Om Mani Padme Hum

Om Mani Padme Hum | Its surprising meaning

Remember: Om Mani Padme Hum is a well-known Buddhist mantra, usually translated as “The jewel is in the lotus”.

It is not for nothing that the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum is at the heart of many Buddhist traditions.

This is because all of the Buddha’s teachings are believed to reside in this powerful mantra. It is repeated over and over again to invoke the qualities of love and the unconditionality of compassion.

Whether spoken aloud or silently to oneself, this mantra is one you will want to practice to connect with your innate loving and compassionate nature.

Using a mani with the mantra

In northern India, Nepal and Tibet, you will often see this beloved mantra carved in stone.

People like to buy rings that have the mantra engraved on them because it is said that just looking at the mantra will produce the same benevolent effects. Prayer wheels of different sizes, also called mani, are also used for Om Mani Padme Hum meditation.

Buddhist practitioners spin these large prayer wheels or small hand wheels while meditating or chanting the mantra, simultaneously receiving its many blessings.

Tibetan Buddhists believe that each time a prayer wheel makes a full rotation, it is equivalent to merit earned during a year’s retreat.


Understanding its meaning of Om Mani Padme Hum

To truly know our intentions and motivations behind any mantra practice, we need to know exactly what the mantra means.

This gives more meaning to our practice and makes it more personal.

Many people call this mantra simply the Mani mantra, as it is the most loved and widely used among the Buddha’s disciples. (To learn more, see 5 powerful mantras and their sacred meaning).

According to the Dalai Lama, Om Mani Padme Hum has the power to:

“to transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure body, speech, and mind of a Buddha.”

Tibetan culture tells us that to know this phrase deeply – to bring it to the depths of one’s being – is to achieve enlightenment.

That’s saying a lot! If so, we will all want to practice this mantra with great discipline and devotion.

Deciphering the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra

Translating Sanskrit into French is a real challenge, as the language has many levels of meaning. Below is a basic understanding of the mantra, accepted by the majority of Buddhist practitioners.

Om (or Aum)

Aum Meaning

The Om sound is considered the primordial sound of all creation.

The universe was created with Om and contains all that is, has been and will be.

Buddhists believe that the sound vibration of Om purifies pride. They also believe that the syllable of Om lives in the samsaric realm of the gods.

Om helps us dissolve our ego and cultivate kindness and generosity every time we recite it. (For more, check out the 5 Benefits of Reciting OM.)

Want to know more about the Aum symbol? Read more :


The syllable ma de mani is associated with the dissolution of jealousy and attachment to fleeting pleasures.

He lives in the samsaric realm of the jealous gods and reciting my over and over again helps us release our jealous attachments while cultivating ethical behavior. (For more, see Freedom in letting go).

The syllable ni in particular is believed to dissolve our attachments to desire and passion while cultivating our ability to be patient with ourselves and others. It resides in the samsaric realm of the human being. The whole word, mani, means “jewel”.


Pad is a syllable that dissolves our attachment to the many prejudices and judgments we have, while cultivating the quality of perseverance.

She lives in the samsaric animal kingdom.

This syllable helps dissolve our attachment to possessiveness while cultivating our powers of concentration. (For more, see Practicing Aparigraha (non-attachment).

He resides in the samsaric realm of the hungry ghost.

Together, padme means “lotus” and represents wisdom.


With the syllable hum, we strive to dissolve our attachments to aggression and hatred.

We instead cultivate our own innate wisdom.

Hum is said to be in the samsaric realm of hell. Hum also indicates that which cannot be disturbed by anything.

He is unshakable and immutable.

The jewel is in the lotus

As you can see, this is a powerful and meaningful mantra. The sentence that sums it all up is: “The jewel is in the lotus”: “The jewel is in the lotus” or “Praise to the jewel in the lotus”.


It means that the lotus flower is in all of us, but it is covered with a lot of mud and filth.

Reciting this mantra over and over again, with the right intention, is supposed to rid us of mud and dirt until we are as sparkling, pure, compassionate and wise as the lotus flower itself.

According to a lecture given by the Dalai Lama, while it is good to recite this mantra over and over again, one must at the same time meditate on the meaning of each syllable.

In other words, we have to practice with the proper intention and understanding of the mantra. (For more, see Svadhyaya: Spend a Lifetime Knowing Yourself and Deepening Your Yoga Practice).

The intention is paramount.

Similar Posts