Tara is the primary goddess-form in Tibetan Buddhism, and is considered to be the embodiment of compassion. She is the ancient nature goddess, coming from the indigenous animist religion of pre-Buddhist Tibet, called Bon. She manifests in 21 different aspects, from gentle mother to fierce destroyer of evil, pain, and suffering. Here are a few verses of the traditional Tibetan prayer, "Praises to the 21 Taras":
Homage to Tara swift and fearless
With eyes like a flash of lightning
Lotus-born in an ocean of tears
Of Chenresig, three worlds' protector.
Homage to you whose face is like
One hundred autumn moons gathered
And blazes with the dazzling light
Of a thousand constellations.
Homage to you born from a gold-blue lotus
Hands adorned with lotus flowers
Essence of giving, effort and ethics,
Patience, concentration and wisdom.
Homage to you who crown all Buddhas
Whose action subdues without limit
Attained to every perfection
On you the bodhisattvas rely.
OM TA-RE TU-TA-RE TU-RE SO-HA (Tara's Mantra)