According to Buddhist tradition, Tara was born out of the tears of compassion of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. It is said that he wept as he looked upon the world of suffering beings, and his tears formed a lake in which a lotus sprung up. When the lotus opened, the goddess Tara was revealed.
A similar tradition has White Tara born from the tears of Avalokiteshvara's left eye and the Green Tara born from those of his right. In a third legend, Tara was born from a beam of blue light emanating from one of the eyes of Avalokiteshvara.
In Vajrayana Buddhism, White Tara is the Mother of all Buddhas and she represents the motherly aspect of compassion. Her white color signifies purity, wisdom and truth.
White Tara practice is believed to help practitioners to overcome obstacles.
White Tara (Sitatara) is associated with longevity. Her mantra is often chanted with a particular person in mind. She’s another representation of compassion, and she’s pictured as being endowed with seven eyes (the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and her forehead) to symbolize the watchfulness of the compassionate mind.
Unlike Green Tara, White Tara has both legs folded in meditation position (Full-Vajra posture)
White Tara is very quick to fulfill our wishes and to grant us happiness and a long life, as well as to help us develop wisdom.
Mantra of the White Tara:
Om Tare Tuttare Ture Mama Ayuh Punya Jñana Pustim Kuru Svaha
As a variant form of Green Tara, her mantra begins very similarly. But there are several words added that connects White Tara with long life and wellbeing.
Om: It has to do with the body, the mind, and the approach to universal divinity.
Tare: It’s the liberation of the sufferings, feelings, and inferior strength.
Tuttare: It represents protection against internal and external dangers.
Ture: It’s a protection against physical diseases and a peace-generating word.
Mama: “mine” and indicates that you’d like to possess these qualities of long life, merit, wisdom, and happiness. You can also wish these qualities for someone else, and contemplate the White Tara practice to that person.
Ayuh: long life (as in Ayurvedic medicine).
Punya: the merit that comes from living life ethically, and this merit is said to help one to live long and happily.
Pushtim: wealth, abundance, or increase.
Kuru: a mythical land to the north of the Himalayas, which was said to be a land of long life and happiness.
Svaha: an exclamation meaning “hail” or “may blessings be upon” and is a common ending to Buddhist mantras.
Tara is very close to sentient beings, like a mother to her children. She is very quick to fulfill our wishes and to grant us happiness and a long life, as well as to help us develop wisdom. By taking refuge in Tara and practicing meditation, visualizations, and having faith, you have the power to remove obstacles to your life and to prolong your life.