Tibetan: ཨོཾ་མ་ཎི་པ་དྨེ་ཧཱུྃ (Tibetan Pinyin: Om Mani Bêmê Hum) Auṃ maṇi padme hūṃ (Sanskrit: ॐ मणि पद्मे हूँ, IPA: [õːː mɐɳɪ pɐdmeː ɦũː]) is the six-syllabled Sanskrit mantra particularly associated with the four-armed Shadakshari form of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion.
It first appeared in the Mahayana Kāraṇḍavyūhasūtra where it is also referred to as the sadaksara (six syllabled) and the paramahrdaya, or “innermost heart” of Avalokiteshvara.
In this text the mantra is seen as condensed form of all the Buddhist teachings.
The first word Aum/Om is a sacred syllable in various Indian religions. The word Mani means "jewel" or "bead", Padme is the "lotus flower" (the Eastern sacred flower), and Hum represents the spirit of enlightenment.
In Tibetan Buddhism, this is the most ubiquitous mantra and the most popular form of religious practice, performed by laypersons and monastics alike.
It is also an ever present feature of the landscape, commonly carved onto rocks, known as mani stones, painted into the sides of hills or else it is written on prayer flags and prayer wheels. "The mantra Om Mani Pädme Hum is easy to say yet quite powerful, because it contains the essence of the entire teaching. When you say the first syllable Om it is blessed to help you achieve perfection in the practice of generosity, Ma helps perfect the practice of pure ethics, and Ni helps achieve perfection in the practice of tolerance and patience. Pä, the fourth syllable, helps to achieve perfection of perseverance, Me helps achieve perfection in the practice of concentration, and the final sixth syllable Hum helps achieve perfection in the practice of wisdom. "So in this way recitation of the mantra helps achieve perfection in the six practices from generosity to wisdom. The path of these six perfections is the path walked by all the Buddhas of the three times. What could then be more meaningful than to say the mantra and accomplish the six perfections?"