White Tara mantra

Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Mama Ayuḥ Punya Jñānā Puśtiṃ Kuru Svāhā

(Om Tare Tuttare Ture Mama Ayuh Punya Jñana Pustim Kuru Svaha)

White Tara (Sitatara) is associated with long life. Her mantra is often chanted with a particular person in mind. She’s another representation of compassion, and she’s pictured as being endowed with seven eyes (look at the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and her forehead) to symbolize the watchfulness of the compassionate mind.

Unlike Green Tara, White Tara has both legs folded in meditation (Green Tara is stepping down onto a lotus).

White tara
White Tara

As a variant form of Green Tara, her mantra begins very similarly. But added to the play on the name of Tara are several words connected with long life and wellbeing.

Mama means “mine” and indicates that you’d like to possess these qualities of long life, merit, wisdom, happiness, etc. You can of course choose to wish these qualities for someone else — perhaps for a teacher or for a loved one who is ill.

Ayuh is long life (as in Ayurvedic medicine).

Punya means the merit that comes from living life ethically, and this merit is said to help one to live long and happily.

Jnana is wisdom.

Punya and Jnana are known as the Two Accumulations. In order to become enlightened we need to accumulate merit (that is, to develop positive qualities through living ethically and meditating) but we also need to develop wisdom through deep reflection. Wisdom cannot arise without a basis of merit, but merit alone is not enough for us to become enlightened, meaning that becoming a nicer person isn’t enough — we have also to look deeply into ourselves and the world around us and to see the impermanent and insubstantial nature of all things.

Pushtim means wealth, abundance, or increase.

Kuru is a mythical land to the north of the Himalayas, which was said to be a land of long life and happiness (it may have been the original northern home of the aryans). Perhaps the association with the mythical realm of Kuru doesn’t hurt when doing the mantra. But here the word kuru is a verb form meaning “do it!” or “make it so!” (second person singular active imperative or the root k.r if that’s of any interest to you) which is what it means here. With this “make it so!” we’re imploring White Tara for an increase in wisdom, merit, and long life so that we can gain enlightenment and help all sentient beings.

svaha is an exclamation meaning “hail” or “may blessings be upon” and is a common ending to Buddhist mantras. So after making the rather bold request of White Tara above, we end with an equally emphatic salutation.

Click below to play the MP3 file of the White Tara Mantra:

Pronunciation notes:

  • a is pronounced as u in cut
  • aa is like a in father
  • jñana is meant to be pronounced with a hard g, but many people pronounce it as “nyaanaa”
  • the s in pushtim has a dot under it which makes it into a sh sound, as in English push
  • m in pushtim is pronounced ng, as in song

77 Comments. Leave new

  • Thanks for the detailed information about the white tara Mantra.
    I feel blessed.

  • Often came across a slightly different chanting (order of 2 words): “Um dare duddare dure mama ayuh jnana bunya pushtim kuruye svaha”. Asked our Lamas (Mongolia) – they also use this one when praying. Any comments?

    • That’s unusual. There’s a definite order to the words punya and jnana. That’s the order in which those qualities are developed in practice, and in which they’re talked about. Hearing “jnana and punya” is like hearing “Hardy and Laurel” or “for country and God.” I can only assume that there’s an error crept in somewhere. On the other hand if you repeat an error for long enough it becomes a tradition, doesn’t it?

      • Strange, the lama I have asked, is geshe graduated in Tibet, founder and head Lama of his Monastery, practicing Nyingma. Most of the audio mantras chant in the way, you describe as incorrect, see “Vajra Drayang” first track for instance. Confused…

  • Often came across a variation of chanting: Um dare duddare dure mama ayuh jnana bunya pushtim kuru svaha”. Asked from our Lamas (Mongolia) – they chant it this way too. Any comments?

    • There are always difficulties with pronunciation when people who are native to one language try to speak another language. Those difficulties can be more intense when the foreign language is from a different language group and has unfamiliar sounds. Something like that is going on here. As a native English speaker I try to pronounce Pali and Sanskrit words as accurately as I can, but I’m sure an Indian would find my pronunciation painful!

  • dear Dharma friends,
    KURU in the white Tara Mantra just means “Make!”, it is an imperativ of kr, to do, to make in Sanskrit, the same root that the word Karma stems from. Best wishes, Nicola

  • Yangchen Dolkar
    April 15, 2015 9:49 pm

    May I have your permission to use your Link on Tibetan Community FaceBook – (Tassietibs)

    Thank you

    Yangchen Dolkar

  • The explanations about the pronountiation are extraordinary and I want to thank you for that. The examples with English words are all I ever looked for! if I may ask, could you please explain (with the same kind of examples) the correct pronounciation of the “Deva picu vajra hum hum hum phat shava” (the Hevajra heart mantra – and the most important thing in my life)

    • I’m glad you find the site helpful, Veronica.

      It’s not a mantra I’ve come across before, but it’s Oṃ deva picu vajra h?ṃ h?ṃ h?ṃ phaṭ svāhā. Most of the pronunciation you should be able to work out from the guides here. The “e” in deva is like the sound in “day.” The “i” in “picu” is short and the “c” is a “ch” sound. The “ph” is not an “f” sound, but like the “ph” in “haphazard.” Any letter “a” is pronounced as an “uh” while an ā is sounded as in “father.” The ṃ in h?ṃ is like an English “ng” sound.

  • Hi,
    I am Asha. A friend of mine asked me to do pray White Tara for himself; for his ill health but can anyone tell me how to change the mantra… how to take his name in between.
    I would be very grateful if i receive the answer.

    • Sorry for the delayed reply, Asha. In the mantra, “Om Tare Tuttare Ture Mama Ayuh Punya Jñana Pustim Kuru Svaha,” the “mama” refers to yourself, so that’s the word you’d replace with the name of your friend.

  • I had a vision/ visit from what I believe to be white tara. During her visit a white/ silvery/golden (warm) light was all around me. She guided me and protected me and repeated “Buddha Buddha Buddha” to create a safe place for her to show me things. During this time she introduced me to people who I am connected with by lineage who are all over the world (possibly past lives I’ve lived) these were the archangels or guardian angels that protected, and still protect me to this day. During this time she compassionately , but sternly showed me my past life and the sin I had done. There was blood on my hands. I wept and felt saddened… My humbleness accompanied by the path I am pursuing made it possible for white tara to clear my bad karma and be a clean slate in this life. She let me move forward.
    White tara also connected me to another realm. Where she showed me a gift of seeing the dead. I humbly asked to no longer see that side. Although I felt protected it felt “too much” she quickly wiped that experience away. She never stopped protecting me.

    I would like to know more about white tara, If there are similar stories like this,

    Any info would be a great help

    Love light & gratitude

  • Hi,

    I am curious whether Arpad has finished his (or her?) book on Tara? I would love to read it.


    Sarva Mangalam.

  • Thank you.

  • It would be very helpful if an audio version of mantras could be
    offered with the correct pronunciation that is clear and precise.

    Thank you for taking my comment.

  • I’ve just started listening to the White Tara Mantra, I seem to be so drawn to it. Tears are always flowing …. Can this mantra be so powerful after 5 days ??? And how do you know if a mantra is for you? Thank you in advance…. Joy

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