The Tantra on the Origin of All Rites of Tārā, Mother of All the Tathāgatas
Degé Kangyur, vol. 94 (rgyud ’bum, tsha), folios 202.a–217.a
Translated by Samye Translations
under the patronage and supervision of 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha
First published 2022
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In this scripture of the Action Tantra genre, the Buddha gives instructions to the bodhisattva Mañjuśrī on the rituals and mantras associated with the goddess Tārā. The tantra includes a description of Tārā, a nine-deity maṇḍala and related initiations, and a litany of ritual practices associated with the four activities.
Translated by Samye Translations under the guidance of Phakchok Rinpoche. The translation was produced by Laura Dainty with the assistance of Khenpo Tsöndrü Sangpo. Oriane Lavolé checked the translation against the Tibetan and edited it. Paul Thomas checked all the mantras and their variants. Stefan Mang and Oriane Lavolé wrote the introduction.
The translation was completed under the patronage and supervision of 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha.
Mañjuśrī then asked, [F.207.b] “Blessed One, how are these deities to be empowered by deities?”
The Blessed One replied, “In the manner, Mañjuśrī, of apparitions, illusions, rainbows, mirages, reflections in water, and images in a mirror.”
Mañjuśrī then asked, “Blessed One, what is an ‘apparition’?”
The Blessed One replied, “An ‘apparition’ is something unreal that is mistaken by both.38 An ‘illusion’ is something mistaken by others.39 A ‘rainbow’ is empty. A ‘mirage’ is a mistaken, empty appearance. A ‘reflection in water’ is causal. An ‘image in a mirror’ is like a city of gandharvas. Mañjuśrī, this is delusion; this is the constitution of the afflicted. Therefore, Mañjuśrī, the empowerment of deities by deities is similar to this.
“Mañjuśrī, apparitions, illusions, rainbows, mirages, reflections in water, and images in a mirror are unimpeded; they are free of all impediments. They are not differentiated and lack differentiation. Therefore, Mañjuśrī, think of their nature in this way.”
The Blessed One then granted empowerment with the vajra mudrā: palms joined so that there is an empty space between them,40 the two middle fingers raised so that they join at the tips, the two index fingers and two ring fingers pressed against the sides of the middle fingers, and the little fingers and thumbs placed inside with their tips touching.
The mantra to be recited is:
Following that, the Blessed One conferred empowerment with the jewel mudrā: hands joined at the palms, the little fingers and ring fingers spread out, the tips of the middle fingers joined, and the thumbs pressing down on the two index fingers.
Placing his hands above his head, he recited this mantra:
All buddhas throughout all ten directions conferred initiation and bestowed empowerment with this mantra. [F.208.a]
Then, the Blessed One formed the samaya mudrā of all the heart families: hands joined at the palms with the fingertips interlaced, middle fingers stretched out, and thumbs and little fingers joined and stretched out. This is the samaya mudrā.
The mantra is:
This was the fifth chapter, “Initiation.”
Translated by the Indian preceptor Dharmaśrīmitra and the Tibetan translator and monk Chökyi Sangpo.
|K||Kangxi (Peking late 17th c.)|
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