Goddess Tara

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Goddess Tara Mean?

The Goddess Tara is worshipped in both Hinduism and Buddhism as the goddess of compassion and protection. In Hinduism, she is a form of the female primordial energy known as shakti. The name comes from the Sanskrit root tar, meaning “protection.” In other Indian languages, the name translates as “star.”

Tara first appeared as a deity in Hinduism, but was later adopted by Buddhism. In fact, in some traditions, she is considered the female Buddha. In Tibetan Buddhism, she is the most popular deity worshipped today.


Yogapedia Explains Goddess Tara

Tara is the second of the ten great wisdom goddesses (dasa mahavidyas). In tantric traditions, she may be considered an incarnation of Durga, Parvati or Mahadevi. Goddess Tara protects those on their journey to enlightenment, as well as earthly travelers. In some traditions, Tara appears in different forms; the two best known versions of her are White Tara, the embodiment of compassion and peace, and Green Tara, who is the great protectress and overcomer of obstacles.

Two of the yoga poses that honor the Goddess Tara are star pose (Tarasana) and seated Tara. In star pose, the yogi sits in butterfly pose, grasps the feet and folds forward. In seated Tara, one leg is bent, with the shin on the ground and close to the body while the other leg is bent, with the knee pointing to the sky and the sole of the foot on the ground. Bhumi sparsha mudra is recommended with the corresponding hand resting on the ground next to the soled foot and the other hand covering the heart center.

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