Green Tara’s special lotus is the blue lotus or ‘night lotus’ which she bears in both hands. The word utpala means to ‘burst open’. Her left hand holds a stem with an open blooming flower and an unopened bud. The bent lower part of the stem represents the root. The open blossom represents the present and also the present Buddha; the bud represents the future and also Buddhas yet to be born. The future here also refers to a safe journeys end and a future well being. Her right hand wisdom hand is in the gesture of giving refuge. The third finger touches the thumb to create a circle representing the union of wisdom and compassion, and the three extended fingers symbolise the Three Jewels of Buddhism a. The Buddha State b. The Body of teachings c. The Principles of the Universe The same hand holds the stem of a blue lotus representing her willingness to assist. The closed blossom in her right hand represents the past and also the Buddhas of the past. Green Tara is shown in a place of paradise called Khadiravani where she Tara dwells. Khadiravani is described as a great mountain kingdom with many trees, flowers and animals (not shown). 3 rainbow tails emanate from her outer aureole. The crescent moon and sun symbolise the union of male and female ubiquitous in Tantric art.
The seventy two golden lines represent psychic energy channels emanate from her body and her central psychic channel running up her spinal column. Each one signifies a thousand as there are traditionally seventy two thousand channels. The gold lines alternate between wiggly and straight to represent the two main psychic channels running up the central channel that entwine to create the interlocking ‘snaking’ caduceus and to which the energy channels are connected. The trees in the foreground are the Ashoka Tree. The word ashoka means ‘without sorrow’ and is the tree linked to the Vedic God of love and sexual union Kamadeva. Apparently the tree blossoms when a virtuous lady touches it.
The word Tara means the one who saves. The word Tara is derived from the root trimeaning to cross and in context is taken to mean the one who helps people to cross the Ocean of Existence and Suffering. Green Tara is also called ‘dark’ Tara or more directly Shyama Tara. Green Tara is associated with the Amoghasiddhi who is also green and the north facing Meditation who is head of the action family. Her willingness to help others is shown by her body posture with one foot ready so that she can rise to offer assistance. Like WhiteTara, she was born of the tears of compassion of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, resulting from the extreme state of sadness he experienced when observing the continuing ceaseless suffering which he sought to end.