The White Tara or “White Saioress” is said to have born from a tear of the Bodhisattva of compassion. She holds a very prominent position in Tibet.
Here White Tara is seen seated on a lotus throne. Her body is white and she is seated in the Vajra posture. Her left hand, which is placed on her heart, holds the stem of a blossoming lotus beside her left shoulder. Her right hand is in Varadamudra, Symbolising supreme generosity. She is wearing all six ornament and looks like a beautiful sixteen-year-old maiden. She has seven eyes, two in the palms of her hand, two in soles of her feet and one in her forehead.
In this beautiful Thangka painting we can see the two Boddhisattvas on the bottom part of the painting and the exquisite scenery in the background adds up to White Tara’s beauty. In the middle part of bottom register lies the offering substance along with auspicious symbols.
The practice of White Tara is basically performed in order to attain prolonged life as well as for healing purpose. It is said that because Arya Tara is the collective manifestation of the enlightened activity of all Buddhas, her Sadhana is easily accomplished. Reciting her mantra merely a thousand times brings good luck and causes aversion of hindrances.
Of these 21 Taras, the two most renowned are Green Tara and White Tara. Tara’s name in Tibetan is Dolma, and you can see then that White Tara’s Tibetan name, Dolkar, is a short form of Dolma Karpo, which means White Dolma. Tibetans pray to White Tara especially for health, healing, and longevity of life. She offers to heal to our wounds, whether it is our bodies or our minds that have been hurt.
Benefits of and Reasons for Seeking White Tara Initiation
You might have glitches in your life that could cause your untimely death. If the obstacles are due to your good karma and merit being exhausted, then in order to prolong your life now and to have longevity in future lives, you need to practice powerful ways to collect a lot of merits, such as taking long-life initiations, reciting the mantras of long-life deities, saving the lives of animals and people, offering medicine to people and taking care of sick people, offering food, clothing, and shelter to the poor people.
If the problem in your life and untimely death is due to negative karma, the solution is to purify it. You can also make butter lamp (light) offerings to the Triple Gem. Butter lamp offerings help you develop Dharma wisdom and clairvoyance due to their nature of dispelling the darkness around holy objects.
White Tara is extremely powerful. Tara is very close to sentient beings like a mother to her children. She is very quick to fulfill our wishes and to grant us happiness and long life, as well as to help us develop wisdom. By taking refuge in Tara and practicing meditation, visualizations, and having faith, you have the power to remove obstacles to your life and to prolong your life.
Though all the manifestations of Tara share the characteristic of compassion through this connection to Chenrezig, it is White Tara who is most closely linked to his essentially compassionate nature.
Her pure compassion for our suffering, which is thought to be greater even than a mother’s love for her child, is symbolized in images of White Tara by her white color. Her whiteness also indicates the “undifferentiated truth of the dharma”
In comparison to Green Tara, who is shown seated with one leg on the ground, ready to come to our defense, White Tara is seated in the more meditative diamond lotus position, with both legs folded under her, and her feet facing skyward.
White Tara has 7 eyes with an eye in her forehead, and one on each hand and foot symbolizing her compassionate vigilance to see all the suffering of the world.
Her left hand is in the protective mudra and her right in the wish-granting mudra. In her left hand, she usually holds a stem of the Utpala lotus flower with three blossoms. One blossom is represented as a seed, a second as ready to bloom, and the third in full bloom. These represent the Buddhas of the past, future, and present.
Often, a small image of Amitabha, a Buddha is known for longevity, is portrayed as seated in White Tara’s headdress or slightly above her head.
We can also recite White Tara’s mantra, which has a multitude of variations.
First, let’s look at the mantra, and then talk about how we can use it. The White Tara mantra has a number of variations, but a common one in its Sanskrit form is:
The Tibetan way to say the mantra is this:
OM TARE TUTTARE TURE MAMA AYUR PUNE GYANA PUNTIN KURU SOHA
What Does the Mantra Mean and How Do You Use It?