Om Mani Pedme Hum (or Om Mani Pedme Hung), is
the most common mantra in Tibet, recited by Buddhists, painted or carved on
rocks, prayer wheels, or yak skulls and seen around most usually. Tibetan people,
almost all Buddhists, do believe that it is very good to practice the mantra
of Chenrezi, the Bodhisattva of Compassion (The protective deity of Tibet),
which may, relieve negative karma, accumulate merit, help rescue them from the
sea of suffering and achieve Buddhahood. Speaking the mantra loud or silently,
spinning prayer wheels with the mantra, and carving mantra into stones are the
So what is the mantra? There is no definite answer to the question since it is not easy to translate the mantra into other languages. According to the Dalai Lama, the six-syllable mantra means one can transform one's impure body, speech and mind into those of a Buddha by following the path which is inseparable integrality of method and wisdom. The first syllable, Om, symbolize one's impure body, speech and mind, and also the pure noble body, speech and mind of a Buddha. Buddhism claims that an impure body, speech and mind can be transformed into pure ones of a Buddha, who was once impure and later by removing their negative attributes, achieved enlightenment on his path.
Mani, the jewel, symbolizes factors of method, compassion and love, the altruistic intention to become enlightened. "Just as a jewel is capable of removing poverty, so the altruistic mind of enlightenment is capable of removing the poverty, or difficulties, and of solitary peace. Similarly, just as a jewel fulfils the wishes of sentient beings, so the altruistic intention to become enlightened fulfils the wishes of sentient beings", the Dalai Lama says.
PADME means lotus and symbolizes wisdom. Growing out of mud but not being stained by mud, lotus indicates the quality of wisdom, which keeps you out of contradiction.
The last syllabus, Hum, means inseparability, symbolizes purity & can be achieved by the unity of method and wisdom.