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

71 Comments. Leave new

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TerraScene (Elz)
December 31, 1969 11:59 pm

@bikerbar thanks for link. I’m more familiar w/ Green Tara… this is nice https://tinyurl.com/9ctduj

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bikerbar (Michael @BikerBar)
December 31, 1969 11:59 pm

@TerraScene : White Tara is one of my fav mantras.. https://tinyurl.com/9ctduj ..plus easier to type than “Avalokiteshvara”, freezing hands

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I have just acquired a White Tara chakra and was unsure of the significance of this Bodhisattva.
Thank you for providing an explanation on White Tara’s mantra.
I came across a website that inidicates the proper pronunciation. I hope this is beneficial to all that come across this page.
“Ohm Tahray Totahray tooray mahmah ahyoopoonyay jahnah pooteen kooroo swah hah”.

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Hi Susan,

Sometimes the bodhisattvas we stumble upon become a source of great satisfaction and an area for inquiry. The first Buddha image I ever bought was of Akshobhya and his image turned out to be very significant for me.

The pronunciation you give may well be filtered through a Tibetanized version of the mantra, which is why it’s not the same pronunciation as in the guide I’ve given, which is the original Sanskrit.

All the best,
Bodhipaksa

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On the word “Pushti”:
It means abundance only indirectly. The literal meaning is INCREASE. There are various activities (karmas) associated with mantras, such as “Shanti” which is alleviating difficult conditions, “Pushti” which is for increase anything (such as life, merit,wealth,wisdom etc),Akarshan/Vashyam which means control, magnetizing etc. Various forms of Tara are associated with these activities. But here (and elsewhere) Pushti means Increase.
Concerning KURU! Kuru being a “place” somwhere north of India is a feeble explanation. KURU as an Action Mantric word appears in many Vedic and Hindu Tantric Mantras which pre-dates Buddhism by several thousands of years at the very least.
Give you an example: the well known Vedic Surya (solar) mantra:Om Namo Bhaskaraya Sarvaprakashakaya Mama Hrdi Prakasham KURU KURU Svaha….
Kuru in the Mantra shastra means : “do so!”, Do it NOW,act NOW! It is in fact a “dispeller of obstacles exclamation and has nothing to do with a supposed mythical place of the Aryans. The sonic effect of KURU is very strong when pronounced properly. The Red Devi “KURU- Kulla” or KURUKULE reflects this well. (In fact the Red Tara Mantra of the Terma of Chogyur Lingpa highlights this perfectly. Kuru always comes (even double KURU) before SVAHA.
Thank you for your write up.

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Hi Arpad,

It’s great to have your comments.

For “pushti” Monier-Williams has “well-nourished condition, fatness, plumpness, growth, increase, thriving, prosperity, wealth, opulence, comfort” as well as “development, fullness, completeness.” That seems to cover pretty much everything in the realm of both abundance and increase. I’ll revise the wording to take account of your comment, however, since “increase” makes more sense in this context.

I take your point to a great extent about “kuru” and will add the notion of kuru as an action word. The Kuru (or Uttarakuru) myth also long predates Buddhism, incidentally. I’ll also revise the wording there.

Also, in the Vajrasattva mantra the word kuru comes before “hum” and not “svaha.” I thought you’d be interested to know that there’s an exception to your rule about kuru always coming before svaha. I’d actually forgotten that kuru was in that mantra and if I’d remembered that I would have questioned my assumption regarding kuru referring to the mythical Uttarakuru.

Incidentally, this section isn’t really meant to be a scholarly account of mantras — just a guide for the curious. Nevertheless your comments are very welcome!

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Hi Bodhipaksa,
I was merely commenting on the usage of Pushti and Kuru in Mantras….dictionaries are useful, of course, but will not and never will replace a living tradition. Yes, Kuru can and does come before HUM in a Dharani, but I have yet to see it in a Mantra. Nevertheless, Kuru in the Vajrasattva Dharani (there is a difference between Dharani and Mantra)performs much the same (magical “do it”)function: Chittam Shriyah KURU HUM.
N.B. Kurukulla (or as the Tibetan version would have it Kurukulle)is very much a force/energy(enlightened), which gets things “done”. (Kuru)
In the Mantra shastra, the root KR is the basis of some of the most poweful Bija mantras, such as KRIM (Kali),KROM (Hayagriva,divine anger,flames) etc. The vowel U related to the Sun, and upward movement. With this basic understanding of the meaning of the sounds it is easier to decode KURU. Some mantras in fact have a double KURU.(Such as the powerful Solar mantra quoted earlier)
It is curious however, that such a beautiful,peaceful and uplifting mantra i.e. the White Tara Mantra(in a way it is a prayer as well) should have such a strong “fiery” ending.
But then…Mantras are not man made, they are revealed from above.And they work.For healing on all levels,peace of mind, increase of well being and happiness,and wisdom (7 eyes!)and a deep sense of intimacy with the Divine and all life (living beings), the White Tara Mantra is supreme. And even more….

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Thanks for this translation it was great not to have to search too long for one!

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Hi “Arpad,”

Sorry to have taken so long to reply.

I’ve never heard of the Vajrasattva Mantra referred to as a dharani. It may in some technically sense be one, but Buddhists invariably refer to it as the “Vajrasattva Mantra” or “the 100 Syllable Mantra of Vajrasattva.” If you Google “dharani of vajrasattva” or “vajrasattva dharani” (with quotes) you’ll see what I mean.

As for dictionaries versus being fluent in Sanskrit (which is that I’ll assume you mean by being part of “a living tradition”), the latter is without doubt much more valuable, but dictionaries do have their place as the repository of the changing history of words, which of course evolve over time. When I come across an unknown word in English I generally find it much more valuable to consult a dictionary than another native speaker, who is probably even less likely than I to be familiar with the nuances of the word’s meaning. But ultimately dictionaries can’t replace an actual lived experience of a language, of course, so I don’t have any fundamental disagreement with that point!

This whole area is an issue in Buddhism, because of course Sanskrit mantras left their ancestral homeland many centuries ago, to be adopted by practitioners in (for example) Vietnam, Tibet, Japan, and now the West. This means that for a long time there have been living traditions of Buddhist practice for whom Sanskrit is a part of their ritual practice — and yet they have little or no fluency in the language of those mantras.

The Buddhist view of mantras, however,The Buddhist view of mantras, however — as I understand it — is that an understanding of the meaning and correct pronunciation of mantras is not essential to their spiritual efficacy. This may well of course be a different understanding from other Mantric traditions (including yours, whatever it may be).

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I am visiting your website for the first time and know that I am not educated but I’m not sure what Susan (posted 10/2007) meant when she said she “acquired a White Tara chakra.” Would you be willing to explain it to me?

Also, if I feel that I have received a vision of White Tara, why does she appear?

Thank you

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Hi Connie,

I took it that Susan meant to say “thangka” rather than chakra. A thangka is a classic iconic representation of a Buddha or Bodhisattva, often painted on a cloth that can be rolled up, and with a brocade frame.

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Re: Connie’s comment

1. There is a so called Tara Mandala. This is a geometrical device, a diagrammatical representation of the Divine Energies of the Yidam. Chakra simply means Wheel.Sometimes mistakenly, Yantra/Mandala/Chakra are used and mixed up.
2. However,there is a Tara Chakra, which is a “thread-Cross” device, some are quite small, which can be worn as an amulet.
3. There is a Highest Yoga Tantra Practice knows as Chinta- Chakra Tara. This is a very complicated saddhana of White Tara. This requires a lot of study,application and practice. The benefits are said to include the extension of lifespan,and the elimination of diseases. (among other things). Normally the Gelug and the Sakya branch of Vajrayana practice this.

I hope that the above sheds some more light to your question.

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Hi Bodhipaksa,

concerning my tradition, it is suffice to say that it is Kagyu-Nyigma branch of Vajrayana.
Concerning Sanskrit, it is to be observed that all recent publications of the Gelug order prints 100% accurate/original sanskrit and encourages to pronounce it properly. All this has been approved by HHDL. I refer here- as an example- the 100 syllable Vajrasattva Mantra/Dharani.When you write out the mantra syllable by syllable in a 10×10 grid, the underlying mathematical perfection and simmetry is striking. All this is lost in- let’s say- east Tibetan pronounciation. They will cheerfully say “Supokayo” for “Suposhyo”, and “Sutokayo” for “Sutoshyo”, adding an extra syllable here and there. Actually the mantra becomes (in East Tibetan pronounciation) not 100 but more like 105, or even 106 syllable Mantra.In this case, one cannot refer to it as the Vajrasattva 100 syllable mantra. Does it matter? I think it does.
Some high ranking Lamas seem to think so as well are and quietly coming back to original Sanskrit.
Thank you

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Hi Arpad,

I think it’s an excellent idea to become versed in Sanskrit. Unfortunately I have only studied Pali (and I have to confess that that’s becoming rather rusty).

In my own practice tradition we have a version of the Vajrasattva mantra/dharani that was passed down from Tibet, complete with some corruptions of the Sanskrit. The mangled version is our “official” one, but we also have a corrected version thanks to our Sanskrit scholars. Personally I think it would be better to switch to the corrected version.

That’s very interesting about the symmetry of the 10×10 grid. Do you know of any examples online?

Thanks,
Bodhipaksa

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Hi Bodhipaksa,

I am planning to write a collection of essays on the Tara Mantra (also on the white Tara and Red Tara mantra), as well as an up-to-date version /translation of the 21 Praises of Tara- and explanation of the original meaning in sanskrit. A few of these essays will deal with the underlying mathematical/geometrical foundations and correspondences of the “Praises” and a good portion relating to Vedic Astrology and Ayurveda .(or rather a branch of it dealing with Gold).
Incidentally- as a note for the previous observations- The World Wide Dzogchen Community (of Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche) practices the Saddhana of the 21 Praises in Sanskrit- not in Tibetan.
I was asked by Drukpa Rinpoche, the Abbot of the Zurmang Monastery in East Tibet to prepare a Calligraphy of the “praises” in Sanskrit, which he will enshrine in the new statue.
I am afraid, you have to wait until I publish my book.
Thank you very much

Arpad Joo

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Well, I’m looking forward very much to your book coming out. Please do let me know when it’s been published.

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Kelvin Ooi
May 2, 2008 8:12 pm

I am a new to Green & White Tara, and only by chance I was given a CD of Green Tara and my interest just grew naturally.
Great to hear from all of you.
May the blessings of the Great Tara s be with you and loved ones.

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Vimal Puratan
June 15, 2008 10:58 am

I found and visited your website for the first time. I feel touched, gifted by all items found here that support me in my understanding and daily Tara Practice. I feel strongly connected with the White Tara although I do not know why. It has been so from the beginning. Later I received the sannyas name Vimal Puratan. So I guess there is a liferoad to travel with purity for me. Could you provide me with a White Tara purification mantra ?
Thank you so for your time and attention.

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Hi Vimal,

Thanks for your kind comments about the site. I’m delighted to know that the information here helps support your practice.

I’m not sure exactly what your question means. We offer the White Tara mantra on this page, so that’s already available. If you’re looking for some kind of initiation I’d suggest finding a Tibetan teacher who can pass on the White Tara practice. That kind of initiation just isn’t part of the tradition in which I practice.

All the best in developing a relationship with Tara!

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Heelo ,
Thankyou for your wonderful site.I was wondering after all that ,if anyone could point me to the 100 seed sylable vajrasattva mantra that is correct without the added syllables.Thankyou.

Metta
Lynsey.

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I’d suggest trying Visible Mantra. This has a transliteration of the mantra arranged in a 10 x 10 grid. The concluding hum and phat are kind of extra.

I had a quick look around at some of the other resources and as usual the Tibetanized versions tend to be horribly mangled.

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Thankyou for that.

Metta
Lynsey.

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Hi all. I’m right after a reiki healing and i was told to chant the tara mantra as i’m harbouring loads of anger and for abundance. Should i chant the white or green tara mantra. Thanks in advance – harshi.

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Hi Harshi,

To cut a long story short, I’d suggest Green Tara. Green is a color of abundance (it’s a spring/summer color), and she’s also very active in compassion. We all need compassion, and if you’re experiencing anger you’ll need compassion for yourself and for others.

All the best,
Bodhipaksa

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Thank you for the suggestion Bodhipaksa. I am excited to get started. Thanks – harshi.

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Hi there, Ive come across this site whilst looking for Tara images. I’m at the end of my pregnancy and feel very drawn to Tara and am wondering whether white or green Tara is more suitable/relevant?
Many thanks
Melinda

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Hi Melinda,

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

I’d suggest following your heart: which figure do you feel most drawn to?

All the best for you and the babe!
Bodhipaksa

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Dear Melina,

Congratulations and wish you an easy childbirth.

I like to share with you from the Buddha’s teachings.

Angulimala Paritta
———————-
Yatoham bhagini ariyaya jatiya jato
Nabhi janami sancicca
Panam jivita voropeta
Tena saccena sotthi te
Hotu sotthi gabbhassa

The above Angulimala Paritta has the following story
————————————————————–
In some Buddhist countries, it is believed that when the Angulimala
Paritta is used ( recite ) to bless the drinking water of an expectatant
mother , the woman would have an easy childbirth.

The story :

Ven Angulimala, on one of his usual daily rounds for alms, came upon a house
where he heard the sharp cries of an expectant mother undergoing protracted
labour . Feeling rather inadequate and helpless, he reported the incident to
the Buddha. The Buddha then instructed Ven Angulimala to return to the same
house to give a recital whereupon the woman delivered her baby without
further difficulties. Ever since, this recital has come to be known as the
Angulimala paritta.

I wish well and happy & May the Triple Gems be with you and the lovely
baby to come.

Yours sincerely,

Kelvin Ooi

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Dear Bodhipaksa,

I hope you will share Angulimala Paritta with all as this is a wonderful
buddhist paritta to help women to achieve safe and easy childbirth.

With Metta,

Kelvin Ooi

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Dear Kelvin Ooi and Bodhipaksa,
Thank you both for your very quick reply! I think i feel drawn to both Taras, and abit more to green Tara. Thankyou for the Angulimala Paritta, do I use it by chanting it or reading it? Thankyou also for your well wishes
yours sincerely
Melinda

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Dear Melinda,

I have Green Tara on my writing table, and she enjoys very nice Green Tara’s song
chanting from my laptop.

You can recite Angulimala Paritta with a glass of water, ask for blessing
from the Triple Gems to grant you a safe and easy childbirth.
You drink the water.

May you be well and happy.

With metta.

Kelvin

cc Dear Bodhipaksa,
Please share your thought with sister Melinda.
Best wishes.

Kelvin

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Dear Bodhipaksa,

Please advise me about the practice and recital of;

1. Shurangama Sutra
2. Treasure Casket Seal Dharani.

I found a few literatures of the above from internet, perhaps you may be
able to enlighten me the practice and merits from the Shurangama sutra &
Casket Seal Dharani.

Thank you and best regards

Kelvin

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Hi Kelvin,

I’m afraid these are topics that I know nothing at all about.

Sorry I can’t be of help in this case!

Best wishes,
Bodhipaksa

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Is the above mantra used to attract or bring back a particular person?
& how many times should it be chanted & how many days for
& what direction must one sit to start chanting the mantra?
Kindly provide me with details asap.
Thank you
D.

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Hi Dips,

It does sound as if you’re experiencing a lot of suffering. We tend to focus on external things (like getting a person back) and think that those things will take away our suffering. But really what we need is to have compassion for ourselves, and to let the compassion of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas into our life. So I’d suggest that you let White Tara’s compassion radiate into your heart and heal your pain.

And you never know — sometimes becoming a less “needy” person and being more compassionate makes us more attractive. So the practice might help that way too.

As for frequency — there are no magic numbers. Visualize Tara as much as possible. have a sense of her presence and her blessings throughout the day.

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Hi Dips,

I agree with Bodhipaksa’s advice to practise compassion, and you will find your life so beautiful you never
knew and it will attract great things. It need not be material compassion like giving away money donation but
helping an old folk across the street, work amongst the orphans and help to organise chartity drives etc etc..
you would see new experiences to cross your life.

May you be well & happy.

Best wishes

Kelvin Ooi

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White magic | Wildmind Buddhist Meditation
August 28, 2009 9:59 am

[…] what does White Tara offer us from the depths of her wisdom? There are clues in her mantra: om tare tuttare ture mama ayur punya jnana pushtim kuru svaha. There are many Tara mantras, and most of them follow the form of the general mantra om tare […]

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Does anyone know where i can find the white tara mantra written in sanskrit?

with metta
Ananda

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Thank you so much, i found it there.

with metta

Ananda

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I say the tara mantra every day and night, hundreds of repetitions per day, for about 7 years now. My life is so beautiful. My house and family, and neighbourhood are amazing. Every day I think I must live in paradise. My thoughts are guided by the constant presence of the goddess. Of course I also suffer and have negative thoughts, but due to the power of the mantra, I see the emptiness of all phenomenon too, so my suffering is much less than it would be otherwise.

I asked my dear friend Rinpoche why my life has gotten so much better with the mantra, and he says that not only does it appear better, but the *world actually changes* when you use the mantra.

It’s very important to dedicate the merit of mantra recitations to others, and often. wish like this: “by the power of these mantra recitations, may (this person) be well and happy`(or whatever specific good you wish for them)“

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Dear Bodhipaksa,
Having seen you are the blog “duty”, a very nice friend of mine chants White Tara MAntra and Jaya Bhagavan and he would like to know what they mean in English. Would it be possible, if you might translate them or give me a site where I could find them?
Thank you in advance.

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Hi Rita,

I’m puzzled. You ask — on a page that explains the meaning of the White Tara Mantra — what the White Tara Mantra means. Am I missing something?

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The White Tara mantra is great, it can bring us out of emptiness and show us our true self further to purification rituals. There is a really good recorded version on Youtube that I use a lot as it is so beautiful.
Try putting it on your ipod and going to the beach or the park, or anywhere that is natural and light:) Many White Tara Blessings to you all:) PC

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I want to tell you my story how I came across searching information on White Tara and mantra for her: I accidentally found the video file on the internet https://video.mail.ru/mail/solarbriz/1504/366.html. It is in Russian language. This documentary film says that the villagers in Altai (Ural Region of Russia) found bronze statuette of Goddess (they didn’t know at the time her name) on the street after they heard beautiful divine singing. The teacher of that village took statuette to her home. Once she was out of her house for 1 day, neighbor heard singing and laughing was happening in the house of the teacher while she was away. Then other night the teacher saw the women and she said that her name is White Tara. After that Buddhist monks and lamas visited the teacher and taught her mantras and how to pray to this Divine Deity.

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Thanks for this Elena. I wish I understood Russian!

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And thank you for the mantra and pronunciation, it is beautiful, blessing to all

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Is there any need for initiation by any lama for practice of green or other tara mantras?

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There may be Tantric forms of Tara which require initiation, but the forms of Tara you find here are more generally Mahayana rather than Tantric, and no initiation is required.

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Michael Nielsen
January 22, 2012 8:39 pm

Thank You Bodhipaksa for your patience and work answering questions. You and Wildmind provide a wonderfull well of information and inspiration!
Lots of metta and all that good stuff!

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Thank you Michael. I have to confess I have to work at the patience sometimes!

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Immediate nectar like blissful feeling invades my
Being,slows and deterrs the affluence of thoughs,when I say the mantra.The love which invades my chest seems to wish to expand,as well. Sweet ,sweet,sweet….

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Thank you for all the valuable comments. I have heard Tara pronounced two ways: Tar-ah and Ta-Rah. Which is correct? Thank you.

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It’s Tāra. The first a is stressed, and long, as in “father.” The second a is short, unstressed, and like the u in “cut.”

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Is it necessary to have received a White Tara sadhana in order to do the mantra practice effectively, because I don’t have one, but I like doing the practice.

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Hi, Mark.

No, that’s not necessary.

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