In TANTRIC POETRY by Erik Pema Kunsang6 Comments

The Buddha Shakyamuni sang these twenty-one verses spontaneously.  They are considered to be of tantric nature, each verse has four levels of meaning: literal, general, hidden and ultimate. Our normal reality in each moments contains same infinite vastness and depth and this tantra helps understanding it. There are many books in English that open up for this depth of meaning, not only by explaining the nature of this wonderful female buddha, but also by helping us to connect with the nature of our minds.

Tara made the promise that whoever sings her praise with her name mantra, even if it be only the first verse, will be touched by the light ray of love and compassion, feel an immediate relief from fear and worry, gradually undo what burdens the heart and ultimately be at one with her level of realization, true freedom and enlightenment.

It’s a great joy to disconnect part of the intellectual mind and instead glide on the gentle wind of melody. Previously it has been sung in Sanskrit and Tibetan to free the meditator’s mind while singing. Now we can chant it in English in this singable version performed beautifully by Sascha and Rodrigo.

Here is a link to a free download that can help unpack this praise that has been chanted by millions of meditators since it was first expressed.

Homage to Tara, the noble and sublime.

Homage to TARA, the swift and courageous,
You drive away all our fears with TUTARA,
Savioress fulfilling all aims with the TURE,
With syllables SOHA we offer you homage.

Homage to Tara, the swift and courageous,
Gaze is as quick as flashes of lightning,
From Lord of Triloka, his face like a lotus,
You rose on a billionfold blossoming stamens.

Homage to you with a face that resembles
A meeting of one hundred full moons in autumn,
And who with the brightness of stars by the thousands
Shine in a vast perfect light of resplendence.

Homage to you, the golden-hued lady,
Whose hand is adorned by a blue lotus flower.
Your scope of activity is giving, exertion,
Fortitude, peace, tolerance, meditation.

Homage to you, the victorious, boundless,
From the tathagatas’ crown emanated.
Those who obtained every transcendent virtue,
Offspring of victors, rely on your guidance.

Homage to you filling Realms of Desire,
Its aspect and space with the HUNG and TUTTARA.
Sevenfold worlds under feet you can trample;
You bring all and everything under your power.

Homage to you who is worshipped by Indra,
Agni, Marut, Vishveshvara and Brahma.
All the vetalas, bhutas, gandharvas,
As well as the yakshas, give praise in your presence.

Homage to you, who by TRAT and the PHAT sounds,
Crush every magical wheel, evil forces.
Right leg extended and left bent, you trample,
Within whirling flames you are blazing intensely.

Homage to you, the swift, terrifying,
Who conquers the most tenacious of maras.
Knitting the brow on your lotus-like features,
You slay every foe without an exception.

Homage to you, with your fingers in mudra
Adorning your heart to show the Three Jewels.
Your masses of light are beautiful, swirling,
Connecting with every direction, in circles.

Homage to you, from your crown manifesting
Joyous, majestic, brilliant garlands.
With the great clangor of laughter TUTARE,
Demons and worlds are in your domination.

Homage to you with the magnetize-powers,
Who gather protectors of earth in assembly.
With syllable HUNG and your brow which is frowning,
You liberate every poor, destitute being.

Homage to you, with the crescent, a moon-crown,
While your adornments so brilliantly sparkle,
And Amitabha is placed in your topknot,
Ceaselessly, vast rays of light radiating.

Homage to you, seated in flaming garlands,
Engulfed in a fire like the end of the kalpa.
Right leg extended and left bent, defeating
Enemy hordes with your joy-bringing, swirling.

Homage to you, with your palms you are striking
The earth while using your feet to be stamping.
Regally frowning, with the hung letter,
You shatter the sevenfold layers of lokas.

Homage to you, blissful, virtuous and peaceful,
Enjoy the domain of the tranquil nirvana.
Fully possessing the om and the soha,
You overcome even the greatest of evils.

Homage to you, who encircled by joyous,
Utterly smashes the forms of opponents.
Clearing away with the HUNG of awareness,
Arranged is the mantra by tenfold of letters.

Homage to you, with feet stamping TURE,
Fully presenting the form of the HUNG-seed,
You cause the three worlds to all be atremble,
Including Mount Meru, Mandhara and Vindhya.

Homage to you in whose hands is a deer-marked,
Shaped like the devas’ ocean of nectar.
Sound of the PHAT and the twice uttered TARA,
Without an exception, dispels every poison.

Homage to you, who is asked for your guidance
By rulers of devas, by gods and kinnaras.
Your armor of joy, a radiant brightness,
Removes every nightmare and calms every quarrel.

Homage to you, whose two eyes are shining,
With brilliant light like the sun and the full moon.
By TUTTARA and with the twice chanted HARA,
You clear away even infectious diseases.

Homage to you who can calm down completely,
Through the array of the threefold thatness.
Crowds of vetalas, bhutas, and yakshas
Suppressed with the TURE, sublime mother Tara.

Together with this, the root mantra in praise form,
These were the twenty-one verses of homage.

Translated by Erik Pema Kunsang.
Music by Tara Trinley Wangmo.
Rearranged and singing by Sascha Alexandra Aurora and Rodrigo Reijers. The mp3 download is for free.

About the Author
Erik Pema Kunsang

Erik Pema Kunsang

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Translator of ancient Buddhist scriptures, author, bridge-builder to modern life, Buddhist teacher & meditation instructor. Board of director at 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha. Founder of Rangjung Yeshe Publications and LEVEKUNST art of life. Other LEVEKUNST articles by the same author. Erik's website & retreats.

Tangkha photo by Boudha thanka, Nepal. The face of Tara is from a statue at Nangkyi Hermitage, crafted by Senge under the guidance of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. For meditators who want to dive into the depth of these praises, look into Tara’s Triple Excellence program.

Recommended reading: Tara’s Enlightened Activity: An Oral Commentary on the Twenty-One Praises to Tara.
Skillful Grace

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  1. Avatar

    Dear Lotsawa Erik,

    Thank you for your dedication and your work. Is the tangkha on this post suitable for the Drolma Zabtik practice in the recently published Tara Compendium? Also, I’ve noticed the translation differs somewhat from the praises in Tara Compendium, I assume to fit better with the melody?

    Yours in the dharma,

    James Vitale

    1. Erik Pema Kunsang Author

      Yes, James. I believe the tangkha is very beautiful and suitable. You’re right, the translation in the compendium is the old one. The present version is made specially for singing in English.

  2. Avatar

    Been chanting this for years in Tibetan , so beautiful to have in English now:) excellent !!!! Thank you Both x

  3. Avatar

    see above – i want to download as mp3 and can’t seem to do this.

  4. Avatar

    Thank you for the wonderful chant to Tara, beautiful

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