White Tara, or the Descent of Absolute Wisdom

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It didn’t take long from Schäfer’s singular vantage-point inside the bodhimanda to realize that another transcendent exposure was making its presence known; the boundlessness of Space itself appeared to contract for a brief moment, revealing the shape and substance of a Being radiating the inner-light of countless brilliant Suns. At first it was a blinding-apparition, too shimmering and remarkable to behold. It was as if Primordial Luminosity Itself was totally engulfing his own being, burning-away any sense of separateness—for all about him was literally palpitating with a transfixing-incandescent Light. Gradually the brilliant hue began to dissolve, revealing what appeared to his Mind’s Eye as the most captivating Goddess he had yet encountered in his extraordinary journey. Perhaps her most amazing features were five additional-eyes, apart from her normal two, that were fluctuating from different parts of her anatomy—one on each foot and hands, and a fifth that seemed to penetrate him to the very core of his being, positioned directly in the center of her forehead.    

This is the descent of the Female Buddha White Tara. Another way of expressing it is that the Divine Mother of Infinite Space has descended in order to administer Vairocana’s Dharma-Blessing, a Blessing that is in the form of Holy Wisdom, which is always feminine in nature. It’s as if the One, Primordial Amala-Consciousness, has made a descent from Infinite Boundlessness in order to dissipate its Luminous Light into the very opacity of the divided psyche, thus reuniting it with its Undivided and Elemental Unborn Source. Indeed, Vairocana Buddha and his consort White Tara are the Illuminators—radiating the unadulterated Clear Light of the Unborn Mind, thus transforming scattered and samsaric time-bound consciousness into the timeless Amala-consciousness of the One and Absolute.

Her right hand displays Vairocana’s Dharmachakra—the Sacred Wheel of the Dharma. Her left hand wields the Vajra-Bell of Wisdom; all of the consorts bear this auspicious sign, yet it is in White Tara that it becomes definitive as she totally embodies the Wisdom of the Dharmadhatu. But as today’s narrative described, it is her “eyes” that stand out as her most fascinating peculiarity. Traditionally, those ubiquitous eyes bespeak an ever-present and comforting compassion—no sentient being is ever lost or forsaken under her gaze. But there is another principal feature—for just as Vairocana is the direct composite of all the other Dhyani Buddhas, so too is White Tara a composite of all the other Consorts: She sees with the equanimous eyes of Lochana; with the Diamond Eyes of Mamaki with their Mirror-like quality; with the purifying and Discriminating Wisdom-Eyes of Pandaravasini; and with the Luminous and All-Accomplishing Wisdom Eyes of Tara verte. White Tara is also known for her great charism as a healer. I for one can vouch for her healing ability. Recently, my right eye was infected and was not mending properly. One morning I simply turned-over in bed and invoked White Tara’s intercession. There’s a small shrine in my bedroom and in the early morning hours—at the crack of dawn, sunlight from an adjacent window happens to fall directly on White Tara, particularly on the area surrounding her Third-Eye; I simply focused on this Illuminative Vision and very soon my eye was healed. The following is a snapshot of that area—it’s grainy since the photo was taken at early dawn and my digital camera is not the best, but you can still see (directly beneath the thangka of Akshobhya Buddha) how her third-eye center is accentuated by the light.

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Schäfer’s gaze fell directly on her Third-Eye center and he was held spellbound by what it revealed—the approach of an evil astral-form wearing green-gloves, a figure that had breached the sanctuary of the Iron Stupa and would soon divulge its iniquitous purpose.

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