Who is Tara?
Tara, who Tibetans also call Dolma, is commonly thought to be a Bodhisattva or Buddha of compassion and action, a protector who comes to our aid to relieve us of physical, emotional and spiritual suffering.
Tara has 21 major forms, each of which has a different color and spiritual attribute.
Of these 21 forms, two are especially popular among Tibetan people — White Tara, who is associated with compassion and long life, and Green Tara, who is associated with enlightened activity and abundance.
White Tara: Swift Healer
“White Tara is particularly associated with healing, protecting and stabilizing your life-force.” Gelek Rimpoche
As shown in the White Tara Statue image above, White Tara is usually depicted as a peaceful mother ready to help from her lotus throne to offer comfort and healing from all of the sufferings, sickness and diseases we experience in the world.
White Tara is shown in a posture of ease and peaceful. She 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.
Ordinary Tibetans pray to her when we are sick. Drawing on the teachings of Venerable Lama Phuntsok, White Tara overcomes the impediment to long life and long Dharma practice: “All problems – sufferings, sicknesses, and diseases arise from thoughts that are based upon attachment, aversion, and ignorance as to the way things really are. It is said again and again that the worst obstacle is the third – concepts and thoughts. We continually think that we want to be happy and be free from suffering; we therefore never stop wanting more and more and as a result increase our attachment and aversion.”