Noble Tara in the Jonang tradition: ‘The Four Mandala Offering to Definitive Tara’ and ‘The Eyes of Tara’ by Ngawang Lodro Gyatso

Here are new translations of two practice texts on Noble Tara from the Jonang tradition, composed by a twentieth-century Jonang master, Ngawang Lodro Gyatso.[i] These are the first English translations of either text. Tibetan script and phonetics are also included.

Wherever possible, I have approached the translations in a more literal, line by line version, that is helpful to the practitioner who wants to follow the meaning of the Tibetan  text and follow the order of each line in the stanza verse with the English translation.

The first text is called the Four Mandala Offering Ritual to Definitive Tara and her Retinue, that Swiftly Grants the Two Accomplishments.[ii]  It is regularly recited today by those in the Jonang tradition.  With various descriptions of the definitive and conventional twenty-one Taras, it is a beautiful and profound practice for both the generation and completion stages.

The second text is a short Tara sadhana called The Eyes of Tara.[iii]  It is a concise yet powerful homage to the ultimate primordial awareness eyes of Tara and also recommended by the author to be of benefit for the conventionally existent physical eyes too.

The translations are largely based on the oral instructions of elected Jonang head in exile, Chokyi Nangwa Rinpoche, who (in May 2017) kindly gave the oral transmission and instructions for both these texts, as well as for a commentary by Tāranātha on the definitive and conventional aspects, of the twenty-one Taras (which is published here). These two texts were published in a book by the Kalacakra Six Yogas Monastery, Dharamsala, India in 2017.  I am now making these translations freely available for all online with this updated booklet version.

Download for free here. May it be of benefit! Sarva Mangalam!

Adele Tomlin, 17th May 2019.

This is a thangka of the eight-armed form of Tārā, one of the forms taken from Jonang Tāranātha’s famous compilation of yidam deities, known as the Ocean of Yidam Deities (Yi dam rgya mtsho’i sgrub thabs Rin chen ‘byung gnas). Among them are 42 aspects of Tārā.


[i] Khenpo Ngawang Lodro Dragpa (Ngag-dbang-blo-gros-grags-pa) (1920-1975) was a great Jonang master of the 20th Century. For more information on his life, see Treasury of Lives see:

[ii]There are three extant editions of this text. First, Nge don dang drel wai je tsun ma tso khor mandala zhi yi chod pai thab drub nyi nyur tsol (nges don dang’brel ba’i rje btsun ma gtso ‘khor maN+Dal bzhi yis mchod pa’i thabs grub gnyis myur stsol) taken from the Zhel don chog drig (gnas mchog rdo rje gdan jo nang smon lam chen mo’i skabs kyi zhal ‘don phyogs bsgrigs rdzogs ldan chos kyi sgra dbyangs), published by the Jonang Well-Being Association (2010) a compilation of select writings by Jonang authors on various rituals, liturgies, and short practice texts used in Jonang monasteries. Compiled and arranged by Khenpo Ngawang Yonten Zangpo (1928-2002), who was the root lama of Khenpo Chokyi Nangwa Rinpoche.   I also checked this against two other editions, and the more accurate edition is from the Dzamthang block print edition nges don dang ‘brel ba’i rje btsun ma gtso ‘khor la maN+da+la bzhi yi sgo nas mchod pa ‘bul ba’i thabs grub gnyis myur stsol.

(TBRC Work: W19762; volume: 3520; pages: 251-263) and a pecha edition published in Beijing in 2002 (mi rig dpe krun khang) (TBRC Work: W23923; volume: 3528; pages: 665-679).

[iii]Drol mai mig gi khor lo’i thab (sgrol ma’i mig gi ‘khor lo’i thabs. The edition I have used for this translation is from the Dzamthang Samdrub Norbu Ling block print of Lodro Dragpa’s Collected Works (‘Dzam thang ba blo gros grags pa’i gsung ‘bum).

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