Om Mani Padme Hum

Every since this beautiful mantra popped up in a Yoga playlist I was listening to on spotify earlier today, I can’t get it out of my mind. Om Mani Padme Hum. Six powerful syllables and a beautiful melody.

Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ (Sanskrit: ओं मणिपद्मे हूं) is theSanskrit mantra particularly associated with the four-armed Shadakshari form of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. The first word Om is a sacred syllable found in Indian religions. The word Mani means “jewel” or “bead”, Padme meaning the “lotus flower”, the Buddhist sacred flower, while Hum represents the spirit of enlightenment. It is said that all the teachings of the Buddha are contained in this mantra: Om Mani Padme Hum can not really be translated into a simple phrase or sentence.

One common interpretation is that each syllable corresponds to one of the six realms of existence and purifies the vice associated with that realm:

– Om purifies pride (realm of the gods)
– Ma purifies jealousy and need for entertainment (realm of the jealous gods)
– Ni purifies desire (human realm)
– Pad purifies ignorance and prejudice (animal realm)
– Me purifies poverty and possessiveness (realm of the hungry ghosts)
– Hum purifies aggression and hatred (hell realm)

Here’s a nice video, with +20 minutes recitation of the mantra. But be careful, you might not be able to get it out of your head after listening to it…

Image source: ©Christopher J. Fynn / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

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