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Avalokiteshvara was looking down from his heaven on the world of suffering beings, and he wept to see that more and more of them were in pain. From the tears streaming down his face two Taras were born, a peaceful white one from the left and a fierce green one from the right. Tara is thus also often referred to as Avalokiteshvara's consort.
In a historical sense, Tara is associated with the two pious and virtuous wives of Tibet's first great religious king, Songsten Gambo (d. 649). White Tara is associated with his wife from imperial China, Wen Cheng, and Green Tara is identified with Bhrkuti, his Nepalese wife.
To the Buddhists the symbolism of color is of great import. The sadhanas (ancient manuals laying down procedures for worship) are very particular in stipulating the colors of the deities visualized. This color is intended not only to unfold the nature of the deity represented but also to indicate the functions to be performed by that deity. Specifically colors are used in the paintings under a definite mystic scheme, based on the psychic experiences of the sadhaka (worshipper).
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