“Om Mani Padme Hum” is an ancient Sanskrit chant commonly associated with Tibetan Buddhism, invoking the quality of compassion. Chanting is a branch of yoga known as “Mantra Yoga”, where we utilise the power of vibration to create internal harmony and raise our consciousness.
Meaning of “Om Mani Padme Hum”
“Om” represents the fundamental vibrational energy that pervades this whole universe, a representation of the Divine energy. It is a stand-alone mantra that often precedes other chants, as it has done here.
“Mani” means “jewel”, “Padme” means “lotus” and “Hum” could be interpreted to mean “me”. Put together, the chant would mean, “Om, let me become like the jewel that is the lotus”.
The reason that the Lotus is revered like a jewel is due to its following qualities:
- It is a beautiful flower that grows in an unpleasant environment. The symbolic significance of this is that it gives us hope: we, too, can overcome the environment we find ourselves in and allow our inner beauty to reveal itself.
- It grows in secluded places, not easy to find and come across. This represents the fact that it is displaying its beauty, regardless of whether there is anyone present to admire it or not. In other words, we should be beautiful for the sake of beauty, even if nobody is watching.
- It is always seeking the light of the sun, representing our own seeking for the truth and dispelling the darkness of our ignorance.
- Rain drops that fall upon it just slide off. This represents the fact that even though the flower grows in water, it is not attached to the water. In a similar way, we can strive to be detached from material objects so that we do not become slaves to our senses.
- Sit in a comfortable meditation posture with your eyes closed.
- Visualise a beautiful lotus flower in your mind’s eye.
- Chant “Om Mani Padme Hum”, either silently or aloud, for a set number of times. Traditionally this would be 108 times, but if this is too much, then either 54 times or 36 times is fine.
- Usually the pace of the chants is even, except for the last one, which is elongated.
- After the last chant, observe how you are feeling for a few moments before opening your eyes. Remain in the state of alert calmness for as long as you can after coming out of the meditation.