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.
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 andand om muni muni maha muniye soha, two other very popular mantras. And if you are interested in hearing the other wordly sounds of Tibetan prayers in monasteries in Tibet, you can learn how to visit Tibet here.)
Basically, any mantra is “a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of ‘creating transformation.’” 1
To better understand the Green Tara mantra, let’s first talk a little about who Green Tara is, and then look at the deeper meaning of the mantra.
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.” 2