The 8-armed form of Tara is a part of rare Tantra Lineage of Buddhism. However it is still kept alive in some Tibetan-Nepalese traditions in the form of Green Tara Thangkas. Green Tara is in direct contrast to the Peaceful White Tara, whose snow-white upala (flower) is the ultimate symbol of tranquility for Tibetan Buddhists. Green Tara is symbolized with the light blue upala (paeonia).
Significance of the Upala
The color of this sacred flower is of great significance. It stands as a reminder of the potential of wrath and rage in the most peaceful of us. The halo around her head is also painted light blue.
The Green Tara
The Green Tara is essentially a symbolic God who is against negative karma. She urges one to free oneself from old karmic bondages and attain a state of enlightenment.
What are Green Tara Thangkas?
Green Tara Thangkas are the most Popular form of representation of the Tibetan Goddess. Thangka Paintings are composite three-dimensional products of art, which derive their themes from Buddhist philosophies. They are essentially religious objects and are of great significance to the Tibetan Buddhists. These beautifully crafted banners are generally hung on monastery walls; they are also an integral part of Buddhist religious processions.
The Tibetan word “Thang” means a flat surface, which when suffixed with “ka”(painting) means “a flat painting” or a “painting on a flat surface”. These paintings are generally done on flat surfaces but they offer the option of being rolled up when not being displayed, a la scroll paintings.
A Thangka comprises a painted or embroidered picture panel, a mounting, which is further embellished with a silk cover, wooden dowels at the top and bottom, leather corners and beautiful metal or wooden decorative knobs on the bottom dowel.