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Michael Cohn Asian Antiquities

circa 14th Century
Bronze copper
Height approximately 6 inches 


A figure of Syamatara, the Green Tara, is seen seating on a high double lotus throne with beaded upper border. She is seated in a dhyana asana with the soles of both feet up and showing. Her right hand is in the charity gesture (varada) and holds the stem of a utpala, a closed lotus, at her shoulder and her left hand is in argument gesture (vitarka) with the stem of another utpala appearing at her shoulder. The central petals are closed; the outside row appears opened. According to Alice Getty, "the green Tara is considered by the Tibetans to be the original Tara and to symbolize devine energy". She is slender and graceful in an animated pose. She has the jewels of a Bodhisattva including bracelets, armbands, necklaces and collar. Her hair is abundant; her ears with large disc shaped earrings. Getty indicates the faithful may directly appeal to Tara without the intermediary of a lama which is not the case with other first rank deities and possibly accounts for her great popularity. There are infinite legends about her origin, one of them being she was born from a blue ray that shone from the eye of Amitabha and another that she arose from a lotus flower in a lake derived from the fallen tear of Avalokitesvara. She has many forms including the white Tara, Sitatara and blue Tara, Ekajata. 

Other examples of comparables pieces ( period and/or image):1-vonSchroeder, Indo-Tibetan Bronzes illust #129C Manjusri, Tibet 14th Century, Non-Gilt Pala Style, Ht 0.137m, Brass, Hollow cast in one piece/ decorated with chased ornaments.

all text, images © Michael Cohn Asian Antiquities.


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