The Four Karma (Action) Taras are emanations of the beloved diety Green Tara who is called the Mother of all the Buddhas and who is the embodiment of their enlightened activity. Each Tara represents one of the Four Enlightened Activities of a Buddha - pacifying (White Tara), enriching (Gold Tara), empowering (Red Tara), and subduing (Black Tara).
The Four Karma (Action) Taras originate from the tantra known as The Twenty-one Praises of Tara. This system of practice utilizes twenty-one emanations of the goddess Tara, each with her own form, mantra, and special activity. Each stanza of the Praises corresponds to a particular Tara emanation.
The four specific forms of the Karma (Action) Taras can be invoked for overcoming particular obstacles or fears. One may practice them after receiving empowerment and transmission of The Twenty-one Praises of Tara from a qualified teacher. The iconography of the Taras in this collection of giclee thangka prints comes from the tradition of Atisha (982-1054 AD), the great Indian master who reintroduced the practice of Tara in Tibet during the 11th century.