Arya Tara Thangka is beautifully handpainted in Nepal. Green Tara is the most popular form of the Taras, also known as Arya Tara or Vasya Tara.
She is the consort of Amogasiddhi – one of the Dhyani buddhas that represent action – and is considered to take up to 10 different forms.
It is essential to understand that Taras are themselves a separate class of deity, which will be discussed in more depth on our blog. One of the easiest ways of recognizing the Green Tara by her color – which represents the active Enlightenment of Feminine Compassion and indicates that the Tara is always willing and ready to help the needy that pray to her.
Every aspect of the Green Tara is carefully painted to represent her various qualities and gifts.
The mantra of Green Tara
OM TARE TU TARE SOHA
Meaning of Mantra
In short, om tare tuttare ture soha means “I prostrate to the Liberator, Mother of all the Victorious Ones.” The Tara mantra is om tare tuttare ture soha.
To explain the meaning of tare tuttare ture: tare means liberating from samsara.
- Tare shows that Mother Tara liberates living beings from samsara, from true suffering, or problems. You can relate this to the particular sufferings of human beings: birth, old age, sickness, and death; meeting undesirable objects and experiencing aversion; not finding desirable objects or finding them but gaining no satisfaction… All these are the problems of true suffering. If you rely upon Tara by taking refuge in her and doing Tara practices—such as the recitation of mantra or praises — with tare, Tara liberates you from all these true sufferings.
- The second word, tuttare, liberates you from the eight fears. There are eight fears related to external dangers from fire, water, air, earth, and also from such things as thieves and dangerous animals. However, the main dangers come from ignorance, attachment, anger, pride, jealousy, miserliness, doubt, and wrong views. These eight disturbing thoughts that you have in your mind are the main dangers… This second word, tuttare, which liberates you from the eight fears, frees you from the true cause of suffering: karma and the all-arising disturbing thoughts.
- The third word, ture, liberates you from the disease. Now, of the Four Noble Truths, ture shows the cessation of suffering, which is the ultimate Dharma. In terms of liberating from disease, the actual disease we have is ignorance not knowing the absolute nature of the I, and all the disturbing thoughts that arise from this ignorance. By liberating us from disease, ture actually liberates us from the true cause, disturbing thoughts, and also the true sufferings. The rough meaning of these three words tare tuttare ture is: “To you, the embodiment of all the Buddhas’ actions, I prostrate always — whether I am in happy or unhappy circumstances — with my body, speech, and mind.”
- The final word soha means establishing the root of the path within your heart. In other words, by taking refuge in Tara and doing Tara practice, you receive the blessings of Tara in your own heart. This gives you space to establish the root of the path, signified by tare tuttare ture, in your heart. By establishing the path of the three capable beings within your heart, you purify all impurities of your body, speech, and mind, and achieve Tara’s pure vajra holy body, holy speech and holy mind, which are signified by om. Your body, speech, and mind are transformed into Tara’s holy body, holy speech, and holy mind. This is the rough meaning of om tare tuttare ture soha.