The differentiation between Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism is evident in their perceptions of Tara. As a result, in Mahayana our Green Tara Buddha statue is perceived as a bodhisattva and in Vajrayana she is a fully awakened Buddha. Additionally, there are many different emanations of Tara such as Green Tara, White Tara, Black Tara, Yellow Tara, and Red Tara. Although Green Tara and White Tara are by far the most common.
The Teardrop of Avalokitesvara
It is important not to confuse Tara with the bodhisattva Guanyin. In fact, Guanyin is believed to be a direct incarnation of Avalokitesvara similar to Chenrezig and Lokesvara. In contrast, Tara was born from the tear drop that fell from the left eye of Avalokitesvara and only afterwards was born in China as Princess Kongjo. Therefore, Avalokitesvara preexisted and gave rise to Tara. Nonetheless, Tara is a widely respected and venerated Buddhist deity.
Buddha of Enlightened Activity
Bodhisattvas carry meanings which are the personification of the different aspects of important Buddhist virtues. Thus, Tara is perceived in many different ways. Green Tara is known as “the Buddha of enlightened activity” and she is considered to be a meditation deity in Tibetan Buddhist beliefs. Therefore, this Green Tara Buddha statue will inspire you to pursue a deeper understanding of the emptiness phenomenon and compassion. This is in contrast with Black Tara who is paradoxically associated with power and Yellow Tara who is associated with wealth and prosperity.