Green Tara Mantra lyrics in Sanskrit:
OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SVAHA
Green Tara Mantra translation in English:
Om! O Tara! I beg of you, O Tara! O swift one!Hail!
Another English transliteration:
I prostrate to the Liberator, Mother of all the Victorious Ones.
Covered in mystery, revealed in splendor, the Great Goddess was worshiped for millennia. Sculptures found in prehistoric caves dated 30,000 years ago have shown that Tara has been worshiped since ancient times.
The original bronze statue, which is dated to the 7th or 8th century AD, was found in the northeastern province of Lanka between Trincomalee and Batticaloa. The total height of the statue is 143.75 cm.
Before Buddhism adopted the Goddess, She was worshiped in Hinduism as a manifestation of the Goddess Parvati, which is one of the many forms of Shakti, the unknowable but enlivening feminine force.
The feminine principle was not venerated in Buddhism until the fourth century CE, and Goddess Tara probably entered Buddhism around the 6th century CE.
In the 7th century Tibet, it was believed that the Goddess is incarnated in every pious woman. She mainly came to be linked with two historical wives of the first Buddhist king of Tibet, Srong-brtsan-sgam-po (d. 649). His wife from imperial China was said to be an incarnation of Goddess White Tara, while the king’s Nepalese wife was an incarnation of Goddess Green Tara.
A Taranatha Tibetan treatise mentions that long before, in a universe called the Divided Light, there was a princess named Jnana-candra who was extremely devoted to Buddha.
Every day she would bring offerings to the Dundubhisvara Buddha and the Sangha community, thus reaching a high level of Bodhicitta.
Absolute Bodhicitta, according to Gampopa (Milarepa’s disciple), is emptiness, inseparable from compassion – bright, firm, and impossible to define by concepts.
Relative Bodhicitta appears through a glimpse of the absolute one. It consists of the inner impulse to follow the Path to Enlightenment and work through compassion for the release of all beings from Samsara. Full of compassion, she aspired to obtain enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.
Disciples suggested her to pray for reincarnation as a man so that she would progress as a Bodhisattva and possibly become a Buddha. Finally, princess Jnana-candra says:
„There is no man here, there is no woman here,
Nor ego, nor individual and nor conscience.
The name “man” or “woman” has no consistency,
But brings confusion into the ordinary human mind.”
The symbols of Tara are interesting for a few reasons. Green Tara is seated on a white moon-disk. Her green coloring symbolizes the active function of the fully-enlightened being. The moon is resting upon a lotus. The moon represents her peacefulness. The lotus represents her freedom from any defilement, just as the lotus rises out of the mud of the swamp, but the blossom itself is undefiled and pure.
In her right hand, the Goddess is illustrated holding a blue lotus, at chest level. This hand, holding the blue lotus, is also in the teaching mudra. The blue lotus is a flower that blooms only at night, which is thoughtful of the idea that Goddess Tara offers the greatest protection during heightened times of darkness and fear.
The left hand is held up, again with the palm facing outward, and grasping the uptala lotus. This is Abhaya Mudra, which is the gesture of refuge and fearlessness, which dispels fear and accords bliss and divine protection.
Her left leg is withdrawn in the Lotus pose, to signifies her mastery of Insight and detachment from the five emotional defilements. Her right leg is in the euro-posture in front of her body, somewhat bent, with her foot on a lotus blossom. This position signifies her ability to spring into action, to act quickly for the compassionate protection of all sentient beings.
She makes the following covenant:
“There are many beings who want Enlightenment
in a man’s body, but no one wants
to be helpful to the sentient beings
in a female body.
So, until Samsara will be empty,
I will help sentient beings
Remaining in a woman’s body!”
The significance of the word ”Tara.”
Etymologically, the word Tara means “savior” or “liberator,” and it derives from the Sanskrit root “tri,” which refers to the crossing (over something), such as: to cross a river, a sea, or a mountain or to overcome any difficult situation.
Therefore, in an esoteric approach, we can say that the great goddess Tara is always invoked when faced with dangerous situations, sometimes on edge or when we must decide in favor of one out of other possibilities we have available (for instance, when we are at a crossroads and we are not sure in which direction we need to go further, or when we have to decide on a destination from several options, etc.).
On the other hand, in esoteric terms (initiation, occult), Tara represents the knowledge that saves. So, the deep significance of the goddess as a Savior is that she gives the deserving disciples boundless divine wisdom, which frees them from the chains of samsaric suffering.
Another meaning of the word Tara is that of “star,” in the sense that this Great Cosmic Power is a star of our frantic aspiration to God. Therefore, she is both the one that inspires us and our guide on the complicated path of spiritual perfection.
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Tara has 21 forms (or aspects), and Green Tara is one of the two main forms (alongside White Tara). Tara of the Teak Forest (Khadiravani Tara) appeared to Nagarjuna and is considered to be the 22nd Tara. All of Tara’s manifestations share one primary characteristic – compassion. Green Tara (or Buddha of enlightened activity) in Tibetan Buddhism is always ready to come to our rescue.
It is said that the Goddess compassion for sentient beings is stronger than a mother’s love for her children. The Goddess also brings about protects earthly travel, longevity, and guards her devotees on their spiritual path to enlightenment.
This mantra is the Tibetan version of Green Tara Mantra (Syamatara in Sanskrit), which is related to Tara (known as Dolma in Tibet, in Japanese Buddhism – Tara Bosatsu) is a female Bodhisattva. She is also known as the ”Mother of all Buddhas.” Tara, the female Buddha aspect of the Universe, is an emanation of Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.
Once, when Chenrezig was very moved by the suffering of all sentient beings, he shed two tears. The tear from his right eye turned into the green form of Bodhisattva Tara, and the tear from his left eye turned into the white form of Bodhisattva Tara.
Green Tara representation in images is with one leg on the ground and her left hand, in the gesture of granting refuge, holds the stem of a blue lotus that floats over her left shoulder as a symbol of purity and power. With her right hand, she makes the boon-granting gesture.
When chanting this powerful mantra, the practitioner needs to let go and bring the energy back into ourselves. This will result in clarity and inner peace.
Dalai Lama’s said about Green Tara:
“On a lotus seat, standing for the realization of voidness, the emerald-colored, one-faced, two-armed Lady. In youth’s full bloom, right leg out, left drawn in, showing the union of wisdom and art – homage to you! Like the outstretched branch of the heavenly turquoise tree, your supple right-hand makes the boon-granting gesture, inviting the wise to a feast of supreme accomplishments, as if to an entertainment-homage to you!
Your left hand gives us refuge, showing the Three Jewels; it says, “You people who see a hundred dangers, Don’t be frightened-I shall swiftly save you!” Homage to you! Both hands signal with blue utpala flowers, “Samsaric beings! Cling not to worldly pleasures. Enter the great city of liberation!” Flower-goads prodding us to effort-homage to you!”
Benefits of Chanting Green Tara Mantra:
Daily chanting of this mantra benefits you by encouraging you to receive and give loving energy. Raises your level of consciousness, open your heart (Anahata) chakra, also eliminates fear, disease, and anxiety brings peace of mind and prosperity. Still, the main attribute of this mantra is the help we get to overcome unpleasant situations.
According to Tibetan lamas, if we chant Green Tara Mantra with positive and pure intentions, it can help us fulfill our wishes. Connecting with Goddess Tara each day will increase the love and compassion you give to others, and in turn, bring an abundance of blessings and love into your life.
Furthermore, this potent mantra can be chanted to remove obstacles and worries. The Goddess Tara works swiftly to assist you.
Connecting with Goddess Tara is a practice that takes time through sadhana and leads to an enlightening personal experience. If one practices for a long time with a sincere heart and true devotion, then it can happen that tears come to one eye. We shouldn’t think that the Goddess will throw her blessings our way and help us overcome hindrances only for the asking.
Green Tara Mantra meaning, explained during a teaching held by Lama Zopa Rinpoche:
„In short Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha means: I prostrate to the Liberator, Mother of all the Victorious One. To explain the meaning of TARE TUTTARE TURE: Tare means liberating from samsara.
TARE, shows that Mother Tara liberates living beings from samsara, from true suffering, or problems. You can relate this to the particular sufferings of human beings: birth, old age, sickness, and death; meeting undesirable objects and experiencing aversion; not finding desirable objects or finding them but gaining no satisfaction. No matter how much pleasure you enjoy, there is no satisfaction. No matter how much you follow desire, there is no satisfaction at all.
TUTTARE, liberates you from the eight fears. There are eight fears related to external dangers from fire, water, air, earth, and also from such things as thieves and dangerous animals. However, the main dangers come from ignorance, attachment, anger, pride, jealousy, miserliness, doubt and wrong views. These eight disturbing thoughts that you have in your mind are the main dangers.
TURE, liberates you from the disease. Now, of the Four Noble Truths, TURE shows the cessation of suffering, which is the ultimate Dharma. In terms of liberating from disease, the actual disease we have is ignorance not knowing the absolute nature of the I, and all the disturbing thoughts that arise from this ignorance.
The rough meaning of these three words TARE TUTTARE TURE is: “To you, the embodiment of all the Buddhas actions, I prostrate always—whether I am in happy or unhappy circumstances—with my body, speech, and mind.”
SOHA means establishing the root of the path within your heart. In other words, by taking refuge in Tara and doing Tara practice, you receive the blessings of Tara in your own heart.
The conclusion is that by taking refuge in Tara, doing Tara practices such as recitation of the Tara mantra, and practicing the path contained in that mantra, you can achieve the fully enlightened state with the four kayas, which is the cessation, liberated from the two obscurations.
In short, OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SOHA means “I prostrate to the Liberator, Mother of all the Victorious Ones.” Tara is the mother of all the Victorious Ones or Buddhas. Why are Buddhas called Victorious Ones? Because they are victorious over the two obscurations.”
This mantra delivers spiritual benefits faster than any other tantric practice, which is why it is so popular. Sadhanas (spiritual practice) in which Tara is the yidam (meditational deity) can be extensive or quite brief.
Most all of them include some introductory praises or homages to invoke her presence and prayers of taking refuge. Then her mantra is recited, followed by a visualization of her, perhaps more mantra, then the visualization is dissolved, followed by a dedication of the merit from doing the practice.
Additionally, there may be extra prayers of aspirations and a long-life prayer for the Lama, who originated the practice. Many of the Tara sadhanas are seen as beginning practices within the world of Vajrayana Buddhism; however, what is taking place during the visualization of the deity actually invokes some of the most sublime teachings of all Buddhism.
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Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche
Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche notes of his lineage in his Introduction to the Red Tara Sadhana:
“Tara is the flawless expression of the inseparability of emptiness, awareness, and compassion. Just as you use a mirror to see your face, Tara meditation is a means of seeing the true face of your mind, devoid of any trace of delusion.”
There are several preparations to be done before practicing the Sadhana. To perform a correct execution, the practitioner must be prepared and take on the proper disposition. The preparations may be grouped as “internal” and “external.” Both are necessary to achieve the required concentration.
“The preparations are of two types: external and internal. The external preparations consist of cleaning the meditation room, setting up a shrine with images of Buddha Shakyamuni and Green Tara, and setting out a beautiful arrangement of offerings. We can use water to represent nectar for drinking, water for bathing the feet, and perfume.
For the remaining offerings – flowers, incense, light, and pure food—if possible we should set out the actual substances. As for internal preparations, we should try to improve our compassion, bodhicitta, and correct view of emptiness through the practice of the stages of the path, to receive Tantric empowerment of Green Tara.
It is possible to participate in group pujas if we have not yet received empowerment but to gain deep experience of this practice we need to receive an empowerment. The main internal preparation is to generate and strengthen our faith in Arya Tara, regarding her as the synthesis of all Gurus, Yidams, and Buddhas.”
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The benefits of Tara practice, from two teachings given at Kopan Monastery and Himalayan Yogic Institute, Nepal in May 1987:
“Tara is quick to grant success in obtaining the ultimate happiness of enlightenment. You receive much good merit or cause of happiness; it prevents a suffering rebirth in your next life; you receive initiation from millions of Buddhas; and you achieve enlightenment. Besides these, however, Tara practice has many other benefits.
Reciting the Twenty-one Tara’s’ prayer with devotion, at dawn or dusk—or remembering Tara, singing praises and reciting mantras at any time of the day or night—protects you from fear and dangers, and fulfill all your wishes. If you pray to Tara, Tara is particularly quick to grant help.
There are also many temporal benefits from Tara practice, either reciting the Tara mantra or the Twenty-one Tara’s’ prayer. Tara can solve many problems in your life: liberate you from untimely death; help you recover from disease; bring you success in business; help you to find a job; bring you wealth.
When you have a really serious problem, such as a life-threatening disease, if you rely upon Tara, very commonly you will be freed from that problem; you will recover from that disease. If you eat poison, if you rely upon Tara, the poison will not harm you.
By doing Tara prayers and mantras, couples with difficulty having a child can have a child – and whichever they want, a son or a daughter. These are very common experiences. Through Tara practice, you can obtain any happiness in this life that you wish.
If you recite the Twenty-one Tara’s prayer once every evening, it is impossible – I can put my signature to this! – for you to die of starvation. It is also a very common experience for lay practitioners, monks, and nuns with financial difficulties to have such problems relieved by doing Tara practice.
In my personal experience, I have seen many instances of people who have prayed to and taken refuge in Tara and been saved from the danger of untimely death from disease without taking medicine.”
Images credit – Shutterstock
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