About The 21 Taras Thangka

What is a ‘thangka’?

A ‘thangka’ is a visual image of the perfectly developed heart and mind which, to Buddhists, is the innate potential of every living being. Thangkas are sometimes sewn and embroidered and most are framed in brocade. Giant thangkas are traditionally displayed for special occasions and at huge gatherings.
This vast thangka of the 21 Taras was commissioned by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and painted in acrylic on canvas by a highly respected Swiss artist trained in the Tibetan tradition, Peter Iseli.

Who are the 21 Taras?

Tara is the supreme female energy. She is Guan Yin, the Madonna, the mother of all the Buddhas! She is beautiful, strong, fearless; she makes our good qualities bloom and brings both worldly success and spiritual progress. She is the true WonderWoman!

The 21 Taras symbolise the various different qualities of her holy body, speech and mind, and the “Praises to the Twenty-One Taras”, the golden verses painted onto the thangka, express those marvellous qualities and pay homage to them.

Each of the 21 Taras has a special power to help us: to grant long life, prosperity, relationship harmony, to protect us from jealousy, anger, sickness and troublemakers.

Tara is a meditational deity upon whom all the holy beings of the past relied; the great Indian masters of the past, such as Atisha, the great Kadampa masters of Tibet, Lama Tsongkhapa, and all the lineage gurus of the four Tibetan traditions. See our Tara the Liberator page for more information.

This 21 Taras Thangka is 14.5 metres high and 9.5 metres wide!

Thangka Truck1
Even when it is rolled up, the thangka can only be transported on the back of a semi-trailer. Here you see it about to be taken away from Tara Institute in Brighton…

It is taller than a 4 storey building, so standing in front of it, you will certainly appreciate why it took the artist, Peter Iseli, so many years to paint it! Below is an artist’s impression of the size of the thangka, compared with that of a suburban home…

relative size 21 Taras thangka