in a pleated dhoti and wearing a small headband with a figure of Avalokiteshvara,
this bare chested White Tara is sparingly ornamented, with an archaic simplicity
of an ascetic, her right hand is extended in wish granting gesture (Varada mudra),
left hand raised in teaching gesture (Dhyana mudra ), and
seated in a lotus posture above a footed three tier rectangular throne. In spite
of the Qianlong Emperor seal mark (1736-1795) embossed in the back of the statue.
The various elements
found in this Tara shrine suggests a strong
Indian stylistic influence.
are twenty-one forms of Tara. The three most important forms are White Tara, Green
Tara and Red Tara. Born from a compassionate tear of Avalokitesavara, she is a
female Buddha and meditation deity, first
introduced into Tibet in the seventh century, and became a Vajrayana deity with
the Indian Buddhism into Tibet through Padmasambhava; weather Tara originated
as a Buddhist or Hindu goddess is unclear. However, the Sanskrit name of White
Tara is Saraswati, and she is associated with Longevity.
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