Heroic Red Tara: First of the 21 Taras in the Surya Gupta Tradition — Video Visualization with Mantra Chanting Yoko Dharma

Heroic Red Tara, the first Tara of the 21 Taras, is “Tara who saves us from obstacles” in the Surya Gupta tradition, also known as Pravita Tara.

This is the first of 21 new mantra videos with mantras according to the Surya Gupta tradition. In this tradition, each Tara has Her own benefits, mantra and distinct visualization.

Announcement: There will also be a 21 Taras in 21 Weeks series of 21 videos with the streamed teachings that go along with the mantra. In the teachings, to be available on YouTube, Venerable Zasep Rinpoche will explain the benefits of each Tara, guide a meditation and visualization, and transmit “lung” and permission for the mantra. Information on the live events on Zoom, each Saturday through the summer are here>>

The mantra of the first Tara, Heroic Red Tara, is:



The mantra does not require permission, although it is more ‘effective’ to have “lung transmission” from an authorized teacher. (Lung will be transmitted at the live zoom events, link below.)

Her name in Sanskrit is Pravita Tara and Rabtupa We Drolma in Tibetan.

Chant along with the magnificent voice of Yoko Dharma, visualized with images from Thangka artist Angeli Lhadripa Shkonda. [For an interview and profile of this wonderful artist, see our feature>>]

Visualizing Heroic Red Tara

While chanting her mantra you can visualize her in front of you — you do not visualize yourself as Red Heroic Tara unless you have empowerment.

She is visualized as red — the nature of light — with one face and four sets of arms. From “Tara in the palm of Your Hand” by Venerable Zasep Rinpoche, she is visualized in this way (we substituted “My” for “Her” since without empowerment you should only visualize her in front of you.): “Her body is red in colour with one face and four pairs of arms. Her first two hands hold a vajra and bell and are joined at her crown to proclaim the Dharma in the mudra of great joy. The second pair holds and arrow and a bow. The third pair holds a Dharma wheel and conch. The fourth pair holds a wisdom sword and a noose. She has a peaceful expression.”

Information and mantra courtesy of Tara in the Palm of Your Hand (book) by Venerable Zasep Rinpoche, available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/099…

21 Taras for 21 fears, dangers, and obstacles

In the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, Tara is the Savioress, the Mother of the Buddhas. She has 21 famous forms, each with Her own mantra and visualization.

In the Surya Gupta tradition, each Tara has different attributes — colors, arms, expressions — symbolic of the fear and obstacle she helps us overcome.

21 Praises to Tara

In addition to her mantra, devotees of Tara chant the 21 praises of Tara daily [Full praise below.]

The verse dedicated to the first Tara in English is:

Homage to you, the Swift One, the Heroine,

Whose eyes are like an instant flash of lightning,

Who arose from the open corolla

Of the lotus face of the Lord of the Three Worlds.

Ven. Zasep Rinpoche also approved of a “verse” form of English for chanting (in equal beats per line):

Homage to You, the Swift One, the Heroine,

Your gaze is as quick as flashes of lightning

Who arose from the majestic Carolla

From the Lotus face of the Lord of Three Worlds.

Praise in Sanskrit

Namas Tare Ture vire

ksha nair dyuti nibhek shane

trail okya nat ha vak trab ja

vik a sat kesh a rob have

Full Praise to 21 Taras

Note: in equal beats per line for chanting. Buddha Weekly is currently producing a chanted musical version of this praise as a video.

1. Homage to You, the Swift One, the Heroine,
Your gaze is as quick as flashes of lightning
Who arose from the majestic carolla
From the Lotus face of the Lord of Three Worlds.
2. Homage to You with a face that resembles
The gathering of one hundred autumn full moons
And who with the brightness of stars by the thousands
Shines in a vast perfect light of resplendence.
3. Homage to You divine golden-blue Goddess
Whose hands are adorned by water-born lotus.
Embody Six Perfections: Giving, Patience
Ethics, Concentration, Vigor, and Wisdom
4. Homage to You who crowns Buddha’s ushnishas,
Whose victorious actions have no limit.
Who has attained ev’ry transcendent wisdom,
On whom the Bodhisattvas themselves rely.
5. Homage to You who with HUM and TUTTARA,
Fill all worlds of desire, direction, space.
Who with your feet press down on the Seven Worlds;
You subdue all beings under your power.
6. Homage to You praised by Indra and Agni,
Brahma, Vayu, Ishvara and all the gods
All the spirits, zombies, and the smell-eaters,
Even the Yakshas give praise in Your presence.
7. Homage to You who with the TRAY and PEY sounds,
Crush every magical wheel, evil forces,
Right leg extended and left bent, you trample,
You burn them completely in Your whirling fire.
8. Homage to You, TURE, the Boundless Fierce One,
Who totally destroys leaders of maras.
Whose lotus-like face forms furious wrinkles,
You annihilate foes without exception.
9. Homage to You whose fingers held at Your chest,
Displaying the mudra of the Three Jewels;
Beautiful swirling light in your precious hands
Dharma wheels connect every direction.
10. Homage to You, the majestic and joyful
With brilliant garlands of light around your crown
With the great clangor of laughter TUTTARA
Over power all the worlds and the maras.
11. Homage to You, endowed with the great power,
To draw assembly of worldly guardians.
The One who with the HUM of wrathful wrinkles
You rescue completely from all poverty.
12. Homage to You, who is crowned with crescent moon,
And whose ornaments so brilliantly sparkle.
Amitabha in front of your ushnisha,
Eternally radiating beams of light.
13. Homage to You, who dwell in garlands of flames
Engulfed in fire like the end of the aeon.
Right leg outstretched and left bent with blissful joy
Who with your power destroy all enemies.
14. Homage to You, striking the ground with your hand
And crushing the earth with your majestic foot.
With wrathful, wrinkled face and the sound of HUM
You fully subdue seven levels of worlds.
15. Homage to You, happy, virtuous and peaceful,
Who acts from eternal bliss of Nirvana.
And who with the pure sounds of OM and SVAHA,
Eliminates the most unwholesome Karmas!
16. Homage to You, who turns the Wheel of Dharma
For truly devoted, who love the teachings
Crushing enemies — all types of obstacles
with the Hum and the ten syllable mantra.
17. Homage to You with feet stamping and Ture
Whose essence is the sacred syllable Hum.
You cause Mount Meru, Mandhara and Vindhya
Making all three worlds to tremble and shake!
18. Homage to You, holding the moon in Your hand
Like a celestial ocean of nectar.
Sound of the PEY and the twice uttered TARA
You completely dispel every poison.
19. Homage to You on whom the devas rely
And also the lords of all the Gandharvas.
Your armor of joy, a radiant brightness,
You eliminate arguments and nightmares.
20. Homage to You, whose two eyes are shining bright,
Brilliant with light like the sun and the full moon.
Saying HARA twice and TUTTARE again
You clear and eliminate epidemics.
21. Homage to You whose pure Body, Speech and Mind
Are perfect with the strength and power of peace.
Suppressing Maras, Dons, Zombies and Yakshas
With the most exalted syllable TURE.



Buddha Weekly’s special section on Tara (over 30 features:) https://buddhaweekly.com/tara/

For more on the artist, see an interview on Buddha Weekly with her art featured: https://buddhaweekly.com/21-taras-sur…


Lee Kane

Author | Buddha Weekly

Lee Kane is the editor of Buddha Weekly, since 2007. His main focuses as a writer are mindfulness techniques, meditation, Dharma and Sutra commentaries, Buddhist practices, international perspectives and traditions, Vajrayana, Mahayana, Zen. He also covers various events.
Lee also contributes as a writer to various other online magazines and blogs.

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