White Tara with Varasattva Thangka is painted on cotton canvas. The size of this thangka is 62 x 45cm and its weight is 0.1kg. White Tara’s embodiment of peace is directed through loving compassion.
Green Tara is presented at the center of the thangka. Shakyamuni Buddha is resented at the top right corner of the White Tara in the thangka. Medicine Buddha is presented at the top right corner of the White Tara in the thangka.
Vajrasattva is presented at the top of the White Tara in the thangka. Two standing goddesses are presented at the bottom right and bottom left corner of the White Tara in the thangka.
The iconography of White Tara
Sita Tara, popularly known as White Tara. She has emanated from Avalokiteshvara & in the Nepali Transcendent Buddha tradition is the consort of Vairochana, the central Transcendent Buddha. Her inner virtue of loving compassion is magnified by the simplicity of her presentation.
White Tara is an important Vajrayana Buddhist figure since she embodies the principle of loving-kindness, which is the central quality in the altruistic Bodhisattva presented through Mahayana Buddhism. Her main emblem is the Pink Lotus representing this main quality.
Her left hand is gracefully lowered in an empty open palm boon granting gesture. White Tara has a blooming pink lotus & an unopened bud on either side of her body. The lotus in the painting is stylized as a peony & a chrysanthemum to provide artistic contrast with her lotus throne. The open blossom represents the present and the bud represents the future situations & Buddhas yet to be born. The future also refers to beneficial changes in circumstances that she will help bring about. Her right-hand wisdom hand is in the gesture of giving refuge.
The word refuge refers to the teaching of compassionate understanding which she imparts. The third finger touches the thumb to create a circle representing the union of wisdom and compassion, and the three extended fingers symbolize the Three Jewels of Buddhism
- The Buddha States
- The Body of teachings
- The Principles of the Universal Form
The same hand holds the stem of a blue lotus representing change. The lower part of the stem below the bend represents the root of the lotus in the mud. The allegory of the Lotus refers to something that grows from the obscurity of the mud & which eventually bursts open in the light. The lotus journey is one of inner awakening & enlightenment analogous to the human spirit. Buddhism shows us how to grow towards the light with profound teachings which help us to navigate away from burdens and sufferings which we may have by being materially-minded, bitter & confused.
There is a lotus on her diadem bearing the Wish-Granting Gem surrounded by an aureole of fire symbolizing auspicious blessings. The extra eye on her forehead, on the palms of her hands & the soles of her feet, represent her ability to see and understand the sufferings of all beings & her omniscient compassion toward the suffering. Avalokiteshvara her progenitor also has a white body & extra eyes. The eyes denote psychic & supernatural power.
The rainbow-colored leggings represent mastery of Boddhi Nature & a manifestation of the Sambhogakaya. The dark blue layer of clothing signifies Mantrayana practice. She is upon a white moon disk & has an orange sun aureole to representing her emanation their melting point.
There is a branch of an Ashoka tree in the foreground. The word Ashoka means ‘without sorrow’ in other words she has no regrets about her behavior. The tree is linked to the Vedic God of love & sexual union Kamadeva which blossoms when a virtuous lady touches it.
The triangular diamond rock formation in the foreground represents the Source of Reality out of which deities arise & which is generated from emptiness by the seed syllable E. In the Indian language is a Triangular shaped letter D & so expressed in the triangular rock formations.
Tara’s are difficult to place being neither Deity nor Dakini. Tara’s are commonly described as female emanations and aides of Buddhas. Deities tend to have consorts with whom they are having sexual intercourse. She has a special association with the Pink lotus which represents the arising of wisdom from the obscure depths of the mud and the flowering of the awoken wisdom.
The mud symbolized the primeval state. As with the other emanations of Tara, she has come into being from the teardrop of Avalokateshwara the great Bodhisattva of compassion.
Why Pray White Tara?
Pray to White Tara for protection, healing, and immortality. She gives healing to our wounds, either it is the unhappy mind or physically ill bodies.
Tara, like a mother to her son, is very similar to the sentient beings. She quickly fulfills our wishes and brings us happiness and long life, as well as help us grow wisdom.
One has the power to eliminate barriers to your life and to extend your life by taking refuge in Tara and by practicing meditation, visualization, and having confidence.
The mantra of White Tara
The mantra of White Tara is Om Tare Tuttare Ture Mama Ayur Pune Gyana Puntin Kuru Swoha.
Iconography of Shakyamuni
Shakyamuni Buddha is resented at the top right corner of the White Tara in the thangka. His left hand is in the lap holding a begging bowl while the right arm is extended across the leg with the fingers touching the earth.
His skin is golden in color, the eyes partially closed and the hair piled with a gold ornament adorning the top of the head.
A dot (bindi or “urna”) between the eyebrows and the earlobes is elongated and pierced. The shoulders are covered with an orange and red robe wrapped around the torso and legs and tied at the waist with a green sash.
Mantra of Shakyamuni
The mantra of Samantabhadra is Namo sam-man-duo wa-ri-la sa-duo e.
Iconography of Medicine Buddha
Medicine Buddha is presented at the top right corner of the White Tara in the thangka. Medicine Buddha is the popular term for Bhaisajyaguru and refers to healing blue light transmitted by his representation and conception. Bhaisajyaguru means “Master of Blue Light”.
His healing energy is transmitted through a blue light wavelength called Vaydurya light. Medicine Buddha radiates this healing energy. Think of the light as internal chakra energy.
Mantra of Medicine Buddha
Iconography of Vajrasattva
Vajrasattva is presented at the top of the White Tara in the thangka. Vajrasattva is pure white in color and is sometimes known as the Prince of Purity. His name means “Adamantine Being”, or more poetically “Embodying Reality”.
He is a member of the Vajra family of Aksobhya which also includes Vajrapani. He is depicted as a young man in the prime of life, with all the silks and jewels of a wealthy prince.
In his right hand, he delicately balances a vajra at his heart. In his left hand, he holds a bell at his waist. The vajra represents Reality, and Compassion; while the bell represents Wisdom.
Vajrasattva is said to have been originated from the seed syllable Hum and is generally invoked for removal of obscuration of Kleshavarana and Jneya Avarana.
His hundred syllable mantra is very efficacious in purifying our defilements through confession practice. It is said if confession is done with the four opponent powers, then non-virtuous actions or obscurations will be purified.
The first opponent power is the force of reliance. This means looking upon the visualized image of Vajrasattva as the embodiment of one refuge. The second opponent power is the sincere regret for the non-virtuous action done by oneself.
The third opponent power is desisting from evil deeds. The fourth opponent power is to apply the power of good deeds; and especially regarding this case, practicing the meditation and recitation of Vajrasattva without parting from Bodhicitta while remaining in the state of emptiness.
Vajrasattva is a very popular tutelary deity for Nepalese Vajracharya. He is worshipped very often by Nepalese Buddhists through the Guru Mandala ritual.
In some mandalas Vajrasattva represents the Adi Buddha or the Primordial Principle of Buddhahood in others, he changes places with Aksobhya in the East.
In Shingon Buddhism it is Vajrasattva that passes on the initiation of the Dharmakāya Buddha Mahāvairocana to Nagarjuna, thereby creating the Vajrayana lineage.
Mantra of Vajrasattva
The mantra of Vajrasattva is Om Vajrasattva Hum.