Mother Tara’s many-armed protective embrace: 21 Taras according to Surya Gupta — with 8 videos and mantras and stunning art

Feature Contents

    There’s something very precious and special about Tara, the protective Mother, adored by millions around the world. Her energy is, at its root, wisdom — the female Enlightened Buddha.

    Tara is as approachable as our own mothers. She embodies the same protective traits, but not just protector: like a mother, she is teacher (usually our mothers teach us our first words), fierce motivator (taking out the garbage and chores), nurturer (always patient with us as we grow and learn.) Like a mother she never judges us: her practice assures us both temporal benefits (helping us in our mundane, daily lives) and profound ultimate benefits — the path to realizations and Buddhahood.


    Special Feature: Includes 7 Videos of the individual Taras with Her Mantra chanted by Yoko Dharma! Plus a Video of the 21 Praises to Tara according to Surya Gupta. Each Tara is illustrated with two styles of art: A traditional style by Niels Petersen (Videos 3,4,5,7) and a modern style by the master artist V.V.Sapar (video 6 and in these feature images). Beautiful art from Angeli Lhadripa Shkonda in videos 1 and 2.


    Tara, like our own mothers, doesn’t judge us. And, like our mothers, she can wear many faces (sometimes the stern disciplinarian, other times, the embracing mother). In this way the 21 Taras visualization, based on the Mahasiddha Surya Gupta, is very special. Each of the 21 Taras has a unique name and praise, mantra, and sadhana, with deeply profound symbolism, attributes and practices.

    “Tara is without a doubt the most beloved female deity in Tibetan Buddhism, revered for her swiftness in helping those who rely on her. She has been described as a Buddha for our modern age, a sublime personification of compassion and wisdom in female form at a time when sorrow and suffering seem to be increasing everywhere. Of all the Buddhas, Tara is the most accessible.” — H.E. Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche, from Tara in the Palm of Your Hand. [1]

    The wondrous Surya Gupta 21 Taras

    In this feature, we cover the 21 Taras according to the Mahasiddha Surya Gupta’s rich system, where each of the 21 Taras has a unique name and praise, with deeply profound symbolism, attributes, and practices.

    A beautifully chanted PRAISE TO 21 TARAS ACCORDING TO SURYA GUPTA produced by Buddha Weekly as a video, with art from VV Sapar and Ben Christian:

     

    [To get a sense of this wondrous system, scroll down the page and view the many individual Tara images. IN PART 1 of this series, we cover the first seven Surya Gupta system Taras. Here is PART 2 for the next seven>>.]

    [NOTE: Individual Tara images illustrated here are by the illustrious artist V.V. Sapar [See our feature interview with V.V. Sapar here>>] commissioned and directed by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, out of generosity, makes these wonderful high resolution images available for free download on the Khyentse Foundation website>>]

     

    Buddha Weekly 21 Tar surya Gupta beautiful image all together Buddhism
    The 21 Taras according to the instructions of Tara herself to Surya Gupta appear in different forms, with many arms, poses and symbols, representing all of her Divine activities. Usually, they are so detailed, each of the Taras has Her own Thangka, although occassionally, as here, you see them together. On the top centre is Amitabha Buddha, Tara’s own guru.

     

    Starting the day right: with Praise to the 21 Taras

    Before their first cup of tea (or coffee, in the west), millions of people around the world start their day with the Praises to the 21 Taras. [Full text of the praises in English and Tibetan below.] Tara is the embodiment of motherly protection, an ideal way to start the day, nostalgically reminding us of our childhood mothers sending us off to school.

    Buddha Weekly Meditation older lady hands mala BuddhismThe flavour and approachability of Tara practice is expressed beautifully by Venerable Zasep Rinpoche:

    “Every night, my grandmother recited the mantras of Tara and the other Buddhas until she fell asleep. In the yurt was a small altar on which there were statues of Tara and other Buddhas; a butter lamp on the altar flickered comfortingly. When I would wake up during the night, I would see the statues illuminated by the soft light of the butter lamp; I would feel so protected by Tara, the other Buddhas, and my grandmother’s prayers.” [3]

    Chanted in many languages, but especially rythmic and beautiful in Tibetan — where each Tara’s praise is chanted in four lines of eight syllables each — the main differences in practice are in the visualizations of the Taras. Yet, the 21 Taras can be much more than a beautiful praise to start out day. The Surya Gupta tradition, especially — where each of the 21 Taras is distinctly different — is a profound practice, with Sadhanas and Mantras for each of the Taras.

    There are at least four 21 Tara traditions, although the two best known are the 21 Taras according to Atisha tradition, and the earlier — but more complex — 21 Taras according to the great Mahasiddha Surya Gupta. Visualizing and practicing in the Atisha tradition is certainly easier, with the main variant being color and some expressions. No empowerment is required. Practice is very simplified.

     

    Why practice 21 aspects of Tara?

    Buddha Weekly 21 Taras Surya Gupta Buddhism
    Thangka depicting Mother Tara and the 21 Taras according to the Surya Gupta tradition.

    There are many aspects of Tara, including profound emanations “like Vajrayogini, Kurukulle, Machig Labdron, and Palden Lhamo…” H.E. Zasep Rinpoche explains why we honour different aspects:

    “This is similar to one person performing many roles, such as being a musician, an athlete, a mother and a wife, and having different personal characteristics such as being artistic, kind, humorous, and clever. While they vary in the details of their appearance and their activity, all the Taras have in common the energy, compassion, and wisdom to free sentient beings beyond number from their suffering.” [1]

     

    According to Mahasiddha Surya Gupta’s practice, “each of the twenty-one Taras holds different implements. They may also assume different postures, some sitting, some standing, and may have more than one head and several pairs of arms.”

    Rinpoche also answer a question often asked by students: “The twenty-one praises may be recited in Tibetan, English or any other language. It does not matter. Languages have no inherent existence; no one language is inherently superior to any other.” [1]

     

    Buddha Weekly Inside pages of amazon book Buddhism
    Typical inside spread of Tara in the palm of your hand, here showing the visualization of the 10th Tara, “Tara Who Dispels All Suffering” (original illustration) with accompanying “rite purpose”, visualization, seed syllable, praise and special mantra. The book is available on Amazon (see below.)

     

    21 Taras according to Surya Gupta is a profound practice

    The earlier practices of Surya Gupta’s 21 Taras is considered more profound, not just be virtue of complexity, but on the strength of deeply meaningful symbolism. The same 21 Taras transform into many forms, with numerous attributes. As with other deities, she can be wrathful, semi-wrathful, peaceful.

     

     

     

    Buddha Weekly Tara in the Palm of Your Hand Zasep Tulku Rinpoche Buddhism
    Venerable Zasep Rinpoche teaching at a Tara weekend using the commentary book, Tara in the Palm of Your Hand, as a reference. As an Amazon Associate, Buddha Weekly may earn from qualifying purchases.

     

    Zasep Rinpoche described the practice as “more advanced… like a higher Tantra”, although it is actually a Kriya Trantra, approachable to all:

    “The Mahasiddha Surya Gupta lineage of the twenty-one Taras is quite different from the Atisha lineage in that each of the twenty-one Taras is very distinctive in appearance and attributes and each Tara has her own sadhana. Although technically the practice of the twenty-one Taras is Kriya Tantra, it feels more advanced, with the sadhanas reading more like sadhanas from a higher level Tantra. Of course, in a sense, our experience of any Tara sadhana practice depends on the state of our mind and our degree of realization.” [4]

     

    Mahasidda Surya Gupta

    According to Thomas Roth: “According to Tāranātha, Sūrya-Gupta was born in present day Kashmir. A Mahāsiddha who practiced and accomplished Tārā for seven consecutive lifetimes, he was a contemporary of such masters as Śantideva, Candrakīrti, and Candragomin, another important master in the various transmission lineages of the Tārā tantras and practices.” [5]

    Buddha Weekly Surya Gupta Thangka 21 Taras Buddhism
    The Mahasiddha Surya Gupta and Taras.

     

    Suryagupta, one of the great Eighty-four Mahasiddas (7th/8th century) had countless visions of glorious Mother Tara. She so cherished the great master — also known as Ravigupta or “Nyi ma be pa” in Tibetan — that she first cured him of leprosy. (As recorded by the Indian scholar Vajrasana of Bodhgaya in the 11th century). [1]

    Interestingly, even though Tara instantly cured him of Leprosy, she left one tiny sore on his forehead. When he asked her why, she replied:

    “Formerly you were born as a hunter, killed animals and in the end set fire to a forest. In consequence of this, you were reborn in Hell and this is your last rebirth of the 500 rebirths in Hell, and saying so, she bestowed on him the sadhana, accompanied by a stotra. The Tara said with their help, one may perform any kind of magic rite. I shall grant you miraculous powers (siddhi).” [1]

     

    What’s in a praise and a name: everything, and nothing

    Her name carries resounding power in our mindstreams on one level. Ultimately, like all names, it is an empty label.

    Her name translates from the Tibetan as “Venerable Tara, Supreme Mother, the Liberator” from the praise to Tara:

    OM.je.tsun.ma.pag.ma.drol.ma.la.chag.tsal.lo

    • Je — “Je means venerable protector, so Tara is the most precious protector of all sentient beings.” [2]
    • Tsun.ma — “In colloquial Tibetan, tsun.ma means nun and indicates a woman who has pure morality.” [2]
    • Pag — translates as “Supreme”
    • Ma — means “Mother”

    Buddha Weekly Green Tara Chittamani Tara Ben Christian Jampay Dorje Buddhism
    The face of the glorious Buddha Tara in her Green Chittamani form by Ben Christian (Jampay Dorje) For Tara prints, his gallery on Dakini as Art is here>>.

     

    Tara’s Main Name Praise

    OM.je.tsun.ma.pag.ma.drol.ma.la.chag.tsal.lo

    OM, Homage to Venerable

    Tara, the Liberator

     

    21 Taras according to Surya Gupta

    The practice of 21 Taras according to the great Mahasiddha Surya Gupta, requires intense visualization. The praises are the same as in the later Atisha system. As with all 21 Tara practices, the devotee can simply chant the praise each morning and let the faith grow over time as Tara helps us day-to-day.

    The real practice is properly taught by a teacher or in Tantras, mostly in Tibetan. Some pratitioners choose to do a Tara Sadhana a day for 21 days. On retreat, of course, all 21 sadhanas would be performed. For a specific need, for example, for help with infectious disease (Hint: Tara 2), the Sadhana of the most aligned aspect of Tara might be performed.

    Clearly, it is a more involved practice of Tara, since each aspect, in the Surya Gupta method has:

    • Her own self-generation (or front generation if you don’t have empowerment)
    • Her own rite and powers (aspect or specialty)
    • Her own Sadhana
    • Her own special mantra (video of mantra chanting and image for each Tara is below) anyone may chant Tara mantras, even without empowerment, however it is considered more effective and profound if you have “lung” transmission of the mantra.
    • Her own appearance and attributes
    • Only the praise and name of the 21 Taras is comparable betwen the Atisha method more commonly practiced, and the older Surya Gupta tradition.

    Here, in this feature, there is only space for a brief description and praise, and we’ll include some images to give you a sense of this wonderful and powerful practice.

    The only book with full English sadhanas and mantras and modern-day illustrations of the Taras is the wonderful book by H.E. Zasep Rinpoche, Tara in the Palm of Your Hand. [For a book review, please see here>>]

    Note: For names, we’ve numbered with English translation, per Tara in the Palm of Your Hand. Below that are the Sanskrit name followed by the Tibetan name.


    Tara 1 Heroic Red Tara

    Pravita Tara / Rabtupa We Drolma

     

    Buddha Weekly 01 Arya ture vira tara Buddhism
    Tara 1 Heroic Red Tara: Pravita Tara / Rabtupa We Drolma. Painting by V.V. Sapar.

     

    Attributes of Heroic Red Tara
    • Power or Rite: turning back the power of others.
    • Seed syllable OM
    • Colour: red
    • Number of arms: four
    • Peaceful or wrathful: peaceful
    Mantra of Heroic Red Tara

    OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SARVA TRE DATU VASHAM KURU SOHA

    For pronunciation, or to chant along, play the embedded video below.

    Video of Heroic Red Tara visualized with Tara’s first mantra chanted by Yoko Dharma:

     

     

    Praise to Heroic Red Tara

    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.


     

    Tara 2 Moonlight White Tara

    Chandra Kanti Tara / Karmo a Dang Ge Drolma

     

    Buddha Weekly 2 Arya shukla kanta tara Buddhism
    Tara 2 Moonlight White Tara: Chandra Kanti Tara / Karmo a Dang Ge Drolma by V.V. Sapar

     

    Attributes of Moonlight White Tara
    • Power or Rite: calming infectious disease.
    • Seed syllable TAM
    • Colour: white
    • Number of arms: twelve
    • Peaceful or wrathful: peaceful
    Mantra of Moonlight White Tara

    OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SARVA PAPAM SHIN TEM KURU SOHA

    For pronunciation, or to chant along, play the embedded video below.

    Video of Moonlight White Tara visualized with Tara’s first mantra chanted by Yoko Dharma:

    Praise to Moonlight White Tara

    Homage to you whose face is like one hundred autumn moons

    Completely full, and gathered into one,

    Radiating a great and distinguished light,

    Superior to the gathering of a thousand stars.


    Tara 3 Golden Color Tara

    Kanaka Vana Tara / Ser Mo Serdok Chen Ge Drolma

     

     

    Buddha Weekly 3 Arya kanaka varna tara Buddhism
    Tara 3 Golden Color Tara: Kanaka Vana Tara / Ser Mo Serdok Chen Ge Drolma. Painting by V.V. Sapar

     

    Attributes of Golden Color Tara
    • Power or Rite: prolonging life.
    • Seed syllable RE
    • Colour: golden (bluish)
    • Number of arms: ten
    • Peaceful or wrathful: peaceful
    Mantra of Golden Color Tara

    OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SARVA AYU PUNYE PUSH TEM KURU SOHA

    For pronunciation, or to chant along, play the embedded video below.

    Video of Golden Color Tara visualized with Tara’s first mantra chanted by Yoko Dharma:

     

     

    Praise of Golden Color Tara

    Homage to you who are golden blue,

    Whose hands are beautifully decorated with a water-born lotus;

    Who embody the Six Perfections of giving, moral discipline,

    Patience, perseverance, concentration, and wisdom.


    Tara 4 Golden Tara of Crown Victorious

    Usnisa Vijaya Tara / Tsug Tor Nam Pal Gyal We Drolma

     

    Buddha Weekly 4 Arya tathagatoshnishi tara Buddhism
    Tara 4 Golden Tara of Crown Victorious: Usnisa Vijaya Tara / Tsug Tor Nam Pal Gyal We Drolma. Painting by V.V. Sapar
    Attributes Golden Tara of Crown Victorious
    • Power or Rite: neutralizing lethal poisons.
    • Seed syllable TUTA
    • Colour: golden
    • Number of arms: four
    • Peaceful or wrathful: peaceful
    Mantra of Golden Tara of Crown Victorious

    OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SARVA AYU GHANA PUSH TEM KURU SVAHA

    For pronunciation, or to chant along, play the embedded video below.

    Video of Golden Tara of Crown Victorious visualized with Tara’s first mantra chanted by Yoko Dharma:

     

     

    Praise to Golden Colour Tara

    Homage to you, who crown the Buddhas’ ushnishas,

    Whose victorious actions are without limit,

    Who have attained all transcendental wisdoms without exception,

    And on whom the Bodhisattvas themselves rely.


    Tara 5 Tara Proclaiming the Sound of HUM

    Hum Svara Nadini Tara / HUM Dra Dolpi Drolma

     

    Buddha Weekly 5 Arya humkara nadini tara Buddhism
    Tara 5 Tara Proclaiming the Sound of HUM: Hum Svara Nadini Tara / HUM Dra Dolpi Drolma. Painting by V.V. Sapar.

     

    Attributes of Tara Proclaiming the Sound of HUM
    • Power or Rite: subjugating.
    • Seed syllable TA
    • Colour: yellow
    • Number of arms: two
    • Peaceful or wrathful: peaceful
    Mantra of Proclaiming the Sound of HUM

    OM TARE TUTTARE TURE AKAR SHA YA HRI SOHA

    For pronunciation, or to chant along, play the embedded video below.

    Video of Proclaiming the Sound of Hum visualized with Tara’s first mantra chanted by Yoko Dharma:

     

     

    Praise

    Homage to you, who, uttering TUTTARE and HUM,

    Fill the worlds of desire, direction, and space,

    Who with your feet press down the seven worlds,

    And who by your power draw all beings without exception.


    Tara 6 Tara Victorious over the Three Levels of the World

    Trai Lokya Vijaya Tara / Jig Ten Sum Lay Nam Par Gyal We Drolma

     

    Buddha Weekly 6 Arya trailokya vijaya tara Buddhism
    Tara 6 Tara Victorious over the Three Levels of the World: Trai Lokya Vijaya Tara / Jig Ten Sum Lay Nam Par Gyal We Drolma. Painting by V.V. Sapar.

     

    Attributes of Tara Victorious
    • Power or Rite: purification of all obscurations and negativities.
    • Seed syllable RE
    • Colour: ruby red
    • Number of arms: four
    • Peaceful or wrathful: peaceful

     

    Mantra of Tara Victorious

    OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SARVA BE GHAN NA SHA TRUM UTSA TRA YA SOHA

    For pronunciation, or to chant along, play the embedded video below.

    Video of Tara Victorious over the Three Levels of Worlds visualized with Tara’s first mantra chanted by Yoko Dharma:

     

     

    Praise

    Homage to you to whom Indra, Agni,

    Brahma, Vayu, Ishvara and the other gods offer prayers,

    And who are praised by spirits, zombies,

    Smell eaters and Yakshas.


    Tara 7 Tara Who Crushes Adversaries

    Vadi Pramardani Tara / Golwa Jompi Drolma

     

    Buddha Weekly 7 Tara Surya Gupta high res Buddhism
    Tara 7 Tara Who Crushes Adversaries: Vadi Pramardani Tara / Golwa Jompi Drolma. Painting by V.V. Sapar.

     

    Attributes of Tara Who Crushes Adversaries
    • Power or Rite: The transference of consciousness to the Akanistha Pureland at time of death; destroyer of adversaries.
    • Seed syllable TU
    • Colour: ruby black
    • Number of arms: four
    • Peaceful or wrathful: wrathful

     

    Mantra of Tara Who Crushes Adversaries

    OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SARVA BEYA AVA RA NAM YE SOHA

    For pronunciation, or to chant along, play the embedded video below.

    Video of Tara Who Crushes Adversaries visualized with Tara’s first mantra chanted by Yoko Dharma:

     

     

    Praise of Tara Who Crushes Adversaries

    Homage to you who with the mantras TRA and PHAT

    Completely destroy all the magic wheels,

    Crushing them with your right leg bent and your left stretched out,

    Burning them completely in a blazing whirl of fire.

     


     

    For the full Praise — the same praise for any system of 21 Taras — see below with both Sanskrit and English Translated versions. Many teachers recommend this as a daily chant/meditation.


    For those looking for the book details referenced above:

    Book Details

    • Paperback: 176 pages
    • Publisher: Wind Horse Press (January 3, 2013)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0992055407
    • ISBN-13: 978-0992055400
    Books by Venerable Zasep Rinpoche

    As an Amazon Associate, Buddha Weekly may earn from qualifying purchases.


     21 Praises

    Around the world, many people begin and end their day with Tara’s twenty-one praises. This practice has been credited with many benefits, including protection from harm, prosperity, and swift progress on the path of enlightenment.

    It can be beneficial to chant this in the world’s oldest known language—Sanskrit. The nuances of this practice, the originating sounds, is similar to mantra practice. In Sanskrit:

    Om namah spukasam namah Taraye mi Tara

    1 Namas Tare Ture vire

    kshanair dyuti nibhekshane

    trailokya nat ha vaktrabja

    vikasat kesharobhave

     

    2 Namah shata sharac chandra

    sampurna patalanane

    Tara sahasra nikara

    prahasat kira noj jvale

     

    3 Namah kanaka nilabja

    pani padma vibhu shite

    dana virya tapah shanti

    titik sha dhyana gochare

     

    4 Namas tat hagatosh nisha

    vijayananta charini

    ashesha paramita prapta

    jina putra nishevite

     

    5 Namas Tuttara Hum kara

    puritasha dig antare

    sapta loka kramakranti

    asheshak arshanak shame

     

    6 Namah shakranala Brahma

    marud vishvesh varachite

    bhuta vetala gand harva

    gana yaksha puras krte

     

    7 Namas trad iti phat kara

    para yantra pramardani

    praty alid ha pada nyase

    shik hi jvalakulek shane

     

    8 Namas Ture maha ghore

    mara vira vinashani

    bhrku ti krta vaktrabja

    sarva shatrum nishudani

     

    9 Namas tri ratna mudranka

    hrdyanguli vibhushite

    bhu shitashesha dik chakra

    nikara sva Karakule

     

    10 Namah pramudita topa

    muku ta kshipta malini

    hasat prahasat Tuttare

    mara loka vashamkari

     

    11 Namah samanta bhu pala

    patalakarshana kshame

    chalat bhrku ti hum kara

    sarvapada vimoch ani

     

    12 Namah shikhanda kandendu

    muku tabha ranojjvale

    Amitabha jata bhara

    bhasvare kirana dhruve

     

    13 Namah kalpanta hutabhug

    jvala malan Tara sthite

    alidha muditabandha

    ripu chakra vinashani

     

    14 Namah kara talaghata

    charana hata bhu tale

    bhrkuti krta Hum kara

    sapta patala bhedini

     

    15 Namah shive shubhe shante

    shanta nirvana gochare

    svaha pranava samyukte

    maha papaka na shani

     

    16 Namah pramudi tabandha

    ripu gatra vabhedini

    dashakshara pada nyashe

    vidya Hum kara dipite

     

    17 Namas Ture pada ghata

    Hum karakara bijite

    meru mandara kailasa

    bhuvana traya chalini

     

    18 Namah sura sarakara

    harinika karast hite

    Tara dvir ukta Phat kara

    ashesha visha nashani

     

    19 Namah sura ganadh yaksha

    sura kimnara sevite

    abandha mudita bhoga

    kali duhs vapna nashani

     

    20 Namah chandrarka sampurna

    nayana dyuti bhas vare

    hara dvir ukta Tuttare

    vishama jvara nashani

     

    21 Namas tri tattva vinyasa

    shiva shakti saman vite

    graha vetala yakshaugha

    nashani pravare Ture

     

    21 Praises to Tara in English

    The praises do lose some of the “mystery” and intensity and sheer sound-power in English, but the intention and praise is maintained. Many people chant the praise in English:

    1 Homage to you, Tara, the swift heroine,

    Whose eyes are like an instant flash of lightning,

    Whose water-born face arises from the blooming lotus

    Of Avalokiteshvara, protector of the three worlds.

     

    2 Homage to you, Tara, whose face is like

    One hundred full autumn moons gathered together,

    Blazing with the expanding light

    Of a thousand stars assembled.

     

    3 Homage to you, Tara, born from a golden-blue lotus,

    Whose hands are beautifully adorned with lotus flowers,

    You who are the embodiment of giving, joyous effort, asceticism,

    Pacification, patience, concentration, and all objects of practice.

     

    4 Homage to you, Tara, the crown pinnacle of those thus gone,

    Whose deeds overcome infinite evils,

    Who have attained transcendent perfections without exception,

    And upon whom the sons of the Victorious Ones rely.

     

    5 Homage to you, Tara, who with the letters TUTTARA and HUM

    Fill the (realms of) desire, direction, and space,

    Whose feet trample on the seven worlds,

    And who are able to draw all beings to you.

     

    6 Homage to you, Tara, venerated by Indra,

    Agni, Brahma, Vayu, and Ishvara,

    And praised by the assembly of spirits,

    raised corpses,
Gandharvas, and all yakshas.

     

    7 Homage to you, Tara, whose TRAT and PHAT

    Destroy entirely the magical wheels of others.

    With your right leg bent and left outstretched and pressing,

    You burn intensely within a whirl of fire.

     

    8 Homage to you, Tara, the great fearful one,

    Whose letter TURE destroys the mighty demons completely,

    Who with a wrathful expression on your water-born face

    Slay all enemies without an exception.

     

    9 Homage to you, Tara, whose fingers adorn your heart

    With the gesture of the sublime precious three;

    Adorned with a wheel striking all directions without exception

    With the totality of your own rays of light.

     

    10 Homage to you, Tara, whose radiant crown ornament,

    Joyful and magnificent, extends a garland of light,

    And who, by your laughter of TUTTARA,

    Conquer the demons and all of the worlds.

     

    11 Homage to you, Tara, who are able to invoke

    The entire assembly of local protectors,

    Whose wrathful expression fiercely shakes,

    Rescuing the impoverished through the letter HUM.

     

    12 Homage to you, Tara, whose crown is adorned

    With the crescent moon, wearing ornaments exceedingly bright;

    From your hair knot the buddha Amitabha

    Radiates eternally with great beams of light.

     

    13 Homage to you, Tara, who dwell within a blazing garland

    That resembles the fire at the end of this world age;

    Surrounded by joy, you sit with your right leg extended

    And left withdrawn, completely destroying all the masses of enemies.

     

    14 Homage to you, Tara, with hand on the ground by your side,

    Pressing your heel and stamping your foot on the earth;

    With a wrathful glance from your eyes you subdue

    All seven levels through the syllable HUM.

     

    15 Homage to you, Tara, O happy, virtuous, and peaceful one,

    The very object of practice, passed beyond sorrow.

    You are perfectly endowed with SOHA and OM,

    Overcoming completely all the great evils.

     

    16 Homage to you, Tara, surrounded by the joyous ones,

    You completely subdue the bodies of all enemies;

    Your speech is adorned with the ten syllables,

    And you rescue all through the knowledge-letter HUM.

     

    17 Homage to you, Tara, stamping your feet and proclaiming TURE.

    Your seed-syllable itself in the aspect of HUM

    Causes Meru, Mandhara, and the Vindhya mountains

    And all the three worlds to tremble and shake.

     

    18 Homage to you, Tara, who hold in your hand

    The hare-marked moon like the celestial ocean.

    By uttering TARA twice and the letter PHAT

    You dispel all poisons without an exception.

     

    19 Homage to you, Tara, upon whom the kings of the assembled gods,

    The gods themselves, and all kinnaras rely;

    Whose magnificent armor gives joy to all,

    You who dispel all disputes and bad dreams.

     

    20 Homage to you, Tara, whose two eyes – the sun and the moon –

    Radiate an excellent, illuminating light;

    By uttering HARA twice and TUTTARA,

    You dispel all violent epidemic disease.

     

    21 Homage to you, Tara, adorned by the three suchnesses,

    Perfectly endowed with the power of serenity,

    You who destroy the host of evil spirits, raised corpses, and yakshas,

    O TURE, most excellent and sublime!

     


     

    NOTES

     

    [1] Tara in the Palm of Your Hand, by Venerable Zasep Rinpoche, page 28.

    [2] Ibid, page 36

    [3] Ibid, page 66

    [4] ibid, page 75

    [5] Jonang Foundation, “21 Taras of Surya Gupta”

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    Josephine Nolan is an editor and contributing feature writer for several online publications, including EDI Weekly and Buddha Weekly.

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