Twenty-one Taras

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The 21 Taras painted by Salga

Twenty-one Taras (Wyl. sgrol ma nyer gcig) — the twenty-one forms of Tara mentioned in the Tara tantra, together with their benefits, according to Rigdzin Jikmé Lingpa:[1]

  1. Nyurma Pamo (myur ma dpa' mo) for development of bodhichitta
  2. Yangchenma (dbyangs can ma; Skt. Sarasvati) for knowledge and wisdom
  3. Sonam Chokter (bsod nams mchog gter) for the force of merit
  4. Tsuktor Namgyal (gtsug gtor rnam rgyal; Skt. Ushnishavijaya for long life
  5. Rikchema (rig byed ma; Skt. Kurukulla) for magnetizing people and wealth
  6. Jikché Chenmo ('jigs byed chen mo) for destroying the power of harmful influences
  7. Shyenkyi Mitupma (gzhan gyis mi thub ma) for protection from hailstorms and lightning
  8. Shyen Migyalwa (gzhan mi rgyal ba) for repelling blame
  9. Sengdeng Nakkyi Drolma (seng ldeng nags kyi sgrol ma; Skt. Khadiravani Tara) for protection from the eight great fears. (She is the main Tara, green in colour)
  10. Jikten Sumgyal ('jig rten gsum rgyal) to have power over the world
  11. Nor Terma (nor ster ma) for dispelling poverty and granting good fortune
  12. Tashi Dönché (bkra shis don byed) for the auspiciousness of children, fame, rain and so on
  13. Drapung Jomma (dgra spung 'joms ma) for victory in war
  14. Tronyer Chendze (khro gnyer can mdzad; Skt. Bhṛkuti) for protection from spirits
  15. Rabtu Shyiwa (rab tu zhi ba) for purifying harmful actions
  16. Barwé Öchen ('bar ba'i 'od can) for dispelling spells and negative effects
  17. Pakmé Nönam (dpag med gnon ma) for protection from robbers, thieves, animals and hunters
  18. Mabja Chenmo (rma bya chen mo) to protect from and neutralize poison
  19. Mipam Gyalmo (mi pham rgyal mo) for protection from quarrels and bad dreams
  20. Ritröma (ri khrod ma) for protection from epidemics
  21. Özer Chenma ('od zer can ma) for restoring the spirits and energies of sick people

Alternative Lists

There are two alternative lists of the Twenty-one Taras from the Indian tradition: one from Suryagupta and one from Nagarjuna and Atisha, in which the names, form, colour or function of protection vary. In the Tibetan tradition there are also two lists, which derive from termas: one from Jikmé Lingpa and one from Chokgyur Lingpa.

Notes

  1. This list is from yum-ka mkha'-'gro'i nang-sgrub bde-chen snying-po'i gter-bum, based on a translation by Tulku Thondup.

Further Reading

  • Khenchen Palden Sherab and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal, Tara's Enlightened Activity (Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2007)

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