Deities › Tārā
Courtesy of Himalayan Art Resources
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):
A brief history of the sacred image of Tārā, the Wish-Fulfilling Wheel (yid bzhin 'khor lo), in Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo’s residence, known as ‘The Garden of Immortality’ ('chi med grub pa'i dga' tshal), in Dzongsar Monastery, Derge, East Tibet.
A lineage prayer for the practice of Chimé Pakmé Nyingtik ('chi med 'phags ma'i snying thig), the Heart-Essence of the Deathless Noble Tārā, a revelation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo which is associated with longevity.
- The Garland of Utpala Flowers: A Prayer to the Masters of the Lineage of Zabtik Drolchok by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- The Praise to Tārā with Twenty-One Verses of Homage and The Excellent Benefits of Reciting the Praise from the Words of the Buddha
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.
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.
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.
- Eliminator of Suffering: A Prayer to the Venerable and Exalted Tārā by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Sweet-Sounding Song that Fulfils All Aims: A Prayer to Noble Tārā Combined with Her Root Mantra by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
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.
- Burgeoning Benefit and Happiness: An Aspiration to be Reborn in the Land of Turquoise Leaves revealed by Sera Khandro
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.
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 brief practice calls upon the goddess Tārā and other deities to grant their inspiration and blessings, so that the practitioner's lifespan, merit, prosperity, renown, good fortune, magnetism (dbang thang) and 'windhorse' (rlung rta) may all increase.