Every Wednesday morning, over 200 nuns at Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute near Dharamsala, India rise before dawn for the Tara puja. This is a special ceremony to help end the suffering all sentient beings and to aid the nuns on their own spiritual path.
Starting at 5:30 a.m. and continuing for an hour and a half, the nuns chant special Buddhist prayers to Tara, the female Buddha who embodies the wisdom and the compassion of all enlightened beings.
The Tara puja is a very beautiful prayer that includes many verses of offering and the famous 21 Praises to Tara, which are recited many times throughout the puja.
Called the drolchok puja (Tara puja) it is done on a Wednesday because this is considered an auspicious day of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The elaborate offering involves creating ritual cakes (torma) and the use of musical instruments.
Here is a sound recording made by Olivier Adam in 2013 of the nuns chanting the Tara Puja.
It is said that reciting the Praises to the 21 Taras with devotion at any time of the day or night protects you from fear and dangers, and fulfils all your wishes, especially wishes on the spiritual path. Meditation on Tara brings life on your spiritual path and feeds you with endless energy to continue on the path.
Here’s a link to an English translation of the Praises to the 21 Taras which is one part of the whole Tara puja: http://www.nic.fi/~laan/praise.htm
Prayers have power. Buddhists believe that prayers can help relieve suffering and overcome obstacles. It is a belief that is shared by many of the world’s religions.
Tibetans recite various mantras and prayers to purify the mind, to deal with negative emotions, to increase merit, and to invite help from the Buddha and various enlightened beings or deities.
Tibetan Buddhist nuns pray daily. They also perform pujas, which are special ceremonies in which prayers are offered to the Buddha and other deities to request help, to receive blessings, and to purify obstacles due to past karma or actions.
How to request a Puja or Prayers
You don’t have to be a Buddhist to request prayers by the Tibetan nuns.
You can ask the Tibetan Buddhist nuns at Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute in northern India to perform prayers and pujas on your behalf.
People around the world are able to sponsor pujas or prayers through our Tibetan Nuns Project website. You can sponsor prayers in honor of loved ones, friends, family members, or even pets who may be suffering from obstacles, ill health, or who have passed away.
There are many different types of prayers or pujas to choose from, depending on your wishes and the problems that you wish to overcome. Full descriptions of each puja and its use are available on our website in the Prayers and Pujas section of our online store.
When requesting a puja or prayers from the Tibetan Nuns Project, please provide information about who the prayers are to be directed to and for what purpose. The funds given to the nuns to sponsor pujas are used to purchase supplies and also help to support the nunnery as a whole.
As soon as we receive your request for a puja or for the offering of butter lamps, we will send you a thank you message by email. As soon as possible after that, the nuns will send a confirmation note to you from India to let you know that the puja has been performed.
A gift of prayer is something very special. There are many different types of prayers or pujas to choose from, ranging from offering 100 butter lamps to the elaborate “21 Praises to Tara” which includes 100,000 recitations of the Tara prayer, renowned for removing obstacles and fulfilling wishes.