The Meaning Of Om Mani Peme Hum
by Ven. ZaChoeje Rinpoche
Om Mani Peme Hum is the most widely used of all Buddhist mantras. It is open to
anyone who feels inspired to practice it to develop great love and compassion.
This mantra originated in India and it is in Sanskrit. Once, Buddha Shakyamuni
was dwelling at the monastery of Anathapindika, in Jeta Grove, with his disciples.
He introduced this remarkable Six-Syllable Mantra to the assembly and said: "This
is the most beneficial mantra. Even I made this aspiration to all the million
Buddhas and subsequently received this mantra from Buddha Amitabha." The
meaning of this mantra is:
Om, it is composed of three letters, A, U, M; these symbolize the pure exalted
body, speech and mind of a Buddha and Bodhisattva.
Mani, meaning jewel, symbolizes the method, great compassion and love. Just as
a jewel is capable of fulfilling the outer needs of sentient beings, similarly,
love and compassion are capable of fulfilling the inner needs of sentient beings.
Peme, meaning lotus, symbolizes wisdom. Just as a lotus grows from mud but is
not polluted with mud, similarly, wisdom "the supreme knowledge" is
grown from ordinary mind but not polluted with ordinary thoughts.
Hum, indicates union. The union of method and wisdom leads to pure exalted body,
speech and mind of enlightened beings.
Thus the six syllables, Om Ma ni Pe me Hum, mean that through the practice of
a path that is a union of love and compassion with wisdom, you can transform your
impure body, speech and mind into the pure exalted body, speech and mind of a
Buddha. The merits of reciting this Mantra are limitless and cannot be fully described
even by the Buddha. It is said that the sand of the Ganges and the drops of water
in the ocean can be counted but not the merits from the recitation of this Mantra.
This Mantra is the great love and compassion manifestation of all the Buddhas.
It helps us to develop the love and compassion to make our life full of meaning.
Also this mantra can bring healing and can be use as a prayer for other sentient