Tara is the eastern version of Sophia, who embodies the divine feminine principle, which generally symbolizes wisdom. Since wisdom is the mother of Enlightenment, Tara is called the Mother of the Buddhas who became enlightened because of Wisdom. But, in Green Tara’s particular case, she represents the activity of wisdom and compassion. Green indicates wind and activity in Tibetan symbolism and is the color of the Buddha family of Amoghisiddi. Amoghasiddhi is one of the Five Wisdom Buddhas of the Mahayana and Vajrayana tradition of Buddhism. He is associated with the accomplishment of the Buddhist path and of the destruction of the poison of envy. His name means He Whose Accomplishment Is Not In Vain.
Wind also refers to inner wind, as in Windhorse which are similar to Chi or Prana forces. It is said that our minds are carried upon wind horse, the vital energy of life. Tara is of the wind family.
This makes Green Tara very special. Not only is she wisdom embodied in her female form, she is active compassion (green) and the Mother of the Buddhas. Like a mother, she is protective, and as the embodiment of active compassion, she has been known to rescue those in trouble.
Tara, the Activity of Compassion
Her female form represents wisdom, the essential element needed to remove the ignorance that misconstrues reality and is the root of our suffering.
White Tara has Her own mantra, Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Mama Ayuḥ Punya Jñānā Puṣtiṃ Kuru Svāhā, known to be actively beneficial in the practices of Long Life and Health.
Although the attainments and qualities of equanimity, love, compassion, joy and the six far-reaching attitudes are the same, Tara is considered to be the “activity of compassion”. All Enlightened Buddhas have the same essence. Yet we associate Green Tara with motherly protective activity of compassion. To take other examples, Avalokitesvara is associated with “compassion”, Manjusri with “wisdom” and Vajrapani with “power” — yet all are equally fully Enlightened Beings with the same realizations. All the Buddhas contain these qualities, but Tara attracts those who benefit most from compassionate action.
Green Tara. From a 18th century prayer: “From my heart I bow to Divine Mother Tara, essence of love and compassion, the most precious objects of refuge gathered into one. From now until I reach enlightenment, hook me with your great love and kindness to liberate me.”