Tibetan thangka of 21 tara is hand-painted on Cotton Canvas in Kathmandu, Nepal. The size of the mandala is 101 x 72cm. Tara has 21 fundamental emanations according to the mantra of the Buddha Samantabhadra called “Twenty-One Praises of Tara”.
Each form of the mother of all Buddhas has a specific color and serves a specific function. However there are different styles and designs of tangka paintings that represent the 21 manifestations of Tara based on distinct lineages and practices in which forms, colors, ritual objects, and even names or functions can vary. The most common thangka paintings of the Twenty-one Taras present Green Tara in the center of the composition but in some thangkas, the central position can be occupied by Red Tara or White Tara.
Green is the symbol of action, achievement and considered the primary color of Tara as her green manifestation is always depicted in the center of this thangka. White represents the appeasing function to overcome sickness and obstacles in life and during the Dharma practices. Yellow represents the activity of increasing the positive qualities and achieve long and peaceful life, happiness, and success in the practice.
Red is the symbol of power and connected to the ability to overcome external forces that cannot be faced through the first two functions. Black or Blue represents the forceful and wrathful functions and methods to accomplish enlightened purposes that cannot be accomplished through other means. By singing the praise of the 21 Taras and meditating to her different emanations the practitioner distance himself from fear, fight all the negative feelings that burden his heart and ultimately reach enlightenment.