White Tara

White Tara / Metal, wood, acrilic paint
Björkökonstnod, 2021
Within Tibetan Buddhism Tārā is regarded as a bodhisattva of compassion and action. She is the female aspect of Avalokiteśvara and in some origin stories she comes from his tears.

Tārā's name literally means "star" or "planet", and therefore she is associated with navigation and travel both literally and metaphorically as spiritual crossing to the 'other side' of the ocean of existence (enlightenment). Hence she is known literally as "she who saves" in Tibetan. In the 108 Names of the Holy Tara, Tara is 'Leader of the caravans ..... who showeth the way to those who have lost it' and she is named as Dhruva, the Sanskrit name for the North Star.

According to Miranda Shaw, "Motherhood is central to the conception of Tara". Her titles include "loving mother", "supreme mother", "mother of the world", "universal mother" and "mother of all Buddhas".

She is most often shown with the blue lotus or night lotus (utpala), which releases its fragrance with the appearance of the moon and therefore Tārā is also associated with the moon and night.

Tārā is also a forest goddess, particularly in her form as Khadiravani, "dweller in the Khadira forest" and is generally associated with plant life, flowers, acacia (khadira) trees and the wind. Because of her association with nature and plants, Tārā is also known as a healing goddess (especially as White Tārā) and as a goddess of nurturing quality and fertility. Her pure land in Mount Potala is described as "Covered with manifold trees and creepers, resounding with the sound of many birds, And with murmur of waterfalls, thronged with wild beasts of many kinds; Many species of flowers grow everywhere." Her association with the wind element (vaayu) also means that she is swift in responding to calls for any aid.