Praises to Twenty-One Taras

Nowadays, the world seems to be in a difficult time. Natural calamities like fire, earthquake, epidemics, etc., take place one after another. Meanwhile, the happening of wars, conflicts, terrorist attack, and other kinds of man-made disasters seem to have no end. While the outside world is so chaotic, people’s personal life is also faced with various challenges. Many people, including practitioners, are troubled by emotional problems, physical sickness, career crises or family conflicts. In such time, people do need the power of Tara. Because Tara can fulfill all kinds of wishes, and remove every misfortune and suffering. And most importantly, her blessing comes the swiftest.

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In history and nowadays, there are so many cases of Tara protecting people from danger and satisfying their wishes. When H. H. Jigme Phuntsok was alive, if certain adversities happened to Larung Gar or if some disasters struck places elsewhere in the world, H. H. Jigme Phuntsok would often ask all the sangha member at Larung Gar, even practitioners outside the academy, to pray wholeheartedly to Tara for dispelling the obstacles. Therefore, we are happy to provide you this precious commentary on the Praises to the Twenty-One Taras, the most popular Tara prayer in Tibetan Buddhism. By this, we hope that many more people can get to know Tara, cultivate faith in her, and so experience her swift and powerful blessing.

Surely everyone has their own goals in life or in spiritual practice. In the process, when facing certain challenges that need to be dealt with immediately, pray to Tara. Then miraculously, these difficulties will be solved swiftly.

Although there are many good commentaries on the Praises to the Twenty-One Taras by other great masters available in English, this book is unique and a worthwhile reading. First of all, the content is highly accessible to the general public, as it is easy to understand and touches upon issues that are quite relevant to everyday life in today’s modern world. Those who have some knowledge of the Tara tantras will recognize that the meaning of the Praises to Twenty-One Taras is quite extensive and profound, as it can be explained from different levels of the tantric traditions, including that of the great perfection. Khenpo Rinpoche’s approach provides an easy-to-understand explanation of the prayer from the Mahayana point of view, and also includes historical and modern stories of how people have had their problems solved and enjoyed a happier life by praying to Tara. Additionally, Rinpoche has included some of his own personal experiences of his connection with Tara and to Tara practice. Therefore, it is certain that a great many people will be able to gain inspiration from reading this book.

From this year onwards, I also hope that Buddhists from everywhere in the world can fit the chanting of the Praises to Twenty-One Taras into their schedule. Do not be satisfied with just understanding the literal meaning of the text, but try to put it into practice, like by chanting it.

For Buddhist practitioners, this book provides a practical, yet simple guide for practicing the Praises to Twenty-One Taras. The appearance and posture of every Tara is clearly explained, and how to visualize each Tara by following each praise is expounded in great detail. As you follow along with this teaching, you will find included, vivid depictions of each of the 21 Taras drawn based exactly on Khenpo’s description of each Tara, which will serve as visual reference, and make it easier for you to visualize them.

We are glad that, through the efforts of many, this book is now complete and ready to be presented to you. It is our sincere hope that through this book, you will generate a genuine faith in Tara and in the Tara practice. May you receive the swift blessing of Tara, such that every of your wishes will be fulfilled under her glorious blessing.


Praises to the Twenty-One Taras

I hope that everyone can take Tara practice as a lifetime practice to dispel all the unfavorable conditions and to increase the favorable ones. With the blessing of Tara, all sorts of restless emotions can be pacified and bliss and joy will naturally arise and fill up one’s mind.