Praises to the Twenty-One Taras

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Praises to the Twenty-One Taras is a traditional prayer in Tibetan Buddhism to the female Bodhisattva Tara (Sanskrit: तारा, tārā; Tibetan སྒྲོལ་མ, Drolma) also known as Ārya Tārā, or Jetsun Dolma (Wylie:rje btsun sgrol ma).

It appears in the Derge Kangyur as "“Offering Praise to Tara through Twenty-One [verses] of Homage” (Wylie: sgrol ma la phyag 'tshal ba nyi shu gcig gis bstod pa)."[1]

The prayer is found in all four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.[2][3]

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.[4]


An early manuscript version, titled Twenty-One Hymns to the Rescuer Mother of Buddhas (二十一種救度佛母贊), described as an "Imperially commissioned translation of the hymn to the rescuer mother of Buddhas ... in Manchu, Tibetan, Mongolian, and Chinese scripts", was created in the late 18th century by calligrapher Yongrong 永瑢 (1744–1790). It is held by the National Library of China.[5]


Modern English language commentaries include 2007 works by Palden Sherab, and by Adeu Rinpoche and Urgyen Rinpoche [6][7] a 2005 work by Thubten Chodron,[8] a 1999 work by Bokar Rinpoche,[9] and a 1992 work by Martin Willson.[10]

Online commentaries include a 1997 commentary by Khempo Yurmed Tinly Rinpoche,[11] a 2004 commentary by Palden Sherab,[12] and a 2013 commentary by Geshe Dawö.[13]

Extensive descriptions of traditional rituals associated with Tara, including the "Twenty-One Praises", can be found in Steven V. Beyer's 1978 book, The cult of Tārā: magic and ritual in Tibet.[14]


  1. "Praises to the Twenty-One Taras". Rigpa Wiki. Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  2. "Homage to Tara - 21 Praises to Tara". Tibetan Buddhism General Discussions on Red Zambala. Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  3. "Green Tara Puja". Sakya Kechari Institute. Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  4. "The Twenty-one Taras". Rangjung Yeshe Wiki - Dharma Dictionnary. Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  5. "Manuscript of a Mongolian Sūtra". World Digital Library. Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  6. Palden Sherab (2007). Tara's enlightened activity: an oral commentary on the twenty-one praises to Tara. Ithaca, N.Y: Snow Lion Publications. ISBN 9781559392877. 
  7. Urgyen (2007). Skillful grace: Tara practice for our times. Hong Kong: Rangjung Yeshe. ISBN 9789627341611. 
  8. Thubten Chodron (2013). How to free your mind: the practice of Tara the liberator (Reprint ed.). Snow Lion. ISBN 9781559393980. 
  9. Bokar Rinpoche (1999). Tara: the divine feminine. San Francisco, Calif.: ClearPoint Press. ISBN 9781930164000. 
  10. Willson, Martin (1996). In praise of Tārā: songs to the Saviouress: source texts from India and Tibet on Buddhism's great Goddess. Boston, Mass: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0861711092. 
  11. Khempo Yurmed Tinly Rinpoche (1997-04-04). "Translation: Green Tara Puja Commentary". Osel Dorje Nyingpo. Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  12. Palden Sherab (2004). The smile of sun and moon: a commentary on the Praise to the Twenty-one Taras. Boca Raton, FL: Sky Dance Press. ISBN 1880975076. 
  13. "Commentary on the Praise to Twenty-One Taras eBook". FPMT The Foundation Store. Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  14. Beyer, Stephan V (1978). The cult of Tārā: magic and ritual in Tibet. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520036352. 

External links

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