Praise of Tara

Like the outstretched branch of a heavenly tree of turquoise,
Your supple right hand, in the gesture of Granting Boons,
Invites the wise to a feast of supreme siddhis
As if to an entertainment – homage to You!

Your left hand gives Refuge, showing the Three Jewels;
“You people who see perils of hundreds of kinds!
Do not be frightened, I shall quickly save you,”
It clearly signifies – homage to You!

Both hands signal with blue utpala flowers,
“Samsaric beings! Cling not to worldly pleasures,
Enter the city of the Great Liberation!”
Like prods with a stick for Energy – to You I bow!

Ruby-coloured Amitabha holds
In meditation an alms-bowl full of nectar
And, granting the deathless siddhi, adorns Your crown,
Subduing the lord of my death – to You I bow!

In the unbearable prison of samsara
It binds embodied beings, with no freedom,
Clasped by the lock of Craving, hard to open –
The Chain of Avarice – save us from this fear!

It sweeps us towards the stream of Becoming, so hard
To cross, and, conditioned by karma’s stormy blast,
Waves of birth, age, sickness and death convulse it,
Attachment’s Flood – please save us from this fear!

They wander in space of darkest ignorance
Sorely tormenting those who strive for Truth,
Of lethal danger to Liberation, the Fell
Demons of Doubt – please save us from this fear!

Through these praises and requests to You
Quell conditions bad for Dharma practice
And let us achieve life, merits, wealth and plenty
And other helpful conditions as we wish!

– By Gedun Drub, the first Dalai Lama, (15th century)

Excerpt from “Praise of the Venerable Lady Khadiravani Tara Called the Crown Jewel of the