Skip to main content

Oṃ maṇi padme hum

Oṃ maṇi padme hum (Tib. pron.: Om maṇi pehme hung). The mantra of Avalokiteśvara (Tib., Chenrezig). In spite of being the most well-known and commonly recited mantra of Tibet, where it is to be found inscribed everywhere, from homes to mountain passes and roadside rocks, it has been greatly misunderstood. Usual translations, such as ‘Oh, the jewel is in the lotus’ or ‘hail to the jewel in the lotus’, are misconceived. Oṃ and hum are invocation syllables which require no translation; maṇi (‘jewel’) is not a word but a stem, and therefore joins padme (‘lotus’) to make a single word, maṇipadme (‘jewel-lotus’) which is feminine and locative. This suggests a female deity being invoked, called Maṇipadmā, the problem being that no such deity is recorded anywhere. The usual translations may have no linguistic accuracy but they do closely express through the separation of the words jewel (male, form) and lotus (female, emptiness) a sense of the symbolism of opposites at the heart of manifestation in Mahāyāna Buddhism. The possibility of the present form of the mantra being a corruption of its original Sanskrit cannot be dismissed.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Oṃ maṇi padme hum." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Oṃ maṇi padme hum." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/om-mani-padme-hum

"Oṃ maṇi padme hum." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved December 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/om-mani-padme-hum

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.