**Originally Listed At $700**
Southeast Asia, Tibet, ca. 19th century CE. Hand-painted with rich jewel-tone hues and gold leaf, a large thangka depicting Shyamatara, the Green Tara, at the center sitting before a blue body of water, the lake created by Avalokiteshvara's tears. Her right hand is in the varamudra gesture of giving - offering the faithful her assistance. Meanwhile her left hand shows the thumb and forefinger pressed together - symbolizing wisdom and compassion - and the three raised fingers represent the triratna of the Buddha, dharma, and sangha. She holds two blue lotus flowers and is depicted at the age of 16, as that is the ideal age at which people were considered to be the most beautiful. The Green Tara is surrounded by 7 celestial beings who all float among beautifully delineated clouds. All is sewn within a lovely surround of decorative silken fabrics and set with a dowel for suspension. Size: painting measures 25" L x 19.25" W (63.5 cm x 48.9 cm); 41.5" L x 32" W (105.4 cm x 81.3 cm) including border
According to Buddhist teachings, Tara was born out of the tears of compassion of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who wept as he observed the suffering of worldly beings, his tears formed a lake from which a lotus sprung. When the lotus opened, the goddess Tara was within. Shyamatara or the Green Tara protects believers from the eight great dangers - lions, elephants, snakes, fire, thieves, water, demons, and prisons or the government. In Buddhism, Tara (Sanskrit for star) is a savior goddess. In Tibet, she is the most important deity and her name is Sgrol-ma or Shyamatara (she who saves). She is also popular in Nepal and Mongolia. Tara is the goddess of supreme compassion, said to be stronger than a mother's love for her children. In addition, Tara is said to bring about longevity, protect earthly travel, and guard followers on their spiritual journey to enlightenment.
Provenance: private Vero Beach, Florida, USA collection
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