Om Mani Padme Hum

November 10, 2011

in Nepal

om mani padme hum stone

The Buddhist mantra "om mani padme hum" carved into a stone.

Om mani padme hum. Buddhists chant this mantra for the Buddha of Wisdom and Compassion incessantly. They carve it into rocks, inscribe it in prayer wheels, stamp it on prayer flags, and recite it hundreds of thousands of times in morning and evening prayers.

Lama Geshe has asked me to teach it to you:


(say it with me…)


The translation is elusive. Literally, “Hail to the jewel of the lotus,” it has been interpreted to mean many different things. Some say each sound corresponds to a different realm of existence and helps you escape the endless cycle of rebirth. Some say the sounds correspond to Buddhist virtues you should work to attain. The current Dalai Lama explained it as the path to enlightenment is one of altruism and wisdom, that through reciting the mantra, you can purify yourself and be transformed into a Buddha.

Even if you don’t fully grasp the definition, the mantra has powerful esoteric qualities that will benefit you–meaning it transmits spiritual power when you say it, whether you understand it or not. Plus, I just find it soothing. Listen.

Did I say a lama asked me to teach it to you? Yes, let me tell you about that….

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