Green Tara -
"Tara is the embodiment of
the holy actions of all buddhas. By
practicing Tara meditation, you can eliminate inner and outer
obstacles to the development of your mind, create much merit and achieve quick succes in
- Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Twenty One Praises to
Homage to Tara swift and
With eyes like a flash of
Lotus-born in an ocean of tears
Chenresig, three worlds' protector.
Homage to you whose face is
One hundred autumn moons gathered
blazes with the dazzling light
Of a thousand
Homage to you born from a
Hands adorned with lotus
Essence of giving, effort and
Patience, concentration and wisdom.
Homage to you who crown all
Whose action subdues without
Attained to every perfection
the bodhisattvas rely.
Homage to you whose TUTTARE
Fill the realms of desire, form and
You crush seven worlds beneath your
And have power to call all forces.
Homage to you adored by
Agni, Brahma, Vayu and
Praised in song by hosts of
Zombies, scent-eaters and yakshas.
Homage to you whose TREY and
Destroy external wheels of magic.
leg drawn in and left extended,
within a raging fire.
Homage to you whose TURE
The great fears, the mighty
With a wrathful frown on your lotus
You slay all foes without exception.
Homage to you beautifully
By the Three Jewels' gesture at your
Your wheel shines in all
With a whirling mass of light.
Homage to you, radiant and
Whose crown emits a garland of
You, by the laughter of
Conquer demons and lords of the world.
Homage to you with power to
The assembly of local
With your fierce frown and
You bring freedom from all
Homage to you with crescent
All your adornments dazzling
From your hair-knot, Amitabha
eternal with great beams of light.
Homage to you who dwells in
a blazing wreath
Like the fire at the end of
Your right leg outstretched and left
Joy surrounds you who defeats hosts
Homage to you whose foot
stamps the earth
And whose palm strikes the
ground by your side.
With a wrathful glance and
the letter HUM,
You subdue all in the seven
Homage to the blissful,
virtuous, peaceful one
Object of practice,
Perfectly endowed with SOHA and
Overcoming all the great evils.
Homage to you with joyous
You subdue fully all enemies'
The ten-letter mantra adorns your
And your knowledge-HUM brings liberation.
Homage to TURE with stamping
Whose essence is the seed-letter
You cause Merus, Mandara and Vindaya
all three worlds to tremble and shake.
Homage to you who holds in
A moon like a celestial
Saying TARA twice and the letter
You dispel all poisons without exception.
Homage to you on whom the
kings of gods,
The gods themselves and all
Your armor radiates joy to
You soothe conflicts and nightmares as
Homage to you whose eyes,
the sun and moon,
Radiate with pure brilliant
Uttering HARA twice and
Dispels extremely fearful plagues.
Homage to you, adorned with
Perfectly endowed with peaceful
You destroy demons, zombies and
O TURE, most exalted and sublime!
Thus the root mantra is
And twenty-one homages offered.
||om tare tuttare ture soha
The word Tara is etymologically rooted in the
word "star", but the most popular meaning of "Tara" is
"she who saves", or "saviouress". As a popular
Buddhist deity in the Mahayana tradition--especially
in Tibet--Green Tara is compassionate, wise, and
quick-acting. If one needs Tara and recites her
mantra (above), it is said that Tara will quickly come
Mythologically, the Green Tara came into being
when the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara cried upon seeing
all of the suffering in the Universe. He cried
so much that a pond grew out of his tears. Out
of this pond grew a blue lotus flower, and on this
flower appeared a beautiful woman. Her
translucent green color was luminous with a great
energy. She held a deep blue lotus, symbolizing
limitless giving and refuge. The color green is
said to symbolize her quick action, and also her role
as a forest deity.
Tara is usually depicted with her right leg
extended, ready to spring into action, while her left
leg is folded in the Buddhist contemplative
position. The right leg symbolizes compassion
and the left leg wisdom. These are the two
virtues that, when developed together, lead one to
Tara's Bodhisattva Vow
once just an ordinary person, but after many lifetimes of
practicing the Bodhisattva Path, she attained perfect
enlightenment and vowed to stay and help all other creatures
on their paths to enlightenment. The interesting thing
about Tara is that she vowed not only to be a bodhisattva, but
to do this in the form of a woman. Typically, in
Buddhist thought, a Bodhisattva takes the male form.
Tara's vow is striking because it went against traditional
teaching. Her inspiring independence, along with many
other qualities, has lead her to be perhaps the most popular
Bodhisattva in the Buddhist tradition besides
of Tara's origin, according to the Tara Tantra, recounts that
aeons ago she was born as a king's daughter. A spiritual and
compassionate princess, she regularly gave offerings and
prayers to the ordained monks and nuns. She thus developed
great merit, and the monks told her that, because of her
spiritual attainments, they would pray that she be reborn as a
man and spread Buddhist teachings. She responded that there
was no male and no female, that nothing existed in reality,
and that she wished to remain in female form to serve other
beings until everyone reached enlightenment, hence implying
the shortfall in the monk's knowledge in presuming only male
preachers for the Buddhist religion.
Tara's Qualities as a Bodhisattva
characteristic of Tara is her title "Mother of All the
Buddhas". This represent her perfect wisdom, and also
symbolizes the feministic quality of wisdom. (In
Buddhist tradition wisdom is represented by the female while
compassion by the male.) And, as we are all to be
Buddhas eventually, Tara is also our Mother. Thus we
should think of Tara lovingly.
characteristic of Tara as a Bodhisattva is her role of
saviouress. She leads all beings across the river of
samsara to the shore of enlightenment. She is also
called "She Who Leads Across". Tara herself says, "I,
O Lord, shall lead beings across the great flood of their
diverse fears..." So not only does Tara help those
who seek Nirvana; actually a major role she plays, and the
reason for her major popularity, is the protection she offers
from the eight great fears. These are the fears of
lions, elephants, fire, snakes, robbers, imprisonment,
drowning, and demons. Of course in modern times we
rarely fear snakes and elephants, so these outer fears are
only symbolic of the eight inner fears, which affect us
all. The inner fears are: pride, delusion, anger, envy,
wrong views, avarice, attachment, and doubt. Tara will
help all those who suffer from these inner negative
Sources of information:
excerpts from Ven. Thubten Chodron's Pearl of
Wisdom, Book II