His Eminence Kenting Tai Situpa Practice text
A teaching given in New Delhi 18.1.2004 An edited version of this teaching is published as a book:
As was requested by the host I will give a teaching on Tara, particularly on Green Tara. A deity by definition is sambhogakaya aspect of Buddha. A bodhisattva by definition is one way as a disciple of the Buddha. On another way it is a symbolic aspect of that what makes individual sentient beings to attain Buddhahood. To make it simplified: there are two aspects in bodhisattvas. This you can see very clearly through learning about Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara is one way known as one of the eight bodhisattva sons who are the eight sons of the Buddha. Not physical sons, but… actually in Tibetan it is not really son, the Tibetan word use is se, which means general: sepo means son, semo means daughter, se means both of them but in a kind of general sort of lazy way whenever you say se it is understood as a son.
Anyway the eight bodhisattvas are in a male form, so it is okay to call them the sons of the Buddha. They are Manjushri (Tib.Jampalyang), Vajrapani (Tib. Chana Dorje), Avalokiteshvara (Tib.Chenrezig), the others by their Sanskrit names I really don't know, but Sangye Nyingpo, Dipa Namsel, Namkhay Nyingpo, Champa (Maitreya in Sanskrit), Kuntuzangpo. These are the eight bodhisattvas.
When you say sons of the Buddha, it means disciples of the Buddha. It doesn't mean physical sons of the Buddha. But at the same time the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara is always relevant: not only with Buddha Sakyamuni but with the past Buddhas. The Theravada of Shri Lanka have in their texts of Lord Buddha's teaching that there were twenty one Buddhas coming before Prince Siddharta became the Buddha Shakyamuni. I don't know exactly which way they count, because their description of Maitreya Buddha is: this earth will be destroyed and gone and when something else develops in this place, then Lord Maitreya will come. That's how they describe it. But in Tibetan Buddhism it is not exactly like this, but this earth will go on ups and downs, until the last 1000th Buddha attains enlightenment. And the 1000th Buddha is described in the Vajrakalpa Sutra. Among the thousand Buddhas Siddharta is the number four and in between each Buddha is about two million years, in the past. In between Buddha Sakyamuni and Lord Maitreya will be about two million years also, so out of that according to general Buddhist common calculation we are in the 26th century since Buddha's birth and 25th century since his death. That is the general common belief. But according to various calculations and traditions some say it is even 4000 years since Buddha passed into parinirvana. It doesn't really matter, time is relative.
In that context Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva was relevant all the time, and he is known as the Father of all the Buddhas. There Avalokiteshvara represents compassion. Avalokiteshvara's vow was: "May I not attain Buddhahood, until last sentient being reaches Buddhahood." But that is impossible, unless Avalokiteshvra represents the very essence, which will be the very important condition for Buddhahood. What Avalokiteshvara represents is the most important and most crucial element for attainment of Buddhahood. This way Avalokiteshvara will not attain Buddhahood until last sentient being attains Buddhahood. When you talk about Bodhisattvas, you have to see the both sides: the disciple Avalokiteshvara as well as the master Avalokiteshvara, what Avalokiteshvara represents.
It is according to the tantra of Tara, there are many of them. One of the main tantras of Tara is known as Drolma hungjung ri gyu. Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva after taking that vow was liberating sentient beings for many eons; an aeon mean, for example, this Earth from beginning to the end will be one greater eon of this Earth. In one big eon there will be many ups and downs, total ups and total downs, from the lowest time to the highest time on this Earth will be considered as smaller eons. Whole solar system has its own eons which can be many times of the Earth eon in length. And the galaxy, on the Abhidharma Buddha describes as third thousand, that means 1000 solar systems, times 1000 solar systems, times 1000 solar systems. That is about 100 million solar systems, a galaxy, which will have its own eon. That is another kind of eon when a galaxy forms, destroys and forms again and destroys. There are many types of eons.
In our eon on this Earth seven Buddhas have attained enlightenment. Seven Buddhas, not seven individuals of high realisation. Out of the seven Buddhas four of them are part of the thousand Buddhas. Three of the seven are not part of the thousand Buddhas mentioned in the Vajrakalpa Sutra, where each name and individual descriptions are given. In Tibetan it is called Dorje Kalpa Zangpo. In that our Buddha Sakyamuni is the fourth Buddha.
For so many eons Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara with that aspiration was liberating sentient beings, and then after many eons through his wisdom and realisation he made an observation, these days we would call it something like a survey. He found that countless sentient beings were suffering. Before also countless sentient beings were suffering and now also. Countless sentient beings are countless, and they will always be countless. Countless cannot become countable sentient beings. Countless by definition is countless always, limitless by definition is limitless; you cannot limit the limitless.
When he saw that, he was so disturbed and upset that he almost broke his vow of saying that I will not reach Buddhahood until the last sentient being attains the Buddhahood. Originally, when he took that vow he said: "If I break my vow may I break into pieces and perish." Because of his original vow he broke into thousands of pieces. At that time he realised that the Buddha is limitless and sentient beings are limitless and sentient beings' essence is also Buddha. That happened because all the Buddhas of the ten directions blessed him and he realised that. Therefore his thousands of pieces transformed into thousand arms and thousand eyes. Normally good things become bad and bad things become worse, but here bad things became good and superb. So the thousand pieces became thousand arms and thousand eyes, and the thousand eyes represent the Buddhas and the thousand arms represent the thousand Universal Monarchs who will be the vehicle of Buddhas' activity. That way Avalokiteshvara developed this quality.
His activity is continuously benefiting sentient beings. Once upon a time he again made an observation. He still saw countless sentient beings suffering. This time it did not make him disappointed and break his vow. Instead he was filled with compassion and out of that compassion two drops of tears dropped from his two main eyes and from those tears one transformed into White Tara and another one transformed into Green Tara. They took a vow from Avalokiteshvara, saying that until your original vow is fulfilled, may we be the mother to all sentient beings suffering in Samsara and liberate them to the Buddhahood. White Tara's manifestation represents helping sentient beings to have longevity, prosperity and all that aspect, and Green Tara represents providing protection for all sentient beings from all fears. White and Green Tara manifest this way.
Of course White Tara also has many manifestations, but Green Tara has twenty-one manifestations. The twenty-one manifestations of Green Tara each one represents liberating sentient beings from one aspect of fear. To go through all the details takes a long time. I have given a full teaching on this long time ago in New York State, in a Dharma Centre Kagyu Thubten Choling. [New teaching given in India 2007 is published as a book and mp3 format.] They have transcribed it and made it in a rough documentation. You can acquire it from them and get the full details. It is one by one all the twenty-one aspects and the prayer I will read later, so that you will have the transmission of the prayer, if any of you wanted to learn about it or practice it. Otherwise it is just simply sharing the blessing for all of you .
Now the definition of protection and definition of blessing are confusing for many people because when they read so many books, Dharma books, then you get your own idea of what Dharma is. Then it becomes very conflicting. One way we say: everything is karma, in another hand there is protection and blessing, it contradicts, but it is understandable, because one does not receive the teaching of the lineage and one teaches oneself by the books, so it is bound to be like that. And I personally think many problems that are in the world, which seem to be related with different religions are coming from the same sources. I don't think Buddhism will be exempt from that, because if there is no lineage, only books are available, then one interprets the books and goes by one book, then it cannot be comprehensive. It can only be "this is good, this is bad", you know, right and wrong, and there is no such thing. Everything is in the same basket, good and bad, everything is the same thing.
Think about an egg. The shell of it is bad, we cannot eat it. If you eat it you cannot digest it and you will have the shell, you will not have the egg to eat. You need the shell. When egg is ready to be cooked the shell keeps it in one piece. After you have cooked or fried it, you don't need the shell. Same thing with the vegetables. You have a nice leave on top but useless root underneath, which is not edible, so you have to cut it and throw it away. But you need the root: because of that you have the leave. You cannot expect nice vegetable growths without inedible roots. This way, everything has its own role to play. This way once we learn Dharma from the lineage, then we really see the whole thing. Actually I have a story.
A person from Pennsylvania visited his friend in New York City. He told his New York City friends: "We have a very nice farm, we get fresh milk every morning…" all that sort of thing. He didn't quite get it because he really did not know where the milk comes from. So one day he and his friend somehow talked and finally they found their roots in Switzerland. Together they went to Switzerland to visit relatives there. They really enjoyed, everything was wonderful and beautiful over there. Then the American from Pennsylvania went somewhere and the American from New York left the home of their cousin in Switzerland just to go for a walk. The wife of the house was milking the cow. The cows in Switzerland are majestic, so big, and they wear a nice collar with a big bell which makes a ding dong sound. I almost bought one to bring to my monastery but it was too big to carry. Anyway, the gentleman from New York asked astonished: "What are you doing?" She said: "I'm milking." "For what?" "Well, we drink milk; this is the cow's milk." He said: "We don't drink this kind of milk, you know. We drink milk from the bottle!"
It's a reality. When you have the real transmission of the lineage, I think every religion; every aspect of a sacred thing becomes real, wholesome and healthy. Now he got the lineage of the milk. Then after when he went back, he could tell his friends: "This is where the milk comes from, that's how it is milked." I'm not really sure if this is a made up story or a real story, I wouldn't be surprised if it was a true story. Possible. I have friends, disciples in New York City who were born there, grew up there and who live there and who have not gone out to the countryside in their life. I have met people like that. What I'm saying here is, nothing wrong with that view, now what he has learned there he will be going back as a different person about the milk.
The dharma also the same thing, because if you really learn the dharma from the lineage, then you really know, in each place and in each aspect we can make a connection, we can connect. Otherwise we can have tremendous faith and trust and good understanding, but we cannot connect, therefore we will become very isolated from the true dharma and we can interpret the dharma literally. If we start interpret the dharma literally it will be a terrible thing. The wholeness and sacredness, the blessing of the dharma will be lost.
Therefore, how do we connect between karma and the blessing and the fear and protection? You know the Buddhism believes in karma. Everything is karma: each one of us looks different, that is our karma and all of us being together in this room right now is karma. Each one of us came here for millions of years, the journey right now, if you trace back, you can trace back for millions of years. From this life to past life and past and past life for millions of lives we can trace. And the way we think and look we can trace, each aspect of us we can trace back for millions of lifetimes, if we have ability and patience to do so. But if we conveniently stop somewhere, because we have no ability and no patience to look further and say: "Okay, we began there," we can do that too. But if we honestly want to go further, we can go forever. And a simple thing of how many strings of hair each one of us has on our head - each hair has its own cause and conditions. How unimportant it is, still we can trace that for millions of lifetimes. And you just coughed - we can trace it for millions of lifetimes. Everything, that is karma, that is truth, nothing comes from nowhere, everything comes from somewhere, everything happens because of all the other reasons that makes it happen. So that karma is the truth.
But karma is not ultimate truth, karma is relative truth. If karma is ultimate truth, then we are doomed. Because people understand karma, but not quite clearly, they will think of karma as predestination, karma as empty of free will. They don't understand, because they did not listen from the beginning to the end. They just grabbed in the middle and magnified it and made judgement on that. So, karma is truth, but relative truth. Ultimately I am not even here. Ultimately nothing has ever happened and is never going to happen. But relatively everything is happening. This is relative. Relative and absolute truths are inseparable from each other because relative truth is the relative truth of the ultimate truth and ultimate truth is the ultimate truth of the relative truth. They are two sides of a coin.
Blessing and all these things are possible, because to whom the blessing should be given and to whom the protection should be given - protection from what, blessing of what - is all relative. Therefore, if there are right conditions, the blessing will be received, if there are right conditions, protection will be given. For example, let's say I have done something terrible in my past life, I have been the boogie man to frighten every child. As a result of that in this life I will have lots of fear. I will be afraid of everybody everything. That is because in my previous life I was frightening everybody. But if I developed total faith into Tara who is embodiment of compassion and if I developed total compassion to sentient beings, to whom I have been the boogie man, so then, when that happens, my fear will go. Because of the blessing of the Tara I will be perfected. I will feel no more fear. That is how the protection works.
The blessing also, same thing, something is got to be there, that can be blessing. Blessing and what is to be blessed has to do everything to do with each other. The Buddha's blessing, the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara's blessing, the Bodhisattva Tara's blessing, Tara and Avalokiteshvara are deities, so their blessing is the blessing of compassion and wisdom. Not just compassion. We talk a lot about compassion because it is quite politically correct to talk about it; it is not so politically correct to talk about devotion. I as a guru, when I talk about devotion I get self-conscious, so I have to explain a lot. Otherwise it seems to some people that I'm telling the audience they should have devotion to me. It sounds like that, so I have to be very careful. But when I talk about compassion, I don't have to worry about that. It's much easier subject. That also shows that people don't have that much devotion and people don't trust that much. People's suspicion is much more than their trust. It is also merit, because if you have merit, you will have more trust and more confidence. If you don't have merit then you have less trust and less confidence. So that is lack of merit actually, but what to do, that is the way it is, for the time being.
So the devotion to Tara from me who have the potential, which Tara has already matured, therefore, my potential and Tara's achievement are same. Because of that, if I long for a blessing then I can receive her blessing. It is like pen with ink in it and a paper. So paper has the right condition, so the pen can write on it. My condition is my devotion to Tara and my compassion is also what Tara represents. Then Tara's blessing I can receive. That is how it works. My devotion is relative, my compassion is relative, but Tara's compassion is ultimate, because she became already the embodiment of compassion and embodiment of wisdom. Therefore it is ultimate. And my compassion and my devotion is relative.
So, according to how deep and profound my compassion is, that profound blessing of Tara I will receive. Tara's blessing I receive relatively, not ultimately. Ultimately I become Tara. Until that all the blessing that I receive, there is somebody who gives the blessing and here is somebody who receives the blessing. If this duality is there, it is relative truth. The definition of relative and ultimate truth is whether it is dualistic or non-dualistic. When we reach the non-dualistic state, then it is ultimate. Ultimately I become Tara. At the end of each of our Tara practice (in this case, and in other practices with other Bodhisattva or Deity) we will say:
Gewa di yi nyirdu da
jetsun drolma drup jur ne
drowa chi chang ma ly pa
de yi sa la gö par sho.
"Because of this merit or due to this merit may I attain the realisation of the Tara and may I liberate all sentient beings without leaving one sentient being to the realisation and the liberation of the Tara."
That way it is the ultimate blessing is to become her, but relative blessing is longevity, protection of this fear and that fear and then there are twenty one manifestations, each manifestation representing certain aspect of suffering and fear; so to protect them from this particular suffering Tara manifest in a certain way. So people pray and worship Tara for this particular protection etc. It works and it is relative because it is dualistic. Having said that I would like to read the praises of the twenty one Taras.
Refuge, bodhicitta, Seven-branch: Jetsun phama drolma dang… Then twenty-one praises. Conclusion (The Benefits): Lhamo lha gu… The mantra is of the Tara is Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha. This is the short form of the Tara prayer. Here you can see very clearly at the end of the prayer, at the dedication it says: Lhamo la gu yang dag den pe / lo den gang gi rab dang jöpe….until sangye göpang tartu der dro... if I summarise, the meaning is "The Goddess, the Tara, once one has the pure and sincere respect and devotion" - it is not just devotion but sincere and pure respect and devotion - "once with that one prays to her, then one's fear will be lifted and one's sins or negative karmas will be purified. Therefore one will be liberated from the lower realms and will encounter the thousands of Buddhas. They will empower you, your realisation will progress and finally you will reach Buddhahood." This is said very clearly step by step, it is not any kind of supernatural magic blessing. I will call that "divine corruption". There is no such thing. We have to work on it. And as we progress, the blessing progresses. As the blessing progresses the realisation progresses. When the realisation progresses the blessing progresses further and the final blessing is to become the Tara and to reach the Buddhahood.
Then also there is little bit superficial blessings mentioned here, this is what many many people are praying and worshiping Tara for, it is: whatever you wish will come true. You cannot be bothered by evil spirits, you will be free of disease, and your sufferings and pains will be relieved (sounds like a painkiller!) Yes, divine painkiller of course. And those who wish to have children, they can have children, those who wish to have wealth, they can have wealth and whatever their wishes are they can be fulfilled. All the obstacles will cease. This is here: Dön dang rim-dang du-gi zir-wei… until the end of the prayer. This has nothing to do with enlightenment, this is very worldly sort of thing. I want money, please give me money, so, pray to Tara. Give me a child, pray to Tara, that sort of thing. People pray to Tara and they say that their wishes are fulfilled. But anyway, this is not what ultimately Tara is for. But relatively, of course, because every day we are saying "May all sentient beings be free from suffering." Suffering that will not mean the kind of philosophical definition of suffering but people's definition of suffering on grass root level. Grass root - you don't like something - that is suffering, you know, whether philosophically that is a good thing or bad thing and so we are requesting Tara for helping us on that level as well. And this is very clearly mentioned here.
Those were few things about Tara. And I also feel that Tara is feminine aspect of Bodhisattva or Deity, which is very important in our lineage, because although male aspect of Deity - you have up there Chakrasamvara and Vajravarahi, looks like, right? These days there are so many thangkas, some of them are real and some are not real. I don't know which one is which, very hard to know. Anyway, example with that, Chakrasamvara is male and Vajravarahi is female, so the male and female are like king and queen. Normally male deities are the main figure and the female deities are the consort for it, normally, but in our lineage, our main Deity is Vajravarahi, which is female, and not Chakrasamvara. Chakrasamvara is there but Vajravarahi by herself without Chakrasamvara is our main deity.
The reason for that is given very clearly: the male deity represents the method, the skilful means, and the female deity represents the wisdom. But then, skilful means for what, method for what, method to acquire and develop the wisdom. Our ultimate aim of implementing any method of Dharma practice is to attain the realisation of primordial wisdom. For that reason the Vajravarahi is our main Deity. Similarly Tara is also very important in Tibetan Buddhism, because in every monastery in our lineage in the morning we have Green Tara puja. And in the evening we have Mahakala puja. Mahakala and Mahakali together, we have a puja in the evening, this is our Dharma Protector, Wisdom Protector. In the morning we have Green Tara, twenty one Taras, whole puja in every monastery and this also has a lot to do with what she represents, which is the wisdom.
I can say his much for today. Would you have any questions?
Question: Who is Saraswati in the context of Tibetan Buddhism?
Rinpoche: Yes, we have Saraswati, which goes with Manjushri. Manjushri is the male aspect, Saraswati is the female aspect. So Saraswati represents wisdom of course, but she is also the Deity of Sound. It is worshipped and practised as a Deity of Expression, Art and Music. There are many forms of Saraswati. In one of them she carries a guitar (not western guitar, but vina, lute, some kind of string instrument) and she sits on a swan. That is our main form of Sarasvati, but there are many different forms of Saraswati. One particular Manjushri has five forms of Sarasvati around him. He sits on a lion and there are five manifestations of Saraswati around him. That is Jampal Nangwe Senge, "Manjushri Speech of Lion", not lions roar, more like speech, I'm not sure how to translate that. We also have Saraswati as the main deity and we have abhisheka, sadhana and everything for her as well.
Question: Is she a bodhisattva?
Rinpoche: Bodhisattva of course. Similar to Tara. Bodhisattva as well as deity. All of the Bodhisattvas are somewhat deities as well.
Question: How does Rinpoche think we should do the Tara practice?
Rinpoche: Say exactly as I have said, that includes everything. There is no mantra recitation in that. But if you want little bit more, there is mantra recitation and some more visualisation. This one doesn't really have visualisation, it's a simple prayer. And if you can chant it a little bit, it makes it a little bit more from the heart. When you sing, you get some sort of blessing in itself. It is superficial, but for lay people they can feel more than the monastic chanting which is monotonous. I think little bit ups and downs and singing will be good thing. And lots of Tibetan lay people will say the Twenty-One Tara Praises Om jetsunma pama drolma la cha-chal-lo… they will say this where-ever they go. This is very common practice.
Question: How is Tara different from dakinis?
Rinpoche: Well, you can also call Tara dakini, but dakinis are opposite of dakas. Dakas and dakinis go together pawo and pamo. We have twenty one holy sites and thirty two holy areas. Ne means like one spot and yul is like a whole area. Each one of them has their particular Dakas and Dakinis dwelling there. One of them is Samundra, one is Kangra, one is Kulu, Dwalamuki. The twenty one and thirty two places like which are all part of India. We also believe that there are that kinds of twenty one places for the whole Earth. Also we say the each elbow-length square land has its own twenty one and thirty two holy sites. So it's not just there, there and there. Then of course it will mean the whole of the galaxy will have, all of the space will have, like this. So each place has daka and dakini. This is the real definition of daka and dakini. Daka is the male form, dakini is the female form. So it goes with the twenty one holy places and thirty two holy sites - yul. Ne nji chu tsa chi. Ne means a holy place like Kangra and Bodhgaya. Yul means a whole valley or area, there are thirty two. I think many of the Hindu pilgrimage sites like Tsamundra come from our texts. Each of those places have daka and dakini and I used to know the name of each of the places and the names of the dakas and dakinis of each of the places, but now it's gone, because twenty seven years have passed and I have been the coolie for the lineage. I don't remember them like before.
Rinpoche: We have one Vajrayogini. That is not Vajravarahi. Vajravarahi has two heads: one human head and one boar's head with tusk. But another form of her is Vajrayogini. That has no boar's head only one faced, red-coloured. One of the manifestations is what we call Phagmo Ugyewa[?], it means: no head. She has the head in her hand, her own head in her hand. That is one of the Phagmos, one of the Vajravarahis. She has her head in her hand and we have thangkas of that also. And there is Phagmo Khagyema[?]. She stands on both legs; Vajravarahi stands on one leg like dancing, but this one stands on both legs and holds a kapala like this facing the kapala. Another one is Phagmo Kagyelma [?]. She has this leg over shoulder here, this leg over shoulder here, like a yoga posture. She has Phagmo karmo (white in colour), Phagmo marmo (red in colour), there are many. Ultimately limitless, countless manifestations. Now I have learned that is Samundra. For us that is a very important deity, manifestation of Vajravarahi.
Q: [About holding ones own head in one's hand.]
Rinpoche: That is not possible, you know. That is only possible for Vajravarahi.
Q: What is the definition of a bodhisattva?
Rinpoche: Bodhisattvas are so many. You take bodhisattva vow today - you are a bodhisattva. And Bodhisattva like Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri, Tara etc., they are on another level. And for example with Avalokiteshvara described as: he is the father of all the Buddhas, but still manifests as the tent level Bodhisattva, so that is another definition of Bodhisattva. And then any of you, who takes bodhisattva vow today saying that I will attain the Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings to attain Buddhahood, and I will not exclude anybody from this motivation; if you take this vow, you are a bodhisattva. But not such a Bodhisattva like Avalokiteshvara or Manjushri. So it is a very big terminology, it covers so much.
I have taken the bodhisattva vow, so I am a bodhisattva, but not you know… I mean tenth level Bodhisattva is very very far away, because tenth level Bodhisattva physically can manifest in one hundred places at the same time perfectly at all times. I can't manifest in one place perfectly for one minute, you know. I was late for an hour. There are so many levels of bodhisattva.
Q: What is the significance of the stringed instrument Saraswati holds?
Rinpoche: String instruments have quite important significance, which all the instruments have I think. If the string is too tight it will snap, if the string is too loose, it will make no noise. The string has to be exactly according to the noise that you want. If you have three strings one has to be very tight to make a high pitch noise, second has to be little looser, so little lower noise, and third one has to be much loosened, so that it will make lower noise, so that as you play it, then you will have a tune. Otherwise if all three strings are same tightness, then they are just like one string. This represents something like everything should be not too tight, everything should be not too loose, one has to be mindful, aware, balanced and all this. Relative truth, absolute truth, unity etc. It could be, but I should not contaminate the lineage of Saraswati therefore I should not confirm such a thing. It has to be looked from a Saraswati sadhana and explanation and commentary. There it will be explained for sure: what kind of instrument it is, how many strings there are what each string represents. I do not remember those things.
I am very happy to share little bit of my knowledge. White Tara is one of my main deities, although I pray to Green Tara as well. I am very happy to do this with all of you at the invitation of our respected host and individuals, who have interest in such subject. I am very happy to share this with you and sincerely hope and pray it will be beneficial for all of you. May Buddha bless us and Tara bless us. Let's make a short dedication prayer.
Green Tara - short practice
PO-TA-LA YI NE CHOG NE
LHA-DANG LHA-MIN CHÖ-PEN-JI
DUN JI NAM KHAR JET-SUN-MA NGÖN SUM SHU-PAR JUR
Imagine: Jetsunma is truly residing is space before me.
Refuge and Bodhicitta
NAMO KON-CHO KUN NGEU JET-SUN MAR
(Homage) I and all beings go for refuge
DA SO DRO KUN CHAP-SU'n CHI
To Jetsunma, truly all the Jewels.
CHANG-CHUB MÖN-PAY SEM-CHEN NE
Having developed the mind that aspires to enlightenment,
SAB MÖN-LAM LA JU-PAR JI
We will enter onto the deep path.
Seven Branch Prayer
JET-SUN PHA-MA DROL-MA DANG
I pay homage with compele adoration
CHO-CHU DU-SUM SHU-PA YI
To Jetsun Arya Tara
GYAL-WA SE CHE TAM-CHE LA
And all the Victors and Their Sons
KUN-NE DANG-WE CHA-JI-O
That reside in the ten directions and the three times
ME-TOK DÜ-PÖ MAR-ME DRI
I offer actual possessions and manifestations of the mind:
SAL SHE ROL-MO LA-SOK-PA
Flowers, incense, lights, perfumes,
NGÖN-JOR YI-CHI TRUL-NE BUL
Food, music and so on
PHA-ME TO-CHI SHE-SU SOL
I pray to the multitudes of the Arya to accept them.
TO-MA ME NE DA TE BAR
I confess all the negative actions
MI-GE CHU DANG TSAM-ME NGA
Of the mind under the power of kleshas:
SEM-NI NYÖN-MONG WANG-JUR-PE
The ten non-positive and five limitless actions
DI-PA TAM-CHE SHA-PAR JI
Since beginninglessnes until present.
NYEN-TÖ RANG-GYAL CHANG-CHUB-SEM
I rejoice in the merit of
SO SO CHE-WO LA-SOK-PE
Whatever good karma that has been accumulated in the three times,
DU-SUM GE-WA CHI-SAK-PE
By Shravakas, Pratyekabuddas, Bodhisattvas,
SÖ-NAM LA-NI DA-JI-RANG
By ordinary beings and all others.
SEMCHEN NAM CHI SAM-PA DANG
I pray that You turn the Dharma-Wheel
LO-YI CHE-DRA CHI-TA WAR
Of the great, small and general yanas
CHE-CHUNG TUN-MONG TE-PA-YI
In accordance with the particular mentalities
CHÖ-CHI KHOR-LO KOR-DU SOL
and motivations of all beings.
KHOR-WA CHI SI MA TONG BAR
I pray that You look with compassion on all beings
NYA-NGEN MIN-DA TUK-JE YI
Who are drowning in the sea of suffering
DU-GNAL JAM-TSOR CHING-WA YI
And that You do not pass into Nirvana
SEM-CHEN NAM-LA ZIG-SU SOL
Until Samsara is emptied.
DA-GI SÖ-NAM CHI SAK-PA
Whatever merit I have accumulated,
TAM-CHE CHANG-CHUB JUR JUR NE
May it all become a cause of enlightenment,
RING-POR MI-TOG DRO-WA YI
So that I can become, without delay,
DREN-PE PAL-DU DA JUR CHIK
The spendour of a Guide of beings.
RANG-NYI KE-CHIG DREN-DZO SU
I, instantaneously, 'Complete with a Thought',
JET-SUN PHA-ME KUR SAL-WE
Vividly appear as the Body of the Jetsun Arya,
TU-KAR DA-TENG TAM JANG KU
A green TAM upon the moon at the heart-centre
DE-LE Ö-ZER PA-YE DRÖ
Measureless light-rays radiate from that,
PHA-MA NAM-DRUL NYER-CHI DANG
The twenty-one manifestations of the Arya
KÖN-CHOK GYAM-TSOI DRIN DRÖ-WA
And emanated clouds of oceans of the Jewels,
DÜN-CHI NAM-KHAR CHEN-DRANG JUR.
Are invited into space before me.
CHE-ME Ö-SAL CHÖ-KU-YING
The unborn Clear-Light expanse of the Dharmakaya
GA-ME PA-ME YE-SHE KUR
Arises as the unobstructed Jana-Body of the Arya,
GANG DUL JU DRUL DRA-WAR SHAR
As the network of manifestations, whatever will tame beings.
TSUR SHE ARYA TARE DZA
Come Arya Tara.
DA DANG DRO-LA TU-TSE CHIR
Due to Your Love for myself and beings,
NYI-CHI DZUN DRUL TU YI NI
Through the power of your miracles,
CHI SI CHÖ PA DA JI PA
For as long as I make offerings,
DE SI TSOM-DEN SHUG-SU-SOL
Bhagavani, remain, I pray.
PEMA KAMALAYA SATOM
A lotus-seat for You.
The Actual Prases
OM JET-SUN-MA PA-MA DROL-MA LA CHA-TSAL-LO
Om. I pay homage to Tara, the Noble One, the Arya
CHA-TSAL TA-RE NYUR-MA PA-MO
Namo. Tare, she who is swift, the Heroine,
TUT-TA-RE YI JI-PA SEL-MA
She who eliminates all fear with tuttare,
TU-RE DÖN-KÜN JIN-PE DROL-MA
The Saviouress who gives all benefit with ture
SOHE YI-KE CHÖ-LA DU-DO
I bow down to You, swaha.
CHA-TSAL DROL-MA NYUR-MA PA-MO
Namo. Tara, She who is Swift, the Heroine,
CHEN-NI KE-CHIK LO-DANG DRA-MA
She who has Eyes like instantaneous lightning
JI-TEN SUM-GÖN CHU-CHE SHAL-CHI
She who appeared from the opened blossom
GE-SAR CHE-WA LE-NI CHUNG-MA
Of the Lotus Face of the Lord of the Three Worlds (Chenrezi).
CHA-TSAL TÖN-KE DA-WA KUN-TU
Namo. She who has the Face of a hundred completely full moons
KANG-WA JA-NI TSE-PE SHAL-MA
Of Autumn, laid one upon another.
KAR-MA TONG-DRA TSO-PA NAM-CHI
She who is shining intensely with the completely diffused light
RAB-TU CHE-WE Ö-RAB BAR-MA
Of a multitude of thousands of stars.
CHA-TSAL SER NGO CHU NE CHE CHI
Namo. She whose Hand is perfectly adorned
PE-ME CHA-NI NAM-PAR JEN-MA
By a gold and blue lotus born from water.
JIN-PA TSÖN-DRU KA-TUB SHI-WA
She who is the embodiment of thefield of activity of giving,
ZÖ-PA SAM-TEN CHÖ-YUL NYI-MA
diligence, the difficult, peace, patience and dhyana.
CHA-TSAL DE-SHIN SHE-PE TSU-TOR
Namo. She who has the activity of complete, infinite victory
TA-YE NAM-PAR GYL-WAR CHÖ-MA
Upon the Ushinishas (Head-mounds) of the Tathagatas
MA-LY-PA ROL CHIN-PE TOP-PE
She, on whom the Buddha's daughters and sons
GYAL-WE SE-CHI SHIN-TU TEN-MA
Who have attained all paramitas without exception, utterly depend.
CHA-TSAL TUT-TA-RA HUNG YI-GE
Namo. She who fills Desire, Direction and space
DÖ-DANG CHÖ-DANG NAM-KHA GANG-MA
With tuttara and the syllable hung
JI-TEN DUN-PO SHAP-CHI NEN-TE
She who has the power to squash down the seven worlds with her Feet
LU-PA ME-PAR GU-PAR NU-MA
And summon all without exception.
CHA-TSAL JA-CHIN ME-LHA TSANG-PA
Namo. She to whom Indra, Agni, Brahma, Pavana
LUNG-LHA NA-TSO WONG-CHU CHÖ-MA
And the Various Great Gods make offerings
JUNG-PO RO-LANG DRI-SA NAM DANG
She who is praised by multitudes of bhutas, vetalas
NÖ-JIN TSO-CHI DUN-NE TÖ-MA
Gandharvas and yakshas gathered before Her.
CHA-TSAL TRE CHE CHA-TANG PHE CHI
Namo. She who completely defeats the magical devices of adversaries
PHA-ROL TRUL-KOR RAB-TU JOM-MA
By what is named trad and phat
YE-KUM YÖN-CHANG SHAB-CHI NEN-TE
She who squashes down with Her legs, the right indrawn, the left extended,
ME-BAR DRU-PA SHIN-TU BAR-MA
And blazes intensely with whirling blazing fire.
CHA-TSAL TU-RE JI-PA CEN-MÖ
Namo. Ture, the Great Terroress,
DU-CHI PA-WO NAM-PAR JOM-MA
Who completely vanquishes the Mara-Warriors
CHU-CHE SHAL-NI TRO-NYER DEN-DZE
She who has a Lotus-Face grimacing angrily,
DRA-WO TAM-CHE MA-LU SÖ-MA
Who slays all enemies without exception.
CHA-TSAL KÖN-CHOK SUM-TSÖN CHA JI
Namo. She who's Heart is perfectly adorned
SOR-MO TU-KAR NAM-PAR JEN.MA
By Her fingers in the Mudra symbolising the Three Jewels,
MA-LY CHO-CHI KOR-LO JEN-PE
She who whirls her own multitude of lights,
RAN-GI Ö-CHI TSO-NAM DRU-MA
Adorning the wheel of all directions without exception.
CHA-TSAL RAB-TU GA-WA JI-PE
Namo. She who has a Tiara of brilliance and complete joy
U-JEN Ö-CHI DRENG-WA PEL-MA
Creating more and more streams of light.
SHE-PA RAB-SHE TUT-TA-RA YI
She who with laughter, the perfect laughter of tuttara,
DU DANG JI-TEN WANG-DU DZE-MA
Overpowers Maras and worlds.
CHA-TSAL SA-SHI CHONG-WE TSO-NAM
Namo. She who has the power to summon
TAM-CHE GU-PAR NU-PA NYI-MA
All the multitudes of Protectors of the World.
DRO-NYER YO-WE YI-GE HUNG GI
She who perfectly liberates from all destitution
PONG-PA TAM-CHE NAM-PAR DROL-MA
With the syllable hung of the Wrathful Grimacer.
CHA-TSAL DA-WE DUM-BU U-JEN
Namo. She, whose head-adornment, which is a sliver of the moon,
JEN-PA TAM-CHE SHIN-TU BAR-MA
And all Her adornments, are shining intensely.
RAL-PE TRÖ-NA Ö-PA-ME LE
She who creates eternal, intense light
TA-PAR SHIN-TU Ö-NI DZE-MA
From Amitabha in the midst of Her gathered hair.
CHA-TSAL KALPE TA-ME ME TAR
Namo. She who resides in the centre of a blazing garland
BAR-WE DRENG-WE U-NA NE-MA
like the fire at the end of the kalpa.
YE-CHANG YÖN-KUM KUN-NE KOR-GA
She who, with right leg extended, left indrawn, with the joy of complete revolving
DRA-JI PUNG-NI NAM-PAR JOM-MA
Totally defeats the hordes of enemies.
CHA-TSAL SA-SHI NGÖ-LA CHA-GI
Namo. She who stamps with Her Feet and squashes down with Her Hands
TIL-CHI NUN-CHING SHAP-CHI DUNG-MA
The surface of the Earth.
DRO-NYER CHEN-DZE YI-GE HUNG-GI
She who manifests as (Bhrikuti The Angry Grimacer), and with the syllable hung
RIM-PA DUN-PO NAM-NI GEM-MA
Vanquishes all of the Seven Levels.
CHA-TSAL DE-MA GE-MA SHI-MA
Namo. She who is Bliss, She who is Goodness, She who is Peace,
NYA-NGEN DE-SHI CHÖ-JUL NYI-MA
She who is the embodiment of the field of experience of Nirvana's Peace.
SO-HA OM DANG YANG-DAG DEN-PE
She who, through that which truly possesses swaha and om (Tara's mantra)
DI-PA CHEN-PO JOM-PA NYI-MA
Is the embodiment of the defeat of great bad karma.
CHA-TSAL KUN-NE KOR-RAB GA-WE
Namo. She who totally vanquishes the bodies of the enemies
DRA-YI LU-NI RAB-TU GEM-MA
Of those with perfect joy at the complete circling.
YI-GE CHU-PE NGA-NI KÖ-PE
She who is the Saviouress arisen from the Wisdom-hung
RIM-PA HUNG LE DROL-MA NYI-MA
Of the arranged ten-syllable speech.
CHA-TSAL TU-RE SHAP-NI DAP PE
Namo. Ture, who by stamping Her Feet,
HUNG GI NAM-PE SA-PÖN NYI-MA
She who is the nature of the Seed in the form of a hung,
RI-RAB MEN-DA-RA DANG BI CHE
Shakes the Sumeru, Mandara and Vindhya mountains,
JI-TEN SUM-NAM YO-WA NYI-MA
And all the three worlds.
CHA-TSAL LHA-YI TSO-YI NAM-PE
Namo. She who holds in Her Hands that which has the emblem of a wild animal
RI-DA TA-CHEN CHA-NA NAM-MA
And has the form of the Lake of the Devas.
TA-RA NYI JEU PEH CHI YI-GE
She who eliminates all poisons without exception
DU-NAM MA-LU-PAR NI SEL-MA
Through reciting the two taras and the syllable phat.
CHA-TSAL LHA-YI TSO-NAM JAL-PO
Namo. She to whom the multitudes of Deva-Kings
LHA-DANG MI-AM CHI-YI TEN-MA
Devas and Kimnara depend.
KUN-NE GO-CHA GA-WE JI-CHI
She who eliminates quarrels and evil dreams
TSÖ-DANG MI-LAM NGEN-PA SEL-MA
With the majesty of Her joyous complete armour.
CHA-TSAL NYI-MA DA-WA JE-PE
Namo. She with the intensely vivid light
CHEN-NYI PO-LA Ö-RAB SAL-MA
Of the full sun and moon in both eyes,
HA-RA NYI JÖ TUT-TA-RA YI
She who eliminates extremely fierce diseases
SHIN-TU DRA-PÖ RIM-NE SEL-MA
By reciting the two haras and tuttare.
CHA-TSALDE-NYI SUM-NAM KÖ-PE
Namo. She who truly possesses the power of Peace,
SHI-WE TU-DANG YANG-DAG DEN-MA
Through the arrangement of the three Thatnesses,
DÖN-DANG RO-LANG NÖ-JIN TSO NAM
She who is the totally supreme ture, the conqueror
JOM-PA TU-RE RAB-CHO NYI-MA
Of the multitudes of avaharas, vetalas and yakshas.
TSAWE NGA CHI TÖ-PA DI-DANG
This praise of the Root-Mantra
CHA-TSAL-WA NI NYI SHU TSA CHI
And the twenty-one Namos.
JET-SUN PA-MA DROL-MA CHE CHEN-NO
Noblest Lady Tara, think of us,
JIG-DANG DUG-NAL KUN-LE CHAP-TU SOL (21 times)
Please protect us from all fear and suffering.
LHA-MO LA-GU YANG-DAG DEN-PE
When recited by whoever has understanding,
LO-DEN GANG-GI RAB-DANG JÖ-PE
And true devotion to the Goddess,
SÖ-DANG TÖ-RANG LANG-PAR CHE-TE
If remembered at dusk and after arising at dawn,
DREN-PE MI-JI TAN-CHE RAB-TER
All fearlessness will be completely given,
DIG-PA TAM-CHE RAB-TU SHI-WA
All bad karma will be totally pacified,
NGEN-DRO TAM-CHE JOM-PA NYI-DO
All lower existences will be defeated,
GYAL-WA CHE-WA DRA-DUN NAM-CHI
The multitudes of the sufferings of afflictions
NYUR-DU WANG-NI KUR-WAR JUR-LA
By demons, diseases and poisons are totally removed
DI-LE CHE-WA NYI-NI TOB-CHING.
And also for all other beings.
SANGYE GO-PANG TAR-TU DER-DRO
If truly recited in two, three and seven,
DE-YI DU-NI DRAK-PO CHEN-PO
By desiring a child, a child will be obtained,
TEN-LA NE-PA-AM SHEN-YANG DRO-WA
By desiring wealth, wealth will be obtained,
SÖ-PA DANG-NI TUNG-PA NYI-CHANG
All that is desired will be obtained,
DREN-PE RAB-TU SEL-WA NYI-TOB
All obstacles will be eliminated, individually vanquished.
DÖN DANG RIM DANG DU-GI ZIR-WE
Seven times a million Buddhas
DU-GNAL TSO-NI NAM-PAR PONG-TE
Will swiftly give empowerment, so that
SEM-CHEN SHEN-PA NAM-LA YANG-NGO
More than exists in the present will be obtained,
NYI SUM DUN-DU NGÖN-PAR JÖ-NA
And the ultimate level of Buddhahood is proceeded to.
BU-DÖ PE-NI BU-TOB JUR-SHING
The great fierce poison of this,
NOR-DÖ PE-NI NOR NAM NYI TOB
Whether in the inanimate or in the living,
DÖPA TAM-CHE TOB-PAR JUR-TE
Though it has been eaten or drunk
GEG-NAM ME-CHING SO-SOR JOM JUR.
Its complete elimination will be obtained through remembering.
Dissolving the Deity in Front
DUN-CHE Ö-SHU RANG-LA TIM
The visualisation before me melts into light and merges with myself.
YER-ME NYI-TU CHIN-LAP PE
Through being blessed with inseparability,
NANG NYI PA-MA DROL-ME KU
I become the Body of the Arya Tara,
NAG-LA RANG SHIN ME PAR JUR.
An Appearance without a true nature.
Holding within the mind the clear appearance and pride of the Arya, recite the ten syllables:
OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SOHA
Om Saviouress, Loving-One, Swift-One, swaha.
Confession of Errors, the Hundred-Syllable Mantra
OM BEN-ZA SA-TO SA-MAY-A
Vajrasattva, by commitment
Protect me with your care
BEN-ZA SA-TO TE-NO-PA TI-TRA DRI-TO ME-BHA-VA
Remain stably present within me
SU-TO KA-JO ME-BHA-VA
Lead me to total satisfaction
SU-PO KA-JO ME-BHA-VA
Help enable me to develop wholesomely
A-NU RAK-TO ME-BHA-VA
Support me with your love
SAR-VA SIDD-HI MEN-TRA YA-TSA
Bestow all the Accomplishments upon me
SAR-VA KAR-MA SU-TSA-ME
Through accomplishing proper activity
CHIT-TAM SHRI YA GU-RU HUM
May my mind become worthy
HA HA HA HA HO BHA-GA-VAN
(Four Limitless Contemplations and Their Joyous Play)
Transcendent Accomplished Victor, embodiment of all the Tathagathas
May the Indestructible never leave me
BEN-ZA BHA-VA MA-HA SA-MAY-A SA-TO AH.
May I become the Holder of the Indestructible, such a great commitment.
Dissolving Oneself as the Deity
LHA DANG RANG-SEM YER-ME-PA
The inseparability of the Deity and my own mind
CHÖ-JING NYUG-ME NGANG-DU SHA.
Rests in the natural state, the Dharmadhatu. (Thus cultivate the view of the natural state.)
GE-WA DI-NI NYUR-DU DA
Through this goodness, may I quickly
PA-MA DROL-MA DRUP-JUR-NE
Gain the accomplishment of Arya Tara
DRO-WA CHI CHANG MA-LY-PA
And establish all beings,
DE-YI SA-LA GÖ-PAR SHO.
Without a single exception, on that level.