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Tārā

The 21 Tārās of Sūrya-Gupta

The following post is titled, "A Description of the Various Aspects of Tārā as Contained in Jonang Tāranātha’s Ocean of Yidam Deities , the 100 Deities of Narthang and the Vajrāvalī of Abhayākara-Gupta." This is the 2nd in a 2 part series. By Thomas Roth, a contributing author to the Jonangpa blog.

There are at least four traditions of describing the 21 Tārās. [1] Those of Sūrya-Gupta (7th/8th cent.), Atīśa Dipaṃkara (982-1054), Longchen Rabjampa (1308-1363), and Terchen Chokgyur Lingpa (1829-1870). The latter three traditions are very similar in so far as the individual Tārās are described as varying only slightly in body color...

Tāranātha’s Descriptions of Tārā

The following post is titled, "A Description of the Various Aspects of Tārā as Contained in Jonang Tāranātha’s Ocean of Yidam Deities , the 100 Deities of Narthang and the Vajrāvalī of Abhayākara-Gupta." This is the 1st in a 2 part series. By Thomas Roth, a contributing author to the Jonangpa blog.

8green_tara2_600x845a.jpg 8 Armed Tara

Jonang Tāranātha’s famous compilation of yidam deities, known as the Ocean of Yidam Deities , contains the descriptions and short sādhanas for altogether 417 deities. Among them are no less than 42 aspects of Tārā. Tāranātha’s Ocean of Yidam Deities has often been published in omnibus with two other, smaller collections. Namely the 100 Deities of Narthang and the Vajrāvalī , compiled by the famous 12th century Indian scholar and tantric master Abhayākara-Gupta. [1]

The 100 Deities of Narthang contains another two aspects of Tārā, whereas there is only a single one to be found in the Vajrāvalī. That however, is the most important form of Vajra Tārā, whose practice was very widespread, particularly in the Indian regions of Bhaṅgala and Oḍiviśa, which corresponds to most of present-day Bangladesh and the eastern Indian state of Orissa.