Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Green Tara: The Buddha of Enlightened Activity & Glimpses of Sikkim

Tara (Sanskrit, "star") is a Buddhist savior-goddess especially popular in Tibet, Nepal and Mongolia. Before she was adopted by Buddhism, Tara was worshipped in Hinduism as a manifestation of the goddess Parvati.

According to Buddhist tradition, Tara was born out of the tears of compassion of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. It is said that he wept as he looked upon the world of suffering beings, and his tears formed a lake in which a lotus sprung up. When the lotus opened, the goddess Tara was revealed. 
A similar legend has White Tara born from the tears of Avalokiteshvara's left eye and the Green Tara born from those of his right. In another legend, Tara was born from a beam of blue light emanating from one of the eyes of Avalokiteshvara. Tara is also the consort of Avalokiteshvara.

This picture of the Green Tara  was bought during our visit to Sikkim.

Green Tara, with her half-open lotus, represents the night, and White Tara, with her lotus in full bloom, symbolizes the day. Green Tara embodies virtuous activity while White Tara displays serenity and grace. Together, the Green and White Taras symbolize the unending compassion of the goddess who labors day and night to relieve suffering. 

In Buddhist religious practice, Green Tara's primary role is savioress. She is believed to help her followers overcome dangers, fears and anxieties, and she is especially worshipped for her ability to overcome the most difficult of situations. Green Tara is intensely compassionate and acts quickly to help those who call upon her.

The iconography and role of Green Tara is illustrated in this medieval devotional hymn:
On a lotus seat, standing for
 realization of voidness,
(You are) the emerald-colored, one-
 faced, two-armed Lady
In youth's full bloom, right leg out, left drawn in,

 Showing the union of wisdom and art - homage to you! Like the outstretched branch of the heavenly turquoise tree,
Your supple right hand makes the boon- granting gesture

,Inviting the wise to a feast of supreme accomplishments,

As if to an entertainment-homage to you!

Your left hand gives us refuge, showing the Three Jewels;

It says, "You people who see a hundred dangers
 Don't be frightened-I shall swiftly save you!"
 Homage to you
Both hands signal with blue utpala flowers,
"Samsaric beings! Cling not to worldly pleasures.
Enter the great city of liberation!"
 Flower-goads prodding us to effort-
homage to you!
---First Dalai Lama (1391-1474)
Sikkim is a land where Buddhism still flourishes: a land where some of the most beautiful Monasteries are to  be found, where people are fortunate to have this beautiful view of the most spectacular mountain,  Khang - cheng- dzonga from literally everywhere, from morning till night.
The beautiful play of colors during the sunrise and the sunset is absolutely breath taking. One has to see it to believe it.

                                                                                                                                   Rumtek Monastery also known as DharmaChakra Center

 One can see colorful prayer flags fluttering as if they are in constant conversation with God, updating Him about our worries, desires and aspirations.

Literally, the Noble Heaven- Reaching Mountain. A lake so calm it is said to be protected from all disturbances. Locals insist that not even a leaf falls on it to disturb its placidity; and if one does, a bird immediately swoops down to carry it off.
It was indeed a beautiful sight.

                             Did you like the story of Green Tara and the pictures of amazing Sikkim?                    


  1. Nice story and really amazing pictures of sikkim!

  2. beautiful pics
    thanks for sharing the story of Tara

  3. Awesome pictures. Nice story about Tara. Had no clue about it. Thanks for telling us.

  4. Great.Breathtaking pictures of Sikkim sceneries!

  5. Wow, that was really educational. I did not know about Tara and the photos of Sikkim make me want to go on vacation:):)

  6. Thanks for the information on Tara, got a new idea for me to paint Parvati! Also the lovely pics tempt me to pick up my brush right now Rama :-)

  7. Thanks for dropping by my blog Rama! Loved these pictures of Sikkim, and nice to read about Green Tara. I'd been to Dzongu and Payong in Sikkim too, in April this year. Carried back some wonderful wonderful experiences and memories, beautiful place right??

  8. I saw Sikkim in 75 and it was breathtakingly beautiful....

  9. lovely pics and lovely info!

  10. The pictures are outstanding. I would love to go to Sikkim sometime and green tara is interesting too.

  11. I loved the pictured and Yes I have been to Rumtek Monastary spent two nights there , when we wnet for my NCC trekking ..

    Sikkim is very beautiful and we walked through it for 28 days :)

    I will have to go back to India home to get all the pics in those days did not have digital ones :(

    thanks for sharing

  12. I have always known Sikkim is beautiful. Your pictures prove it. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Nice pictures and different post dear Rama. Tara in Buddhism, all new info to me, thanks for the share:)

  14. Beautiful post .Sikkim is very beautiful .We have an ancient temple here in Guwahati named 'Ugratara' dedicated to Goddess Tara .I never knew so many things about the Goddess ,thanks for sharing .Good Day :)

  15. What a beautiful post, Rama. Loved the story of Green Tara. Sikkim is such a beautiful place...hopefully will be able to vist some time soon...

  16. Thanks everybody for stopping by my blog.I am surprised to note that many of you were not aware of Tara, or Qwanin as she addressed among the Buddhist.
    Any way a series called "Buddha Scapes" started by my blogger friend inspired me to come up with this blog, and it has been linked to her space.
    Those of you who have not been to Sikkim do make it point to visit, for there are many beautiful sights to be seen there. What we managed to see was just one part of Sikkim, the North, but there is more to see.

  17. Thank you! I learned a lot through your interesting and documented post. The photos are also nice.

  18. Firstly , lovely header.Beautiful picture of your family.I am also totally in love with your wicker furniture at the background.
    Your trip to Sikkim reminded me of my college day visit to Gangtok.I was a Geography student and we were taken to Gangtok to do a dissertation on the topography!It was a breathtaking experience.Sikkim is a beautiful place.Rumtek monastery , changu lake, and black pepper tea at geographical society , a view of Kanchenjunga summit from our hotel , chatting with friends , interviewing locals for our project are memories still fresh.Thanks Rama , for this beautiful post with such lovely pics.

  19. Rama, this is such a gorgeous post.. You not only support me... but totally continue to inspire me... Thank you!! *hugs*

  20. Hi Rama! beautiful story... You inspire my heart... One day I'd like to go there: Sikkim is a beautiful place! Also I want to set up an altar in my room like your! Big hug for you an blessings!

  21. sooo pretty!!! enjoy the display!