Praises to the Twenty-One Taras is a traditional prayer in Tibetan Buddhism to the female Bodhisattva Tara. When you chant these praises, something magical happens and you feel yourself transcend into another realm. Every word/syllable you pronounce with your deep concentration transcends your consciousness. In this article, I will introduce you to the Twenty-One Taras and to the magical practice of Praises to the Twenty-One Taras.
Each of the twenty-one emanations of Tara is a different color and an entity in her own right, addressing different manifestations of our existence that require assistance from the goddess.
Here is a description of the Twenty-One Taras:
- Red Tara, the quick heroine who grants the power of control and effective persuasion.
- The Great Peaceful White Tara, who pacifies spirit harms, negative karma, delusions, and diseases.
- The Great Increasing One, Golden Tara, who increases life, merit, good fortune, fame, and prosperity.
- The Great Long-Life Yellow Tara, who grants longevity.
- The Great Hum-making Orange Tara, who brings other beings close to you.
- Black-Red Tara, victorious over the Three Worlds, who protects from spirit harm.
- Black Tara, slightly wrathful, who dispels all black magic and harmful spells.
- Red Tara, destroyer of the enemy Mara, who destroys the four types of mara.
- White Tara, the three sublime, who protects all beings from fear and danger.
- Red Tara, destroyer of maras, who controls the world.
- Orange Tara, eliminator of poverty, who brings wealth.
- The Orange Tara of auspicious beauty, who makes everything auspicious.
- Fire-Blazing Red Tara, who pierces your enemy (which is the delusion of your own mind).
- Black Tara, slightly wrinkled and wrathful, who pierces interference.
- White Tara, the great pacifier, who brings harmony.
- Red Tara, liberating with wisdom-Hum, for wisdom and increasing the power of mantras.
- Orange Tara, shaking the three worlds, who controls the power of mantras.
- White Tara, who eliminates poisons and overcomes their effects.
- White Tara, for release from prison and overcoming quarrels and fights.
- Orange Tara, for eliminating contagious diseases.
- White Tara, whose venerable actions make all activities successful.
How To Practice Praises To The Twenty-One Taras?
Go slowly initially, and feel the words, syllables, and their meanings transcending your consciousness. Soon you will discover your own rhythm.
As you recite, contemplate as follows: with each praise and prostration, just as one spark of fire comes from another, a replica of Tara manifests and sinks into you.
While reciting the Praises to the Twenty-One Taras it’s very beneficial to perform the following visualization.
Visualize how The white syllable āḥ consisting of light, appears in your heart. It turns into a white lunar disk. In the center of the disc appears the green syllable Tāṃ. This syllable represents the essence of the bliss-filled, omniscient mind of Tara, embodying wisdom and compassion. There are the syllables of the mantra OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SOHA around the Tam syllable on the lunar disk. These syllables of the mantra are created out of the green light.
Visualize how a rainbow light emanates in all directions from the syllable Tam. This light is calling Tara, who then appears in the space in front of you.
Tara is sitting on the Lotus flower and the moon disk. She is young and extraordinarily beautiful. Her Divine body is made of emerald light. Her right-hand rests on her right knee in a gesture of giving.
With her left hand, she is holding the blue Lotus.
Her left leg is tucked in and her right leg is slightly extended. Her face is radiant with beauty, and with loving-kindness she is smiling.
Space around Her is filled with 21 Tara, as well as all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
Visualize that all living beings are sitting around you. And you are performing Praises to the Twenty-One Taras for all these beings and the whole world.
The Praises To The Twenty-One Taras (English Version)
Let me and all who needs protection,
Enter beneath your right-hand mudra
Of granting boons and refuge mudra,
And be relieved from every fear.
OM I prostrate to the goddess foe destroyer, liberating lady Tara
Homage to TARE, saviouress, heroine,
With TUTTARE dispelling all fears,
Granting all benefits with TURE,
To her with sound SOHA, I bow.
From your sublime abode at the Potala, O Tara,
Born from the green letter TAM
Your crown adorned with Amitabha,
Action mother of the buddhas of the three times,
Tara, please come with your attendants.
The gods and demi-gods bow to your lotus feet, O Tara,
Your who rescue all who are destitute,
To you, Mother Tara, I pay homage.
Om! I prostrate to the noble transcendent liberator!
1. Homage! Tara, swift, heroic!
Eyes like lightning instantaneous!
Sprung from op’ning stamens of the
Lord of three world’s tear-born lotus!
2. Homage! She whose face combines a
Hundred autumn moons at fullest!
Blazing with light rays resplendent
As a thousand star collection!
3. Homage! Golden-blue one, lotus
Water born, in hand adorned!
Giving, effort, calm, austerities,
Patience, meditation her sphere!
4. Homage! Crown of tathagatas,
Actions triumph without limit
Relied on by conquerors’ children,
Having reached every perfection!
5. Homage! Filling with TUTTARE,
HUM, desire, direction, and space!
Trampling with her feet the seven worlds,
Able to draw forth all beings!
6. Homage! Worshipped by the all-lords,
Shakra, Agni, Brahma, Marut!
Honored by the hosts of spirits,
Corpse-raisers, Gandharvas, yakshas!
7. Homage! With Her TRAD and PHAT sounds
Destroying foes’ magic diagrams!
Her feet pressing, left out, right in,
Blazing in a raging fire-blaze!
8. Homage! TURE, very dreadful!
Destroyer of Mara’s champion(s)!
She with frowning lotus visage
Who is the slayer of all enemies!
9. Homage! At the heart her fingers,
Adorn her with Three Jewel mudra!
Light-ray masses all excited!
All directions’ wheels adorn her!
10. Homage! She so joyous, radiant,
Crown emitting garlands of light!
Mirthful, laughing with TUTTARE,
Subjugating maras, devas!
11. Homage! She able to summon
All earth-guardians’ assembly!
Shaking, frowning, with her HUM sign
Saving from every misfortune!
12. Homage! Crown adorned with crescent
Moon, all ornaments most shining!
Amitabha in her hair-knot
Sending out much light eternal!
13. Homage! She ’mid wreath ablaze like
Eon-ending fire abiding!
Right stretched, left bent, joy surrounds you
Troops of enemies destroying!
14. Homage! She who strikes the ground with
Her palm, and with her foot beats it!
Scowling, with the letter HUM the
Seven levels she does conquer!
15. Homage! Happy, virtuous, peaceful!
She whose field is peace, nirvana!
She endowed with OM and SOHA,
Destroyer of the great evil!
16. Homage! She with joy surrounded
Tearing foes’ bodies asunder,
Frees with HUM and knowledge mantra,
Arrangement of the ten letters!
17. Homage! TURE! With seed letter
Of the shape of syllable HUM!
By foot-stamping shakes the three worlds,
Meru, Mandara, and Vindhya!
18. Homage! Holding in her hand the
Hare-marked moon of deva-lake form!
With twice spoken TARA and PHAT,
Totally dispelling poison!
19. Homage! She whom gods and their kings,
And the kinnaras do honor!
Armored in all joyful splendor,
She dispels bad dreams and conflicts!
20. Homage! She whose two eyes bright with
Radiance of sun and full moon!
With twice HARA and TUTTARE
She dispels severe contagion!
21. Homage! Full of liberating
Pow’r by the set of three natures!
Destroys hosts of spirits, yakshas,
And raised corpses! Supreme! TURE!
The following dedications may be made:
Due to the vast merit, I create with this practice, please, Mother Tara, may I soon attain your enlightened state that I may liberate all sentient beings from their suffering. May the precious bodhi mind in me, not yet born, arise and grow. May the bodhicitta already born within me have no decline but instead, increase forevermore.
In all my rebirths may I never be separated from perfect spiritual masters and enjoy the magnificent Dharma. May I complete all qualities and stages of the path and may I quickly attain the state of Vajradhara.
The Praises To The Twenty-One Taras (Tibetan Version)
PO TA LA YI NÄ CHHOG NÄ
TAM YIG JANG KHU LÄ THRUNG SHING
ÖPAG ME KYI U LA GYÄN
DÜ SUM SANG GYÄ THRIN LÄ MA
DRÖL MA KHOR CHÄ SHEG SU SÖL
LHA DANG LHA MIN CHÖ PÄN GYI
ZHAB KYI PÄ MO LA TÜ DE
PHONG PA KÜN LÄ DRÖL DZÄ MA
DRÖL MA YUM LA CHHAG TSHÄL LO
OM JE TSÜN MA PHAG MA DRÖL MA LA CHHAG TSHÄL LO
- CHHAG TSHÄL DRÖL MA NYUR MA PA MO
CHÄN NI KÄ CHIG LOG DANG DRA MA
JIG TEN SUM GÖN CHHU KYE ZHÄL GYI
GE SAR JE WA LÄ NI JUNG MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL TÖN KÄI DA WA KÜN TU
GANG WA GYA NI TSEG PÄI ZHÄL MA
KAR MA TONG THRAG TSHOG PA NAM KYI
RAB TU CHHE WÄI Ö RAB BAR MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL SER NGO CHHU NÄ KYE KYI
PÄ MÄ CHHAG NI NAM PAR GYÄN MA
JIN PA TSÖN DRÜ KA THUB ZHI WA
ZÖ PA SAM TÄN CHÖ YÜL NYI MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL DE ZHIN SHEG PÄI TSUG TOR
THA YÄ NAM PAR GYÄL WAR CHÖ MA
MA LÜ PHA RÖL CHHIN PA THOB PÄI
GYÄL WÄI SÄ KYI SHIN TU TEN MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL TUTTARA HUM YI GE
DÖ DANG CHHOG DANG NAM KHA GANG MA
JIG TEN DÜN PO ZHAB KYI NÄN TE
LÜ PA ME PAR GUG PAR NÜ MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL GYA JIN ME LHA TSHANG PA
LUNG LHA NA TSHOG WANG CHHUG CHHÖ MA
JUNG PO RO LANG DRI ZA NAM DANG
NÖ JIN TSHOG KYI DÜN NÄ TÖ MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL TRAD CHE JA DANG PHAT KYI
PHA RÖL THRÜL KHOR RAB TU JOM MA
YÄ KUM YÖN KYANG ZHAB KYI NÄN TE
ME BAR THRUG PA SHIN TU BAR MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL TURE JIG PA CHHEN PO
DÜ KYI PA WO NAM PAR JOM MA
CHHU KYE ZHÄL NI THRO NYER DÄN DZÄ
DRA WO THAM CHÄ MA LÜ SÖ MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL KÖN CHHOG SUM TSHÖN CHHAG GYÄI
SOR MÖ THUG KAR NAM PAR GYÄN MA
MA LÜ CHHOG KYI KHOR LÖ GYÄN PÄI
RANG GI Ö KYI TSHOG NAM THRUG MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL RAB TU GA WA JI PÄI
U GYÄN Ö KYI THRENG WA PEL MA
ZHE PA RAB ZHÄ TUTTARA YI
DÜ DANG JIG TEN WANG DU DZÄ MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL SA ZHI KYONG WÄI TSHOG NAM
THAM CHÄ GUG PAR NÜ MA NYI MA
THRO NYER YO WÄI YI GE HUM GI
PHONG PA THAM CHÄ NAM PAR DRÖL MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL DA WÄI DUM BÜ U GYÄN
GYÄN PA THAM CHÄ SHIN TU BAR MA
RÄL PÄI KHUR NA Ö PAG ME LÄ
TAG PAR SHIN TU Ö RAB DZÄ MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL KÄL PÄI THA MÄI ME TAR
BAR WÄI THRENG WÄI Ü NA NÄ MA
YÄ KYANG YÖN KUM KÜN NÄ KOR GÄI
DRA YI PUNG NI NAM PAR JOM MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL SA ZHII NGÖ LA CHHAG GI
THIL GYI NÜN CHING ZHAB KYI DUNG MA
THRO NYER CHÄN DZÄ YI GE HUM GI
RIM PA DÜN PO NAM NI GEM MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL DE MA GE MA ZHI MA
NYA NGÄN DÄ ZHI CHÖ YÜL NYI MA
SVAHA OM DANG YANG DAG DÄN PÄ
DIG PA CHHEN PO JOM PA NYI MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL KÜN NÄ KOR RAB GA WÄI
DRA YI LÜ NI NAM PAR GEM MA
YI GE CHU PÄI NGAG NI KÖ PÄI
RIG PA HUM LÄ DRÖL MA NYI MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL TURE ZHAB NI DEB PÄ
HUM GI NAM PÄI SA BÖN NYI MA
RI RAB MANDHARA DANG BIG JE
JIG TEN SUM NAM YO WA NYI MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL LHA YI TSHO YI NAM PÄI
RI DAG TAG CHÄN CHHAG NA NAM MA
TARA NYI JÖ PHAT KYI YI GE
DUG NAM MA LÜ PA NI SEL MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL LHA YI TSHOG NAM GYÄL PO
LHA DANG MI AM CHI YI TEN MA
KÜN NÄ GO CHHA GA WÄI JI GYI
TSÖ DANG MI LAM NGÄN PA SEL MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL NYI MA DA WA GYÄ PÄI
CHÄN NYI PO LA Ö RAB SÄL MA
HARA NYI JÖ TUTTARA YI
SHIN TU DRAG PÖI RIM NÄ SEL MA
- CHHAG TSHÄL DE NYI SUM NAM KÖ PÄ
ZHI WÄI THÜ DANG YANG DAG DÄN MA
DÖN DANG RO LANG NÖ JIN TSHOG NAM
JOM PA TURE RAB CHHOG NYI MA
TSA WÄI NGAG KYI TÖ PA DI DANG
CHHAG TSHÄL WA NI NYI SHU TSA CHIG