Green Tara mantra

Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Svāhā / Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha

Sacred Sound: Mantra Meditations for Centeredness and Inspiration is available as a MP3 download from our online store.

Tara, whose name means “star” or “she who ferries across,” is a Bodhisattva of compassion who manifests in female form. In Tibetan, Tara is known as “Dölma” (Sgrol-ma), or “She Who Saves.” In particular she represents compassion in action, since she’s in the process of stepping from her lotus throne in order to help sentient beings.

The syllable Om has no conceptual meaning, and is sound representing the entire universe, past present and future. You can read more about Om on the page discussing the Om shanti shanti shanti mantra.

Symbolic translation

The central part of Tara’s mantra is a loving play on her name. According to Sangharakshita, a traditional explanation of the mantra is that the variations of her name represent three progressive stages of salvation.

1. Tāre represents salvation from mundane dangers and suffering. Tara is seem as a savioress who can give aid from material threats such as floods, crime, wild animals, and traffic accidents. Tara is therefore said to protect against ordinary worldly dangers.

2. Tuttāre represents deliverance into the spiritual path conceived in terms of individual salvation. In traditional terms, this is the path of the Arhant, which leads to individual liberation from suffering. This is seen in Mahayana Buddhism as a kind of enlightenment in which compassion does not figure strongly. Tara therefore offers individual protection from the spiritual dangers of greed, hatred, and delusion: the three factors that cause us individual suffering.

3. Lastly, ture represents the culmination of the spiritual path in terms of deliverance into the altruistic path of universal salvation – the Bodhisattva path. In the Bodhisattva path we aspire for personal enlightenment, but we also connect compassionately with the sufferings of others, and strive to liberate them at the same time as we seek enlightenment ourselves. Tara therefore delivers us from a narrow conception of the spiritual life. She saves us from the notion that spiritual progress is about narrowly liberating ourselves from our own suffering, and instead leads us to see that true spiritual progress involves having compassion for others.

Green Tara Statue (detail)

By the time we have been liberated from mundane dangers, liberated from a narrow conception of the spiritual path, and led to a realization of compassion, we have effectively become Tara. In Buddhist practice the “deities” represent our own inner potential. We are all potentially Tara. We can all become Tara.

Svaha, according to Monier Monier-William’s Sanskrit Dictionary, means: “Hail!”, “Hail to!” or “May a blessing rest on!” We could see this final blessing as symbolizing the recognition that we are, ultimately, Tara.

Her mantra can therefore be rendered as something like “OM! Hail to Tara (in her three roles as a savioress)!”

Literal translation

But there’s a more literal meaning of the mantra as well:

“Tare” is the vocative form of Tara, so it means “O Tara!”

“Tu” is an exclamation that can mean “pray! I beg, do, now, then,” and so “tuttare” could mean something like “I entreat you, O Tara” or “I beg you, O Tara.”

“Ture” is probably the vocative form of “tura,” which means “quick, willing, prompt,” and so it would mean something like “O swift one!”

So the mantra could be rendered as “OM! O Tara! I entreat you, O Tara! O swift one! Hail!

Click below to hear an MP3 version of the Green Tara Mantra:

Pronunciation notes:

  • ā is like a in father
  • e is ay in lay
  • v is pronounced halfway between English v and w. If in doubt, then a w sound will do
  • In Tibetan pronunciation “svāhā” becomes “soha.” This is technically incorrect from a Sanskrit point of view, but it also has many centuries of tradition behind it, and in any event few Westerners pronounce Sanskrit correctly either! Still, outside of the Tibetan tradition it’s probably best to revert to the best approximation possible of the Sanskrit, where both a’s are long (as in father), and the v comes close to being an English “w” sound.

The Bodhisattva-Goddess Tārā (or Tara)

Standing Tara statue at TaralokaTara means “star,” “planet,” or “she who ferries across.” She is a bodhisattva embodying compassion in the female form of a young goddess. She is often considered to be such an advanced bodhisattva that she is actually a Buddha.

Tara’s name is said to derive from the verb meaning “to cross” or “to traverse”. In Pali the verb tarati means “to get to the other side.” This word is cognate with the Latin “trans” (across). The word Tara also literally means “star.”

An interesting overlap between these two senses is the use of stars in navigation. The Pole Star, used at least for millennia to guide travelers, was known as Dhruva-Tara (the immovable star). Tara becomes a focal point on the far shore that helps us guide our lives in a safe direction. We can take her enlightened qualities of wisdom and compassion as our guide, moment by moment, as we navigate our lives.

A third meaning of “tara” is “the pupil of the eye,” again suggesting a focal point and conveying a sense that Tara watches over those who navigate the treacherous waters of life in search of the further shore of liberation.

Tara’s name in Tibetan is Dölma, which means “She Who Saves.” She is seen as guarding against the Eight Great Terrors of lions, elephants, fire, snakes, robbers, imprisonment, shipwreck or drowning, and man-eating demons. In each case these terrors are symbolic of spiritual dangers. For example, the First Dalai Lama described the demons against which Tara offers protection as being our self-consuming spiritual doubts.

A female bodhisattva/Buddha

The most striking thing about Tara is also the most obvious: she is female. While there are many female representations of enlightenment, most are relatively obscure and male forms predominate. Tara, however, is very well known and is one of the most popular Buddhist deities in the Mahayana world, outside of the Far East, where Kwan Yin, the female form of Avalokiteshvara, predominates.

To westerners, having a female form representing compassion may seem natural, but it should be remembered that in traditional Buddhist iconography the male form tends to represent compassion while the female form more often represents wisdom. Tara bucks that trend.

Traditionally, even in Buddhism, which has seen countless enlightened women, the female form has most often been seen as disadvantageous for the pursuit of the spiritual life compared to the male form, to the extent that female spiritual aspirants often aspire to be reborn in male form to help them in their future spiritual endeavors.

There is an important sense, however, in which Tara is not female and in which the “male” Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are not male. Enlightened beings are said to be beyond the limiting conditions of ordinary human consciousness, and are not defined by the gender of their body. Gender is seen in Mahayana Buddhism as being a psycho-social construct that can be transcended. An important passage in the Vimalakirti Nirdesa, an important Mahayana Sutra, illustrates this.

In the story, Shariputra, the foremost in wisdom of the Buddha’s human disciples, is in conversation with an unnamed “goddess” who is immeasurably his spiritual superior. Shariputra, trapped by his dualistic thinking, asks the goddess, “Goddess, what prevents you from transforming yourself out of your female state?” He assumes of course that the female form is a hindrance.

The goddess replies, “Although I have sought my “female state” for these twelve years, I have not yet found it.” The goddess does not see herself as female, or Shariputra as male, because she has transcended limiting thinking, has transcended socio-cultural conditioning, and has even gone beyond any biological conditioning.

The goddess then seriously messes with Shariputra by transforming herself into his form and transforming him into a female. She says:

“All women appear in the form of women in just the same way as the elder appears in the form of a woman. While they are not women in reality, they appear in the form of women. With this in mind, the Buddha said, ‘In all things, there is neither male nor female.'”

Although the goddess is not named, she may have been a prototype for the much later emergence of Tara herself, who is said to have spoken the following words in her earlier incarnation as Jnanachandra:

Here there is no man, there is no woman,
No self, no person, and no consciousness.
The labels ‘male’ or ‘female’ have no essence,
But deceive the evil-minded world.

The green goddess

Green Tara prayer flags, made by Buddhist nuns in Dharamsala.

The other striking thing about Tara is her greenness. She is represented as a beautiful, often voluptuous, sixteen-year-old woman, clad is silks and jewels: a highly attractive figure. And yet the color of her skin is green, and this surely clashes with her otherwise attractive appearance.

Tara is associated with the color green in a number of ways. First, as we will see when we consider Tara’s origins, in one myth she is said to have been given her name by Amoghasiddhi Buddha, who is himself green. Tara is Amoghasiddhi’s spiritual consort.

Secondly, both Tara and Amoghasiddhi are connected, in the Five-Buddha Mandala, with the element Air, which is itself associated with that color.

Thirdly, Green Tara is a forest goddess, and in one story is shown as being clad in leaves. Her Pure Land, in distinction to others that are composed of precious gems, is said to be lush and verdant:

Covered with manifold trees and creepers, resounding with the sound of many birds,
And with murmur of waterfalls, thronged with wild beasts of many kinds;
Many species of flowers grow everywhere.

She is therefore a female form of the “Green Man” figure who is found carved in many European churches and cathedrals, and who is found in the Islamic traditions as the figure Al-Khidr.

Tara’s symbols

Tara holds an utpala, or blue lotus, in her right hand, which is held at chest level. This hand is simultaneously in the vitarka, or teaching mudra. Tara may save, but the beneficiaries of her protective powers learn to save themselves through following her teachings!

The utpala is a night-blooming flower, and so Tara protects at the time of greatest fear, during both literal darkness and while we are in the darkness of ignorance.

The core significance of the lotus flower is that it remains unstained even in the most contaminated environments. Early Buddhist texts often refer to the fact that water simply runs off of a lotus. The Dhammapada, an early Buddhist teaching, refers to the unstained nature of the lotus in this way:

58. Yathā saṅkāradhānasmiṃ
ujjhitasmiṃ mahāpathe
Padumaṃ tattha jāyetha
sucigandhaṃ manoramaṃ.

59. Evaṃ saṅkārabh?tesu
andhabh?te puthujjane
Atirocati paññāya

Which means:

58. As upon a heap of rubbish,
Thrown out by the highway,
May grow a lotus
Delightful and of pure scent,

59. So, among defiled beings,
Among blind, unawakened beings,
The disciple of the Fully and Perfectly Awakened One
Shines with wisdom.

The lotus has therefore, since the earliest days of Buddhism, and probably even before then, signified the way in which awakened wisdom can exist in the world without being contaminated by it.

tara rupa
Tara statue (Akuppa)

Tara’s left hand is in the varada mudra, or gesture of giving (for more on mudras see the section on Shakyamuni Buddha). Tara makes of herself a gift to the world. She is an advanced Bodhisattva whose entire life is devoted to helping others.

Tara’s origins

The origins of Tara are, as with most Bodhisattvas, obscure and sometimes contradictory. Since we’re dealing with a realm of myth and imagination, however, contradictions merely add richness!

In one myth, Avalokitesvara was looking at the world in compassion (the literal meaning of his name is “The Lord Who Looks Down”) and saw innumerable beings suffering. He saw the pains involved at birth. He saw old age, sickness, and death. He saw beings suffering because they lacked what they wanted, and saw them suffering because they were burdened by things they did not want. He saw beings seeking happiness but creating suffering, and saw beings trying to avoid suffering but running headlong into it.

Since Avalokiteshvara had expended a vast amount of energy trying to liberate innumerable beings from the sufferings of existence, and since there were still uncountable beings suffering, he began to weep. His tears flowed down, and kept flowing until they had created a vast lake.

Then out of this lake — the quintessence of Avalokiteshvara’s compassion — arose a blue utpala lotus, and on this lotus appeared a 16-year-old girl in the form of a goddess. This was Tara.

In another myth, in a time long ago Tara was known as Jñānacandrā or Moon of Wisdom. She vowed that, rather than take the traditionally more advantageous form of a man in her future lives, she would continue to manifest in female form in order to save sentient beings. As a result of her prowess, the Buddha Amoghasiddhi gave her the name Tārā, or “Savioress.”

Historically, there is no record of Tara before around the 5th or 6th century C.E. She seems to have evolved from the early Brahminical goddess Durgā [Durgaa] (“difficult or narrow passage”) with whom she shares many attributes and names. According to the Hindu classic, the Mahābhārata, Durgā gets her name because she rescues people from difficult passage. This version of Durgā is not the same as the later warrior-goddess!

As might be imagined, Tara first appeared in India. She is one of the most popular Buddhist deities in Tibet, and it’s said that her mantra is second only to Avalokiteshvara’s. Although her form spread to the far east, the presence of Kwan-Yin, a female form of Avalokiteshvara, seems to have filled the “ecological niche” of the compassionate female bodhisattva.

There are many forms of Tara, each of a different color. The most common besides the green form are White Tara (whose compassion is mainly focused on offering protection against and during sickness and old age), and Red Tara, who, according to John Myrdhin Reynolds, uses her “enchantment and bewitchment to bring under her power those evil spirits, demons, and humans who work against the welfare of humanity and its spiritual evolution.”

Tara is, not surprisingly, very popular amongst women in both East and West. A women’s retreat center in Shropshire, UK, is named Taraloka (The Realm of Tara) in her honor.

125 Comments. Leave new

  • Thanks for your informative post and for the interesting email discussion. A question. Someone shared an image of Green Tara from an old Tibetan tanka with me recently. However, in it, Tara was not green but human-colored. Do you know why this might be? Was it the style of a particular era in Tibetan art to depict Tara in a lifelike color? (I also have a picture a Tibetan Medicine Buddha in which his skin is not blue but a Tibetan-hued orange…) Thanks in advance for your thoughts, Leslie

    • There is a traditional set of 21 Taras, and they come in green, white, red, yellow, and blue/black. It’s possible that the one you saw was a white form of Tara.

  • Tara is completely worthy of attention and devotion but there is a huge factual error here. Tara is a Buddha herself (not a bodhisattva) that dates from the 7th and 8th centuries. The misconception of her as a bodhisattva comes from scholarly works that have no basis in Buddhist texts that associate her with Avalokitesvara, who was the bodhisattva of compassion. There is no reference in Buddhist literature that describes her as a bodhisattva. Tara is a Buddha and “the most beloved goddess of the Indo-Tibetan pantheon” (Miranda Shaw).

    • My understanding is that in Mahayana sources Tara is regarded as a bodhisattva, and in Tantric sources she’s regarded as a Buddha.

  • Hey Bodhipaksa, What are your thoughts on chanting
    Om Tara Tutare Ture Svaha (Soha)
    chanting Om Tare Tutare Ture Svaha
    Personally I find a great & strong connection through both, but Love Om Tara version and even just chanting Om Tara makes the connection.

    • There may be an alternative tradition here, but I’d prefer to stick with “tare,” which is in the vocative case, I believe. The vocative case is when you’re calling to someone, as in “O, Tara!” It’s more respectful, kind of like the difference between someone calling for you by saying “Mr. Smith!” rather than just a blunt “Smith!”

  • […] in front of me. The white statuette is Tara, a female bodhisattva in mahayana buddhist tradition. ( was named after the 3rd of 21 forms of Tara (Golden Tara or Sonam Dolma) by my lama back in the […]

  • So blessed to have heard personal story today of a woman who, when her father was at death’s door, sought and came to embrace a Green Tara and the mantra of which she recited in solitude. There came a great miracle for the father was healed, but moreso, the daughter’s soul was healed. Faith had overcome fear once again.

  • I find that reading her 21 verses is sometimes all that I need. I find them to be so deep and enriched with profound teachings. One of my favorite verses is the last one, where she is focused on crushing demons of sickness, demons of trouble etc. And verse one emphasis the power of her eyes, how they are as bright as endless moons. There are so many aspects of the verses that you can apply to your life

  • Joshua Shank
    May 19, 2014 4:37 pm

    Greetings! My name is Joshua Shank and I am a composer living in Austin, Texas in the US. Does anyone in this forum know where I might be able to find a good book of tara mantras? I am incredibly moved by this tradition and would like to incorporate it into a piece of music I am writing about the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo human rights group from Argentina. If anyone would be willing to help point me in the right direction I would be extremely grateful for your help. My email is



  • Supritam Kar
    June 13, 2013 4:31 am

    I don’t know how to thank and whom to thank,so I am thankful to maa Tara for explaining me the meanings of Tara mantra.

  • Hi there,

    I have just discovered the green tara mantra/meditation, I am just wondering if there are any dangers with chanting this mantra before seeking guidance from a teacher/guru?

  • Pradip, the second mantra is beej (seed) mantra of Maa Tara and it is basically not practiced in Buddhist Lamas community (it is basically practiced by Trantriks in India and Nepal). Before chanting or practicing the said mantra, it is recommended to seek for proper guidance. That mantra is very powerful and you have to put on SHIELD (KAVACHA) before chanting it. I am not discouraging you but your well-being is my concern.

  • Pradip Kumar Mukhopadhyay
    September 20, 2012 7:30 am

    I chanting Green Tara Mantra since four days through my daily life routine – the Mantra – OM TARE TUT TARE TU RE SO HA, OM HRING STRING HUNG FAT – is there anything wrong ? If so please guide me with the right way of chanting.

    • You’d be best talking to whoever gave you that mantra, Pradip. I’m not familiar with the second part of it, although the fact that you used “so ha” rather than “svaha” in the main part of the mantra indicates it’s from a Tibetan sources.

  • I have been meditating on Green Tara for over 5 years every day and I have benefited from her protection and presence tangibly in the hour of great danger. Her energy is a true blessing.
    I am extremely grateful and will continue with my practice.

  • Shankar Thapa
    July 21, 2012 1:59 pm

    I am really astonished with your enormous information about Maa
    (mother) Tara. I used to think that these higher kind of knowledge are limited to ancient sages only.

    I have learnt some piece of information about Maa Tara in some Tantrik book. Its is also mentioned as one of the top ten tantrik Maha-Vidhya (Great knowledge). I did some practices of trantrik Vidhaya under revered Tantrik Guru. My Guru used to give example of TARA mantra and used to say that this mantra “Om Tara Tuttare Ture Swaha” seems to be so simple but possess power and energy. I did not ask much about it because he was explaining some other things. When i saw this mantra then I recalled my old days.

    Originally I am from Nepal but currently, I am in Canada. Its my bad fortune that I am away from my Guru and missing tantrik sadhana. I think you know those tantrik sadhana, do you?? If so then can you please explain me about it.

    Jai Maa Kali, Jai Maa Tara !!!

  • I an eclectic in my spiritual path. My patron diety/goddess is Isis. I heard the Tara mantra many years ago and chant it often when I need to find my center. Would it be considered too far fetched to use the Tara Mantra in building my connection with deity as I see her, if I believe that she is the same goddess no matter by what name she is called?

  • […] – Click here for an explanation of the chant. […]

  • Thank you for this explanation. While I’m not new to buddhist practice, I am new to mantra. I learned something while researching mantras: you don’t choose the mantra, the mantra chooses you. Green Tara spoke to me before I knew her story. I havn’t stopped reciting since I read “Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha” _/|\_

  • Thank you for the concise explanation! I started Green Tara Mantra meditation last month and I felt some subtle changed in my life already. Hope there will be more people getting to know and benefiting from Green Tara Mantra meditation practice!

  • […] a problem with friends and I did a women’s mantra. (oṃ tāre tuttāre ture svāhā – translation) Day 20′s Meditation features this mantra.  And this also made an immeasurable […]

  • do you have a newsletter I may sign up for via email. NAMASTE!

  • Reply
  • […] The Green Tara is a Buddhist Bodhisattva of Compassion and is a protector against the dangers of the material world, such as floods, wild animals and acts of violence and she is often invoked as the saviouress of travelers. Her name means “Star” or “Planet”, “She Who Ferries across” and “She Who Saves”. They called the North Pole Star, which for millennia was used to guide travelers and explorers, Druva-Tara. Much more about the Green Tara can be found here. […]

  • Thx

  • hi bohipaksha, It is said that Atisha , Nagarjuna and Tsongkapa had real visions of the Tara, please explain. Are these events plain symbolic ? Its difficult to believe. Are u not being very clinical in demystifying Tara. regards.

    • Hi, Tenzin.

      Visions are very real events for the people that have them. I’d never take that away from anyone. I’ve had a personal relationship, as it were, for many years, with my own yidam, Padmasambhava. He’s appeared in my dreams, and sometimes I’ve heard his voice talking to me. It’s quite extraordinary and meaningful. In the Buddhist tradition, however, the Buddhas and bodhisattvas are not seen as being separate from ourselves. When I’m having an experience of Padmasambhava, my mind is on one level responding as if he is an objective figure, but I know on another level that this is a communication with myself, although not a communication that’s taking place within a limited sense of myself. So these figures are not simply symbolic, since symbols are something external. The Buddhas and bodhisattvas are symbolic, but they’re also much more than that. They’re living presences within the mind, who can teach us. We can feel their love and be guided by their wisdom. And we can, with the eye of wisdom, also recognize that they’re not separate from our own nature.

  • […] Green Tara mantra, written phonetically. I had been expressing/ chanting the Green Tara Mantra ( ) for several years as it resonates within me deeply and considered, once back in london to […]

  • Dear Rev. Bodhipaksa,

    I am new to knowing The Green Tara. I charn her Mantra everyday since last week and somehow I can feel a little calm in my mind. However, as this is new to me, I am not sure whether this is expected or purely my imagination. Please enlighten me.

    Also, I recently have been encountering many obstacles. Things/opportunities were looking at beginning but turn bad towards the mid to tail end. I have been “introduced” to The Green Tara in a Fengshui shop. I would like to seek your advice whether this is a right practice or pure superstitious.

    Many thanks,

    • Hi, Peter.

      Sure, The Green Tara mantra is an ancient and valid practice. You might want to read more here about how I think mantra practice works. I don’t think there’s anything magical about them, and I consider them to work by association, by means of being a mindfulness practice, and by the way in which mantras reduce the amount of unhelpful thinking that we do.

  • […] (May all beings be happy) and The Green Tara Mantra “Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha” (  As soon as the outline heals, I will fill it in. More mantras outlined on the […]

  • Thank you for this information. It is so healing and inspirational.


  • “Or click below to hear an MP3 version:”. I clicked on the link and it does not go to a mp3 version of the mantra, it justs reloads this page. I would greatly appreciate an mp3 copy of the mantra as I am using linux and cannot play the RealAudio version presented on the page, so unfortunately cannot hear the mantra.

    • Hmm. I’ve no idea why that would be happening. Have you tried using another browser?

      At some point I’d like to put all these mantras on YouTube videos, which makes them pretty accessible to most people (except iPhone and iPad users, sometimes) but it’s all so time consuming!

  • I recommend reading a book called Tara’s Enlightened Activity if you are interested in her. I found it at Borders and on Amazon. She has 21 manifestations, some of which are peaceful and some of which are wrathful. I find her a fascinating being who is very helpful. Her mantra is explained in this book: OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SOHA. May you be well!

  • Hi Bodhipaksa,

    Thank you for the two Tara mantra explanations and discussions (“White” and “Green”). They are very informative. In my own life, I have recently found Blue Tara’s energies to be particularly helpful to me–specifically her power to help the practitioner transmute anger into cool strength, abolish fear and develop joy in all things. Do you have any information on a mantra for her?

    • I’m afraid I don’t. According to the Wikipedia article on her, her mantra is a secret. She’s rather a wrathful figure, and I think you’d have to find a Tibetan teacher to explore her in any depth. And I just don’t know whether a teacher would be prepared to teach you unless you’d gone through various preliminary practices.

      I wish you all the best with your explorations.

  • How quick will green tara come to my life & delivery fm my suffering? :-(

    • Hi, Debbie.

      I don’t think it’s helpful to think in terms of Tara coming to the rescue. She can’t deliver you from suffering. You’re responsible for your own life, and it’s up to you to reduce the amount of suffering you experience by cultivating mindfulness, compassion, and wisdom. Tara just symbolizes those qualities, which exist in potential in all of us, and it’s up to you to bring them into being.

  • […] “We aspire for personal enlightenment, but we also connect compassionately with the sufferings of others, and strive to liberate them at the same time as we seek enlightenment ourselves. Tara therefore delivers us from a narrow conception of the spiritual life.” (source) […]

  • Me too. I can’t stop playing it over and over again. I was crying even before I looked up the meaning. It works!!!


    I have pasted the text of some words on this beautiful mantra below.

    Thank you so much!!!

    • Hi, Mark.

      I cut the very long quotation from your comment, since it was simply copied from the article above.

  • […] information about the “Om Tara Tuttare” chant you can visit the following website: Candlelight Prayer for Japan ▶ […]

  • Yes, it’s huge. Thanks :-))

  • I agree with your comment by the way :-)

  • I live in Johannesburg South Africa :-)

  • I suggest you read the writings of Trijang Rinpoche on Dorje Shugden, it puts it all very much into perspective. Like all things in life I think it is a matter of freewill and so if someone wants to do the Dorje Shugden practice then they should be allowed with no interference from anyone. But since in the Gelug Buddhist tradition, the student-teacher relationship is very sacred it makes one wonder why the Dalai Lama went against his own teacher by banning the practice when he knows his teacher wrote a vast commentary in favor of the practice of Dorje Shugden, it just doesn’t make sense and it seems politically motivated. But this forum of yours is far too wonderful a place to blemish with arguing over trivial matters. I love all the information you supply here, I am still very knew to Buddhism, I’ve only been practicing for about a year. There is a wonderfully large FWBO centre in my area which I’m planning on visiting, you said you are part the FWBO?

    • To be honest, and no disrespect intended, it’s just not enough of a core interest for me to do much research on. Dorje Shugden is a very Tibetocentric interest. And that’s probably the last thing I’ll say about the issue, since I’m hoping against hope that we don’t end up with some kind of flame war going on here, with people from each side pitching in. I’m an innocent bystander!

      Yes, I’ve been involved in the FWBO (which is now the Triratna Buddhist Community) since 1982. What area are you in?

  • You know what, I agree with you! As nothing is separate from the mind, why argue about what is good for some to imagine and not for others, it’s up to the individual to choose anyway.

    • Yes, the traditional view is that these deities are not separate from the mind. In a sense they’re neither objectively real nor precisely imaginary. I guess it’s possible that there are “real” spirits in the world, and that Dorje Shudgen is one of them and that meditating on him is unhealthy, but to me it seems unlikely. At the same time, being attached to meditating on him (as some people seem to be, given the degree of heat involved in the “controversy”) is also unhelpful.

  • @Bodhipaksa, I’ve seen quite a number of images of Dorje Shugden and he is not nearly as scary in appearance as Vajrapani or Mahakala believe me, for new comers to Buddhism Vajrapani is much more of a surprise visually than Dorje Shugden :-))

    • No, he looks quite cuddly. I absolutely don’t want to get into the whole Dorje Shugden controversy! To me the whole question of whether (what I see as) an imaginary deity is good or bad is rather ridiculous. But then I’m an unusually empirical Buddhist.

  • @Bodhipaksa , thank you yes that clears up a lot of confusion! I’ve known about the Dorje Shugden controversy for a while now. I studied Buddhism for a long time before actually making the move to become one and to be honest I find Kelsang Gyatso’s argument very rational and the fact that the Dalai Lama’s own teacher Trijang Rinpoche supports the practice of Dorje Shugden is enough of a reason or me to believe that Dorje Shugden is not demonic or malevolent at all. I’m sorry if this offends anyone but similarly to the Popes in the history of the Catholic Church, the Dalai Lama is mixing religion with politics and this spells danger ad blood shed, Theocracy is very dangerous! The Indian or Hindu Tantric practice is completely different to the Buddhist Tantra so I think thats why saikishore’s comment unsettled me because saikishore is referring to Hindu Tantra which is as I said not the same thing as Buddhist Tantra which I confirmed by reading various essays by great Buddhist masters like Venerable Chöje Lama Phuntsok.


  • most of the Indian left hand practices are very dangerous and now mostly gone extinct, hardly no one is teaching them,

    there are 4 vedas in hindu mithology,
    Rig veda, Sam veda, Yajur veda, and lastly artharna veda.

    Artharna veda is complletly left hand practise, and Vajrayana, the Tantric Buddhist Practice are only a part, still there is lot more deep..

    im asking all is do u know any infomation regarding that, please kindly mail me.
    im very desperate on tara sadhana,
    my mail i.d is:

    thank u.

  • Hearing that people say Tantric rituals are dangerous is a bit unsettling to be honest. I’m receiving the empowerment of the Wisdom Buddha soon and I really don’t want to cause any harm to others or myself not physically or mentally. I have spoken to others who are daily Vajrayana practitioners at my local Buddhist centre and they say that there are no dangers in the Tantric rituals and these are people who have been practicing for many years. Of course I suppose even Sutra can be dangerous if applied incorrectly. I’ve read a few articles online about people who say that Tantra can be dangerous to a practitioner mentally or physically etc etc etc but they don’t state in what way so is this something I should take with a grain of salt or is it something to really contemplate about, are there dangers to Tantric practice? I’ve read a very interesting article by Venerable Chöje Lama Phuntsok about Vajrayana and how Yidams are to be regarded. So please explain to me if you will, the dangers you see in Tantric practice?

    Thanks :-))

    • Some may call me cynical, Clint, but I think the claims of Tantric meditation being dangerous is mainly a sales pitch. “These practices are so powerful they could hurt you; better make sure you do everything your guru tells you.” This could result in a reasonably healthy dedication to practice, but it also opens up the possibility of being exploited by the guru. This is not uncommon in both Tibetan and Zen lineages, and there have been some very recent problems with this in the west. The secondary problem, I believe, is that dependence upon a guru for guidance may well reduce one’s own spiritual initiative.

      I’m not against the idea of gurus or of having spiritual teachers. There’s an obvious benefit in discussing one’s practice with someone who has more experience, and committing oneself to a particular path of practice rather than just picking and choosing what you’re comfortable with. That’s another danger.

      I suppose traditionally dangers might be seen in meditating on wrathful, and even quasi-demonic figures. There’s a split in the Tibetan Buddhist world at the moment over the deity Dorje Shugden, whom the Tibetan State Oracle and the Dalai Lama say is no longer to be trusted, but whom Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and his New Kadampa tradition still revere. The in-fighting over this has been quite vicious. I can imagine that it might, in fact, be unhealthy to dwell upon the rather “gothic” imagery associated with wrathful figures. I don’t literally believe that people are in danger of being taken over by an external demonic entity, but I do think that their own dark side might well glom onto the dark imagery in an unhealthy way.

      But Green Tara is as kind and compassionate a figure as you could ever dwell upon. No danger there, I think. I’m not sure who you mean by “The Wisdom Buddha.” That could mean Prajnaparamita, or Manjushri, or even our old friend Dorje Shugden.

  • If I may ask, why do you say Indian Tantric ritual is dangerous? Are you referring to Vajrayana, the Tantric Buddhist Practice?

    Thanks :-)

  • I have a statue of neel tara in my house, and i was introduced to her by my dad’s friend.

    i was chanting her mantra for a long time..

    indian tantric way of ritual is dangerous one, so, im just practising it slowly..

    any help for my sadhana

  • Reply
  • […] bag (trinkets for Miss A when she was born) and my prayer beads.  During the prepping procedure I chanted the Green Tara Mantra (, and sang the Lisa Thiel version […]

  • It’s always a good idea to read the article, Mr J., before posting disagreements with it.

  • am i right?

  • Green tara is not Bodhisattva,she is a Buddha!


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