Why do we supplicate Tara?
“Generally, all bodhisattvas and buddhas perform the benefit of sentient beings. And they all liberate sentient beings, but the main reason that we supplicate Arya Tara to dispel all fears is because dispelling fears was one of the main commitments, or pledges, or vows, of Arya Tara.
So the supplication to become free of these fears, or the supplication for Arya Tara to free us from these fears, relates all forms of outer and inner fear, outer and inner harm, and outer and inner adverse conditions.
And so, therefore, the Tara as a bodhisattva, as an enlightened being, is our cause out there. Tara is not just our imagination. She was also a person. You can see the history there. So her enlightened power here is to spark that, to spark that energy or power within us, which is already there. So it’s kind of like invoking your own enlightened quality there, or the quality of your intelligence the power of your compassion.
In the same way, when we do the deity yoga meditation and try to light this spark or invoke this heart of awakening, we relate to these forms and sounds, like deity form of Tara, even though no forms do exist, regardless of Tara or not.”
— Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
What is a Drupchen?
Drupchen (Tibetan: སྒྲུབ་ཆེན་ ; literally, “great practice [gathering]” or “great accomplishment [gathering]”) is a traditional format for a practice-intensive retreat in the Vajrayana tradition. The practice of Drupchen is said to bring great benefit to its participants and the communities around them. In this way, it is a strong generator of merit, purification, and blessings. Per Lama Tenpa’s guidance, the event will be open to the public so that all may benefit from the blessings and merit of the practice.
Why are we doing a Drupchen?
First, this Tara Drupchen will serve as a long-life practice for Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and his family, for our sangha, and for our Nalandabodhi international centers. Second, it provides a strong condition for accumulating merit. Finally, it is a powerful method for dispelling obstacles and hindrances for ourselves and our sangha’s dharma activities. Also, as Lama Tenpa has shared, another primary intention in offering the Tara Drupchen is to strengthen our Vajrayana mandala of practice.