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Green Tara - click to enlarge

Green Tara
Gouache and 24-carat gold on canvas
Click to enlarge

Green Tara

Green Tara is the Buddha of enlightened action, and her mantra is OM TARE TUTARE TURE SOHA.

There are many stories of Tara the most famous of which asserts her delightful feminist qualities.

In a previous life Tara was a great and famous Buddhist practitioner. Men who admired her and wished for her swift enlightenment tried to encourage her. They did this by advising her to pray to be reborn as a man so she would make faster progress. Tara rejected their advice, I imagine with the utmost grace, and instead insisted that she would always take rebirth as a woman and attain enlightenment in the form of a woman in order to benefit beings.

Now she remains a great inspiration to both women and men in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Her praises are recited daily for success, health and realizations. She is a very popular deity in Tibet and most Tibetans can recite her praises as this is one of the first songs taught to Tibetan children.

There are many stories of Tara appearing to famous practitioners in the past to give important instructions. She continues to appear to Buddhists and non-Buddhist alike to help and bless. She is noted for her ability to act swiftly and is called upon when one is in immediate danger.

At a recent long-life empowerment, Lama Zopa said that painting or commissioning thangkas will increase you life span. He told the story of a man who had a vision of Tara at the end of his life. She told him to paint her thangka so he would live another eleven years which he did. When his end came after eleven years she appeared and asked him to make a statue which he did and he lived much longer. In the end he lived an extra thirty years!

This is the second Buddha I painted under the guidance of Andy Weber and one can easily see his influence. The background is simple and the robes and jewels are painted in his style. Lama Zopa says she looks like she has been enjoying ice cream!

~ Enlightenment is Possible in This Lifetime ~