Praises to the Twenty-One Taras
Praises to the Twenty-One Taras is a traditional prayer in Tibetan Buddhism to the female Bodhisattva Tara, also known as Ārya Tārā, or Jetsun Dolma. It appears in the Derge Kangyur as “Offering Praise to Tara through Twenty-One [verses] of Homage”
The prayer is found in all four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Each of the twenty-one emanations of Tara has her own name, and a specific mantra with which she is associated, offering protection from various types of fears, harm, and calamities.
Part 1: Praises to the Twenty-One Taras (literal English translation)
OM Homage to the Venerable Arya Tara.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Homage to you, Tara, who with the lett ers 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Homage to you, Tara, O happy, virtuous, and peaceful one,
The very object of practice, passed beyond sorrow.
You are perfectly endowed with SVAHA and OM,
Overcoming completely all the great evils.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Part 2: Praises to the Twenty-One Taras (abbreviated version)
This abbreviation in a single verse of the praises to the twenty-one Taras was received directly from Arya Tara by the great teacher, Jowo Atisha, for the swift collection of meritorious energy.
OM CHOM DÄN DÄ MA LHA MO DRÖL MA LA CHHAG TSHÄL LO
OM I prostrate to the goddess foe destroyer, liberati ng lady Tara.
CHHAG TSHÄL DRÖL MA TARE PÄL MO
Homage to TARE, savioress, heroine,
TUTTARA YI JIG KÜN SEL MA
With TUTTARE dispelling all fears,
TURE DÖN NAM THAM CHÄ TER MA
Granting all benefits with TURE,
SVAHA YI GER CHÄ LA RAB DÜ
To her with sound SVAHA, I bow.
OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SVAHA