NEW TRANSLATION: White Tārā by 8th Karmapa

Line drawing of White Tārā by HH 17th Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje

For Chokhor Duchen today, I offer this is the first English translation of a White Tārā Wish-Fulfilling Wheel Concise Daily Sadhana text[1] by the 8th Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje (1507-1544).  It can be downloaded here .

For more on the 8th Karmapa’s life see the short biography here and the most extensive account in the English language, The Eighth Karmapa’s Life and His Interpretation of the Great Seal, by Jim Rheingans (2017).

Lineage
Atiśa Dīpankara Śrījñāna

Although I have not done an extensive study into the lineage of 8th Karmapa, from the lineage prayer of White Tārā  written by Jamgon Kongtrul the Great, it comes down from Atisha to the First Karmapa.[2] The lineage is Tāra, Vagishvara, Suvarnadvipi, Ngawang, Serlingpa, Atisha, Dromtönpa, Drewaje,and Je Ngawang ,Gampopa, Düsum Khyenpa (1st Karmapa), Dogen Rechen, (1st Situ Rinpoche), Pomdhakpa, Dromton, Chennga, Drepa, Mahasiddha Chokyi Lama (2nd Karmapa), Ogyenpa, Rangjung Dorje (3rd Karmapa), Yungton Gyal, Rolpay Dorje (4th Karmapa), Khacho Wangpo, Deshin Shekpa (5th Karmapa), Rigpe Raldri, Thongwa Donden (6th Karmapa), Benkar, Lord Goshri (Gyaltsab Rinpoche), Chodrak Gyamtso (7th Karmapa), Sanggye Nyenpa, Mikyo Dorje (8th Karmapa), Konchog Wang (5th Sharmapa), Wangchuk Dorje (9th Karmapa), Chokyi Wangchuk (6th Sharmapa), Namdag Tsen, Karma Chagme, Dulmo (10th Karmapa), Palchenpo (8th Sharmapa), Chokyi Jungne (8th Tai Situ), Dundul Dorje (13th Karmapa), Pema Nyingje Wangpo (9th Tai Situ), Thegchog Dorje (14th Karmapa), Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye, Khakhyab Dorje (15th Karmapa), Khyentse Ozer, Rigpay Dorje (16th Karmapa) to the current 17th Karmapa and all those who hold the six traditions of her instruction lineage[3].

White Tārā  thangka of Karma Kagyu. For more detail see https://www.himalayanart.org/items/90401

So, the lineage came to the 8th Karmapa from his teacher, the 1st Sangye Nyenpa who got it from the 7th Karmapa, Chodrag Gyamtso. The 8th Karmapa references the 7th Karmapa, Lodro Chenpo, at the end of the text as the source of his lineage.

The Text
8th Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje

The text is in the Collected Works of 8th Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje.  No information is given as to when or where he wrote it, other than in the ‘Summer house’ at Shedrub Ling.  Other White Tārā  practice texts used in the Karma Kagyu tradition are by Jamgon Kongtrul the Great[4] , the 5th Sharmapa (recently performed at the Kagyu Monlam in 2016, see here) and a recently translated text by 8th Tai Situpa, Chokyi Jungne[5].  Other White Tārā  texts by the Karmapas, such as the 14th[6], have yet to be translated into English, I hope to make more available in the near future.  This new addition to White Tārā  texts available in English will give practitioners another text to use in their daily practice, as well as preserve a Tārā  text written by one of the Karmapas and lineage holders.

Empowerments

The 17th Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje, has given several White Tārā  empowerments in India, Europe and North America.  The image on the front of this booklet was drawn by him and is one of several he has done.  I have received the White Tārā  empowerment several times from different masters including HH 17th Karmapa, HH 14th Dalai Lama, HE Thrangu Rinpoche, HE Gyaltsab Rinpoche and HE Schechen Rabjam Rinpoche.

May all beings attain Tārā  and I dedicate it to precious root guru, supreme head of Karma Kagyu, 17th Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje, may the Karmapas lineage and activities flourish and long-life, happiness and harmony prosper!

Translated, edited and compiled by Adele Tomlin. Copyright, all rights reserved. Chokhor Duchen (24th July 2020).

N.B. This sadhana should be practiced only by people who have received the appropriate empowerment, transmission, and instruction from a qualified guru.

For other translations and texts on Tārā, including a commentary on White Tārā by 10th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche, see here.

Footnotes

[1] mi bskyod rdo rje. “sgrol dkar yid bzhin ‘khor lo’i sgrub thabs mdor bsdus pa/.” In gsung ‘bum/_mi bskyod rdo rje. TBRC W8039. 17: 829 – 834. [lha sa]: [s.n.], [2004].

[2] This lineage is recited at the beginning of the White Tārā  Sadhana by Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye, see footnote below.

[3] Thrangu Rinpoche explains the lineage in his teaching on White Tārā , here http://www.rinpoche.com/teachings/whitetara.htm.

[4] For an English translation available for free download, see: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/50be4fefe4b0c82b6072c4ed/t/53691300e4b0b561109cff25/1399395072465/White_Tara_Sadhana+copy.pdf. Also here: http://namobuddhapub.org/files/practices/ThranguR-White_Tara_Practice-JKR.pdf

[5] Translated by Michele Martin (Dharmaebooks, 2019). To download a free copy, see https://dharmaebooks.org/the-daily-practice-of-white-tara/

[6] mkha’ khyab rdo rje. “jo lugs sgrol dkar bsnyen zin.” In gsung ‘bum/_mkha’ khyab rdo rje/ ?dpal spungs par ma/?. TBRC W22081. 10: 183 – 188. delhi: konchhog lhadrepa, 1993-94.

White Tārā by HH 17th Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje

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