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Female Buddha of Compassion   


About 21 Praises to Tara from


Tara is known as the Swift Liberator ~

She averts obstacles and creates healing and harmony.



          Green Tara                  Green Tara with 20 Taras (21 Taras)      White (Long Life) Tara



Tara is known as the Swift Liberator; she averts obstacles and creates healing and harmony.

Tara was the first feminist Buddha. Through the strength of Her female form, she attained full enlightenment

and so able to emanate myriad forms in order to aid sentient beings with lightening swiftness.

One of her best known forms is the assembly of Twenty-One Emanations (21 Taras).



The Origin of Tara

from a handout prepared by Ven Sangye Khadro

In the past, many eons ago, during the time of Buddha Dundubhisvara (Drum-sound), in the Universe called Manifold Light, there lived a princess by the name of Moon of Wisdom-knowledge. She was a very devoted disciple and would daily set out many offerings to the Buddha and His Sangha. Eventually she generated bodhicitta, the aspiration to attain Enlightenment and become a Buddha herself, in order to help all living beings.

Some bhikshus (monks) came to know of this, and urged her to dedicate the merits

she had created to be reborn as a male. However, the princess rejected this advice, saying:

Here there is no man, there is no woman,
No self, no person, and no consciousness.
Labelling "male" or "female" has no essence,
But deceives the evil-minded world.

She went on to make the following vow:
"There are many who desire Enlightenment in a man's body, but none who work for the benefit

of sentient beings in the body of a woman. Therefore, until samsara is empty,

I shall work for the benefit of sentient beings in a woman's body."

From that time onwards the princess dedicated herself to winning full and complete Enlightenment.

Once she accomplished that goal, she came to be known as Tara, the Liberator.


There is another story regarding Tara which tells that the Buddha of Compassion Chenrezig had been working

for a long time to help sentient beings. He had been able to help hundreds of thousands of beings

become free from samsara, but then he checked and realized there were still so many more beings suffering

in samsara. He began to cry, and from the pool formed by his tears a lotus arose and Tara appeared from

the lotus, saying "Don't worry -- I will help you." Thus Tara is associated with Chenrezig, as well as with

Amitabha Buddha (she has a tiny image of Amitabha Buddha on her crown.) 


From In Praise of Tara: Songs to the Saviouress by Martin Willson.


It is said that Tara protects from the 8 fears,

of which there are internal and external aspects.

It is possible to understand some of the external fears as mental states.


The 8 External Fears
1. floods
2. fire
3. elephants
4. snakes
5. lions
6. imprisonment/chains
7. thieves
8. ghosts

The 8 Internal Fears
1. attachment
2. anger
3. ignorance
4. jealousy
5. pride
6. miserliness
7. wrong views
8. doubt


The Symbolism of Green Tara

Green Tara is seated upon a lotus arising from the waters of a lake, just as Tara is said to have arisen from the compassionate tears of Avalokiteshvara. Her right hand is in the mudra of supreme generosity indicating her ability to provide beings with whatever they desire. Her left hand at her heart is in the mudra of bestowing refuge: her thumb and ring finger are pressed together to symbolise the united practice of method and wisdom, and the three remaining fingers are raised to symbolise the Three Jewels of Refuge - Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. In each hand she holds the stem of a blue utpala flower. Each flower consists of three blossoms indicating that Tara, the embodiment of enlightened activities, is the Mother of the Buddhas of the past, present and future.

Tara is dressed in the silken robes of royalty. She wears rainbow colored stockings, a white half-blouse and various jeweled ornaments. These symbolise her mastery of the perfections of generosity, morality and so forth. The tiara fastened in her black hair is adorned with jewels, the central one is a red ruby symbolic of Amitabha, her spiritual father and the head of her Buddha family.

She is seated in a distinctive posture, her left leg withdrawn to symbolise her renunciation of worldly passion and her right leg extended to show that she is always ready to arise and come to the aid of those who need her help.
With a warm compassionate gaze she looks down upon each sentient being as a mother regards her only child. Her emerald-green color -- related to the wind element and hence to movement -- signifies her ability to act swiftly and without delay to bring benefits to sentient beings.

from Images of Enlightenment by J. Landaw and A. Weber, Snow Lion Publications.


The Twenty-One Taras

Tara has 21 primary emanations which perform different activities such as pacification, increase and so forth.

Tara is the female Buddha of Enlightened Activity, of which there are 4 types: pacifying, increasing, overpowering and wrathful.

Each of these is represented by a different colour:

• White represents the Enlightened activity of pacifying, for example overcoming sickness,

causes of untimely death and obstacles to success in one's life or one's practice.

• Yellow represents the Enlightened activity of increasing the positive qualities

conducive to a long life, peace, happiness and success in one's Dharma practice.

• Red represents the Enlightened activity of power, or overpowering external forces that cannot be tamed

through the first two activities, for example, removing obstacles to sickness, untimely death, etc., and forcefully

accumulating conducive conditions for one's Dharma practice.

• Black represents the Enlightened activity of wrath, which involves using forceful methods for accomplishing activities for

Enlightened purposes that cannot be accomplished through other means.

  1. The Swift Heroine ( -- red.
2. Saraswati ( -- white. This Tara is also known as "The Great Pacifier" because she pacifies negative obscurations.
3. The Giver of Supreme Virtue (Sö -- yellow (with a slightly bluish hue). Also known as "Tara who Increases."
4. The All Victorious ( -- white. Also known as "Tara of Life Force."
5. The Giver of Intelligence ( -- red/yellow. Also known as "Tara who Resonates with HUM."
6. The Terrifier ( -- black with tinge of red. A.k.a. "Tara who is Victorious over the Three Worlds."
7. The Invincible ( -- black. A.k.a. "Tara who Crushes Others' Forces."
8. The Conqueror of Others ( -- red/black. A.k.a. "Tara the Pulverizer of the Maras."
9. The Saviour of the Scented Forest ( -- white. A.k.a. "Tara who embodies the Three Jewels."
10. The Conqueror of the Three Worldly Realms ( -- red. A.k.a. "The Great Subduer."
11. The Giver of Wealth ( -- red/yellow. A.k.a. "Tara who Eliminates Poverty."
12. The Auspicious (Ta.shi.dö -- red/yellow. A.k.a. "Tara Who Bestows Auspicious Conditions."
13. The Destroyer of Opposing Forces ( -- red. A.k.a. "Tara Who Blazes in Flames."
14. The Wrathful (To.nyer.chen) -- red/black. A.k.a. "Tara of Wrathful Gaze." 15. The Very Peaceful ( -- white. A.k.a. "The Great Pacifier."
16. The Blazing Light (Bar.wä -- red. A.k.a. "Tara Who Saves by Means of HUM."
17. The Subduer of Countless Harmful Forces (ö -- red/yellow. A.k.a. "Tara Who Causes the Three Worlds to Tremble."
18. The Peahen ( -- white. A.k.a. "Tara Who Eliminates Poisons."
19. The Invincible Queen ( -- white. A.k.a. "Tara Who Eliminates Conflicts and bad Dreams."
20. The Mountain-dwelling Mendicant (Ri.tö.ma) -- red/yellow. A.k.a. "Tara Who Eliminates Diseases."
21. Rays of Light (Ö -- white. A.k.a. "Tara Who Accomplishes All Enlightened Activities."


Kwan Yin

Sometimes associated with Tara; also known as Avalokitesvara Buddha

Kuan Yin01.gif (31534 bytes) 

 Praise To Kuan Yin 

Kuan Yin's compassion for all beings is so vast and inconceivable, our gratitude cannot comprehend 

nor fully express the magnitude of her blessings. Her body and garments of brilliant, translucent White Light. 

Her adornments, a white vase of Compassionate Water in her left hand, The Sacred Willow Branch in her right hand.

Enlightened through infinite acts of compassion countless lifetimes ago. 


Her feet rest upon a fragrant red lotus flower above a vast ocean. Her brows curved and radiant like the crescent 

of an autumn moon. With the sweet dew drops she sprinkles from her vase, She relieves the suffering of beings

 everywhere and always, for countless autumns.


Prayers for help arise from thousands of hearts, and thousands of prayers are answered by her vow 

of eternal  compassion: Beings in Samsara, who sail the ocean of suffering, 

She will guide and deliver safely to the ultimate  shore of enlightenment.