Om Mani Padme Hum

Featured today on the “Relaxing New Age Music Channel”, one of the largest new-age and relaxing music libraries on Youtube, and premiered, last week, on “One Minute Wonders of the World”, when twenty three musicians presented their “one minute” to the world. I perceived the famous mantra Om Mani Padme Hum as a guardian spirit that soars above our world, extending thus her blessing. A brush between my personal Western musical roots, and the ancient invocations revealed to Hindu sages in the deepest states of their meditation.

Om Mani Padme Hum, according to Tibetan culture, is said to contain all the teachings of Buddha, and that to know this mantra is to know enlightenment. You will find Om Mani Padme Hum as an ever present feature of the Tibetan landscape, as it is commonly carved onto rocks painted into the sides of hills, and written on prayer flags and prayer wheels. Mantras are words, or series of words, chanted out loud or silently, to invoke spiritual qualities. They are written in Sanskrit, the Indo-European language of the ancient Indian subcontinent. The word mantra is derived from the root man – “to think”.

Buddhism does not assert that there is anyone who from the beginning is free from faults and possesses all good qualities. The development of pure body, speech, and mind comes from gradually leaving the impure states and their being transformed into the pure. All Buddhas are cases of beings who were like ourselves and then in dependence on the path became enlightened.

Om symbolizes the practitioner’s impure body, speech, and mind; they also symbolize the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha.

The development of pure body, speech, and mind comes from gradually leaving the impure states and their being transformed into the pure. This process is referred to as “the path”, indicated by the next four syllables.

Mani, meaning jewel, symbolizes the factors of method—the altruistic intention to become enlightened, compassion, and love.

Padme, meaning lotus, symbolizes wisdom, just as a lotus grows forth from mud but is not sullied by the faults of mud, so wisdom is capable of putting you in a situation of non-contradiction whereas there would be contradiction if you did not have wisdom.

Purity must be achieved by an indivisible unity of method and wisdom, symbolized by the final syllable Hum, which indicates indivisibility. According to the sutra system, this indivisibility of method and wisdom refers to wisdom affected by method and method affected by wisdom.

– H.H. the Dalai Lama – “The Meaning of Om Mani Padme Hum” (Excerpt)

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