Green Tara always sits with a leg pendant (usually the right one), the foot resting on a lotus bud. Her hands may display the ‘turning the wheel of the law ‘ gesture, as above. On this sculpture, she sits on a lotus supported by female deities, over a stepped plinth with lions and various figures carved at the front. She wears a festooned tiara with rosettes and ribbons, jewellery, a sash tightly drawn across her chest and a long dhoti, both painted blue.
Another Indian-style work showing her with a similar hair arrangement and the same hand gesture, on a lotus base supported by two female deities, over a stepped plinth with a thickly beaded rim.
Alternatively, her right hand does the gesture of supreme generosity while the other hand holds the stem of a lotus and displays another mudra, such as the gesture for bestowing refuge (above) …
or the vitarka mudra, a gesture which signifies debate or discussion.
or the gesture for bestowing patience, with the tip of the middle finger pressing the tip of the thumb.
Instead of doing the varada mudra, her right hand may do a similar gesture but with the tip of the thumb pressing the tip of the forefinger, which signifies knowledge (jnana mudra).
She does not normally display the fear-allying gesture with her right hand, but the position of her legs and the lotus in her left hand tell us that this is Green Tara. She is adorned with a festooned tiara with showy tripartite bows, jewellery, a thin sash with one end resting over her left shoulder. Her ample lower garment is decorated with an incised foliate pattern and forms a harmonious row of pleats under her legs.
14th century, Tibet, Tara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.
On this example, the right hand is held palm downwards, the stem of a lotus passes over the thumb.