Although there is a White Tara and a Green Tara, the latter is the Tara's most dynamic manifestation, because her color symbolizes youthful vigor and activity.
The Buddhist Lord of karma, which means action, Amoghasiddhi, is also associated with the green color, which signifies that they belong to the same family. This is a further affirmation of the perception that Green Tara is a goddess of action. She is often depicted in a posture of ease with her right leg extended, signifying her readiness to spring into action. Her left leg is folded in the contemplative position on the lotus pedestal, the two together thus symbolizing the integration of wisdom and art. Her left hand is in the gesture of granting refuge holds the stem of a blue lotus that floats over her left shoulder as a symbol of purity and power, while with her right hand she makes the boon granting gesture.
In visual arts, she is shown as resembling an exceptionally lovely human being in everything but the color of her skin and the splendor of her ornaments. The slender, long proportioned body of the goddess is shown dusky olive green in color and her coloring reverberates against the striped cushion of her throne back. The painting technique, itself, is extremely refined, with the pigment flat and thin, and it does not emphasize linear outlining except in the most subtle way.
The mysterious and intriguing nature of Green Tara is marvelously captured in the medium of painting by the ingenious blending of the typical iconographical setting with the color scheme. As for jewelry, beautiful golden, red, and green jewels adorn her. Her jewelry includes white bracelets, several necklaces with many pendant gems, and a multi stringed, long jewel chain that sinuously falls around her body and over her right arm.
The followers of Green Tara believe that her special powers will help overcome dangers, fears, and anxieties, and that she will grant wishes. She is also believed to help one cross over from danger to safety or from suffering to happiness. Her femininity imbues her with soft and compassionate feelings and she acts very quickly and directly as a savioress. Representing active compassion, she is particularly worshiped for her ability to overcome the most difficult situations.
The White Tara is often referred to as the Mother of all the Buddhas. She represents the motherly aspect of compassion, while her white color indicates purity, but also indicates that she is Truth, complete and undifferentiated. She has seven eyes with two of them being her usual eyes, plus an eye in the center of her forehead and eyes in each of her hands and feet. These indicate that she sees all suffering and all cries for help in the human world using both ordinary and psychic or extraordinary means of perception. They symbolize the vigilance of her compassion.
White Tara has a lovely, young face and her ornaments are covered in jewels. Her silk robes and scarves are painted in an exceptionally manner. Her tight fitting garments are embossed with large, rich floral designs, which are made from bright gauzy silks that flutter from the shoulders. With a series of hued silken skirts leave the slender torso and smoothly rounded breasts uncovered in the manner of ancient India.
The whole effect is so ravishing that she might arouse the very passion she is frequently invoked to calm, were it not that she inspires the kind of exalted reverence a palace guard might be expected to feel for a princess entrusted to his care. With her right hand she makes the boon granting gesture, with the left she holds the stem of a white lotus between her thumb and fourth finger, in the protection position. It contains three blooms with the first, seeds symbolizing the past Buddha Kashyapa. The second in full flower, symbolizes the present Buddha Shakyamuni. The third, ready to bloom, symbolizes the future Buddhas Maitreya. This signifies she is the essence of all the three Buddhas of the past, present, and future.
She sits with both legs raised and crossed in the diamond position and regally displays both grace and calm. White Tara is an emanation of Tara who is connected with longevity. She is also the special goddess who helps her devotees overcome obstacles, particularly impediments to the practice of religion.