Om Tare Tutare Ture So Ha
Pronounced OMm TAH Reh TEW TAh RAY TEW RAY SO HAA (oM tAre tuttAre ture so hA) (extend the first and last syllables). I hope this very basic attempt at phonetics is sufficiently clear.
If you prefer the Indian version, you can say Sva Ha instead of So Ha. Either version is a traditional mantra ending, meaning I bow to you.
The Tara mantra is one of the most widely-used mantras in Tibetan Buddhism. It works to liberate one of all fears, remove obstacles, and facilitate good intentions for the world. I have found it to be extremely powerful in my own life. In addition, the mantra is said to help with the well being of the world in general. In these current times, it is a very useful practice, serving to calm one’s own fears and at the same time, emit a strong positive intention.
Tara (meaning Star, or Drolma in Tibetan), goddess of protection and compassion, is the primary female deity in the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon, and one of the most worshipped deities in Tibet.
She is saluted in this mantra as the noble, exalted liberator, as the swift and glorious liberator, and as the deity who grants success by removing obstacles and fulfilling all good intentions. In some ways similar to the Virgin Mary in the Catholic tradition, Tara listens to prayers, wants to help human beings, and represents Miraculous Action. I feel she packs more of a punch though, never having been diluted by a need to make the feminine simply gentle.
Tara has many manifestations, most notably as Green Tara, goddess of the Earth who overcomes obstacles and saves people from danger, and as White Tara, guardian and deliverer of peace, longevity, and protection. When you say this mantra you cover all the Tara bases, no need to pick just one!
Spiritual practice with the Tara mantra
You can sit and say the mantra with a mala, with one round for every bead. You can go around the mala four times which equals 444 mantras, or how ever many times feels right to you. You can say it out loud, under your breath, or silently.
You can also just say it in your head as you go about your day. The mantra helps you focus and can be very useful when you have a particular problem. I find the answer will just come into my head after a while. The constant practice as one goes about one’s daily life has a wonderful effect of stilling the mind, opening the heart, and concentrating one’s actions into the most effective and most authentic avenues for one’s own nature.