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Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche Bio
White Tara is an emanation of Tara who is connected with longevity.
She is also the one who helps practitioners overcome obstacles, particularly in spiritual practice.
White Tara is referred to as "Mother of all the Buddhas." This is because she embodies the motivation of
compassion. Her whiteness "Radiant as the eternal snows in all their glory" is indicative of the selflessness
and the purity of this compassion; but especially the undifferentiated Truth of the Dharma.
Her seven eyes stand for her perception of suffering that is apparent (the two eyes we normally have,)
that is psychological/spiritual (the eye in her forehead,) and that is inherent in activity
(the eyes in her palms,) and in what is usually considered as progress (the eyes in her soles.)
With her right hand she makes the boon granting gesture and her left hand, holding the stem of a white
lotus flower between her thumb and fourth finger, is in the protection position.
The elaborate lotus flower, held in the left hand is called Utpala. It contains three blooms: the first, with
seeds, symbolizes the past Buddha Kashyapa; the second in full flower, symbolizes the present Buddha
Shakyamuni; and the third, ready to bloom, symbolizes the future Buddhas Maitreya. This signifies that
White Tara is the essence of all the three Buddhas of the past, the present and the future.
She sits with both legs raised and crossed in the vajra (diamond) position and regally displays both
grace and calm. Her incomparable beauty has inspired practitioners to address her thus:
"Radiant as the eternal snows in all their glory, homage to the Youthful One with full breasts,
One face and two arms. And is filled with great bliss"
The mantra for White Tara is: OM TARE TUTARE TURE MAMA AYUR PUNYE JNANA PUSHTIM KURU, SWAHA
Tibetan Pronunciation: OM TARE TUTTARE TURE, MAMA AYUR JANA PUNTIN KURU SOHA
She is distinguished by "her body ... white, as an autumn moon; clear as a stainless crystal gem,
radiating light. She has one face, two hands, three eyes. She is described in manuals as having
"the youth of 16 years" but is often depicted as more full-bodied than Green Tara.
Her right hand makes the gift-bestowing gesture, and with the thumb and ring finger of
her left hand she holds a branch of white utpala, its petals on the level of her ear.
There are three flowers in various stages of growth symbolizing the three times (past, present and future.)
The first bloom that is in seed, usually on the right, stands for Buddha Kashyapa who lived in a past eon;
the second in first bloom stands for the historical Buddha Shakyamuni, whose activity has brought you
here today, and the bud on the left symbolizes the future Buddha Maitreya.
Her hair is dark blue, bound up at the back of her neck at the back with long tresses hanging down;
her breasts are full; she is adorned with divers precious ornaments, her blouse is of vari-colored silk,
and her robes are of red silk, the palms of her hand and the soles of her feet each have an eye,
making up the seven eyes of knowledge; she sits straight and firm upon the circle of the moon,
her legs crossed in the diamond posture."
Description from author Stephen Beyer.
With thanks to Exotic India Art www.exoticindia.com and Khandro.net www.khandro.net/deities.htm
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