Additional Materials & Reference
EXPLANATION FOR THE
TWENTY-ONE VERSES OF PROSTRATION AND PRAISE
BY VENERABLE GESHE DAMCHO YONTEN
These fall into three main sections.
1. Praising by means of the legends
associated with Tara.
2. Praising the symbolic aspects of her manifestations.
3. Praising her enlightened activity.
1. Praises in Reference to
Legend - Tara the Heroine
The homage is made to Tara, who was
born from the tears of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion,
embodiment of the mercy of all Buddhas, a protector of all beings in the realms
of desire, form and formlessness who arise as an 'I' based upon samsaric
It is said that once the Bodhisattva of
Compassion became dismayed on seeing that, even though he had striven with all
his might to free the sentient beings from samsara, the number of the beings
suffering in samsara was not significantly decreasing. He burst into tears and
from the pool that formed from the water issuing from the lotus eyes of the
Compassionate Bodhisattva there sprung forth a lotus. From the lotus appeared
Arya Tara, whose exquisite face embodies the delicacy of a million lotus
Thus the compassion of all Buddhas
emanated as a fountain of enlightened energy, Arya Tara, divinity of mystical
activity who turned to the Bodhisattva of Compassion and said "O noble one, I
offer myself in the service of freeing countless sentient beings from the cyclic
existence as quickly as possible. Shed no more tears. We shall work together to
turn the battle against samsara". Then a net of lights shone forth from her two
eyes and scanned the three realms of the world.
2. Praises in Reference to the Symbolic Aspects - The Twenty-One Taras
There are twenty-one different
Sambhogakaya manifestations of Tara, a feminine emanation of the primordial
Dharmakaya Buddha Amitabha.
Each form of Tara embodies a particular
aspect of compassion. Green Tara represents the active energetic aspect of
compassion, and she is the national protectress of Tibet, while White Tara, for
example, embodies the fertile, motherly aspect of compassion.
Verses in praise of Tara's symbolic
The verses in praise of the symbolic
attributes of Tara's being has two parts.
1. Praising the aspects of her
Beatific Form (Sambhogakaya)
2. Praising her Wisdom or Truth Body aspect (Dharmakaya)
Tara has two main types of Beatific Forms: Peaceful and Wrathful.
There are six verses in praise of
her Peaceful forms:
2. Tara of White Lustre
This verse describes the brilliance of the Beatific Form of enlightenment.
3. Tara of Golden Hue Her Hand Postures
Whose colour is blue tinged with a golden radiance. The finger of her left hand
holds the stem of a water born lotus, the flower of which has opened into bloom
beside her ear. This symbolises how Tara embodies the Ten Perfections.
4. Victorious Ushnisha Tara How Tara is
revered by Buddhas and Bodhisattvas
Because Tara is the mother of all the Buddhas they carry her upon the crowns of
their heads as an ushnisha. She symbolises the very forces that have the power
to gain total victory over negative events of this life as well as over the
obscurations of delusions and obscurations to omniscience.
The Bodhisattvas of the ten stages, who are completing the Ten Perfections must
also fully rely upon Tara for she embodies the utter fulfilment of the Ten.
5. Tara who Resounds the sound HUM How
she overcomes Disharmonious Conditions
The syllables TUTTARE and HUM that she utters, together with the syllable HUM at
her heart, symbolise the wisdom of emptiness combined with the great compassion.
With her two feet she presses down upon the seven realms of the world, thus
invoking all forces and placing them in joy.
The seven worlds refer to the three lower realms (hell creatures, ghosts and
animals) the realms of man and the desire gods and
the realms of the gods of form and
6. Totally Victorious Tara How Worldly
Gods Worship Her
Tara represents the beyond-samsara state to which even the great gods of the
universe still aspire.
7. Tara who destroys Negativity How
Tara crushes External Threats
Sitting in a peaceful posture, her right leg symbolises the wisdom of emptiness
and left great compassion. She presses upon the three realms of the world her
body blazing amidst darting flames. Although this is a peaceful emanation of
Tara, externally she is slightly wrathful. To symbolise this she sits in the
centre of a raging fire.
There are seven verses in praise of
Tara's wrathful Sambhogakaya forms:
8. Tara who Heralds Supreme Power
Tara's excellence in Removing Mara and the two obscurations
The great fearful one are the ferocious army of Maras. Her lotus face is marked
with lines of wrath and her manner is that of a wrathful Bodhisattva destroying
the enemies within: the obscurations of delusion, which obstruct the attainment
of liberation from samsara: and the obscurations to knowledge which obstruct the
attainment of omniscience. Tara practice destroys both of these obscurations
together with their seeds.
9. Tara of the Rosewood Forest The
symbols in Tara's two hands
Holding the stem of a lotus at her heart between the thumb and middle finger of
the left hand, her remaining three left fingers are stretched upward into the
mudra of the Three Jewels.
Her right hand, held in the mudra Supreme Generosity, is adorned by a wheel of
truth that radiates forth waves of light to outshine the lights of samsara.
10. Tara who Dispels Sorrow Praising
Tara's Crown and her Laugh
Her head-crown emanates a garland of lights to outshine all others. Laughing
with mantric laughter she utters TUTTARE, bringing all Maras and the eight great
gods of the world under her control.
11. Tara who Invokes How Tara practice
activates the ten direction Protectors
This practice invokes the protectors of the universe. These natural forces of
goodness spontaneously respond to the goodness generated by meditation upon
Tara. The wrathful lines on her face flicker and lights shine forth from the
syllable HUM at her heart, giving total liberation from all forms of sorrow such
as poverty and pain.
12. Tara of Auspicious Brilliance
Praising her head Ornaments
Tara's visible head ornament is a crescent moon, like that on the first day of
the month, radiant with the light that eliminates sorrow. On her hair-knot sits
Buddha Amitabha, who emanates a constant stream of light to fulfil the needs of
13. Tara who Bestows Maturity Tara's
Just as the fire at the end of time blazes with the heat of seven suns and
easily consumes the earth and stones of the world, the wisdom fires in which
Tara sits consume easily the myriads of delusions, the foes of the Trainees
joyously following a spiritual path.
14. Tara with Vibrant Lines of Wrath
The Syllable HUM which emanates light
Twitching the lines of wrath on her face. Stamping upon the earth in a ferocious
manner with her right foot. She holds her right hand in the threatening mudra
and emanates lights from the Syllable HUM at her heart, filling the seven
dimensions of the world with light and bringing them under her power.
15. Tara of Virtuous and Creative
Serenity Praising Tara's Dharmakaya Aspect
This verse is in praise of the mind and speech factors of Tara's Dharmakaya
16. Tara Destroying of Grasping The
Peaceful and Wrathful Mantras
The ten syllable mantra refers to the root mantra OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SOHA. HUM
indicates the wrathful mantra - OM NAMA TARE NAME HARE HUM HARA SVAHA. By the
power of these two mantras one destroys the enemies of liberation - grasping at
a self within and clinging to substantial existence in the external world.
17. Tara who Produces Bliss How Tara
shakes the three worlds
From the transformation of the primordial sound HUM appears TURE, whose pounding
feet cause everything in the external world to tremble and shake.
18. Totally Victorious Tara How Tara
eliminates the effects of Poison
The hare-marked moon like the celestial ocean symbolises the power to eliminate
the poisonous effects of delusions and mental distortions from within the mind.
Through the power of reciting TARA twice and also the mantric syllable PHAT,
even external poisons are overcome.
19. Tara who consumes sorrow How Tara
eliminates disputes and nightmares
Indra of the desire gods, Brahma of the realm of form, leaders of the spirit
worlds and all kings of the gods and celestial beings bow their heads to Tara.
20. Tara Source of Siddhi How Tara
Her right eye fierce like the sun, her left gentle like the moon, she radiates
dazzling bright beams of light.
By reciting the wrathful mantra HARA twice and also the peaceful mantra TUTTARE,
the most powerful illness is overcome.
21. Tara who brings Complete Perfection
How Tara overcomes ghosts and evil spirits
Tara's three natures, of her body, speech and mind, appear respectively as the
letters OM at her crown, AH at her throat and HUM at her heart. These possess
the strength to pacify the delusions within as well as external poisons. The
most exalted TURE refers to TARA herself.
3. Praises in Reference to
Enlightened Activity - Green Tara Visualisation
Tara represents the entire range of
virtuous and enlightened activity and is therefore said to be the mother of the
buddhas of the past, present and future - an attribute symbolised by the utpala
fruit, flower and bud she holds in her left hand. The gesture of her left hand
symbolises refuge while her right hand is in the mudra of giving highest
happiness. She sits in royal posture on a white moon-disc resting on a lotus
blossom. Her left leg is drawn upwards while her right foot rests upon a small
lotus pedestal, showing that she abides both in samsara and nirvana. Tara wears
the five silk robes and six ornaments, and in her tiara she bears and image of
Amitabha. She is accompanied by the twenty-one forms of herself, 20 of whom
float in the sky above her on rainbows and lotuses, while her other main form,
White Tara, is found below.
Tara Image of the Nyingma Lineage
Prayers to Holy Tara
In Buddha, Dharma and
the most excellent Community I take refuge until enlightenment
is reached; through giving and other good deeds, may I attain Buddhahood for the
of all living beings.
(Recite 3 times)
Homage to Tara:
The crowns of gods and
demigods are bowed to Her two lotus feet; I prostrate to the
Mother Tara, the saviouress from all poverty.
Praise to Tara:
OM, prostrations to the
Blessed One, the goddess Tara, Prostrations to Tara, TARE,
the Brave One; All fears are dispelled by TUTTARE TURE - she bestows all
and along with SVAHA I bow.
(Recite 1, 2, 3, 7 or 21
OM TARE TUTTARE TURE
(Recite 7, 21 or 100 times
or as many as possible)
Listen to the Mantra in
RealOne Player (30 Sec.)
(Recite 21 or 100 times or
as many as possible)
Request for blessings:
Arya Tara, please take
heed of me. Having allayed all of my misfortunes, please bless me
to attain spontaneously and effortlessly favourable conditions and all hoped for
Dedication of merits:
By the merit of this prayer,
may I and all living beings be happy and be free from
sufferings and unfavourable conditions, may we temporarily accomplish all of our
aims and wishes and ultimately attain the stage of Buddhahood.
Ancient Tibetan Thangka (Karsha Monastery, Sangskar, Tibet)
Clockwise from upper left: Sakyamuni, Tsongkapa (Founder of Gelukpa sect),
Tara, & Sadaksari Avalokiteshvara (this 4-armed form is incarnate in the Dalai
Tara's Names & Attributes
1. The Swift Heroine (Nyur.ma.pa.mo). To pacify
hindrances and develop bodhicitta
2. Saraswati (Yang.chen.ma) White Tara
"The Great Pacifier" (of kleshas: negative obscurations.)
3. The Giver of Supreme Virtue (Sö.nam.chog.ter.ma)
"Tara who Increases."
4. The All-Victorious (Nam.gyal.ma) "Tara of the
5. The Giver of Intelligence (Rig.je.ma) "Tara
Resonating With HUM."
6. The Terrifier (Jig.je.ma) "Tara Victorious
Over the Three Worlds."
7. The Invincible (Shen.gyi.mi.tub.ma) "Tara Who
Crushes the Forces of Others."
8. The Conqueror of Others (Shen.le.nam.par.gyal.ma)
"Tara Pulverizer of the Maras."
9. The Saviour of the Scented Forest (Jig.ten.sum.la.gyal.ma)
"Tara Embodiment of the Three Jewels."
10. The Conqueror of the Three Worldly Realms (Jig.ten.sum.la.gyal.ma)
"The Great Subduer."
11. The Giver of Wealth (Nor.ter.ma) "Tara
Eliminator of Poverty."
12. The Auspicious (Ta.shi.dön.je.ma) "Tara
Bestower of Auspicious Conditions."
13. The Destroyer of Opposing Forces (Da.pung.som.ze.ma)
"Tara Blazing in Flames."
14. The Wrathful (To.nyer.chen) "Tara of
15. The Very Peaceful (Rab.shi.ma) Also [2.]
"The Great Pacifier."
16. The Blazing Light (Bar.wä.od.chen.ma) "Tara
Who Saves by Means of HUM."
17. The Subduer of Countless Harmful Forces (Pag.me.nön.ma)
"Tara Trembler of the Three Worlds."
18. The Peahen (Ma.ja.ma) "Tara Who Eliminates
19. The Invincible Queen (Mi.pam.gyal.ma) "Tara
Eliminator of Conflicts and Bad Dreams."
20. The Mountain-dwelling Mendicant (Ri.tö.ma)
"Tara Eliminator of Diseases."
21. Rays of Light (Öd.zer.chen.ma) "Tara
Accomplisher of All Enlightened Activities."
Mantras of the 21 Taras
Mantras for specific purposes - Calling upon the Taras
1. OM TARE
TUTARE TURE SOHA
The Green Tara – Goddess of Goddesses - The source of the other 20 emanations
2. OM BANZA TARE
SARVA BIGANEN SHINDHAM KURU SOHA
The Tara who averts disasters
OM TARE TUTARE TURE MAMA SARVA LAM LAM BHAM DZALA BHAYA SHINDHAMKURU SOHA
The Tara who
averts earth-born calamities
OM TARE TUTARE TURE MAMA SARVA BHAM BHAM DZALA BHAYA SHINDHAM KURU SOHA
Tara who averts
destruction wrought by water
OM TARE TUTARE TURE MAMA SARVA RAM RAM DZALA BHAYA SHINDHAM KURU SOHA
The Tara who averts destruction wrought by fire
OM TARE TUTARE TURE MAMA SARVA YAM YAM DZALA BHAYA SHINDHAM KURU SOHA
The Tara who averts destruction wrought by wind
OM RATANA TARE SARVA LOKA JANA PITEYA
DARA DARA DIRI DIRI SHENG SHENG DZA DZAANJIA NA
BU SHENG KURU UM
The Tara who
OM TARE TUTARE TURE MAMA SARVA EH EH MAHA HANA BHAYA SHINDHAM KURU SOHA
The Tara who averts heaven-born calamities
OM TARE TUTARE TURE MAMA SARVA DIK DIK DIKSHENA RAKSHA RAKSHA KURU SOHA
The Tara who averts destruction caused by armies
OM TARE TUTARE TURE MAMA SARVA RANDZA DUSHEN DRODA SHINDHAM KURU SOHA
The Tara who
averts hell-born calamities
OM TARE TUTARE TURE MAMA SARVA DZORA BENDA BENDA DRKTUM SOHA
The Tara who averts evil caused by robbers
OM BEMA TARE SENDARA HRI SARVA LOKA WASHUM KURU HO
The Tara who increases power
OM TARE TUTARE TURE SARVA DUSHING BIKANEN BHAM PEH SOHA
Tara who averts evil caused by demons
OM TARE TUTARE TURE SARVA HAM HAM DUSHING HANA HANA DRASAYA PEH SOHA
The Tara who averts evil effecting cattle
OM TARE TUTARE TURE SARVA HEH HEH DZALEH DZALEH BENDA PEH SOHA
Tara who averts evil caused by wild beasts
OM TARE TUTARE TURE SARVA DIKSHA DZALA YAHA RAHA RA PEH SOHA
Tara who averts the evil effects of poison
OM GARMA TARE SARWA SHATDRUM BIGANEN MARA SEHNA
HA HA HEH HEH HO HO HUNG HUNG BINDA BINDA PEH
Tara who subdues
18. OM TARE TUTARE
TURE SARVA DZARA SARVA DHUKKA BRASHA MANAYA PEH SOHA
Tara who heals sickness
OM TARE TUTARE TURE BRAJA AYIU SHEI SOHA
Tara who bestows
OM TARE TUTARE TURE DZAMBEH MOHEH DANA METI SHRI SOHA
Tara who bestows prosperity
OM TARE TUTARE TURE SARVA ATA SIDDHI SIDDHI KURU SOHA
The wish fulfilling Tara
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