Raymond Lam looks at Tara as enlightenment from the feminist perspective, and what she means for Buddhist women. She seems to assimilate both the feminine and masculine energies within Buddhist divinity as argued by scholars. In doing so, one needs to look at the identity of Tara as someone who does not necessarily possess any gender. Further, he argues that while Avalokiteshwara is a Boddisattwa, Tara is a Buddha. This is striking in the sense that divinity seems to be an otherwise masculine quality. In other words, divine energy being vested with the masculine is politics of power- contested at the very root of power play between the masculine and the feminine. In this regard, the importance of Tara signifies the ability of every being, including women to gain the ultimate liberation. It also means that we question the andro-centrism within Buddhist theology and practices to fully understand the continuing debate on the inclusion of women as equal beings within Buddhist theology, both in theory, as well as practice, even if it means facing the challenges of gender tensions (Lam, 2014).
What one needs to understand is that Tara assimilated wisdom, compassion and enlightenment by refusing to switch bodies from a feminine to a masculine one. She chose to achieve this by remaining in her feminine form. Most importantly, one needs to look at the notion of choice. Choice means freedom. While the masculine may acknowledge the feminine divinity, the power to act remains with the masculine energy. By this, choice becomes a weapon to both act and subvert. Tara’s importance lay in this subversion. One must also remember that ideals of wisdom, compassion and enlightenment were traditionally vested with the masculine. Within Mahayana tradition, we see that gender equality exists at least theoretically. But practice suggests something else. Women are categorized as mothers, seductress, courtesan and the like. In this, the roles of women have been fixed, consequently leading to over-simplification of gender roles. Tara does not belong to any of these categories, rather diverging from an assigned role and opting for transcendence instead.