Tara the Goddess
Tara is also worshipped in Buddhism as a deity--the Mother Goddess. Historically, many aspects of Tara are borrowed from Hindu Goddesses, especially Durga (Devi). She represents the feminine attributes in all of us, therefore, even though she in an Indian Goddess, her popularity extends well beyond India. Tara the Mother Goddess is the Goddess of the Underworld, Earth, and the Heavens.
Goddess of the Underworld
Goddess of Earth
As the Goddess of Earth, Tara is interconnected with humans, plants, and animals. She typically is shown in natural, wild places like forests or mountains. The blue lotus flower, her main symbol, expresses purity and power. And her green color is also symbolic of nature and earth. She dominates wild animals (lions, elephants, etc.), symbolizing that spiritual forces in the human psyche can control instinctual animalistic drives.
Goddess of the Heavens
Finally, as the Goddess of the Heavens, Tara represents all superhuman or spiritual states of existence. On this level she can help rid of us faults that are sometimes typical for Gods or higher beings to have; like pride, envy, and craving for existence, for example. She can help us meditate and achieve a higher state of awareness where these faults can eventually fall away as we lose attachment.
Beyond even the Heavens is the state of perfect enlightenment, or Buddhahood. Tara is the Goddess of Spiritual Transformation, as represented by her blue lotus flower which unfolds into the light after growing above the surface of the water. She is full Awakening itself, and can help us be reborn and enter into the state of Bliss.
Therefore, Tara's personality as a goddess is multi-faceted and contains many different levels of meaning. A worshipper of Tara can see her on any level he or she wishes too, in order to relate to her in the best way possible. It is important to remember that Tara's many levels of "goddess nature" have developed over centuries, and different people perceive Tara in different ways. The synopsis of Tara on this page is a general one, and more detailed descriptions can be found on the links provided on the main page and also in many good books.
Tara as a Bodhisattva
Tara as a Deity
Tara as a Buddha