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Hymns To Tārā / Tr. from Tibetan, with introduction and appendices by Dr A.Zorin. Moscow, Otkryty Mir Publishers 2009. 272 p. (Samadhi series), ill.


The monograph Hymns To Tārā by Dr Alexander Zorin contains a bilingual Tibetan-Russian edition of six selected Buddhist poems in praise of Tārā, one of the most important Tantric deities. Their titles, both Sanskrit and Tibetan, are as follows: 1) Namas-tāraikavimshati-stotram guna-sahitam / Sgrol-ma-la phyag-‘tshal nyi-shu-rtsa-gcig-gis bstod-pa phan-yon dang bcas-pa; 2) Aryatārāsragdharastotra / ‘Phags-ma sgrol-ma’i me-tog-phreng-ba-‘dzin-pa’i bstod-pa by Sarvajñamitra (in translation by Candrakumāra); 3) Āryatārāstotra / ‘Phags-ma sgrol-ma-la bstod-pa by Atisha; 4) Triratnatārā-stotra / Sgrol-ma dkon-mchog-gsum-la bstod-pa by Atisha; 5) Āryāshtamahābhayottārātārāstava / ‘Phags-ma sgrol-ma ‘jigs-pa chen-po brgyad-las sgrol-ba’i bstod-pa by Candragomin; 6) Sgrol-dkar yid-bzhin-'khor-lo'i bstod-pa by Dge-‘dun-grub.

In the Introduction a very brief history of Indo-Tibetan hymns is given and the corpus of those devoted to Tārā is outlined. All of them may be divided into two principal groups: 1) those dedicated to the main form of the goddess — Green Tārā (either (a) mentioned directly or (b) not mentioned); 2) those dedicated to other emanations of Hers such as (a) 21 Tārās; (b) separate forms like White Tārā, etc. Among hymns contained in the book there are texts that correspond to each of the four subdivisions: 1a — Āryatārāstotra, 1b — Aryatārāsragdharastotra, Triratnatārā-stotra, Āryāshtamahābhayottārātārāstava; 2a — Tāraikavimshati-stotra, 2b — Sgrol-dkar yid-bzhin-'khor-lo'i bstod-pa.

Tibetan texts are accompanied with their original poetical translations into Russian. Their principal aim was to preserve as much as possible both poetical features (such as isosyllabism, trochaic intonation and abundance of assonances) and contents of the Tibetan texts.

In the Appendix the critical edition of transliterated texts, literal translations into Russian and glossaries to each hymn are supplied. The critical edition of the first five texts is based upon three principal editions of the Tibetan Buddhist canon published in Peking, Narthang and Derge, that of the sixth hymn is based upon three collections of ritual texts used in different Tibetan monasteries. For this purpose the Tibetan fund kept at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St Petersburg) was extensively used.

Finally, there is an Addendum with an original Russian poem in praise of Tārā that should be considered as a literary experiment, a rather humble attempt to bring together traditional topics of the cult of Tārā and modern Russian poetics.


Аннотация, Содержание, Предисловие, Summary


Buddhist hymns
Buddhist literature
Green Tārā
Indian poetry
Tibetan poetry
White Tārā

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On April 10, 2017, at the meeting of the Academic Council of the IOM RAS, Dr. A.V. Zorin will read a lecture The First Tibetan Texts in the Collection of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences.

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