Homage to Tara
"21 Taras" in
simplified phonetic Tibetan (for English-speakers) beside an English
rendering in rhyming meter
Jetsun-ma Pama Do'ma la chag tsal
To Great, Noble Tara, I bow down.
Cha tsal Dölma nyur ma pa mo,
Chen ni kay chik lo dang dra ma
Jik ten sum gön chu che zhel ji,
Gesar je wa lay ni jung ma.
I praise the Fearless, the Swift One,
Protector, whose glance is like lightning.
On the face of Chenrezi, she is
born from a tear as a bud from a
Cha tsal tön kay dawa kün tu,
Kang wa ja ni tsek pay shel ma,
Kar ma tong trak tsok pa nam chi,
Rap tu che way ö rap bar ma. 2
She of the face like the full moons of
that blazes the light of the stars in
Cha tsal ser ngo chu nay che chi,
Pay may cha ni nam par jen ma
Jin pa tsön dru ka tup shi wa
Zö pa sam ten chö yul nyi ma. 3
I praise the Body, all turquoise and
Whose hand is adorned with the lotus,
Whose realm is most generous, diligent,
Peaceful and patient, she sits in
Cha tsal deb shin shek pay tsu tor,
Ta yay nam par jal war chö ma.
Ma lu pa rol chin pa top ray,
Jal way say chi shin tu ten ma. 4
Seated above the heads of all
resplendent in joyous and infinite
Deeply honoured by all Bodhisattvas,
She is perfect in all of the virtues
Cha tsal Tutara Hung yi ge,
Dö tang cho dang nam ka kang ma.
Jik ten dun bo shap chi nen te
Lu pa me par gu par nu ma. 5
With ‘Tutare’ and ‘Hung!’
she imbues this world,
all ten directions and infinite space.
And trampling seven worlds under her
she is able to summon them all to her place.
Cha tsel ja jin me hla tsang ba,
Lung hla na tsok wang chuk chö ma,
Jung bo rolang dri sa nam tang,
Nö jin tso chi dun nay to ma. 6
I praise the One to whom great gods
She is honored by spirits, and
Cha tsal tray che ja tang pay chi,
Pa rol trul kor rap tu jom ma.
Yay kum yön chang shap chi nen te,
Me bar truk pa shin tu bar ma.
I hail the One, who by ‘Treh’
and by ‘Peh!’
undoes all the plots of conspiring
Who wrapped in the fire that rages around her,
with right leg retracted and left one extended,
Tramples the evil ones under her toes.
Cha tsal Ture jik pa chen mo,
Du chi pa wo nam par jom ma.
Chu che shel ni tro nyer den dzay,
Dra wo tam chay ma lu sö ma.
I praise the Swift, the One who is
who with terrible aspect defeats
Her lotus face angrily frowns down upon
so all foes are vanquished, not a
Cha tsal kön chok sum tson cha jay,
Sor mö tuk kar nam par jen ma,
Ma lu cho chi kor lo jen pay,
Rang gi ö chi tso nam tru ma.
I sing the praises of Her whose hand
the Triple Gem mudra right at her
In her grasp the Dharma Wheel spins out
in all the directions and to every
Cha tsal rap tu ga war ji pay,
Urjen ö chi treng wa pel ma,
Shay pa rap shay Tutara yi,
Du dang jig ten wang du ze ma.
On her brow she wears radiant joy like
charming demons and gods
with her laugh
Cha tsal sa shi chong way tso nam,
Tam chay gu par nü ma nyi ma,
Tro nyer yo way yi ge Hung gi,
Pong ba tam chay nam par Dölma.
She can summon the guards of this world
With wrathful expression,
when Hung! does she utter,
she liberates everyone, no more to
Cha tsal daway tum bu urjen,
Jen pa tam chay shin tu bar ma,
Rel pay trö nay Öpame lay,
Tak par shin tu ö rap dzay ma. 12
She wears the crescent moon as a
and shining atop her hair clustered in
Rests the Buddha Amida, the ornament on
Cha tsal kalpa ta may me tar,
Bar way treng way ü na nay ma,
Yay chang yon kum kun nay kor gay,
Dra yi pung ni nam par jom ma.13
She is the Focus of the flaming garland
as the darkening kalpa draws to
With right leg extended and left one
for those who rejoice in the Dharma
She is the one who defeats all their
Cha tsal sa shi ngö la cha gi,
Ril ji nun ching shap chi dung ma,
Tro nyer chen dzay yi ge hung gi,
Rim pa dun bo nam ni gem ma.
Full force to her palm, she strikes the
Crying Hung! with a frown as she
stamps it down,
She subdues all the denizens of seven
levels of that nether place.
Cha tsal de ma ge ma shi ma,
Nya ngen day shi chö yul nyi ma,
Soha Om dang yang dak den pay,
Dik pa chen po jom pa nyi ma.
I salute Lady Peace, Dame Perfection
her realm is Nirvana.
Between Om! and Swaha! all blemishes vanish
by means of her mantra.*
*Om,Tare Tutare Ture Soha.
Cha tsal kun nay kor rap ga way,
Dra yi lü ni rap tu gem ma,
Yi ge chu pay nga ni kö pay,
Rik pa Hung lay Dölma nyi ma. 16
All hail the conquering opponent of
who rejoice as the Wheel of the Dharma
She liberates by means of the radiant
From the Hung! in the ring of the ten-syllable sound.
Cha tsal Ture shap ni dap pay,
Hung gi nam pay sa bön nyi ma,
Ri rap Mandara dang bi je,
Jik ten sum nam yo wa nyi ma. 17
I praise The Swift-footed. Hung! is
Shaker of Meru, Mandara, Kailash,
Stamping and trampling three worlds
with her feet.
Cha tsal hla yi tso yi nam pay,
Ri dak ta chen cha na na ma,
Tara nyi jö pay chi yi ge,
Tu nam ma lü par ni shel ma.
She bears the hare-marked moon, lake of the devas.
And by twice saying ‘Tara’
And then saying, ‘P'hey’,
She removes all contaminants, poisons
Cha tsal hla yi tso nam jal pa,
Hla tang mi am chi yi ten ma,
Kün nay ko cha ga way ji chi,
Tsö tang mi lam ngen pa sel ma. 19
She whom gods, titans and spirits
Can dispel any terrors that come in
A proof against Chaos, her beauty has
Cha tsal nyi ma dawa jay pay,
Chen nyi po la ö rap sel ma,
Hara nyi jö Tutarayi,
Shin tu drak pö rim nay sel ma.
Shining, her eyes like the sun and full
By twice saying ‘Hara’ and
She can put paid the deadly, the
Cha tsal te nyi sum nam kö pay,
Shi way tu dang yang dak den ma,
Dön dang rolang nö jin tso nam,
Jom pa Ture rap chok nyi ma, 21
Praise be to The Peacemaker.
All demons succumb.
All hail the Swift-one, in her great
*Om Ah Hung!
Tsa way nga chi tö pa di tang.
Cha tsal wa la ni nyi shu tsa chik.
This great dharani ~ this is Her
The Praises to Tara, all twenty-one!
The hymn is called the 21 Homages to Tara or 21
Hymns but also, The Twenty-one Taras, since
each of the stanzas describes not only an aspect but an image of her.
At least one version of this well-known "hymn" has an
extra or introductory stanza that is inserted before the first Praise.
It is a summary. See Advice
below. (The Praises are each numbered here at the end of every
transliterated Tibetan stanza.) The recitation of these Praises is a daily practice for many Tibetans and also other practitioners.
Refuge vows, and the Tara empowerment from an accredited teacher is required
for doing the complete liturgy with offerings. Anyone, though, can read,
chant or sing the 21 Praises.
Ama Adhe Tapontsang, in her autobiography as told to J.
Blakelsee (Ama Adhe: The Voice That Remembers.
Boston: Wisdom, 1997) describes how
she was so troubled by having forgotten parts of the 21 Praises as a result of
the tribulations she suffered at the brutal hands of her captors.
A kind lama taught her an abbreviated form in only 9 verses.
rhyming, rhythmic loose translation, as found above on this page, respects the imagery, symbolism and meaning
of the liturgy. It is not an exact literal translation. It is
intended for recitation or singing in the English language. However, until it is
finalized and approved, hard copies
should not be circulated.
The Mongolian name for the semi-wrathful form of Green Tara with
8 arms, at the top is Lamanteri. This image was available in India in poster form in 1970, and may
be further explored at http://www.iol.ie/~taeger/bio/8greenta.htm.
complete sadhana or worship ritual of Tara can be purchased for $12.
How many repetitions to do of the mantra associated
with the Praises to Tara?
" ... page 10b of the Tara Praises (that
our center uses) suggests 2, 3 or 7 recitations, however ... we do 6. Why is this?
Where is the best place to stick the extra one?"
A helpful person responded that "a transcript of a detailed explanation of the
Green Tara practice that Ringu Tulku Rinpoche gave in the Mahamudra Retreat at Center
' For the twenty-one Tara praise, it is very clearly recommended that we do
first two, then three, and then seven, but the practice in Europe is that you do one, two and
three - special concession for the Europeans. But in Hong Kong, they do it in a slightly different way. The first stanza,
[this is the 'extra' one, see above]
chag tsal tare nyurma pamo
tuttararyi jigpa selma
ture dön kun jin pä dölma
sohä yi ge khye la dü do
this is a kind of brief praise of the Tara mantra, the first time they do the praise once, but the first stanza two times, the second time they do
the first stanza once and then the whole praise twice, that makes it three times, and then the third time they do the first stanza four times and then
the whole praise three times, that makes it seven times.
It is more to the letter, although they do not take much more time, they are as busy as
Europeans. I do not know whose tradition it is, maybe somebody who is more
particular about what is said in the text. I thought that was very nice, because then you do not completely disregard the recommendation, and you
also do not lose time. But it is just a suggestion.'
" ... during the big celebration of the opening of the Kamalashila Institute two years ago, with Thrangu Rinpoche, Tenga Rinpoche,
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Ringu Tulku Rinpoche present -- also many lamas --
the lamas did the Tara practice in the 2-3-7 way -- at such an incredible
speed that we Westerners could barely follow."* ~
Maria on the kagyu email list
*Since the Tibetan Buddhist tradition is a mantrayana one, it
is the vibration of sound that is deemed of utmost importance. Great value
is placed on the number of times a mantra - and
texts, too - can be released into the environment.
Translation as found in The Cult of Tara by S. Beyer, pps.
211-214. [Diacritical marks omitted, and verses numbered by
this editor.] Beyer's source while he was in Dalhousie, India was Drukpa Kagyu, Ven. VIII Kamtrul Rinpoche Donju Nyingma.
The introductory or 'Praise with basic mantra' (not in the verses at top):
OM! Homage to the holy and noble Tara!
Homage, TARE, quick one, heroine,
removing terror with TUTTARE,
savioress, granting all aims with TURE,
the syllables SVAHA: to you I bow!
Homage, Tara, quick one, heroine.
whose eyes flash like lightning,
born from the opening corolla
of the lotus face of the Lord of the triple
Homage, Lady whose face is filled
with a hundred autumn moons,
blazing with the laughing beams
of the hosts of a thousand stars. 2.
Homage, Lady whose hand is adorned with a lotus,
a lotus blue and gold
whose field of practice is charity, striving,
austerity, calm, acceptance, and meditation. 3.
Homage, Lady abiding in infinite victory
in the crown knot of the Tathagatha
served by the sons of the Conqueror
who have attained every single perfection. 4.
Homage, Lady who fills all quarters of space
with the sounds of Tuttare and Hum,
trampling the seven worlds with her feet,
able to summon all before
Homage, Lady worshiped by Indra, Agni, Brahma,
by the Maruts and Vishveshvara,
honored by hosts of spirits,
of ghost, celestials, and the walking
Homage, Lady who destroys the magic devices of others
with the sounds of TRAT and P'HAT,
trampling with right foot up and left extended
blazing with a blazing mass of
Homage, Lady who annihilates the heroes of Mara,
TURE, the terrible lady,
slaying all enemies
by frowning the brows of her lotus
Homage, Lady holding her hand over her breast
with a gesture that symbolizes the Three Jewels,
her palms adorned with the universal wheel
radiating a turbulent host of its
Homage, Lady whose diadem spreads a garland
of shining and happy beams,
subjugating Mara and the world
with a laughing, mocking, TUTTARE!
Homage, Lady able to summon before her
all the hosts of protectors of the earth,
saving from all distress by the movement
of her frowning brows and the sound of HUM
Homage, Lady whose diadem is a crescent moon
blazing with all its ornaments,
ever lit by the beams
of Amitabha in her piled
Homage, Lady placed amidst a garland that blazes
like the fire at the end of the world era,
annihilating the army of the enemy
in her joyous posture of royal
Homage, Lady who strikes the earth with her hand,
who pounds upon it with her feet,
shattering the seven worlds
with the sound of HUM made by her frowning
Homage, Lady blissful, virtuous, calm,
whose field of practice is calm nirvana,
possessed of SVAHA and OM,
Homage, Lady who shatters the bodies of enemies,
in her joyous posture,
the savioress manifested from HUM,
in the mantra arraying the sound of ten
Homage Lady who strikes with the feet of TURE,
whose seed is in the form of the syllable HUM,
shaking Mount Meru, Mandara, Kailasha,
and all the triple
Homage, Lady holding the deer-marked moon
in the form of an ocean of gods,
dispelling all poison
with the sound of P'HAT and twice-spoken
Homage, Lady served by the ruler of hosts of gods,
by the gods and horse-headed celestials,
dispelling contention and bad dreams
with the brilliance of her joyous
Homage, Lady in whose eyes is the brilliant light
of the sun and the full moon,
dispelling terrible fevers,
with TUTTARE and twice-spoken
Homage, Lady endowed with the strength of calm
by the array of the three truths, [OM AH HUM]
destroying the hosts of evil spirits, the walking dead,
TURE, most excellent lady
This is the praise with the basic mantra,
and these are the twenty-one homages.
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