Background: In 2014, Lama Zopa Rinpoche commissioned Peter Iseli to paint a GIANT 21 Taras ‘thangka’ – a painting containing ancient geometry to calm the mind of anyone looking at it. Peter and his wife Jangchub Iseli-Sangmo spent four years creating the thangka, one section at a time, in a studio at Institut Vajra Yogini in France.
At the end of 2017, Lama Zopa gave the 15m x 9m 21 Taras Thangka to Tara Institute in Melbourne, Australia, “to show to as many people as possible”.
After 2018 exhibitions with White Night and at the Heart of Wisdom retreat, Rinpoche requested changes, which Peter duly made in Melbourne in 2019. Since then, the thangka had been stored in an elegant cabinet at Tara Institute.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche passed away on April 13, 2023. Yet his wishes were finally to be fulfilled once more at the May 13 multicultural Vesak commemoration: a ‘Sangha Dana’ lunch offering to sangha of all the different traditions, a Friendship Walk through the streets, and chanting and interfaith messages in the Melbourne Town Hall, where the 21 Taras Thangka blessed everyone present, to a soundtrack of Lama Zopa invoking the 21 Taras.
Watch the first taster video of that wonderful occasion with his dedication verses:
We are delighted and excited to announce that the magnificent 21 Taras thangka will be on display as part of Vesak celebrations (free entry) at the Melbourne Town Hall on Saturday 13 May from 10am to 6pm.
** For one day only, so mark it in your diaries now. **
Seeing this giant 15m high by 9m wide painting is a rare opportunity not to be missed!
Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche commissioned famous Swiss artist Peter Iseli to paint this beautiful thangka, and then gave it to Tara Institute, to show to as many people as possible. Consecrated by several lamas after completion in France, the thangka was also blessed by Geshe Doga, resident teacher at Tara Institute, before it was first displayed to the world at Hamer Hall in Melbourne in 2018, and then again by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche at the Great Stupa when displayed during his retreat. So many blessings given and so many blessings will be received when looking at these amazing Taras.
Rinpoche requested changes to the face, a rainbow around the central Green Tara’s aura, and differently shaped blue lotuses, and Peter Iseli travelled to Melbourne from Switzerland in 2019 to deliver on Rinpoche’s instructions. We are very excited to see the new, even more powerful holy images.
Bring friends and family to open hearts, free minds of negativity and nourish the seeds of full awakening. Of architectural proportions, this thangka is taller than a 4-storey building. Here’s a sneak preview of the central Green Tara’s new face 🙂
Tara #5 of the 21 Taras, who we evoke when seeking “qualities of being charming, persuasive and irresistible to others”.
Can you believe that she and the other Taras can be made even more beautiful? Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche says ‘yes’, and master thangka painter Peter Iseli arrives back to Tara Institute soon to make the changes Rinpoche has requested.
Here are Peter and Lama Zopa together recently in Bern, Switzerland, where Peter lives, as Peter offers a thangka of Milarepa to his guru. How wonderful!!!
During White Night, the first day of Spring, Bendigo’s Gold Rush architecture will glitter with thousands of light projections. It will look AMAZING!
At the centre of town, elegant and beautifully situated, is Bendigo Town Hall. Within will be our GIANT painting of Female Buddhas – TARA THE LIBERATOR and her 21 Emanations, reclining gently as no building in Bendigo is big enough to show her at full height. Hourly meditations, information about Tara available, Lama Zopa’s gentle mantras as soundtrack…WHAT SEEING TARA CAN MEAN FOR YOU Lama Zopa Rinpoche 2018:
“So now, anybody, believer or not believer, just seeing a statue of Buddha, painting of Buddha, creates far more great merit than somebody making offerings of universes filled with jewels… They go back home with unbelievable mountains of good karma, merit. To cause to achieve enlightenment, to purify to cause to achieve enlightenment… Secondly, it is a female. Female. Women liberated. Exactly what is needed.”
Saturday night 1 September, 7pm-2am. Bendigo Town Hall: 189-193 Hargreaves St
Over 10,700 people saw Tara the Liberator inside the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion during the amazing Illumin8 Festival! Here she is towering above the crowd awaiting the unveiling of the Jade Buddha, newly returned from its world tour.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche told us:
” Just seeing painting like this picture of Female Buddha – unbelievable. Just seeing. Believer, non-believer doesn’t matter. Now, someone offer flower, incense procession, light, now double. Greater merit than seeing. When you put so much effort for the thangka for thousands to see – all this merit, unbelievable merit. They go back home with unbelievable mountains of good karma, merit. To cause to achieve enlightenment, to purify to cause to achieve enlightenment.”
Wow wow wow!
Comments written in our 21 Taras Visitors Book included:
“Words are hard to find; not needed as not enough.”
“My overwhelming emotions flowed, I would love to learn more.”
“Eager to know more; thanks for the opportunity.”
“All is good – may all attain quickly perfect peace.”
Since Illumin8, the 21 Taras Thangka has been carefully rolled up, ready for the next exhibition. NEWS COMING SOON!!!
And construction continues at the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion. Professional lighting will be installed to show the Jade Buddha in full glory. Here he is at Illumin8, with offerings presented by the thousands of visitors who streamed past for hours…
The SECOND exhibition – 17 March 2018
Over ten thousand people saw Tara the Liberator at White Night Ballarat…
17 February – White Night Melbourne Tara Institute member Jeremy Cohen leads a Tara meditation…
Over 3,000 people saw the 21 Taras Thangka in its first ever exhibition at White Night Melbourne 2018, entitled,”Tara the Liberator”.
Without signs to entice them, these fortunate ones took three escalator rides underground to relax and gaze in comfortable semi-darkness, listening to Lama Zopa’s mantras set to gentle music, some reviewing explanatory maps of the 21 Taras’ powers and praises.
Short meditations on the hour throughout the night provided focus and guidance. In the foyer, people made paper lotuses to offer to Tara or keep as a memento.
Some people meditated throughout the night. Several visitors came back again later, bringing friends and family. Hundreds signed up to receive resources by email.
Comments and dedications written in our Visitors’ Book included: “May all sentient beings benefit!” “Beautiful. Thank you to the Artist.” “Very inspiring.” “To all I’ve wronged.” “Blessed by this amazing painting, thank you.” “Amazing! Wow, wow, wow!”