Tara the Supreme Goddess

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Author: Prof. Pushpendra Kumar

A rare book in English for every Buddhist or Tantric practitioner, worshipper and scholar who is fascinated by the beauty and elegance mother-goddess Tara. The book is also a must have for every Indologist as an excellent resource replete with references. In a 14 page preface, the author explains the book concept and chapter-wise textual division outlining the nature of his work.

The name Tara implies one who enables devotees to cross the ocean of sasāra (cycle of birth, death and rebirth). She is a symbol of primordial female energy and enlightenment. In some Buddhist traditions she is said to have come into existence from a single teardrop of Avalokiteśwara, who embodies the compassion of all buddhas.

As part of daxinācarya-tantra worship, she is also the venerable śakti or the consort of Jupiter, the guru of the gods. Various Himalayan meditation traditions invoke the Tara vision as part of the concentration on a five-pointed star revealed in the midpoint of the eyebrows. Thus She is adored of the light of the inner eye!

This book explores the various theories about her origin and offers detailed accounts of her numerous forms and methods of worship. Images and references to Tara can be found throughout Eastern culture and pre-buddhist Vedic antiquity. In modern times, devotees of Tara are mostly found in Tibet and Nepal, but previously her followers could be found in many locations throughout India and other Eastern countries.

Sculptural representations of Tara have been found in Buddhist caves of the Western Deccan such as Ellora, Aurangabad, Kanheri and Ajanta. There are also traces of her found at the Nagarjuni Konpla ruins. The book contains 12 color photo and pictorial plates in addition to 48 halftone plates of photographs and drawings. An appendix of 36 pages contain an in depth collection of original Sanskrit mantra for Tara worship, rendered in Devanagari font. In addition there are Sanskrit verses interspersed inside the running English text. The book contains 200 pages of English narrative divided into four chapters.

Title: Tara the Supreme Goddess
Publisher: Bharatiya Vidya Prakashan, Varanasi, India
Publication Date: 1992
Reprint Date: 2018
Total Pages: 256 plus 60 pictures
English Text: 200 pages
Color Plates: 12
Halftone Plates: 48
Binding: Hardcover with colour paper jacket

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