Buddhism mantras and the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva are the mystery concepts of Buddhism philosophies. Maybe, you have already heard Buddhism mantras by chance, but you don’t know which they are.
However, Buddhism belief says that it will be a good dependent origination for people to listen to Buddhism mantras. Without good karmas from many various lives, you won’t ever have opportunities for making connections to Buddhism mantras. We are all lucky ones right here, right now. So, let’s get started to discover Buddhism mantra and one of the most influential mantras – “Om Mani Padme Hum“.
Overview about Buddhism Mantras
Buddhism Mantras were from Vedas, the holy Hinduism Scripture written about three thousand and five hundred years ago. In Vedas worldview, the universe is “Jagat” that means “the moving object”. In the “Jagat” concept, everything is available relying on the combination of the forces and movement. And, in those forces and movement, the sound is born. Hence, everything in the universe is closely connected to its sound. That’s the reason why everybody can chant the natural names of the specific ones. According to Hinduism’s point of view, the above information is the basis of the mantras and their usage.
The meaning of Buddhism Mantras
In Sanskrit, the prefix “Man” means “to think”, or “mind”. And the suffix “Tra” means “tool”. Literally, “Mantra” is the tool or instrument of thought. Figuratively, the mantras are the psychoactive speeches. They have the direct influence on the body, mind, and soul of the human beings. Even with the process of transforming of the matters, the mantras can take effect.
The other approach is the suffix “Tra” means “to protect”. “Mantra” is the tool to protect our mind from wandering or being affected by bad thoughts. Another explanation of the suffix “Tra”, “Tra” is from “Trayoti” meaning “liberation”. Therefore, “Mantra” is also supposed to be the pathway to liberation from all common thought-traps.
In other words, Buddhism mantras are basically the “conscious beings” that represent the cosmic power. When people concentrate on Buddhism mantras, they can get to escape from both material and mental desires.
Although Buddhism mantras had rooted from Veda, they developed their own systems and prominent characteristic, depending on specific regions. For thousands of years, cultivating mantras became the main method of cultivation in Esoteric Buddhism, Tibet Buddhism, and Shingon.
The Powerful Buddhism Mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”
“Om Mani Padme Hum” is the most well-known Tibet Buddhism mantra, and the most popular mantra in Buddhism. According to Tibet Buddhism, “Om Mani Padme Hum” belongs to Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva – the Buddha in his compassion aspect. Listening to or chanting or looking at “Om Mani Padme Hum” means receiving the loving compassion of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva.
The six-sound mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” is the precious lotus in Buddhism Dharma. It is strongly believed that Buddha teachings are stored in this mantra. We can look further information by reading short-story about the origination of this mantra.
The Origination of Mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”
Once upon a time, there was a congregation that the Lord Buddha Shakyamuni was sitting on the lotus golden throne and innumerable Bodhisattva, Mahasattvas were sitting around. There were Treasure King Bodhisattva, Medicine King Bodhisattva, Medicine Superior Bodhisattva, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, Maha – Stamprapta Bodhisattva, Great Subline Bodhisattva, Precious Deposits Bodhisattva, Virtue Store Bodhisattva, Vajragarbha Bodhisattva, Akasagarbha Bodhisattva, Manjusri Bodhisattva, etc. There were also many Bhikshus, Dragon Kings, a huge number of gods of heaven took part in, etc.
In this congregation, there was a supernatural power spreading in ten directions, surprising all Bodhisattva, gods, dragon kings, and the whole universe. All of the attendances were strongly impressed by this power. Then, a virtuous man asked the Lord Buddha: “Dear World-honored One, where is this power from?”
The World-honored one answered: “There is an Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva in our congregation today. This Bodhisattva had the Great Kindness and Great Compassion and practiced countless Dharani-Gates. He looked forward to pleasing all living beings, so he emitted this great power.”
Then, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva stood up and talked about his story:
The Dharma Pathway of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva
“I hope to delete the sins and fulfill all good wishes of all living beings.
Today, I introduce the mantra of Great Compassionate Heart Dharani.
From countless billions of lives ago, I was a first-stage Bodhisattva.
Fortunately, the dependent origination led me to the Thousand Rays King.
He thought of me and the whole living beings, so he taught his mantra of Great Compassionate Heart Dharani.
Later, the Thousand Rays King touch my head with his golden hand.
And King told me to practice this heart mantra hard to please and give great happiness to all living beings.
Immediately, I was achieving the eighth-stage Boddhisattva.
At that moment, I was extremely joyful.
If I were able to give great happiness to the whole universe in the following lives, please let me have one thousand eyes and one thousand hands.”
As a result, the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva’s wish came to the real. The innumerable Bodhisattva from ten directions spread the light thought out the infinite world.
From that moment, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva started to practice the mantra hard. For those who believe in and cultivate the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva will bless and lead them to get out of the reincarnations.
The Explanations of Mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”
There are many various explanations about the meanings of “Om Mani Padme Hum”. One of the most believable descriptions is Tsangar Tulku Rinpoche’s. Tsangar Tulku Rinpoche was famous with the idea of six rhythms aims at purifying six realms of reincarnation.
- “OM”: Purifying the realm of heaven where Deva live. It helps the Deva to overcome pride and enjoy the pure bliss. “OM” has the power to lead Deva to come in the Perfect Realm of Potala.
- “Ma”: Purifying the realm of Atula. Atula is the place where the Asuras live. This rhythm assists the Asuras to eliminate jealous feelings and lust for entertainment. Like the sound “Om”, “Ma” prays for the Asuras to reborn in the Perfect Realm of Potala.
- “Ni”: Purifying the realm of human by deleting the lust, passion, desire. “Ni” wishes the humanity to reincarnate in the Presence of Protector.
- “Pad”: Purifying the realm of the animals by destroying the ignorance. “Pad” hopes for them to born again in the Presence of Protector.
- “Me”: Purifying the realm of the hungry ghost. Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva saves the hungry ghost by extirpating the poverty. Then, leading them to the Perfect Realm of Potala.
- “Hum”: The last realm is the hell where Naraka live. The sound “Hum” purify the Naraka in the hell by extruding the aggression or hatred. Then, “Hum” leads them to the Presence of Lotus Throne of Chenrezig.
Subtle Meaning of Mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”
To some extents, we can see that the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” covers the core doctrines of Buddhism. The sound “OM” improve the generosity. And “Ma” develops the cultivation of morality. Next, “Ni” completes the endurance. Then, “Pad” encourages the hard practice of Dharma. After that, “Me” helps the practice of meditation. Finally, “Hum” makes the cultivation of wisdom get better.
We can see that it covers three important cultivation methods (morality, meditation, and wisdom) in Buddhism. Besides that, it also reflects three must-have characters for all Buddhism cultivators: being generous, patient, and hard-working.
Moreover, the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” prevents the rebirth of six realms of reincarnations. Literally, this mantra means “The pearl in the lotus”. While seeing, chanting, or listening to “Om Mani Padme Hum”, it means we are blessed and waking our Buddha – nature. It will lead us to the golden lotus throne – becoming the Buddha.
Because You Are The Lucky One To Know Buddhism Mantras, Apply Them To Your Life
Because of the strong power of “Om Mani Padme Hum“, people should practice this mantra respectfully.
In order to show respect to this powerful Great Compassion Mantra, the Buddhists should cultivate the morality before practicing it. The practitioners must avoid alcoholic drink, meat, strong smell food, and ought to cleanse the body. Before practicing “Om Mani Padme Hum”, the cultivators should wash the hands, mouth, take a shower. While practicing, it is compulsory to keep calm and show faith in the mantra and Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva.
According to Vajrayana Buddhism, it is such a fortune dependent origination for people to hear a mantra. The Mahakaruna Scripture (Great – Compassion Mantra) also mentioned like this.
“Without making offerings to the Three Treasures in countless lives, people wouldn’t have had chances to hear any mantras.
In fact, it would be a great dependent origination for people to hear, chant, read the Buddhism mantras.”
Therefore, if you’re reading this sentence, it means you have the good links of interdependent arising in Buddhism. If you are looking forward to entering the Perfect Realm of Potala, you should cultivate “Om Mani Padme Hum”. Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva had witnessed its great power, would you like to experience?
The Great Kindness and Great Compassion of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva had shown the humanity the Dharma pathway to Nirvana. Hence, it would be a mistake for those who know but don’t respect, trust and practice this powerful Buddhism mantra.