The mantra Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum is said to be the mantra of Avalokiteśvara, a bodhisattva representing compassion. The mantra is also therefore related to compassion, a prominent virtue of Tibetan Buddhism.

Mahāyāna Buddhism relates Avalokiteśvara to the six-syllable mantra oṃ ma ṇi pad me hum. Avalokiteśvara is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. This bodhisattva is variably depicted, described and is portrayed in different cultures as either female or male. In Tibetan Buddhism, Avalokiteśvara has a thousand arms, a thousand eyes (in his open palms), and eleven heads. He is said to have acquired his arms and heads as a result of his frustration in trying to free all sentient beings from samsara – the cycle of suffering from life to death, and then rebirth.

The first word Om is a sacred syllable found in Indian religions. The word Mani means “jewel” or “bead”, Padme is the “lotus flower” (the Buddhist sacred flower), and Hum represents the spirit of enlightenment.

The Merits of Reciting the Six Symbol Mantra

Reciting the six syllables is said to illuminate the six roots of passion or alternative, free the reciter from the six negative emotions.

  1. Om purifies the practitioner’s ignorance
  2. Ma purifies anger
  3. Ni purifies miserliness
  4. Ped purifies desire or attachment
  5. Me purifies jealousy or hatred
  6. Hum purifies arrogance or excessive pride

Conversely, reciting this mantra develops the six perfections of generosity, ethics, patience, perseverance, concentration, and wisdom.

Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum and Prayer Wheels

Spinning the written form of the mantra around in a Mani wheel (or prayer wheel) is believed to give the same benefit as reciting the mantra. Mani wheels, small hand wheels and large wheels with millions of copies of the mantra inside, are found everywhere in the lands influenced by Tibetan Buddhism.

See also

What is a Buddhist prayer wheel? 

What is a Tibetan prayer flag? 

 

Where to find Om Ma Ni Padme Hung prayer wheels and prayer flags

Buy mani wheels online

Buy prayer wheels online

Buy Tibetan prayer flags online

 

Source: Tibetan Handicraft Co-operative, Wikipedia and Bodhicitta.net