Tara is a Bodhisattva (one who has pledged to put the suffering of others before her own release from suffering) who encompasses the characteristics of all Buddha’s past, present, and future.
White Tara is known by Tibetan Buddhists as The Swift Protectress because Tara acts quickly to protect the mind from the delusions and snares of Samsara. She is also known as Samaya Tara, translating as ”Vow Tara.”
This refers to Tara’s vow to save all sentient beings. Occasionally, White Tara is called “the Mother of all Buddhas”, because She represents the perfect embodiment of graceful power, purity, and wisdom.
“The main characteristic of Arya Tara is that She is a Buddha who in ancient times promised to always be born in the pure form of a female body in order to help sentient beings reach enlightenment.
There are many inner and outer impediments that Buddhist practitioners encounter, so Universal Mother Tara manifests in order to eliminate obstacles one runs into while on the path to liberation from suffering.” – Venerable Chöje Lama Phuntsok
She is linked with the Padma family of Buddha Amitabha, who in graphical representations appears in the form of Amitayus and sits in Her headdress, or above Her head. Additionally, just as white is considered to be the supreme color in many mystic traditions, so is White Tara considered the most powerful of all Taras because it embodies them all.
Moreover, She is closely related to Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. One story of Her origin says that She was born from Avalokitesvara’s compassionate tears.
She became a very popular Vajrayana deity with the rise of Tantra in 8th century Pala and, with the movement of Indian Buddhism into Tibet through Padmasambhava, the worship and potent practices of Tara became incorporated into Tibetan Buddhism as well.
White Tara is distinguished from Green Tara by having both legs tucked up in the meditation posture, and by having 7 eyes (symbolizing her compassionate vigilance to see all the suffering of the world): the two usual ones, and then one in her forehead and one in each palm and the soles of her feet. It is said that Tara’s 7 eyes enable her to clearly “see” all beings in all the realms of existence.
The Bodhisattva is seated in the posture of the vajra above a white moon disc and an open lotus. Her expression is one of the utmost compassion. She is usually depicted wearing silk robes and scarves that leave Her slender torso and rounded breasts uncovered in the manner of ancient India. Similar to Green Tara illustrations, She is richly adorned with jewels.
Cintachakra mantra lyrics:
”Om Tare Tuttare Ture Mama Ayuh Punya Jnana Pustim Kuru Svaha.”
White Tara mantra meaning on syllables:
- Om – is considered to be the ”primordial sound.”
- Tare – this syllable shows that Mother Tara liberates sentient beings from samsara.
- TUTTARE – liberates you from the eight fears related to the external dangers. However, the main dangers come from attachment, ignorance, anger, pride, miserliness, jealousy, doubt and wrong views.
- Ture – this syllable liberates you from the disease.
- Mama – translates as ”mine,” and represents ”that I would like to possess the following traits.”
- Ayuh – translates as ”long life.”
- Punya – represents the merit that comes from living life ethically.
- Jnana – translates as ”wisdom.”
- Pustim – translates as ”abundance” or ”an increase in wealth.”
- Kuru – translates as ”do so! do it now.”
- Svaha – translates as ”hail” or ”may blessings be upon.”
Chanting mantra for long life benefits:
When you focus your attention upon this mantra, you immerse yourself in Her healing and transformational nature. By chanting this powerful mantra, you are actually calling in a very specific healing energy allowing the virtues and qualities to heal any associated imbalances within your being and thus an extremely powerful instrument to have at your disposal.
As one of the three deities of long life, White Tara is associated with longevity. She counteracts illness and thereby helps to bring about a long life. Furthermore, She embodies the motivation that is compassion and is said to be as radiant and white as the moon. One reason Cintachakra Tara’s mantra is particularly meaningful is that the mantra contains within it the entire sacred teachings on the Four Noble Truths.
”You might have hindrances in your life that could cause your untimely death. If the hindrances 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 (daily) powerful ways to collect a lot of merit, such as chanting the mantras of long life deities, taking long life initiations, saving the lives of people and animals, offering medicine to individuals and taking care of sick people, offering clothing, food, and shelter to the poor people.” – Tritul Jampa Kalden Rinpoche
White Tara meditation
Imagine that in front of you, the luminous form of Bodhisattva White Tara manifests out of darkness. Visualize the Bodhisattva in as much detail as possible as you listen to the sound of mantra meditation. Imagine that the Bodhisattva can send emanations of light to you as the mantra meditation continues. Receive these powerful gifts of luminosity and allow them to enter you. They have an intelligence and wisdom of their own.
According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the highly realized teacher, “empowerment (lung) of Tara is needed to practice this sadhana in full. However, one can do this powerful practice without such an empowerment as long as the practitioner does not generate oneself as the deity.”
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