The Goddess Tara is the most loved and revered deity of the Tibetan faith. She, like Buddhism’s Quan Yin, is the goddess of mercy and compassion. Her legend is of a woman who used to be human and served countless Buddha’s throughout the ages. Although she is but one of hundreds of Tibetan Goddesses, she took the vow of Bodhisattva to work for the benefit of all mankind until we are all enlightened.
The mother goddess is compared to and part of the greater whole of goddesses throughout time, including Artemis, Demeter, in Roman faith and the Egyptian Goddess Isis, as well as of course the Virgin Mary of Western faith. She occupies a place of position in the Hindu tantric pantheon being the second of ten Mahavidyas as she has evolved to the highest aspect of universal consciousness.
The Goddess of Compassion made a second vow along with working for the enlightenment of mankind; that she would do it in the form of a woman. Much of her popularity arises out of the fact that she is accessible to even the uninitiated a contrast from the other Buddhist Tutelary Deities.
Like Chinese Buddhist’s Quan Yin, Tibetan’s Tara has a heavy heart for humans, especially her followers who were tortured and killed in Tibet. She is the mediator between The Buddha and humankind, and all who ask for her help and mercy will be answered. She is the Goddess of action.
Goddess Tara is often depicted as a green skinned woman, at her right hand is the conventional truth, positioned in the perfection of charity and her left hand symbolizes the absolute truth and protection from terror. Her right foot is stretched out is the abandonment of all defects, and her left foot is drawn back to symbolize the understanding of qualities. The lotus flower represents the giving of great joy to all and is the universal Tibetan symbol of compassion. This is why lotus flowers are so popular in Tibet to have growing in the home and are given frequently as gifts.