9 May, 8th day of the Lunar month, is a holy and auspicious day and a very good day to pray and pay homage to Tara/Dölma (The obstacle removing and wish full-filling Buddha).
The Drolma or Tara is one of the powerful Bodhisattva in the Buddhist pantheon whose popularity as a savioress and embodiment of compassion matches that of any other. The word Tara is derived from the root “tar” in Sanskrit which translates as “to cross”. This provides an initial clue as to Tara’s name and her important vow to help beings cross over the ocean of suffering. Tara also translates as star in Sanskrit, but the word with regard to the name of the goddess is invariably interpreted as savioress and used essentially in that context. The equivalent Choeki term Drolma translates directly as one who saves or the Savioress. Tara’s legend begins with her in the very distant past in a universe system called Manifold Light. She was then the Princess Yeshay Dawa or Moon Wisdom, a devout votary of the Dundubhi-svara Buddha. After eons of acquiring great virtue and merit, and attaining the mind stream of a Bodhisattva, she took the Bodhisattva vow to liberate all beings from samsara. However, a special vow of hers was that she would undertake her altruistic Bodhisattva tasks in the form of a woman. Accordingly, she began fulfilling her great destiny as a peerless savioress of mankind and was able to help and save countless beings. In recognition of this, the Dundubhi-svara Buddha proclaimed her as Tara and prophesied that she would be known widely by that name in the future.
Tara continued to work for the wellbeing of all sentient creatures across several eons and different universe systems and came to be known as Loving Mother, Heroine, Swift one, Mother of all Buddhas, Granter of all boons, Faithful One, Giver of treasures and by several other titles denoting her compassionate nature and altruistic activities. The Tara is said to have a 108 names altogether.
The Tara also emanated as a reincarnation of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara when she was born from a lotus that emerged from Avalokiteshvara’s tears of pity for the sufferings of beings. The two Taras were born from the tears streaming down Avalokiteshvara’s face, a peaceful White Tara from the left eye and a semi-wrathful Green Tara from the right eye.
21 aspects of Tara
“Tara is known as the ‘Mother of all Buddhas’. This is because she is the wisdom of reality, and all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are born from this wisdom. This wisdom is also the fundamental cause of happiness, and our own spiritual growth comes from this wisdom. That is why Tara is called the Mother. And Mother Tara has much wisdom to manifest many aspects, sometimes peaceful, sometimes wrathful, in different colors; all to help sentient beings.” – Ven. Lama Thubten Yeshey
Green Tara, filled with youthful vigor, is a goddess of activity. She is the fiercer form of Tara, but is still a savior-goddess of compassion. She is the consort of Avalokiteshvara and considered by some to be the original Tara. Like Avalokiteshvara, the Green Tara is believed to be an emanation of the “self-born” Buddha Amitabha, and an image of Amitabha is sometimes depicted in Tara’s headdress.
Green Tara is believed to have been incarnated as the Nepali wife of the Tibetan king Songtsan Gampo. In Buddhism, the color green signifies activity and accomplishment. Thus Amoghasiddhi, the Lord of Action, is also associated with the color green.
Green Tara is ichnographically depicted in a posture of ease and readiness for action. While her left leg is folded in the contemplative position, her right leg is outstretched, ready to spring into action. Green Tara’s left hand is in the refuge-granting mudra (gesture); her right hand makes the boon-granting gesture. In her hands she also holds closed blue lotuses (utpalas), which symbolize purity and power. She is adorned with the rich jewels of a Bodhisattva.
In Buddhist religious practice, Green Tara’s primary role is savories. She is believed to help her followers overcome dangers, fears and anxieties, and she is especially worshiped for her ability to overcome the most difficult of situations. Green Tara is also a wish full-filling Buddha who has the power to grant wishes. Green Tara is intensely compassionate and acts quickly to help those who call upon her.
“Bodhisattva Tara is a deity whom all the holy beings of the past had relied upon. The great Indian masters of the past, such as master Atisha, relied on Tara as a special deity. The great Kadampa masters of Tibet, Lama Tsongkhapa and all the lineage gurus relied on Tara. In short, when you look at all the holy beings of the four different traditions—Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyü and Gelug—they had relied on Tara as their special deity. They all received blessings and attainments just by doing the practice of Tara. When we rely on Tara, whatever wishes we have will quickly be accomplished. We may wish to have success and all the favorable conditions for our Dharma practice. We may wish to pacify obstacles or, in relation to our worldly life, to have success in business. In short, whatever activities we need to engage in, when we make prayers to and rely on Tara, because of her enlightened activities, she will respond very fast and all our wishes will be quickly accomplished.
In general all the buddhas have the same level of realizations in terms of the obstructions that they have abandoned. In terms of their realizations, they are all the same. But there is a difference in the prayers that they made while they were on the path. Due to the special prayers that Tara made while practicing on the path to enlightenment, if you were to rely on Tara by praying to her to accomplish whatever activities you do be it worldly or spiritual, it is said that our wishes will be granted. “Je tsün dröl ma” is translated in English as the noble liberator, Tara. Tara is a special deity and, just by thinking of her, seeing her form and reciting her mantra, not only will our temporal wishes be accomplished very quickly, it goes without saying that our negative karma accumulated over many eons will also be purified. Also by thinking of her, seeing her form and reciting her mantra, the potential is also placed in our mind for us to achieve the state of full enlightenment. Whether we want to achieve our own purposes, or we want to achieve the purposes of other sentient beings, or whatever wishes we may have with regard to whatever activities we need to do, when we make heartfelt request with faith to Tara, whether it is a short-term goal or a long-term objective, they will succeed quickly.”
~ Lama Lhundrup Rigsel
21 Verses of Homage and Prayer to Jetsun Drolma/Dema/Bodhisattva Tārā with the Excellent Benefits of Reciting the Praise (Which was recited/taught by the Buddha):
For Tibetan Buddhists, the Praise to Tārā with Twenty-One Verses of Homage is undoubtedly the most popular prayer to the deity Tārā. It is recited on a daily basis by many monks, nuns, and lay practitioners alike. The first twenty-one verses praise Tārā by drawing upon the three epithets that also form the core of her root mantra—Tārā (Deliverer), Tuttārā (Savior), and Turā (Swift One). In doing so, they invoke Tārā’s twenty-one forms that vary in aspect from peaceful to wrathful. These twenty-one verses both pay homage to Tārā and provide a poetic description of her physical features, postures, qualities, abilities, mantras, and hand gestures. The concluding six verses of the liturgy describe how and when the praise should be recited and the benefits of its recitation.
21 Verses of Homage and Prayer to Tara link: https://youtu.be/2eCwKSNu9a4
Sutra Source: https://read.84000.co/translation/toh438.html
Green Tara Mantra: Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha
White Tara Mantra: Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Mama Ayuḥ Punya Jñānā Puṣtiṃ Kuru Svāhā. –
From Buddhist Prayers, Teachings, and Quotes