The six-character mantra of Buddhism, also known as the "Six-Syllable Great Mantra," is "Om Mani Padme Hum" in Sanskrit. Tibetan Buddhism believes that reciting the mantra can eliminate illness, fear of punishment and untimely death, increase lifespan, and bring wealth. Therefore, it is common to see people in Tibetan areas holding prayer wheels and reciting the "Six-Character Mantra".
The six-character mantra is considered the most revered mantra in Tibetan Buddhism. The esoteric sect believes that it is the fundamental mantra of the secret lotus section, which is the true teaching of Avalokitesvara in the lotus section. It is called the "Six-Character Mantra." It is usually written or depicted in Sanskrit or Tibetan letters (in Mongolian temples, it is also written in the Vajrayana script) and carved on the eaves, ceilings, door frames, religious instruments, mountain rocks, and stone slabs of buildings.
The six-character mantra "Om Mani Padme Hum" is the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva mantra of great compassion, originating from Sanskrit, symbolizing the compassion and blessing of all Bodhisattvas.
The Six-Syllable Great Mantra is an extension of the "Om Ah Hum" mantra. It has an exceptionally rich and profound connotation, the highest and supreme, containing the great power, wisdom, and compassion of the universe. This mantra is the subtle original mind of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. In the distant past, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva practiced and became a Buddha by reciting this mantra, and his Buddha name is "The Tathagata, the King of the Law of Brightness." Each character in the mantra has a different meaning, but each represents boundless merit and great benefit. Even if you only recite one or two characters, you will receive great merit.
"Om" represents the Buddha-body heart, which represents the wisdom body, speech body, and mind body of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, also known as the three vajras (the vajra of the body, the vajra of the speech, and the vajra of the mind).
"Mani" represents the jewel-heart, which is the wish-fulfilling jewel that is inexhaustible and satisfies all desires. Praying to it will naturally fulfill one's spiritual needs and material wealth.
"Padme" represents the lotus-heart, which is the lotus that grows from the mud without being tainted. It represents that even though modern people are in the cycle of the five turbid worlds, reciting this mantra can eliminate afflictions and gain purity.
"Hum" represents the vajra-heart, which means the aspiration for achievement. It is necessary to rely on the power of the Buddha to gradually practice, diligently save sentient beings, and achieve everything, eventually reaching the realm of Buddha
The Six-Syllable Mantra, also known as the Six-Word Mantra, is one of the most essential and fundamental sacred incantations in Tibetan Buddhism. It is considered to possess miraculous powers and serves as a protective charm against negative energies and malevolent forces, while also enhancing the practitioner's virtues and wisdom.
The origins of the Six-Syllable Mantra can be traced back to the period of Indian Buddhism. It is believed to have been created by the Indian sage Padmasambhava, who played a significant role in introducing Buddhism to Tibet during the 8th century. Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, imparted various esoteric teachings, and the Six-Syllable Mantra became one of the core elements of these teachings, renowned for its mystical potency.
The writing styles of the Six-Syllable Mantra vary, but the most common form involves its inscription on paper or stone tablets. Within Tibetan Buddhism, this mantra finds widespread application in diverse situations such as invoking well-being, dispelling illnesses and calamities, and facilitating the transition of departed souls.
Each syllable of the Six-Syllable Mantra carries distinct pronunciation and meaning. Among them, "Om" represents the origin of the universe, "Ma" signifies compassion, "Ni" symbolizes wisdom, "Pad" conveys devotion, "Me" embodies practice, and "Hum" represents attainment. The combination of these syllables encapsulates fundamental Buddhist concepts and practices, encompassing compassion, wisdom, devotion, practice, and realization.
In Tibetan Buddhism, the Six-Syllable Mantra is regarded as a form of tantra, necessitating practitioners to engage in specific techniques to comprehend and experience its essence. Foremost among these techniques is the recitation of the mantra. While reciting the mantra, practitioners adhere to prescribed rhythms and intonations to achieve optimal effects.
Beyond recitation, the Six-Syllable Mantra can also be practiced through other means. For instance, it can be cultivated through writing the mantra, as well as through yogic practices, meditation, and more, to comprehend and internalize its profound significance.
In conclusion, the Six-Syllable Mantra holds a pivotal place within Tibetan Buddhism, embodying mysterious potency and serving numerous purposes. In the realm of spiritual practice, this mantra aids practitioners in purifying their minds, enhancing virtues and wisdom, and attaining inner tranquility and elevation.