Ushnisha Sitataputra, better known as the White Umbrella Goddess, is one of the female manifestations of Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. It should be noted that Ushnisha Sitataputra, although she has similar traits with Kuan Yin, is not Kuan Yin. Kuan Yin is literally Avalokitesvara as female Bodhisattva. To understand this better I suggest you read my earlier post entitled – UNDERSTANDING MERCY AND COMPASSION: THE TRANSFORMATION OF AVALOKITESVARA TO KUAN YIN.
However, Ushnisha Sitataputra is a female manifestation of Avalokitesvara, the difference is Kuan Yin has retained all the exact character traits of Avalokitesvara, while a Ushnisha Sitataputra or The While Umbrella Goddess serves a slightly different purpose.
Ushnisha Sitataputra directly translates as the ‘The Victorious Goddess of White Parasol’, and she does signify victory over all harm and danger, especially those of supernatural causes. According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, reciting the mantra of Ushnisha Sitataputra will help illnesses, bring auspicious luck, prevent harm from happening, and drive away evil and negative energies. The Tibetan Buddhists regard Ushnisha Sitataputra or The White Umbrella Goddess as one of the most powerful deity.
The famous image of Ushnisha Sitataputra is the one where has a thousand face, thousand arms, and a thousand legs. Each of the face has three eyes, and she also has one eye in each of the palm of her hands and sole of her feet. This is to represent that she watches and protects all sentient beings. Her body as in her central faces glows in white, her right faces are yellow, her rear faces are red, and green is the color of her faces on her left. At the top of her head is another tier of blue faces. Her right hands hold the Dharma chakra, while her left hands hold arrows. She also has a white parasol on her left, which symbolizes the blessing of protection. This particular image of The White Umbrella Goddess can be likened to the Thousand-Hand Kuan Yin or Thousand Hand Avalokitesvara.
In this subdued image of Ushnisha Sitataputra, she has 7 eyes, very much like the White Tara. Also white in color, she has one face with three eyes, two hands with one eye each on each palm, and 2 legs with one eye each on each sole. Her right hand is in the mudra of supreme generosity and also holds a Dharma chakra, while on her left she holds the famous White Parasol or White Umbrella of protection. However, in this version, the parasol is adorned with various jewel and ornaments.