatsa).

Jeff Watt 3-2021 [updated 1-2022]