Tārā Series

Deities › Tārā

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Ārya Tārā

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Deity on whom I meditated in lives gone by,

You are the enlightened activity of all buddhas, past, present, and future,

Brilliant white, with your one face, two hands, and seven eyes,

Mother of the buddhas, holder of the utpala flower, to you I pay homage!

A series of texts related to the noble saviouress Tārā (sgrol ma):

Introduction

History

Lineage Prayers

Praise

Tārā herself is credited with composing this short praise, through which Atiśa, who had fallen sick in Nyethang, recovered his health.

Perhaps the most popular of all prayers to Tārā, this tantra praises her twenty-one forms, both peaceful and wrathful. The first twenty-one verses are at once a series of homages to Tārā and a poetic description of her physical features, postures, qualities, abilities, mantras, and hand gestures. The remaining six verses describe how and when the Praise should be recited, as well as the benefits of its recitation.

This praise of Tārā is one of several such texts attributed to the famous Indian master Candragomin. It focuses on Green Tārā (śyāmatārā), who is lauded for her swiftness in action.

An acrostic text extolling the goddess Tārā, which Jamyang Khyentse wrote in 1924 when he was 31 years old (or 32 by Tibetan reckoning).

A simple outline identifying the main features of each verse in the famous, widely-chanted liturgy known as Praise to Tārā with Twenty-One Verses of Homage.

Drakpa Gyaltsen's influential, word-by-word commentary to the popular Praise to Tārā with Twenty-One Verses of Homage.

Prayers

A short, eight-line prayer to Tārā in the recognition that she and her twenty-one forms are none other than pure awareness and its manifestations.

It is said that Atiśa spoke this prayer to the goddess Tārā during a life-threatening storm on his journey across the ocean to meet the master Serlingpa. Tārā, who is renowned for the swiftness with which she protects living beings from fear and danger, appeared directly and rescued Atiśa and his fellow travellers from peril.

A brief prayer to noble Tārā requesting protection from fear and the fulfilment of aspirations.

A simple, four-line supplication to Tārā requesting her protection from fear and suffering in this life, the next and the bardo state.

Jigten Gönpo composed these seven verses of supplication following a visionary experience in which he saw seven different forms of Tārā. The prayer became known as the 'sevenfold refuge' (skyabs bdun ma), and is renowned for the extraordinary blessings it conveys.

A brief six-line supplication to Ārya Tāra, mother of all the buddhas, written at the behest of Jampal Tendar and other devoted disciples.

This prayer to Tārā, written in 1936, calls upon her aid to overcome various obstacles, including threats of danger, poverty, depleted vital energy and harmful forces.

One of several prayers to Tārā by Jamyang Khyentse, this one was written in Darjeeling during the holy month of Saga Dawa in either 1957 or (more likely) 1958.

A short, four-line supplication of White Tārā, Wish-Fulfilling Jewel, who overcomes death and bestows longevity and wisdom.

A short prayer to noble Tārā requesting her guidance, protection and assistance on the path to awakening.

This brief supplication to the saviouress Tārā incorporates and expands upon the literal meaning of the syllables of her root mantra (oṃ tāre tuttāre ture svāhā).

Extracted from Drakpa Gyaltsen's Four-Maṇḍala Prayer to Tārā (sgrol ma'i gsol 'debs maN+Dal bzhi pa).

A short prayer invoking and praising Tārā in her twenty-one emanations and calling upon her to dispel obstacles and assist progress along the path to ultimate realization.

This four-line verse of homage to noble Tārā is also a prayer that incorporates the syllables of her root mantra: oṃ tāre ture tuttāre svāhā.

This brief prayer of aspiration is extracted from The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel: A Sādhana of Yeshe Tsogyal as Noble Tāra (Ye shes mtsho rgyal 'phags ma sgrol mar sgrub pa'i thabs yid bzhin nor bu), a treasure (terma) revealed by Ratna Lingpa.

A short, two-verse prayer to noble Tārā in her twenty-one emanations, composed (or revealed) in response to a request from a monk-physican named Samten.

A beautifully evocative prayer of aspiration to be reborn in Tārā's pure realm, known as The Land of Turquoise Leaves (g.yu lo bkod).

Sādhanas

This brief text, which includes ter marks, is of uncertain origin, but the editors of the latest edition of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö's writings included it on the basis that it is possibly a revelation of his and note that he encouraged his students to recite it during a period of frequent earthquakes.

A brief sādhana of White Tārā with a special focus on increasing longevity through purifying the potential for untimely death. It was composed for a lama from Dodrup named Tendzin.

This short sādhana of Red Tārā, who is associated with the activity of magnetizing, was composed at the request of Khandro Tsering Chödrön (1929–2011) and her sister Tsering Wangmo of the Lakar family.

Jigme Lingpa tells us that he arranged this ritual of the Twenty-One Tārās based on the authoritative tradition that derives from Nāgārjuna and The Manifest Source Tantra of Tārā. In order to create the full liturgy, which he did at the request of the First Dodrupchen Jigme Trinlé Özer (1745–1821), he also added other elements from various pith instructions.

This simple sādhana, which includes a feast offering, focuses on Ārya Tāra in blue-green form, surrounded by her retinue of twenty other forms.

Sang Offering

Seven-Branch

Tsok

Windhorse

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