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Om mani padme hum: Buddhist mantra symbol and meaning

Imagine being able to feel and inculcate compassion and wisdom in your daily life just by chanting a mantra. Wait, it’s not just another mantra. “Om mani padme hum” is one of the most powerful Buddhist mantras and has a profound significance with respect to Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion, who is intimately connected with the mantra's essence. The captivating sound of "Om Mani Padme Hum" resonates in the hearts of millions of people worldwide, breaking the barriers of culture and belief.

In the previous blog, we got to know how chanting Om Zambala Zalendhraye Soha or the Buddhist Kuber mantra can help you cultivate financial freedom and become rich along with stressing an equal importance on your inner wealth, your inner self.

In this blog, we will understand what is the meaning of om mani padme hum, the meanings of its six syllables as shared by two revered Buddhist monks -  Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Additionally, we will discover the transformative power that Om mani padme hum holds in our daily life and the significance of chanting Om mani padme hum 108 times.

Also read: Is it safe to do Om chanting 108 times?

What is the meaning of the Buddhist mantra, "Om Mani Padme Hum"?

The recitation of Om mani padme hum may seem to be quite simple. Although the benefits of chanting this compassion Buddhist mantra are limitless, the key here is to think of the benefits of this mantra while chanting, which is quite vast.

According to the insights gained on Om mani padme hum mantra from two of the great Buddhist monks, Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, in order to chant this mantra, you should understand the meaning of the six syllables of this mantra. Here's what each of the 6 syllables mean:

  • Om – generosity
  • Ma – ethics
  • Ni – patience
  • Pad – diligence
  • Me – renunciation
  • Hum – wisdom

"OM" - The Symbol of Transformation:

The first syllable, "OM," is made up of three letters, "A", "U" and "M". It embodies the impure aspects of the practitioner's body, speech, and mind. It represents the transformation from a state of ordinary existence to the exalted or pure state of a Buddha.

The reason behind the same is that Buddhism does not believe that anyone is free from faults and bad qualities right from the time they're born. When you chant "OM," you acknowledge the potential for spiritual evolution.

"Mani" - The Jewel of Compassion:

The syllable "Mani" symbolizes a precious jewel, representing the intention to become enlightened and compassionate towards all beings. It embodies the aspiration to become compassionate, loved and enlightened so that you gain an altruistic mind for removing poverty and gaining solitary peace.

"Padme" - The Blossoming Lotus of Wisdom:

"Padme," in Om Mani Padme Hum means lotus and it represents wisdom and knowledge. The lotus, even though surrounded by mud, blooms gracefully, untouched by impurities, representing the practitioner's journey towards wisdom amid the complexities of life. Amongst all the wisdom, the most important one is the wisdom of emptiness.

"Hum" - Indivisibility of Method and Wisdom:

The final syllable "Hum" symbolizes the inseparable unity of method and wisdom. Method refers to the compassionate actions taken to alleviate suffering, while wisdom represents the insight into the true nature of reality. Together, they lead to the path of enlightenment.

To get a head start to this meditation, head over to Palga Rinpoche's Buddhist mantra meditation series on the Level Supermind app. Along with this access mantras like- Om mani padme hum, Vajra Guru mantra, Maa tara mantra (Om tara tuttare ture soha) and even Om chanting by Om Dhumatkar to make meditation a part of your daily routine.

Also read: How to do meditation for overthinkers?

Palga Rinpoche, a revered Buddhist master, has frequently emphasised the need of mantra chanting for gaining spiritual growth and realisation.

In Rinpoche's teachings, he emphasises the value of mantras for cultivating compassion, and focusing the mind. Under Rinpoche's guidance, many practitioners have incorporated the Om Mani Padme Hum Mantra into their spiritual routines for compassion and healing along with the aim to transform to gain inner peace and a higher state of consciousness.

You may listen to a free audio of the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra here:

Buddhist Om Mani Padme Hum

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Om Mani Padme Hum Pronunciation

The mantra "Om Mani Padme Hum" is a powerful and sacred Buddhist mantra that holds deep spiritual significance. To harness its transformative and healing power effectively, proper pronunciation of this mantra is essential . Each syllable in the mantra carries its unique meaning and energy, making accurate pronunciation crucial for invoking the blessings of compassion and wisdom.

Pronunciation Guide:

  1. "Om" (Aum): The first syllable, "Om" or "Aum," is often considered the primordial sound of the universe. To pronounce it correctly, start by forming the sound "O" and then seamlessly transition into the "M" sound. The lips should be gently closed while producing the "M" sound, allowing the vibration to resonate throughout the body.
  2. "Mani" (Mah-nee): The second syllable, "Mani," is pronounced as "Mah-nee." The "ah" sound in "Mah" should be pronounced as in the word "father," and the "ee" sound in "nee" should be pronounced as in the word "see."
  3. "Padme" (Pahd-may): The third syllable, "Padme," is pronounced as "Pahd-may." The "ah" sound in "Pad" is similar to the one in "father," and the "ay" sound in "me" is pronounced as in the word "day."
  4. "Hum" (Hoom): The fourth and final syllable, "Hum," is pronounced as "Hoom." The "H" sound is pronounced as in the word "home."

Along with the pronounciation, it's important to do this Buddhist chant with a pure intention and an open heart. Chant this mantra while being mindful and focusing on the present moment. Additionally, you need to understand why you should chant Om Mani Padme Hum 108 times. For this, keep on reading this blog further to get a detailed understanding.

Also read: How to do meditation for beginners

Avalokiteshvara and the "Om Mani Padme Hum" Connection

In some legends, it is believed that Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of compassion, gave the mantra to humanity in order to lessen suffering and direct sentient beings towards enlightenment.

The essence of the mantra represents Avalokiteshvara's compassionate promise to tirelessly and consistently fight for the liberation of all creatures until all suffering is eliminated. Practitioners summon Avalokiteshvara's compassion by chanting "Om Mani Padme Hum," asking for his direction on the way of compassion and knowledge.

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Also read: 5 best meditation sitting poses for beginners

The Power of Om Mani Padme Hum Mantra

"Om Mani Padme Hum" holds the power to transform the mind and soul. Here are the benefits of chanting this mantra:

  • Chanting this Buddhist mantra mantra cultivates mindfulness, enabling one to focus on the present moment and let go of distractions.
  • It induces a meditative state, promoting inner peace and tranquility while dissolving stress and anxiety.
  • The mantra's vibrations resonate with the heart chakra, awakening feelings of compassion and empathy towards all living beings.
  • Om Mani Padme Hum acts as a guide on the spiritual journey, leading practitioners towards enlightenment and spiritual awakening.

Throughout history, devotees of Om Mani Padme Hum have experienced profound transformations and miraculous events. For instance, practitioners have reported divine visions, miraculous healings, both physical and emotional and deep insights during their chanting sessions after chanting mantra with full devotion.

Om Mani Padme Hum is believed to assist individuals in overcoming adversities and manifesting positive changes in their lives. The mantra is thought to expedite one's spiritual journey towards enlightenment when chanted with genuine intent.

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Why should you chant Om Mani Padme Hum 108 times?

Buddhist mantra Om mani padme hum mp3 free download: Meaning and significance of chanting 108 times

Chanting "Om Mani Padme Hum" 108 times holds significant spiritual value in various Buddhist traditions. The number 108 carries profound significance in Hinduism, Buddhism, and other spiritual practices. Here are some of the key reasons why chanting this mantra 108 times is considered special:

1. Spiritual Completion: Chanting the mantra 108 times is believed to complete an entire cycle of a dedicated practice. It is said that there are 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra, and chanting the mantra aligns these energies, thus promoting a sense of balance and harmony.

Also read: Meditation vs yoga: Which practice suits you the best?

2. Mala Beads: In many traditions, practitioners use a mala consisting of 108 beads, to count the repetitions of the mantra. Each bead represents one chant of "Om Mani Padme Hum." By completing one full round of the mala, the practitioner has chanted the mantra 108 times.

3. Purification: The chanting of the mantra 108 times is believed to purify the 108 mental silments that hinder one's spiritual progress. As each repetition is made with mindfulness and devotion, it is considered an opportunity to release negative thoughts and emotions.

4. Cosmic Connection: The number 108 is said to reflect the relationship between the microcosm (individual) and the macrocosm (the universe). It represents the connection between the practitioner and the universal consciousness, allowing one to experience a deeper sense of unity and oneness.

5. Celestial Bodies: Some believe that there are 27 constellations and each has four directions, making a total of 108 in Vedic astrology. Chanting the mantra 108 times is believed to align oneself with the cosmic energies and celestial bodies.

6. Awakening Chakras: Chanting "Om Mani Padme Hum" 108 times is thought to activate and purify the chakras, particularly the heart chakra. The heart chakra is associated with compassion, love, and spiritual growth, making it a central point in the transformative journey.

7. Discipline and Focus: Chanting the mantra 108 times requires dedication, discipline, and focus. Repeating the mantra with devotion and mindfulness creates a meditative state, calming the mind and bringing clarity to the practitioner.

8. Amplified Intentions: The repetition of the mantra magnifies its power and intention. The more times it is chanted, the stronger the spiritual vibrations become, making it an effective practice for invoking compassion and wisdom.

Also read: What is the best time to meditate- Morning, evening, or?

Om Mani Padme Hum in Different Buddhist Traditions

"Om Mani Padme Hum" transcends geographical boundaries and resonates across diverse Buddhist traditions.

  • In Mahayana Buddhism, the mantra embodies the primary ideas of the Buddha, placing special emphasis on compassion and wisdom.
  • In Theravada Buddhism, The mantra is revered as a path to nirvana and an embodiment of the Four Noble Truths.
  • In Vajrayana Buddhism, Om Mani Padme Hum mantra is regarded as a central mantra in various rituals and initiations.

Final Thoughts

Om Mani Padme Hum is not merely a sequence of syllables; it is a profound expression of compassion, wisdom, and the path to enlightenment. The compassion of Avalokiteshvara resonates through the mantra, guiding practitioners on a journey of spiritual growth and enlightenment. Embrace this sacred mantra, contemplate its profound meanings, and embark on a path of compassion and wisdom with the blessings of Avalokiteshvara.

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