White Tara (symbol of compassion of all Buddhas) -decoration for the Buddhists altar. Northern China. Mongol school. Early 19th century

White Tara (symbol of compassion of all Buddhas) -decoration for the Buddhists altar. Northern China. Mongol school. Early 19th century

White Tara is one of the most popular female images in the Buddhist pantheon. Buddhists worship her as the savior goddess giving long life and protecting from danger.

The silver Sculpture represents White Tara sitting on the throne of two lotuses. Her right hand is lying on her knee in the gesture of a holds the stem of the lotus. White Tara has seven eyes of knowledge: tree on her face, and one on each of her hands and feet.

The disk set near the left hand of the sculpture represents "eight auspicious offerings" bringing luck: 1) a mirror, 2) dry bile of an elephant used as medicine (represented as a "jewel"), 3) sour milk, 4) "durva" plant, 5) fruits, 6) the white conch shell twisted to the right, 7) red "protecting powder", cinnabar, 8) white mustard. The disk set near the right hand represents "five offerings to the sense organs" transforming the awareness of these sense into pure wisdom: 1) the mirror, 2) the lute, 3)a conch shell with perfume, 4) fruits, 5) fabric. 

The Buryat and Kalmyk lamas declared Russian Empress Catharine II, who gave important privileges to Buddhist clerics in the Territory of Russia, as one of the earthly embodiments of White Tara. Since the time of Catharine II all the wives of Russian emperors were regarded as the embodiments of White Tara by Mongol people