Om Mani Padme Hum is the most important mantra in Tibetan Buddhism. It is the mantra of the Bodhisattva of compassion Avalokiteshvara, of whom the Dalai Lama is believed to be an incarnation. Click here to hear Om Mani Padme Hum mantra chanted by a Tibetan refugee.
The most common English translation of Om Mani Padme Hum is "Om Jewel in the Lotus Hum" (om and hum are sacred sounds without a translatable meaning). The meaning and significance of these sacred syllables have been interpreted in a variety of ways. One common interpretation is that each syllable corresponds to one of the six realms of existence and purifies the vice associated with that realm. In general, the mantra is believed to evoke and cultivate compassion and help one on the path to enlightenment. According to Tibetan belief, spinning a prayer wheel imprinted with the mantra or viewing Om Mani Padme Hum in written form is just as beneficial as reciting it out loud.