The mani mantra is probably the most famous mantra in the world. You don’t have to be a practicing Buddhist to know the famous syllables “om mani padme hum”. The mantra is Sanskrit and is associated with the Buddhist bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteshvara. According to traditions the mantra found its way to Tibet in the 5th century toghether with the Karandavyuha Sutra. The Tibetan pronunciation is “om mani peme hung”.
One can read, translate and interpret the six syllables in numerous ways. This is an expression of the vast meaning, that is attributed to many Sanskrit syllables. It is difficult to translate them with concrete words. OM is the most eclectic sound of all. It stands for God, being and the primordial, cosmic sound. Mani is translated with jewel or precious, Padma means lotus, hum is a kind of affirmation, but means wisdom as well.
The mantra literally translates as: “Om, jewel in the Lotus”, or “Om in the jewel Lotus”. In an analogous and very simplified interpretation, the mantra describes the way of the “unclean” adept, who follows the path of knowledge with the help of continuous meditation
and finally (purified and elevated) recognizes his own, true Buddha nature.
> Usage of the symbol
What more do you want? You can’t repeat this mantra often enough. It is “the” symbol of the path of enlightenment. Use the power of this mysterious syllables. The symbol reinforces compassion, understanding and clarity. It can be used anywhere – especially in the center of your apartment or in the vicinity of a house altar or a meditation corner.