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OM MANI PADME HUM: EXPLAINED

Mantra of the Bodhisattva of Compassion


Since mantras are just made up of sounds, people in modern society may have difficulty understanding that reciting mantras brings genuine beneficial effects.


Nevertheless, sounds can be very powerful, and everyday life experience illustrates this. For instance, if someone praises you with all kinds of flattering words, you feel good and great and so on, even though they are just words.


The mantra Om Mani Padme Hum is probably the best known Buddhist mantra, is the embodiment of all the buddhas’ heart, the root of the eighty-four thousand teachings of the Buddha, the essence of the Five Buddhas, and the essence of the secret holders. Each sound is a pith instruction, the source of the qualities of all the tathagatas, the root of all goodness and siddhis, the great path to higher realms and complete freedom.

Who is Avalokiteshvara?


Avalokiteshvara (or Chenrezig) is a Bodhisattva who represents compassion, and his mantra also symbolizes that quality.

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The meaning of the mantra:

Om has only a mystical meaning — suggesting primordial reality.

Mani means jewel.

Padme means lotus.

Hum, like Om, has no conceptual meaning.


Overall, the mantra is suggestive of the bringing together of the qualities of wisdom (the lotus) and compassion (the jewel).


Just as the lotus can exist in muddy water without being soiled, so wisdom can exist in an impure world without becoming contaminated.


The benefits of reciting Om Mani Padme Hum

Chenrezig Avalokiteshvara - Bodhisattva of Compassion Dalai Lama Deity Magical God with thousand eyes and ears
The Bodhisattva of Compassion

In essence, om mani padme hum includes the entire Dharma, all the 84,000 teachings of Buddha.


It is said that you collect greater merit from just reciting Om Mani Padme Hum than from actually offering service to countless buddhas.


All the buddhas have blessed these six syllables again and again. Praying to Avalokiteshvara is the same as praying to all the buddhas and bodhisattvas of the ten directions and chanting the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra.


By reciting Om Mani Padme Hum, we get the benefit of having chanted all the rest of the buddhas’ mantras.

Om Mani Padme Hum is the source of all the collections of virtue, of all the collections of happiness, and it is the root from where you and all other sentient beings receive all benefit, all happiness, all attainment.

This mantra is a great path to achieve higher rebirth and liberation, which includes enlightenment.


It is believed that by liberation chanting Avalokiteshvara mantras every day, whether the long dharani or the six-syllable mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum, all your wishes come true.


By chanting Om Mani Padme Hum when you are in a public place, the negative karma of anybody who sees you is purified, and those people won’t be reborn in the lower realms. If you are on top of a hill with many people down below, all their negative karma is purified when they look at you.

Unique benefits from the Great Compassion Dharani Sutra


Aside from the immediate benefits, there are also unique benefits as taught in the sutra (Great Compassion Dharani Sutra) which are equally immeasurable:


”Those who recite and hold the Mantra of Great Compassion (Om Mani Padme Hum) will not suffer any of these 15 kinds of bad death and will obtain the following 15 kinds of good birth:

  1. They will always meet good friends.

  2. They will always be born in a good country.

  3. They will always be born at a good time.

  4. Their place of birth will always have a good king.

  5. Their family will be kind and harmonious.

  6. Their heart will be pure and full in the way.

  7. They will not violate the prohibitive precepts.

  8. The organs of their body will always be complete.

  9. They will obtain everything they seek.

  10. They will always obtain the help and respect of others.

  11. Their riches will not be plundered.

  12. They will always have the necessary goods and wealth in abundance.

  13. In the place where they are born, they will see the Buddha and hear the Dharma.

  14. Dragons, gods, and good spirits will always protect them.

  15. They will awaken to the profound meaning of that Proper Dharma which they hear.



I can count each snowflake, every blade of grass, and every leaf in the entire world, but I cannot count the merit of reciting the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum just one time.

- Guru Padmasambhava


How to recite the mantra:


You can also recite a mantra for 108 times, or one round of mala. By reciting the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum, one must say it with one-pointed focus and attention on Bodhisattva of Compassion- Avalokiteshvara. Each recitation is like saying, “Guru Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara), think of me.”


Put your palms together and recite the dedication prayer.


Guided Mantra Meditation: Om Mani Padme Hum


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