The image of mother Tara is extremely blessed for anyone to view, contemplate and meditate on.Within this article, I explore the unique qualities of Cittamani Tantra, the origins of Mother Tara, the biographical details of the great yogi and founder of the Cittamani Tara cycle and a very thought-provoking and exciting Question & Answer section that you should not miss which draws parallels with a ‘controversial’ practice and deity.This Question & Answer section will be very thought provoking for you.

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Kyabje Zong Rinpoche mainly practiced Heruka Cakrasamvara, Vajrayogini and Cittamani Tara intensely throughout his life and this is therefore one of his heart practices.

Recently, Tsem Rinpoche had requested me to write about Cittamani Tara and so I did a bit of research to learn more, in particular the origins of Tara and the background of this practice.

To my knowledge, the Gelug lineage is founded on the premise of scholarship, logic and reasoning as well as tracing all teachings and practices back to a valid source that is usually from the enlightened Indian masters or Buddha Himself.

Therefore, Cittamani Tara is a unique tantra because it was originally derived from the visionary experience of a Gelug yogi, Takpu Gargyi Wangpo.

This goes to show the efficacy of the Gelug tradition to develop highly attained masters that are capable of pure visions of deities and astral travel to pure lands.

This Cittamani Tara tantra originally received from Tara herself to Takpu Gargyi Wangpo directly is very widespread within the Gelug tradition.There is the inner, outer and secret initiations of this practice.Tsem Rinpoche recalled Kyabje Zong Rinpoche saying most monks in Sera, Gaden and Drepung have the inner and outer initiations of this special Tara, but those with the secret initiation of Cittamani Tara is rare.This Cittamani Tara is the highest yoga form (Maha-annutara) of Tara which can confer enlightenment within one lifetime. Zong Rinpoche also said that an image of Tara is so holy, that no blessings are required.Once a Tibetan man brought a small Tara tsatsa (clay image) to Zong Rinpoche to bless.Zong Rinpoche refused to do so saying as long as it’s Tara’s image, it is automatically very holy without any consecration necessary.