Categories

the mani mantra chant

Om Mani Padme Hum is a six syllable mantra of the Boddhisattva of Compassion – Avaloketeshvara in Sanskrit language. The mantra is believed to be the condensed form of all Buddha’s teachings among Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists.

A mantra is a sacred utterance believed to have spiritual powers. The earliest mantras appeared in Hinduism but Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism adopted the tradition of chanting mantras at latter stages. 

Chanting mantras became the main method of cultivation in Esoteric Buddhism and Tibet Buddhism.

Reciting ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ repeatedly is the most popular form of spiritual practice among Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists.

It helps to internalize the mantra and to be mindful of the state of enlightenment. Mantras are also powerful spells and create a connection to the Buddhas.

Origin of the mantra

Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion

According to Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists, Avalokiteshvara, the Boddhisattva of Compassion, has promised not to attain enlightenment until all the living beings are free from suffering.

Avalokiteshvara, therefore, sought for the simplest way to attain enlightenment. He discovered the six syllable mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ which is the condensed form of the entire Buddha’s teachings.

Avalokiteshvara also promised to bless and protect those who chant the mantra and help them lead to the path of enlightenment.

Meaning of ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ mantra

The lotus

The mantra is interpreted in many ways by different followers.

Maṇipadme, the middle part of the mantra is often interpreted as being in the locative case, ‘jewels in the lotus.’ The Lotus is a symbol signifying purity in Buddhism due to its ability to emerge unstained from the mud and spiritual fruition, an enlightenment.

Maṇipadme is preceded by the Om syllable and followed by the Hum syllable, both interjections without linguistic meaning, but widely known as divine sounds.

Although precise literal meaning and translation of the mantra is difficult and debated among the scholars, the common English translation of mantra is accepted as ‘Hail, jewel in the lotus where lotus-jewel is one of the many names of Avaloketeshvara.

Om – hail, a sacred sound

Mani – jewel or bead

Padme – lotus flower

Hum – the embodiment of enlightenment

Benefits of the mantra

Benefits of chanting ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ mantra

1. The mantra prevents incarnation in the Six Realms

Buddhist art depicting the six realms

The mantra has the power to prevent one from taking rebirth of six realms of reincarnations. By overcoming the rebirths in the six realms, one can attain enlightenment.

Om prevents incarnation in the realm of gods.

Ma prevents incarnation in the realm of demi-gods.

Ni prevents incarnation in the realm of humans.

Pad prevents incarnation in the realm of animals.

Me prevents incarnation in the realm of hungry ghost.

Hum prevents incarnation in the realm of hell.

2. The mantra develops Six Perfections

Mani mantra carved on stone

The Six Perfections are noble character qualities of the Boddhisattvas. Only after achieving six perfections can one attain enlightenment. 

Om improves the perfection of generosity.

Ma develops the perfection of morality.

Ni completes the perfection of endurance.

Pad encourages the perfection of patience.  

Me achieves the perfection of contemplation.  

Hum achieves the perfection of wisdom.

3. The mantra purifies defilement

Mani mantra printed on prayer flags

Defilements are impurities I mind that leads to accumulation of negative karma. The mantra has the power to purify defilements.

Om purifies pride.

Ma purifies lust for entertainment.

Ni purifies personal desire.

Pad purifies ignorance.

Me purifies jealousy.

Hum purifies hatred

4. The mantra represents the Six Buddhas

Om represents Ratnasambhava.

Ma represents Maoghasiddi.

Ni represents Vajradhara.

Pad represents Vairocana.

Me represents Amitabha.

Hum represents kshobya.

Presence of mantra in objects

Prayer wheels with mani mantra

Besides chanting, the mantra is also found printed on prayer flags, carved on stones, and inserted inside holy statues and in prayer wheels. When the flags are blown and the wheel spinned, the effect is considered as same as reciting the mantra.

Conclusion

The Mani mantra is considered the simplest but most sacred of all mantras. By reciting the mantra a hundred times, the merits accrued are believed to be equivalent to the merit earned by reading the 108 volumes of the Kangyur, which contain the Buddha’s entire teachings.

Buddha has mentioned, in of the sutras, that “This is the most beneficial mantra. Even I made this aspiration to all the million Buddhas and subsequently received this teaching from Buddha Amitabha.

Buddha has mentioned, in of the sutras, that “This is the most beneficial mantra. Even I made this aspiration to all the million Buddhas and subsequently received this teaching from Buddha Amitabha.

The Mani mantra is also found printed on prayer flags, carved on stones, and inserted inside holy statues and in prayer wheels. When the flags are blown and the wheel spinned, the effect is the same as reciting the mantra.

One thought on “Om Mani Padme Hum: the Avaloketeshvara Mantra

  1. The culture of this country is so enchanting…
    Waiting for my destination to direct to here someday…

Leave a Reply

Next Post

5 Beautiful Royal Princesses of Bhutan

Tue Feb 19 , 2019
Share457TweetSharePin457 SharesHis Majesty the 4th King Jigme Singye Wangchuck married 4 sisters: Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangmo Wangchuck, Ashi Tshering Pem Wangchuck, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck […]
457 Shares
Share457
Tweet
Share
Pin