Key attributes of Śrī Tārā devi:

The below key attributes of Śrī Tārā devi may serve as apt tools and aids, to facilitate meditating upon the Divine Mother. They have been adopted from different ślokas associated with Her.








She represents the ideology behind the opposing, disagreeing, doubtful, uncertain, precarious and dangerous theories. That, which maybe treated as unacceptable due to its non-vedic and purely tantric and/or buddhist leanings. Also, that which encourages the left-handed path shedding all inhibitions, instead of the regular accepted path, perceived as righteous and approved by the society in general.




She is beyond the pañcabhūtā-s, the five basic natural elements of earth, water, fire, air and ether and represents pure consciousness. A 'śmaśāna' is a graveyard, that absorbs the deceased body composed of all natural elements. What is left after everything is gone, is pure consciousness alone that cannot be described in terms of the natural elements of Creation.




She is self-aware Super-consciousness and is the pure consciousness that alone remains in a funeral pyre and is never burnt!




She is dark in complexion, meaning composed of the dark matter and is the unfathomable dimensionless ocean of consciousness, that is infinite.




She is the dynamic super-consciousness and is Śakti Herself. Her consort Śiva is the static super-consciousness.


viśva-vyāpaka-toyāntaḥ śveta-padmopari-sthitām

विश्वव्यापकतोयान्तः श्वेतपद्मोपरिस्थिताम्

She is the fully blossomed dynamic super-consciousness present everywhere in the entire Creation.




She is the ultimate Guru and is Śakti Herself, who alone can take us Her consort Śiva for us to completely get liberated - a jīvamukta state, devoid of any further attachments to karmas and births.




She is manifested in a subtle form that is beyond the ego and is just pure consciousness alone.




She is beyond any change due to Her dimensionless state and is perceived as eternally young.


pīnonnata payobhārā

पीनोन्नत पयोभारा

She is the Divine Mother who nourishes the entire Creation and is perceived as heavy breasted.




She rules over the emotions associated with passion - Rajasic guṇa, represented by the tiger skin wrapped around Her waist. She is also extremely quick in Her response to Her devotees requests.




She also rules over the aggressive tendencies within us associated with the Tamo guṇa, represented by the leopard skin wrapped around Her. She will be extremely effective in dealing with the enemies, both internal and external.




She has reddish brown hair locks, representing Her presence in all the three guṇa-s, mixing of which creates the reddish brown hue (white - sattva, red - rajas, black - tamas). She is the embodiment of all philosophies culminating in Her as the singular reality, projected by the raised hair locks on top of Her head.


akṣobhya nāga sambaddha jaṭājūṭām

अक्षोभ्य नाग सम्बद्ध जटाजूटाम्

She is in the form of the unperturbed and fully raised hood of the serpent, representing a fully blossomed super-consciousness and complete activation of the Sahasrāra cakra and the Kuṇḍalinī śakti.


pañcamudrā vibhūṣitā

पञ्चमुद्रा विभूषिता

She is sporting the five mudrā-s as ornaments upon Herself (the five insignia such as cakri – wreath on the head [chaplet], kuṇḍalaka – earrings, kaṇṭhī – necklace, rucaka – bracelet and mekhala – girdle. On a subtler level, the five hand gestures to control the natural elements of air, water, earth, ether and fire, as well as the five types of prāṇa-s or life supporting vital airs and also the five gestures made as offerings to an idol, such as āvāhanī - invitation, sthāpanī - establishment, saṃnidhāpanī – getting closer to oneself, saṃbodhanī - addressing and  saṃmukhīkaraṇī – turned towards. Further, She is also the pañca-raśmi culminating in Her bīja mantra - the śabda brahman (om̐), meaning the five rays that represent the five yogic states of wakefulness, dreaming, deep sleep, turiyā state of consciousness and the fifth turiyātīta representing the familiarity with the Super-consciousness, meaning remaining in that "state" and being the cause for spontaneous realization of the inseparability between bliss and matter! There is still another interpolation associated with the pañca kośā-s or the five sheaths, namely - annamaya, prāṇamaya, manomaya, vijñānamaya and ānandamaya kośa-s. These five sheaths are translated as sheaths of food, vital air, mind, intellect and bliss. These five sheaths are related to the three types of bodies – gross, subtle and casual.

Gross body - annamaya kośa, prāṇamaya kośa
Subtle body - manomaya kośa, vijñānamaya kośa
Casual body - ānandamaya kośa

The Self within can be realized only if all these sheaths are transcended, as the Self remains encased by these sheaths. These sheaths cause illusion by making a person to identify with these sheaths. The exterior annamaya kośa is grossest of the five and the interior ānandamaya kośa is the subtlest. The following diagram will explain the five kośa-s with relation to the three types of bodies. ).




She is bedecked with a band of five skulls and bones as a head band, lending further to Her terrifying appearance (She represents the five aspects of Creation, Preservation, Destruction, Annihilation and Resurrection).




She is formidable and appears terrifying. She is the embodiment of the entire Creation.


daṃṣṭra-koṭi samujjvalā

दंष्ट्रकोटि समुज्ज्वला

She has infinite radiating teeth, representing all the śakti-s contained within Her and She being the very cause of the Creation and all the forces that maintain it in all the possible ways.




She is three-eyed, meaning She represents the three aspects of Creation, Preservation and Destruction, as well as all the three guṇa-s and all the triads. Also indicating an activated ājñā cakra.




She has four arms indicating Her presence in all the four cardinal directions, indicating Her omnipresence. She represents the teaching of all the four vedas spanning all the knowledge that can help us attain self-realization and liberation.




She wears a garland of fifty skulls, representing all the fifty sanskrit alphabet and the mātṛkā śakti-s.




She is perceived as Ānanda Brahman, the One who laughs out loud, at the ignorance of the beings in the Creation.


aṣṭa-nāga vibhūṣitā

अष्टनाग विभूषिता

She is the embodiment of eight serpents signifying the eight mystical powers called aṣṭa siddhi-s.


padārtha daṃṣṭra-dvaya-virājamānā

पदार्थ दंष्ट्रद्वयविराजमाना

She is the embodiment of the entire Creation. She is present in the living as well as in the non-living. She is in all the dyads and dualities that exist in the entire Creation.




She is bedecked with a crescent moon on top of Her head. The crescent moon is the first shape that appears during the waxing phase of the lunar cycle representing Creation and it is also the last shape that dissolves into darkness during the waning phase of the lunar cycle, representing Dissolution. The super-consciousness or Brahman is dimensionless and is represented as a dot and the descent of the super-consciousness into the receptacle of the causal body, consisting of the individual consciousness and ego, referred to as cit, is represented in the form of a cup, the outline of which looks like a crescent. She is the embodiment of the entire Creation and Her descent into it, is marked by the crescent.




She displays a stance of Her left foot placed forward, representing Her tilt towards the left hand path of tantra, which has no inhibitions and restrictions towards Her worship.


śvetāmbarā, candrakānti

श्वेताम्बरा, चन्द्रकान्ति

She is simply consciousness and bliss, represented in plain crystalline or white complexion. 

Tārā svarūpam (तारा स्वरूपम्) -

Ugratāra (उग्रतार)

pratyālīḍha padārpitāṅghriśavahṛd ghorāṭṭahāsā parā

khaḍgendīvara kartri karpara bhujā hum̐kāra bījodbhavā 1

sarvanīla viśāla piṅgala jaṭājūṭaika nāgairyutā

jāḍyanyasya kapālake tri-jagatāṃ hantyugratārā svayam 2

प्रत्यालीढ पदार्पिताङ्घ्रिशवहृद् घोराट्टहासा परा ।

खड्गेन्दीवर कर्त्रि कर्पर भुजा हुँकार बीजोद्भवा ॥ १ ॥

सर्वनील विशाल पिङ्गल जटाजूटैक नागैर्युता ।

जाड्यन्यस्य कपालके त्रिजगतां हन्त्युग्रतारा स्वयम् ॥ २ ॥

Salutations to the One who has Her left foot forward (alluding to the left-handed path of Tantra) touching the heart of Lord Śiva, lying flat as a lifeless “corpse” (He is the static super-consciousness and She is the dynamic super-consciousness). She is laughing out loud (She is perceived as Ānanda Brahman, the One who laughs out loud, at the ignorance of the beings in the Creation) and sounds terrifying, with Her horse like laughter (She scares away all our fears and assures Her complete protection). She is the Divine Mother and the Supreme eternal singular reality!

She holds a sword (to cut off our ego and attachments), a pair of scissors (to cut through the fabric of karma), stalks of blue lotuses (signifying an expanding and evolving consciousness that is endless) and a skull cup (mind without any pre-conceived notions), in Her four arms. She is the ultimate Protector and is therefore the embodiment of the seed syllable bīja hum̐, also called the shield/kavaca bīja.

She is dark complexioned appearing in dark blue color and has extensive hair (reference to dark matter and gravitational forces) with a reddish brown knot on the top of Her head [reference to the sahasrāra cakra, as well as Her identity as the Singular reality and also representing Her presence in all the three guṇa-s, mixing of which creates the reddish brown hue (white - sattva, red - rajas, black - tamas). She is the embodiment of all philosophies culminating in Her as the singular reality, projected by the raised hair locks on top of Her head]. She is adorned with serpents all over Her body (activation of various cakras as well as the Kuṇḍalinī). She is the ultimate power, that aggressively pervades the stillness of minds, in all the three realms.

Nīlasarasvati (नीलसरस्वति)

mātarnīla sarasvati praṇamatāṃ saubhāgya saṃpatprade

pratyālīḍha padasthite śivahṛdi smerānanāṃbhoruhe 1

phullendīvara locane trinayane kartrīṃkapālotpale

khaḍgaṃ cā dadhatī tvameva śaraṇaṃ tvāmīśvarī māśraye 2

मातर्नील सरस्वति प्रणमतां सौभाग्य संपत्प्रदे ।

प्रत्यालीढ पदस्थिते शिवहृदि स्मेराननांभोरुहे ॥ १ ॥

फुल्लेन्दीवर लोचने त्रिनयने कर्त्रींकपालोत्पले ।

खड्गं चा दधती त्वमेव शरणं त्वामीश्वरी माश्रये ॥ २ ॥

Salutations to the Divine Mother Nīla-sarasvati, who renders auspiciousness and showers all types of wealth, upon Her devotees. She appears with Her left foot placed upon Lord Śiva’s heart, sporting a delightful lotus like smile on Her face. (She is very happy with the left handed path of worship). She is three-eyed (activated ājñā cakra and glances at all the triads that She manifests) and has four arms which hold a full blown blue lotus (complete expansion of consciousness), a pair of scissors (to cut through karma), a skull cup (an empty mind with no preconceived notions) and a sword (to cut the ego). May She, the eternal Divine Feminine - the Singular Reality, confer Her complete grace and protection upon those who surrender onto Her!

Ekajaṭā (एकजटा)

piṅgograika jaṭāṃ lasatsu rasanāṃ daṃṣṭrā karālānanām

carma-daivapi-varaṃ kaṭe vidadhatīṃ śvetāsthi-paṭṭālikām 1

akṣobhyena virājamāna śirasaṃ smerānan-āṃbhoruhe

tārāṃ śiva-hṛd-āsanāṃ dhṛḍa-kuca maṃbāṃ traiḥlokyā-smaret 2

पिङ्गोग्रैक जटां लसत्सु रसनां दंष्ट्रा करालाननाम् ।

चर्मदैवपिवरं कटे विदधतीं श्वेतास्थिपट्टालिकाम् ॥ १ ॥

अक्षोभ्येन विराजमान शिरसं स्मेराननांभोरुहे ।

तारां शिवहृदासनां धृडकुच मंबां त्रैःलोक्यास्मरेत् ॥ २ ॥

Salutations to the Divine Mother Ekajaṭā Tārā, who has reddish brown hair locks tied up on top of Her head (signifying the crown sahasrāra cakra) and Her hair is single plaited (to indicate non-duality between the individual and the super-consciousness). She has Her tongue protruding out (indicating Her taste in manifesting the entire Creation) and has a wide gaping mouth with protruding sharp teeth (to consume the entire Creation during the dissolution). She is dressed in tiger skin around Her waist (indicating Her swift and aggressive ability to act upon the issues troubling Her devotees) and adorning a white bone like serpent, like a headband on Her forehead.

She stands forth upon absolute stillness (She can only be experienced in the higher states of samādhi, when the mind is absolutely still) and displays a blooming lotus like smile (indicating that the entire Creation is at Her pleasure). She is firmly seated upon the heart of Śiva (indicating that She is the epitome of compassion) and appears as heavy breasted (nourishes the entire Creation as the Divine Mother) and is constantly hailed and worshipped by the denizens of all the realms.

Triguṇa dhyānam (त्रिगुण ध्यानम्)

[Meditations on Her tattva/nature manifested in all the three states – gentle and virtuous Sātvika guṇa, vibrant and passionate Rajasika guṇa and the aggressive and destructive Tamasika guṇa].

Sātvikarūpa dhyānam (सात्विकरूप ध्यानम्)

[gentle and virtuous state]

śvetāmbarāḍhyāṃ hamsasthāṃ muktābharaṇa bhūṣitām

catur-vaktrā maṣṭa-bhujair-dadhānāṃ kuṇḍikāmbuje 1

varābhaye pāśaśaktī akṣa-srak-puṣpa mālike

śabda-pāthonidhau dhyāyet sṛṣṭi-dhyāna mudīritam 2

श्वेताम्बराढ्यां हम्सस्थां मुक्ताभरण भूषिताम् ।

चतुर्वक्त्रा मष्टभुजैर्दधानां कुण्डिकाम्बुजे ॥ १ ॥

वराभये पाशशक्ती अक्षस्रक्पुष्प मालिके ।

शब्दपाथोनिधौ ध्यायेत् सृष्टिध्यान मुदीरितम् ॥ २ ॥

Salutations to the One who is white in complexion and also dressed in white garments (pure Consciousness and represents the causal body), seated atop a crane, adorned with pearl ornaments, having four heads (representing the four Vedas and the knowledge contained within as Vedanta), possessing eight arms and holding a water jar/kuṇḍika (referencing the life sustaining natural elements), a lotus (blooming consciousness), displaying the boon bestowing vara mudra in one hand and the fear allaying abhaya mudra in another hand, holding a rope/pāśa (to loop in all the lost souls), a lancet/śaktī (to pierce the cakras), an akṣa mālā (signifying the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet and the mātṛkā śaktī-s associated with them.) and a flower garland/Puṣpa māla (representing fragrance, success and auspiciousness). May She be meditated upon as the Creator and the origin of all sounds, vibrations, matter and everything that’s manifested.

[One must accumulate good karmas, knowledge and perform deeds to kick start the spiritual journey].

Rājasarūpa dhyānam (राजसरूप ध्यानम्)

[vibrant and passionate state]

raktāsanāṃ rakta siṃhāsana-sthāṃ hema bhūṣitām

eka-vaktrāṃ veda-saṅkhyair-bhujais-sambibhratīṃ kramāt 1

akṣamālāṃ pānasātra mabhayaṃ varam-uttamam

śveta dvīpa sthitāṃ dhyāyet sthitidhyāna midaṃ smṛtam 2

रक्तासनां रक्त सिंहासनस्थां हेम भूषिताम् ।

एकवक्त्रां वेदसङ्ख्यैर्भुजैस्सम्बिभ्रतीं क्रमात् ॥ १ ॥

अक्षमालां पानसात्र मभयं वरमुत्तमम् ।

श्वेत द्वीप स्थितां ध्यायेत् स्थितिध्यान मिदं स्मृतम् ॥ २ ॥

Salutations to the One, who is to be meditated upon as, red in complexion, seated on a red lion-faced throne and adorned with golden ornaments. She has one head and four arms (the count/saṅkhya of the four vedas). She holds an akṣa mālā (signifying the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet and the mātṛkā śaktī-s associated with them.), a drinking cup (signifying an empty mind, to comprehend Her true nature) and displays the boon bestowing vara mudra in one hand and the fear allaying abhaya mudra in another hand. She is situated in the white mystical island called śveta dvīpa (reference to the pure state of the astral body where the need for subsistence does not exist and only the tanmātras - the perceptible senses of touch - sparśa, smell - gandha, sight - rūpa, vibration/sound - śabda, taste - rasa.). She dons the role of the Protector and Sustainer of the Creation.

[One must overcome all the afflictions associated with the astral body and gain control over the senses, to proceed further in the journey towards self-realization and liberation].

Tāmasarūpa dhyānam (तामसरूप ध्यानम्)

[Aggressive and destructive state]

kṛṣṇāmbarāḍhyāṃ nau-saṃsthām-asthy-ābharaṇa bhūṣitām ।

nava-vaktr-āmbujair-aṣṭā-daśabhir-dadhatīṃ varam ॥ 1 ॥

abhayaṃ paraśuṃ darvīṃ khaḍgaṃ pāśupataṃ halam ।

bhinḍim śūlaṃ ca musalaṃ kartrīṃ śaktiṃ triśīrṣakam ॥ 2 ॥

saṃhārāstraṃ vajrapāśau khaṭvāṅgam gadayā sahā ।

raktāmbhodau sthitāṃ dhyāyetsaṃhāra dhyāna mīdṛśam ॥ 3 ॥

कृष्णाम्बराढ्यां नौसंस्था मस्थ्याभरण भूषिताम् ।

नववक्त्राम्बुजै रष्टादशभिर्दधतीं वरम् ॥ १ ॥

अभयं परशुं दर्वीं खड्गं पाशुपतं हलम् ।

भिन्डिम् शूलं च मुसलं कर्त्रीं शक्तिं त्रिशीर्षकम् ॥ २ ॥

संहारास्त्रं वज्रपाशौ खट्वाङ्गम् गदया सहा ।

रक्ताम्भोदौ स्थितां ध्यायेत्संहार ध्यान मीदृशम् ॥ ३ ॥

Salutations to the Divine Mother Tārā Devi, who is present in the frequencies of all sound vibrations (mantras) that help us navigate through the journey of life and ultimately to Her realm of pure consciousness! She is adorned with bone ornaments (representing Her role as the Creator of the entire Creation and present in all beings). She has a youthful face (She’s eternal and beyond the dimensions of time and space and does not age! Another interpretation is of nine faces, representing the nine other Daśamahāvidya-s and indicating that all are within Her and also within each other – any one of the Daśamahāvidya wisdom goddesses are equivalent to all others and also lead to one another.) and eighteen arms. She displays the boon bestowing vara mudra in one hand and the fear allaying abhaya mudra in another hand. She holds an axe - paraśu (to cut through the toughest and rigid karmas as well as to break the ego that may have risen to great heights), a ladle - darvī (to lap up all the devotion we offer Her), a sword (to slash the ego and attachments), a mystical arrow called pāśupata (capable of piercing any target – activation of all cakras, as well as the elimination of all triads leading to the singular reality), a plough - hala (to clear the debris in the mind to sow the seeds of spirituality), a slingshot - bhinḍi (to gather the momentum and aim for higher targets), a spear - śūla (to pierce through all the cakras), a pestle - musala (to grind all our afflictions and thereby rein in purity), a pair of scissors - kartrī (to cut through the fabric of karma), a staff with sharp edges - śakti (to pierce through cakras and scare away the bad influences), a trident - triśīrṣaka (to cut through all triads), a weapon of mass destruction called saṃhārāstra (removes all ignorance and ushers in self-realization and liberation), a thunderbolt – Vajra ( to consume all the dormant karmas), a rope – pāśa (to rein in all the lost souls and also to rein in and focus all our thoughts only upon the Divine Mother), a club with a skull at the top called khaṭvāṅga (represents the backbone and signifies the awakening of the Kuṇḍalinī) and a mace – gada (to pound any inflated egos and obstacles in the spiritual path). She is situated in the midst of red clouds and dons Her role as the Destroyer and becomes its very cause, at the time of dissolution of the Creation.

[Annihilation of the ego and overcoming the karmas binding the causal body, preventing liberation, is possible through this meditation verse. All the weapons to destroy our attachments, afflictions and karmas are facilitated through these set of verses.]

Tātparyam (तात्पर्यम्)

(Procedures for deployment of the above meditation verses).

karmasu krūra-saumyeṣu dhyāyen-mantrīyadhā-tathā

evaṃ siddhe manau-mantrī girāvācaspatir-bhavet 1

कर्मसु क्रूरसौम्येषु ध्यायेन्मन्त्रीयधातथा ।

एवं सिद्धे मनौमन्त्री गिरावाचस्पतिर्भवेत् ॥ १ ॥

The following procedure has been suggested, for achieving our desires through the recitation of these ślokas -

  1. For tasks related to peace and spiritual fulfillment, one should focus upon the Śrī Tārā Devi Sāttvika dhyānam.
  2. For all karmas associated with eradicating obstacles and attracting prosperity, one should focus upon the Śrī Tārā Devi Rājasika dhyānam.
  3. For all missions associated with destruction and any other such acts, one should focus upon the Śrī Tārā Devi Tamasika dhyānam.

This article is written by Krishna Vallapareddy and can be contacted at