Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Tara, White (Forms & Types)

White Tara Iconography

Iconographic Types:
- Two Eyes
- Three Eyes
- Seven Eyes (Bari, Marpa)
- Four Arms (Bari & Sadhanamala Tradition)
- With Consort Khyentse Tradition (Terma)
- White Tara (and the Eight Fears)
- Three Faces, Six Arms (Sukla Tara)

Traditions of White Tara:
- Atisha Tradition (7 eyes)
- Bari Lotsawa (3 eyes)
- Nyen Lotawa (7 eyes)
- Vanaratna Tradition (7 eyes)
- Shakyashri Bhadra Tradition
- Four Arms (Bari & Sadhanamala Tradition)
- Shakyashri Bhadra Tradition
- With Consort Khyentse Tradition (Terma)
- Palpung Style Painting
--- Simple Composition, Palpung
--- White Tara Eight Fears (Palpung Composition)
- Twenty-One Taras Main Page
- Others...

Textual Sources:
- Forms (Rinjung Lhantab)

List of Rinjung Lhantab Figures:
- Atisha Tradition (7 eyes)
- Bari Lotsawa (3 eyes)
- Nyen Lotawa (7 eyes)
- Vanaratna Tradition (7 eyes)
- Shakyashri Bhadra Tradition
- Dream Indicating White Tara (1 face, 2 arms)
- Surya Gupta Tradition (Twenty-one Taras)
--- Radiant White Moon Tara (3 faces, 12 arms)
--- Greatly Peaceful Tara (1 face, 6 arms)
--- Rapidly Increasing Tara (1 face, 4 arms)
--- Burning Suffering Tara (1 face, 2 arms)
--- Completely Accomplishing Tara (1 face, 2 arms)

"...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 pristine awareness." (Sachen Ngagwang Kunga Lodro, 1729-1783).

[26] Sita Tara: the three deity mandala of White Tara.
White Tara with four hands. The first two perform the utpala gesture. The lower right holds a wishing gem together with [the gesture of] supreme generosity. The lower left [holds] bunches of utpalas. [Having] the same ornaments, garments and seated posture. At the right on a moon is yellow Marichi, holding in the right [hand] a white yak-tail fan and in the left a branch of the ashoka tree. Wearing a red inner garment and a blue lower garment. At the left on a moon is green-yellow Maha Mayuri, holding in the right [hand] a yak-tail fan [and in] the left a peacock tail feather. Wearing various garments." (Bari Gyatsa).

[28] Sita Tara: White Tara Bestower of Life.
White Tara. The right [hand is in the gesture of] supreme generosity and the left holds an utpala. Radiating light like an autumn moon. The back supported by a moon. Seated in the vajrasana [posture]. [Having] the same ornaments and garments.

[78] Sukla Tara: Tara Showing Virtuous Action.
The Holy White Tara Showing Virtuous Action, with three faces and six hands. The main face is white, the right yellow and the left black. Each face has three eyes and bared fangs. The three right hands hold, the [gesture of] supreme generosity, a garland and an arrow. The three left, an utpala, lotus and bow. Wearing the hair as a crown. Having a crown of five dry human skulls [and] a half moon at the top of the head. Adorned with all ornaments [and] wearing a lower garment of tiger skin and supported at the back by a moon. Seated in the manner of a half [vajrasana] posture. (Extracted from the text 'A Lamp Removing Obscurations' by Ngorchen Konchog Lhundrub).

Database Search: All Images | Painting | Sculpture | With Consort

Jeff Watt [updated 3-2021]

(The images below are only a selection of examples from the links above).