Six Syllable Mantra - Om Mani Pad me Hum


The Reincarnation of the Living Buddhas
The mantra OM MANI PADME HUM (or HUNG) sometimes gives rise to fanciful or mysterious translations. However, it is simply one name of Chenrezig placed between two sacred and traditional syllables, OM and HUM.

     OM represents the body of all Buddhas; it also begins nearly all mantras;
     MANI means "jewel" in Sanskrit;
     PAD ME, the Sanskrit pronunciation, or PEME in Tibetan means "lotus";
     HUM represents the mind of all Buddhas and often ends mantras.

MANI refers to the jewel that Chenrezig holds in his two central hands and PADME to the lotus he holds in his second left hand. Saying OM MANI PADME HUM names Chenrezig through his attributes: "the one who holds the jewel and the lotus." "Chenrezig" or "Jewel Lotus" are two names for the same deity.

Each syllable allows us to close the door of painful rebirths in one of the six realms composing cyclic existence:

     OM closes the door of rebirths in the world of the gods (devas)
     MA the door of the world of demigods (asuras)
     NI the door of the human realm
     PAD the door of the animal world
 ME the door of the world of hungry ghosts (pretas)
 HUM the door of the hell worlds.

Each syllable has a purifying effect:

     OM purifies the veils of body
     MA purifies the veils of speech
     NI purifies the veils of mind
     PAD purifies the veils of conflicting emotions
     ME purifies the veils of latent conditioning
     HUM purifies the veil that covers knowledge.

Each syllable is a prayer in itself:

     OM is the prayer addressed to the body of the Buddhas
     MA the prayer addressed to the speech of the Buddhas
     NI the prayer addressed to the mind of the Buddhas
     PAD the prayer addressed to the qualities of the Buddhas
     ME the prayer addressed to the activity of the Buddhas
     HUM gathers the grace of the body, speech, mind, qualities, and activity of the Buddhas.

The six syllables correspond to the six paramitas, or transcendental perfections:

     OM corresponds to generosity
     MA to ethics
     NI to patience
     PAD to diligence
     ME to concentration
     HUM to wisdom.

The six syllables correspond to the six buddhas reigning over the six buddha families:

     OM to Ratnasambhava
     MA to Amoghasiddhi
     NI to Vajradhara
     PAD to Vairocana
     ME to Amitabha
     HUM to Akshobya.

The colors that correspond to each syllable are:

     OM : white 
     MA : green
     NI : yellow
     PAD : blue
     ME : red
     HUM : black.

Lastly, one links each syllable to the six wisdoms:

     OM = wisdom of equanimity
     MA = wisdom of activity
     NI = the wisdom born of itself
     PAD = the wisdom of dharmadhatu
     ME = discriminating wisdom
     HUM = mirror-like wisdom.
Benefits of reciting the Six Syllable Mantra
Extracted from The Daily Enlightenment

By reciting the mantra, the gates leading to rebirth in the six realms of samsara is closed. This powerful mantra's sound and vibration invoke the blessings of all Buddhas to liberate the sufferings of all sentient beings. It removes negative karmas and defilements like greed, anger and ignorance that causes rebirth in the six realms of samsara namely the hell realms, hungry ghosts realms, animal realms, human realms, demi-god realms and god realms. This mantra is so precious and holy that it embodies the Buddha's holy speech. By listening to it with faith and understanding, one is sure to obtain good rebirths after death. If any animal or insect should hear this mantra before dying, it would be reborn to Amitabha's Pure land. While reciting the mantra with mindfulness and a proper understanding , one is ensured of its effectiveness to increase positive merits and the spiritual power of compassion. By dedicating the merits of recitation to all beings and especially our loved ones in times of pain and sickness, all sufferings will dissolve.