The sacred mantra of the Himalayas carries the potential for liberation and enlightenment, a wish for compassion and wisdom activity to manifest in the world.
In a landscape of powerful spiritual resonances, the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum is one of the most powerful invocations.
The word Om is believed to be the first sound heard in the universe and, therefore, the sound symbol of the very nature of reality itself.
The second syllable Mani is thought to refer to beads or jewels, Padme (or the more commonly used Padma) refers to the Lotus, Buddhism's sacred flower, and a symbol of the highest human potential to achieve enlightenment.
The final syllable Hum is believed to be a sound representation of the Enlightenment that manifests in an individual being. Uttering the four syllables together is believed to indicate the speaker’s desire to manifest enlightened actions in the world.
Rocks gathered from river banks with ancient inscriptions of the sacred mantra of the Himalayas.
A more detailed breakdown of the mantra describes Om as the sound or “vibration” of the universe, meant to destroy worldly attachments to ego and replace it with the impulse toward selflessness.
Ma is said to reduce jealousy and replace it with ethical behaviour. Ni is believed to remove desire and cultivate patience. Pad is said to transform prejudice to perseverance. Me (or ma) diminishes possessiveness and generates concentration and, finally, Hum changes hatred to wisdom.
The recitation of the mantra is most commonly associated with Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, also known as Guanyin in China.
Avalokiteshvara is believed to have taken a great vow of compassion, promising not to rest until all beings had been freed from suffering. As such the name loosely translated means something like "The Lord Who Gazes Upon the World," a reference to Avalokiteshvara's promise to keep watch over all beings to reduce their suffering.