Tara is the embodiment of the wisdom and compassion of all the buddhas and is often referred to as “the mother of all buddhas.” She is often depicted as having twenty-one forms in which she enacts various kinds of enlightened activities to help all living beings. In her form as White Tara, she bestows the gifts of longevity and freedom from illness.
Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava, came to Tibet in the eighth century and helped to establish Buddhism and extensively spread the Vajrayana teachings. By many, he is considered “the second buddha” and is revered both as an important historical figure and an enduring embodiment of enlightenment. In his biographies, he is described as having appeared in eight different forms which are depicted here in order to tame the minds of various beings.
Shakyamuni is the name of the Buddha who was born as the prince Siddhartha in Lumbini, Nepal around 2600 years ago. He later renounced his kingdom and went off in search of enlightenment which he attained after six years of austere practice.