Om Mani Padme Hum, the six-syllable mantra (六字大明陀罗泥或六字真言), is known to be the essence of all mantras.
Being the mantra of Avalokiteshvara, the meditation and recitation embodies the love, compassion, power and superlative qualities of the enlightened beings, reflecting our true nature (essence) that is within us. The most immediate transformation when reciting the mantra is that ‘we connect with the body, by repeating the mantra, we connect with the voice, and by imagining the visual form of the Buddha, we connect with the mind’, and ‘through mantra, we no longer cling to the reality of speech and sound encountered in life, but experience it as essentially empty. Then, confusion of the speech aspect of our being is transformed into enlightened awareness’.
His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyato, explained, “It is very good to recite the mantra, but while you are doing it, you should be thinking of its meaning, for the meaning of the six syllables is great and vast. The first “Om” symbolises the practitioner’s impure body, speech and mind; which also symbolise the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of the Buddha. The path is indicated by the next four syllables. “Mani”, meaning jewel, symbolises the factors of method – the altruistic intention to become enlightened with compassion and love. Just as a jewel is capable of removing poverty, the altruistic mind of the enlightenment is also capable of removing the poverty, or difficulties. “Padme”, meaning lotus, symbolises wisdom, where purity is achieved by an indivisible unity of method and wisdom, symbolised by the final syllable “Hum”; indivisibility. Thus, “Om Mani Padme Hum” means that in dependence on the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of the Buddha.”
- Om (White) – Helps one to achieve perfection in the practice of generosity and purifies one’s pride and ego. Buddhism claims that an impure body, speech and mind can be transformed into pure ones of a Buddha, who was once impure and later by removing their negative attributes, achieved enlightenment on his path.
Ma (Green) – Helps one to perfect the practice of pure ethics and purify one’s jealousy and lust.
Ni (Yellow) – Helps one to achieve perfection in the practice of tolerance and patience, and purify one’s desire and passion.
Pad (Blue) – Helps one to achieve perfection of perseverance, and purify one’s ignorance and prejudice.
Me (Red) – Helps one to achieve perfection in the practice of concentration, and purify greed and possessiveness.
Hum (Black) – Helps one to achieve perfection in the practice of wisdom and purify aggression and hatred.
This excerpt was taken from For You Information Magazine, September 2016 Issue, page 64.