The Mudra of Green Tara

Green Tara

Mudra. …  (Sanskrit “seal”, “mark”or “gesture”; Tibetan: chakgya) is a symbolic or ritual gesture in Hinduism and Buddhism. Most mudras are performed with the hands and fingers.  Each mudra communicates both to the person who performs it and to the observer, aspects of a particular state of mind.

The most notable mudras are; an open palm pointed downward signifies generosity; hands folded in the lap signify meditation; a palm held up facing outward signifies the act of teaching or reassurance; palms together in the anjeli position mean greeting.

In this blog I am focusing on my own favourite mantra image, that of the Green Tara, a Bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism who appears as a female Buddha in Vajrayana Buddhism.  There are two forms of  Tara, Green Tara and White Tara. However the Two Taras are One

Motherhood is central to the conception of Tara”. Her titles include “loving mother”, “supreme mother”, “mother of the world”, “universal mother” and “mother of all Buddhas”.

In Tibetan symbolism, green is considered to be the colour that contains all other colours, while white is the pure non-colour from which all colours have their origin. Tara means Star. A secondary meaning is “Saviour” meaning “She who carries us across the waters”. The waters are the waves of samsara.

Green Tara is always depicted with an open palm pointed downward signifying generosity and with one foot on the ground meaning that she is always ready to come to our aid. The main Tārā mantra is: oṃ tāre tuttāre ture svāhā. It is pronounced by Tibetans and Buddhists who follow the Tibetan traditions as oṃ tāre tu tāre ture soha. The literal translation is “Oṃ O Tārā, I pray O Tārā, O Swift One, So Be It!.”