Goddess Tara – the second Goddess among Das Mahavidya
Goddess Tara is the second of the Das Mahavidya. Tara, which means star, is seen as a beautiful but perpetually self-combusting. Hence Goddess Tara is perceived as the personification of unquenchable hunger that propels the life.
Tara is the Goddess who offers ultimate knowledge and gives salvation and also known as Neel Saraswati. Her weapons are Khadga, Sword and pair of scissor.
Tara Origin - During the churning of the milky sea when poison came out the ocean, Lord Shiva drank it to save the world from destruction. But Lord Shiva fell unconscious under the powerful effect of the poison. At this point Goddess Durga appeared as Tara and took Shiva on her lap and breast fed Him to counteract the effect of the poison. Hence Tara is said to be more approachable to the devotees because of Her maternal instincts.
Tara Iconography - Goddess Tara is very much similar to Kali in appearance. Both are shown as standing upon a supine Lord Shiva with protruding tongue. However while Kali is described as black, Tara is portrait as blue. Both wear a necklace of severed human head. However, Tara wears a tiger-skin skirt while Kali wears only a girdle of severed human arms. Both have a lolling tongue and blood oozes from their mouths.
Goddess Tara, unlike Goddess Kali, holds a lotus in one of the above arms and a pair of scissors in one of the lower arms. In remaining two arms Goddess Tara holds bloody Kripana and Kapala (skull-cup) filled with the blood.
Tara Sadhana - Devi Tara Sadhana is done to achieve sudden gain of wealth and prosperity. Tara Sadhana sprouts seed of wisdom and knowledge in the heart of the worshipper.
Tara Mool Mantra -
ॐ ह्रीं स्त्रीं हुं फट्॥
Om Hreem Streem Hum Phat॥
Tara Yantra - Tara Yantra
Tara Ashtottara Shatanamavali - 108 Names of Goddess Tara