A Blessing From Lama Geshe

April 16, 2013

in Nepal

BUDDHAShakyamuni Buddha Shakyamuni



Day 5: Meeting with Lama Geshe always brightens my heart, and my trekkers were so moved by his blessing and his warmth that they were crying. This 80+ year old Tibetan lama chants over us, instructs us in mantras, blesses our prayer flags before we hang them, and blesses us for a safe journey. It’s always a wonderful experience!

DSC07637 Receiving a blessing from Lama Geshe. Photo by Kay Anquillano.


After Lama Geshe had instructed me to write about (and teach others) the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum last year, I thought I was doing quite well to have our trekking group chant it for him this visit. He nodded in approval, “Ohh, yaaa,” and then rattled off a bunch of Tibetan to my stand-in translator who explained that I now needed to learn this new mantra he was writing down for me. This is the nature of spiritual instruction, right? Endless, and always a check to pride.

Tet yata, om munye munye maha munye ye soha is the mantra of Shakyamuni Buddha, the most common image of the Buddha, in the moment before enlightenment. It is basically a mantra for peace, internal and external, calling on the wisdom inherent in the universe and in the Buddhist teachings to help us control the wrong habits and illusions which give rise to suffering and allow the mantra’s power to create peace and true knowledge within.

Translating a mantra is a difficult task because the literal meaning of the words is not necessarily the most important aspect of a mantra (but we Westerners are often initially focused on that literal knowledge). Mantras are said to be the pure sound of enlightened speech, where the vibration of the sound itself expresses a deep essence and holds power beyond any literal meaning, a power that is not only in the outward sound, but also in the subtle internal sound you tune into through repeated recitation. This mantra of Shakyamuni Buddha is said to be a powerful heart-essence mantra that will purify your karma and your harmful actions.

I find myself chanting along the trail….tet yata, om munye munye maha munye ye sohaaaa….


(Credit to Miles Neale for one of the better explanations I’ve seen of mantras and for the Budddha image above.)

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