In Tibetan Buddhism, om tare tuttare ture soha is an ancient mantra that is related to Tara, the “Mother of all Buddhas,” and especially to her manifestation as Green Tara.
Tara, who Tibetans also call Dolma, is commonly thought to be a Bodhisatva or Buddha of compassion and action, a protector who comes to our aid to relieve us of physical, emotional and spiritual suffering.
Tara has 21 major forms, each of which has a different color and spiritual attribute.
Of these 21 forms, two are especially popular among Tibetan people — White Tara, who is associated with compassion and long life, and Green Tara, who is associated with enlightened activity and abundance.
Tibetans love to pray and recite mantras, and the Green Tara mantra is one of the main three or four mantras that we say to help ourselves and others. (See our posts on om mani padme hum and om muni muni maha muniye soha, two other very popular mantras.)
Basically, any mantra is “a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of ‘creating transformation.’”
Green Tara: Compassion in Action
As we see in the image above, Green Tara is usually depicted as a compassionate being ready to step down from her lotus throne to offer comfort and protection from all of the sufferings we experience in the world.
She is shown “in a posture of ease and readiness for action. While her left leg is folded in the contemplative position, her right leg is outstretched, ready to spring into action. Green Tara’s left hand is in the refuge-granting mudra (gesture); her right hand makes the boon-granting [giving] gesture. In her hands she also holds closed blue lotuses (utpalas), which symbolize purity and power.”
His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama Reciting the Green Tara Mantra:
(HH begins a few minutes after the beginning of the recording)