White Tara, (Tibetan: drol ma kar mo), the goddess of longevity.
"…with a hue white like an autumn moon - radiant like a stainless
crystal jewel, shining with rays of light, one face, two hands, and
having three eyes; with the conduct of having sixteen years of age.
The right hand is in the mudra of supreme generosity; the left holds
with the thumb and forefinger the stem of a white utpala to the
heart with the petals blossoming at the ear. Representing the
buddhas of the three times the single stem is divided into three, in
the middle is a blossoming flower, the right in fruition, the left
in the form of a bud; adorned with various jewel ornaments; having
various silk upper garments and a lower garment of red silk; seated
with the legs in vajra posture. The palms of the hands and feet each
have an eye - the seven eyes of primordial wisdom." (Sachen Ngawang
Kunga Lodro, 1729-1783).
Seated on a moon and pink lotus seat rising from the blue lotus
pond below she emanates a blue-orange nimbus and a green-pink areola
surrounded on the sides and above by pink lotus blossoms.
At the top center is White Amitayus with one face and two hands
holding a longevity vase; richly adorned with jewels and fabrics. To
the left is red Amitayus, standing, holding a begging bowl and
adorned with silks and jewels. To the right is the goddess Ushnishavijaya,
white, with three faces and eight hands removing the obstacles to
At the bottom center is Green Tara,
emerald in colour, with the two hands clasped at the heart holding
the stems of two blue utpala flowers blossoming at each ear. Seated
in a relaxed manner on a moon and lotus seat her right foot extended
rests on a small lotus cushion. To the left is yellow Marici in a
peaceful appearance and to the right is blue Ekajati with three eyes
and orange hair flowing upward in ‘one braid’ (Tib.: ral chig ma,
Skt.: ekajati) slightly fierce. Both hold a long fly wisk with a
white yak tail and stand in a posture with the legs together above a
moon and lotus seat sprung from the blue lotus pond.
Tara is a completely enlightened buddha and as a young
bodhisattva she promised always to appear in the form of a female
bodhisattva and goddess for the benefit of all beings and especially
to protect from the eight fears. In this white form she appears
specifically for the purpose of bestowing longevity. Practiced in
all Schools of Tibetan Buddhism Tara is second in popularity only to
Her practices are found in all classes of tantra - Nyingma and
This ‘thangka’ is an example of the new Karma Gadri style of