in a pleated dhoti and wearing a small headband with a figure of Avalokiteshvara,
this White Tara is sparingly ornamented on her bared bosoms, 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
she is seated in a lotus posture, with remnant of saffron powder from past worships
on a footed three tier rectangular throne. In addition to the Qianlong Emperor
seal mark (1736-1795) embossed in the back, the
various elements found in this Tara shrine confirmed the ultimate
Buddhist influence of India in China.
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. The Sanskrit name of White
Tara is Saraswati, and she is associated with Longevity.
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