Have you ever wondered what the meaning of Om Mani Padme Hum is?
The Om Mani Padme Hum mantra is a Buddhist mantra and song. It has a very significant meaning. All Buddhists or would-be Buddhists should know this one mantra. It is quoted throughout Buddhist texts and books, and it is an important reminder and lesson.
In THE DAILY MEDITATION’s tutorial on Mantras we revealed all the most important mantras in the world. And “Om mani padme hum” is perhaps number one.
You have likely heard Buddhists chanting this mantra in song. There are lots of Youtube videos that show this song. And there are lots of artworks and Buddha sculptures that have this mantra etched into them. Not to mention the number of quotes online about it!
But what does Om Mani Padme Hum mean?
It is the mantra representing the way to become enlightened [READ: How To Become Enlightened].
Here’s the Om Mani Padme Hum Meaning In English
Buddhist mantras have specific meanings, just like Buddhist mudras do.
Each word in the mantra has its meaning. If we break the mantra down into its words, we can see a definition of Om Mani Padme Hum.
- Om: a sacred syllable that you can find in lots of Indian religions. Om means the essence of reality and is the universal sound of the universe.
- Mani: means “bead” or “jewel”.
- Padme: means “lotus flower”. Flower? Yup. But not just any old flower. The lotus flower is the sacred flower of Buddha.
- Hum: represents enlightenment.
Put all that together, and you get the meaning of Om Mani Padme Hum. Translated it says “Om [universal sound]. Jewel. Lotus. Enlightenment.” That’s a definition. But what’s the meaning of it?
If you have read the Buddhist saying/proverb “Om Mani Padme Hum” you might wonder what the English translation is. [You might also like to read these other Buddhist sayings and proverbs. How many of them did you know?]
In English, it means various things depending on the school of Buddhism that it’s coming from. However, the standard translation is “The Jewel Is In The Lotus”.
This makes more sense when you consider what happens when you chant this mantra.
Go ahead and start reciting the mantra now, and I will tell you what happens when you do it.
Benefits Of The Om Mani Padme Hum Mantra
There are spiritual benefits of the Om Mani Padme Hum Mantra. Here is what happens when you chant or sing this mantra.
- When you say or sing “Om”, you are making the sound that represents purity. The purity of body, mind and speech. This sound creates relaxation and inner peace, which is one of the benefits of chanting it, especially when in a group song, where the choral music truly amplifies the effects.
- You then say “Mani Padme Hum”. And these words represent the path.
- Mani means love and compassion. This is love and compassion for all beings and the self.
- Padme means lotus and represents wisdom. The wisdom is the wisdom of Dharma, the Buddhist path. The lotus reminds us to follow the path of Dharma and particularly the Noble Eightfold Path.
- Hum means enlightenment, which is the highest state we can attain.
- Put it together, and you get: “Purity of mind, body and speech. Path. Love and compassion. Wisdom. Enlightenment.”
- Translate this, and it reads, “Be pure in body mind and speech. Follow the path of wisdom with love and compassion. Buddhahood will result”.
In other words. If you want to become a Buddha, follow the wise path of Dharma with love and compassion. So, the benefits of Om Mani Padme Hum mantra is that it trains us to follow the Dharma, to live with purity, love and compassion in order to attain enlightenment.
The pathway to enlightenment is expressed through this Buddhist mantra.
Essentially, what it means is that if you want to achieve the highest state of being, you must live an enlightened life, by speaking, acting, and behaving in an enlightened way, with love and compassion for all. This is the way to your highest self. Again, “the jewel is in the lotus”. Follow the path of Dharma with love and compassion, and you will attain enlightenment.
Let’s look at the words of the mantra more closely.
This is the universal sound that begins and ends many mantras in Buddhism. It is about having inner peace and oneness. It also serves as an entry point to the mantra because it creates that inner calmness that we need to absorb the meaning and the benefits of the mantra / song.
Mani means “Compassion”. Nothing is more important than compassion.
As the Dalai Lama said, “We can live without religion, but we cannot live without human compassion”. That’s why we need to do our all to make sure that we are compassionate to everyone. We must act in an enlightened (noble and pure) ways in body, mind and speech.
When we recite Mani or sing the song, we remind ourselves to be compassionate for all living beings.
Padme means “Wisdom”. It is about living in accordance to the Dharma, the teaching of Buddha, and particularly following the Noble Eightfold Path, which is right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right samadhi.
The meaning of Hum is enlightenment, the highest state we can achieve. This is the “jewel in the lotus”. The “lotus” is particularly important. It is a spiritually significant plant that emerges from the murkiest of waters but always points towards the sun. The symbolism here speaks for itself.
Yes, indeed, the jewel is in the lotus. Follow Dharma with love and compassion and enlightenment will follow.
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