Mandarava

Tib., man da ra ba

An 8th century princess of Zahor also known simply as the White Princess (Tib., lha lcam dkar mo), Mandarava was one of the five consorts who practiced and studied with Padmasambhava. In terms of historical time, Mandarava was actually the first of these five, chosen and initiated when she was 16 years old (a number symbolizing perfection).

In due course and by diligent practice, Mandarava attained a degree of mastery equal to that of her consort, a fact given expression in her honorary title of Machig Drupa Gyalmo (ma gcig grub pa'i rgyal mo), Singular Queen Mother of Attainment. Compassionate and loving by nature, she also saved the life of young Kalasiddhi - and helped her grow up - a girl who later became another of Padmasambhava's favorite ladies.

Her full name, Mandarava Flower (Tib., man da ra ba me tog), refers to one of the five mythical trees said to grow in Sukhavati (Pure Land, Paradise).

A biography of Mandarava has been published under the title The Lives and Liberation of Princess Mandarava.

Considering that a Mandarava is also known as one of the Gandharvis, the name appears to have been originally that of an Indian goddess.