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

Feature Contents

    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.


    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…

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    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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