What Does Om 'Mani Padme Hum' Mean?

Either you believe it or not Chanting mantra is considered as good for spiritual seekers everywhere, irrespective of nationality, race, religion, faith & gender. The mantra is the repetition of word or words which lets you concentrate on the mind. Either Hindu, Buddhist whatever the religion is there are mantras for each religion. For Tibetan Buddhists "Om Mani Padme Hum" is their mantra they believe that saying this mantra out loud or silently to oneself conjures the powerful benevolent attention & blessing of Chenrezig, the epitome of compassion. People also believe that Viewing the written form of the mantra is said to have the same impact.

Mantras are carved into stones & placed where people can easily see them. That's why there are Mani wheel where you are supposed to spin the written form of mantra. It has the same benefit as saying the mantra. Mani Wheels, small hand wheels & large wheels with lots of mantras written on it are found anywhere in the place influenced by Buddhists. In Nepal, You can spot Mani wheels at Swayambhunath, Boudhanath and many other places.

 

The Story Behind the Mantra "Om Mani Padme Hum"

Well the most common meaning of this mantra is something like

“Behold! The jewel in the lotus!” or “Praise to the jewel in the lotus.” It is said that all the teaching of the Buddha are contained in this Mantra However, the exact meaning for " om mani Padme hum" can't be translated into a simple phrase or sentence. It has been interpreted in many ways. Having mantra is good for many though, with mantras people get engaged with it & can practice meditation as well. Basically, mantra brings you peace.

 

The Mantra Om Mani Padme Hum: Breakdown

The word 'Mani' here is most widely used in all Buddhist Mantras & yet it's open to anyone who seeks peace & practices it, don't necessarily require Guru or initiation by Lama.

The six syllables of mantra is  often pronounced as Om Mani Padme Hum as written below in Tibetan alphabet:

The pronunciation:

Om
(ohm)

Ma
(mah)

Ni
(nee)

Pad
(pahd)

Me
(may)

Hum
(hum)

  • The vowel in the syllable Hu is pronounced as in the English word 'book'.
  • While the final consonant in that syllable is often pronounced 'ng' as in 'song': Om Mani Padme Hung.
  • There is one further complication: The syllable 'Pad' is pronounced Pe (peh) by many Tibetans: Om Mani Peme Hung.

 

History:

Initially, the mantra was originated in India & later moved to Tibet.

Since the Indian Sanskrit language is difficult to pronounce, the pronunciation for Tibetan changed.

Sanskrit Form: Om Mani Padma Hum

mantra of Avalokiteshvara

Tibetan form: Om Mani Peme Hung

mantra of Chenrezig

 

Common Mani Scripts: Indian Ranjana script  Vs Tibetan script

Tibetan script

Ranjana script

The Different  Interpretations of Mantra: Om Mani Padme Hum

"There is not a single aspect of the eighty-four thousand sections of the Buddha's teachings which is not contained in Avalokiteshvara's six syllable mantra "Om Mani Padme Hum", and as such the qualities of the "mani" are praised again and again in the Sutras and Tantras.... Whether happy or sad, if we take the "mani" as our refuge, Chenrezig will never forsake us, spontaneous devotion will arise in our minds and the Great Vehicle will effortlessly be realized."

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

-Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones

"Buddha of great compassion, hold me fast in your compassion. From time without beginning, beings have wandered in samsara, Undergoing unendurable suffering. They have no other protector than you. Please bless them that they may achieve the omniscient state of Buddhahood.

With the power of evil karma gathered from beginningless time, Sentient beings, through the force of anger, are born as hell beings and experience the suffering of heat and cold. May they all be born in your presence, perfect deity."

Source:

 

The Powers of the Six Syllables

Om:

-bliss / pride

- gods

Ma:

-jealousy / lust for entertainment

-jealous gods

Ni

-passion / desire

-human

Pe

-stupidity / prejudice

-animal

Me

-poverty / possessiveness

-hungry ghost

Hung

-aggression / hatred

-hell