Tara (Skt. Tārā; Tib. Drolma; Wyl. sgrol ma) 'She who Liberates' - a female deity associated with compassion and enlightened activity. There are different forms of Tara, such as the Eight Taras who Protect from Fear and the Twenty-One Taras, but the most popular are Green Tara, who is associated mainly with protection, and White Tara, who is associated with longevity.
It is said that Tara first manifested out of tears shed by Avalokiteshvara.
According to Jetsün Kushok Chimey Luding, Tara sadhanas are Kriya Tantra practices or originate from Kriya Tantra. Some like, the Praise to the Twenty-One Tara only involve a front visualisation, while others like the Chimé Phakmé Nyingtik can have self-visualisation. In any case, it is important to observe Kriya Tantra practice requirements of purity through cleanliness, avoiding eating meat and so on. That is why, Jetsun Kushok adds, Tara practices, and espescially Mañjushri practices, are better done in the morning before you've eaten any meat.
- Bokar Rinpoche, Tara, the Feminine Divine, translated by Christian Buchet, Clear Point Press, 1999
- Jonang Taranatha, The Origin of the Tara Tantra, translated and edited by David Templeman, Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, first published in 1981, revised edition 1995.
- Khenchen Palden Sherab, The Smile of Sun and Moon: Commentary on the Praise of the Twenty-One Taras, translated by Anna Orlova, Sky Dancer Press, 2004.
- Khenchen Palden Sherab and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal, Tara's Enlightened Activity, Snow Lion, 2007
- Jonang Taranatha, The Golden Rosary of Tara, Shang-Shung Edizioni, 1985.
- Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and Trulshik Adeu Rinpoche, Skillful Grace: Tara Practice for Our Times, translated and edited by Erik Pema Kunsang and Marcia Binder Schmidt, Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2007
- Chokgyur Lingpa, The Essential Instruction on the Threefold Excellence, Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2002