Tara - White
(item no. 542)

Eastern Tibet

1800 - 1899

Uncertain Lineage

66x44cm (26x17.5in)

Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton

Collection of Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation

(acc.# F1996.32.5)

Additional Images
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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 longevity.

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 Avalokiteshvara. Her practices are found in all classes of tantra - Nyingma and Sarma.

This ‘thangka’ is an example of the new Karma Gadri style of painting.

J.Watt 8-98

View other items in:
Thematic Set
Tara - All Forms
Female Images: Introduction
Tara: White
Ekajati (Peaceful)
Long-Life Deities
Rubin Foundation ( - II - )

Copyright © 2002 Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation.
Photographed Image Copyright © 2002 Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation