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:
OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SARVA TRE DATU VASHAM KURU SVAHA
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.
Right leg extended and left bent, you trample,
Who totally destroys leaders of maras.
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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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.