Tibetan Thangka Painting- White Tara
White Tara is an emanation of Goddess Tara who has the power of granting Longevity. She is sometimes called the mother of all the Buddhas and she represents the motherly aspect of compassion. She is also the special Goddess who helps devotees in overcoming life’s obstacles, her love helps to heal disease, up bring health, strength, longevity and beauty.
White Tara seems to help more with longer-term problems, particularly problems of physical or mental health. It sometimes seems as if she is more distant, harder to contact at first. Then it is as if she sends us healing energies and mystical power and understandings.
White Tara is white as the Autumn Moon and her white color signifies purity, wisdom and truth. Her luminous radiance, like clusters of a thousand stars, signifies the purity that results from practicing virtue. The White Tara is often represented with many eyes and known as the Seven Eyes Tara – with extra eyes on her forehead, hands and feet. This symbolizes that she sees all suffering and all cries for help, even in the human world, even in the worlds of pain, using both ordinary and psychic or extraordinary means of perception. The white of her light when put through the prism of this life shines through as a rainbow, representing the diversity of all life. She is the experience of oneness of all colors, all beings and her love and compassion for all comes from loving herself which is all.
White Tara is also known as Samaya Tara, meaning Vow Tara. This refers to Tara’s vow to save all beings and also to our vow, which is a Bodhisattva vow like Tara’s. The White Tara is associated with Avalokitesvara, the god of compassion, and considered his female counterpart.
The myth of the White Tara began when she showed up as the tear of Avalokiteshvara, also known as Chenrezig, who the Dalai Lama is a reincarnation of. She appeared when Avalokiteshvara, moved into a state of compassion. when his mind and his heart met in wisdom and the suffering he saw because of lack of this balance, made him cry. Then he could see her or it is said she appeared. For that is who she is, the compassion expressed in that tear.
White Tara has her own mantra. It is: OM TARE TUTARE TURE MAMA AYURPUNYE JNANA PUTIN KURU SVAHA. (Ohm Tahray Totahray tooray mahmah ahyoopoonyay jahnah pooteen kooroo swah hah).
In Thangkas, the White Tara is often seated in the diamond position with legs crossed and feet pointed upwards. Her right hand makes the boon-granting gesture and her left hand is in the protective mudra. She holds and elaborate lotus flower with three blooms. The first is in seed and represents the past Buddha Kashyapa; the second is in full bloom and symbolizes the present Buddha Shakyamuni; the third is ready to bloom and signifies the future Buddha Maitreya. In thangkas, she is crowned and surrounded with decorations. She is worn with the Bodhisattva ornaments. White Tara is represented as a mature woman, full-breasted and wise.
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Want to know more on Buddhist Scroll Paintings, see here-> Tibetan Buddhist Thangkas.