The Goddess White Tara is seated in the meditative diamond lotus position, with both legs folded under her, and her feet facing skyward. She has 7 eyes, 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. Her pure compassion for our suffering is thought to be greater even than a mother’s love for her child. She is very quick to fulfill our wishes, to grant us happiness, a long life, and help us develop wisdom. She is invoked especially for health, healing and longevity.
Malas have been used for centuries to count one’s breath and/or prayers during meditation. When one absentmindedly touches the mala throughout the day, it is a reminder to come back to the breath, to be aware, to be here now. The mala dangles into eyesight, another awakening, another gentle nudge into mindfulness.
Tara’s ten syllable mantra may be visualized surrounding the seed syllable Tam (shown in the centre). Surrounding the Tam, are the Tibetan syllables beginning at the top (Om) then left clockwise.
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The right hand of Tara is in the “mudra” (hand gesture representing) Supreme Generosity—the mudra that signifies Tara is ready and willing to grant us the state of Enlightenment.
White Tara is often referred to as the Mother of all the Buddhas. She represents the motherly aspect of compassion. Her white colour indicates purity, but also indicates that she is Absolute Truth, complete and undifferentiated.
White Tara has a lovely, young face. With her right hand she makes the boon granting gesture and her left hand, holding the stem of a lotus flower between her thumb and fourth finger, makes the gesture which grants protection to her devotees..
She has seven eyes: the two usual eyes, plus an eye in the centre of her forehead and eyes in each of her hands and feet. These indicate that she sees all suffering and all cries for help in the human world using both ordinary and psychic or extraordinary means of perception. They thus symbolize the vigilance of her compassion.