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White Tara

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Tara's name means One Who Saves. She epitomizes the influence of the older mother-goddess cults upon the Buddhist Mahayana religion. Her concept evolved in India and later she became the most important goddess in the Mahayana pantheon. She holds a very prominent position in Tibet and Nepal. Tara was born from tears of the left eye of the Boddhisatwa of Compassion, Avalokiteswara. She was conceived primarily as a savioress and is, therefore, the female counterpart of Avalokiteswara. She is also generally regarded as his consort and is frequently portrayed with him. Tara is believed to protect the human beings while they are crossing the ocean of existence. Her compassion for living beings, her desire to save them from suffering, is said to be stronger than a mother's love for her children. Her most distinctive emblem is a full blown lotus. White Tara has seven eyes. An eye of knowledge on the forehead and eyes incised on her palms and soles. She can be portrayed seated with her feet in the posture of meditation, standing or in a half dancing pose. Devotees invoke her for deliverance from the Eight Great Perils: shipwreck, fire, mad elephants, brigands, pouncing lions, serpents, prison and demons.

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