Standing Tara, 2013

Oil on canvas

48 x 24 inches

053

Tara appears in the Buddhist pantheon as a female bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism, and later as a Buddha and meditational deity in Vajrayana Buddhism. She manifests in many different forms including Green Tara, White Tara, Red Tara, and in Tibetan Buddhism as the 21 Taras.

In this image Tara is opulently arrayed with crown and jewels, wears a flowing skirt, and holds a shawl over her left shoulder. Her right hand is extended in the vara mudra of boon-granting [boundless giving], while her left hand is in the vitarka mudra, with thumb touching the index finger. The vitarka mudra generally symbolizes teaching and discussion, evoking a feeling of silent wisdom by helping to prevent the devotee from entering argumentative states of mind. In the original sculpture from which this image was taken, she would also have been holding the stem of a lotus flower in this hand.

To contact Tara, one needs only to recite her ten-syllable mantra Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha.

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