This is a transcription of the audio lecture Gnosis of Buddha Dharma 14 The Mantra of Christ Om Mani Padme Hum originally given live on Gnostic Radio, which you can download for free.
In every religion, in every tradition, there is always a foundation or presentation of a universal cosmic force at the base of life. That force or energy has different names according to the languages and psychologies of those various traditions, names like Allah, Tao, Brahma, Quetzalcoatl, and many more. In the Gnostic tradition, we call it Christ.
The word Christ comes from the Greek root Christos (Χριστός), which has different meanings depending on the context within which we use the word. The esoteric meaning of the word Chrestos is fire, which refers not to physical fire, but to the foundational energy that gives rise to all living things. Christ is the source of life, the source of living.
Everything that exists is the body of Christ; every atom, every particle, every energy, has that force or energy that we call Christ. Every religion and spiritual tradition has its own names, symbols, and myths about that energy, which help us to understand that energy, because as the very basis of living, it is very difficult to comprehend. Our mind is very limited in its capacity to understand the infinite, which is what Christ is. Christ is infinite life.
In the Sanskrit language, that force at the level at which it first emerges into existence is called Amitabha, which means infinite light. Thus it is called the Buddha Amitabha: which translated directly, means "the awakened limitless light," or infinite light. That light is the fire of Chrestos; it is not physical light, or physical fire, it is the light or fire of existence itself.
In Kabbalah, that infinite light or limitless light is called Ain Soph Aur, which also means limitless light. So, in these three traditions are three different names for the same energy.
This painting shows the Buddha Chenrezig, which is a Tibetan word that is indicating the same energy. Chenrezig in Sanskrit is called Avalokiteshvara.
Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig represents the full and complete compassion of Christ that manifests in existence. When the Ain Soph Aur first becomes, it is Chenrezig, Avalokiteshvara. It is the compassion of all the Gods. Chenrezig, or Avalokiteshvara is the love in every Buddha or Angel; all of them combined are Chenrezig, Avalokiteshvara, Christ. So, if you use your imagination and try to visualize all of the Buddhas in the entire field of existence, all of the Angels, all of the Masters, all of the Devas, all of the Gods, and how much love they have, all of that love is Chenrezig, Avalokiteshvara.
This image shows Chenrezig sitting on a lotus, and that lotus sits on a mantra. That mantra on this graphic is written in Tibetan, and the mantra is Om Manipadme Hum. Those Sanskrit letters are written here in Tibetan, because that mantra is the special providence of the protector deity of Tibet, who is Chenrezig, Avalokiteshvara. So, this is our topic for today: Om Manipadme Hum – to understand what that is, what it means, what is Christ, and how they relate.
If you have ever heard of the Dalai Lama or any form of Buddhism, you have probably also heard of this mantra, that is how famous it is. If you have ever seen a Tibetan prayer flag, this mantra is on the prayer flag. If you have ever seen a prayer wheel, which can be small hand held wheels, or even giant ones that take several people to turn, those prayer wheels are filled inside with thousands and thousands of this mantra written on paper. The larger prayer wheels have millions of this prayer, this mantra written down. The reason it is on prayer wheels and prayer flags and written on stones is because when the mantra is put in motion, it puts energy in motion, and in the Tibetan tradition, the movement of this mantra Om Manipadme Hum has become the signature of practice. So, if you have any familiarity with that tradition, you will know this mantra.
Its importance is underscored in this quote from Padmasambhava, who bought Tantra to Tibet, who said,
"Avalokitesvara [Chenrezig, Christ], gazes with overwhelming compassion towards all the six classes of sentient beings, who are tormented by misery. The compassion that has the Dharma as its focus is the six syllables of om manipadme hum. [...] The virtues of the six syllables are immeasurable and cannot be fully described even by the buddhas of the three times. Why is that? It is because this mantra is the quintessence of the mind of the noble Avalokitesvara, who continually looks upon the six classes of sentient beings with compassion. Thus, the recitation of this mantra liberates all beings from samsara." - Padmasambhava, from Sanglingma "The Lotus Born."
This quote explains the primary teaching that Padmasambhava gave to the Tibetans. We have explained in many lectures that Padmasambhava is a great Indian Buddhist Master, who many centuries ago was invited to bring Tantra to Tibet, in order to help clarify the teachings. The chief emphasis that he provided to the Tibetan nation was to point out to them this mantra, Om Manipadme Hum. This is the main work that he performed. He established for the Tibetan culture many centuries of protection under the influence of Chenrezig, Avalokiteshvara. In other words, Padmasambhava informed the Tibetan culture that as long as they were true to the Dharma, protected it, and practiced it, they would in return receive the protection of Chenrezig, Avalokiteshvara, and the main core practice was the use of the mantra Om Manipadme Hum. Nowadays of course, the entire world is amazed with the Tibetan knowledge. Over the last 60 years, the knowledge that had been protected for many centuries in Tibet has been propagated around the world, and that is because, for many centuries it was protected and nourished in the Tibetan plateau, under the auspices of Avalokitshvara, Chenrezig. When the time came, that knowledge was brought out, to prepare the way for the next phase of the evolution of this humanity. As such, that mantra, Om Manipadme Hum, in use in the Tibetan plateau for many centuries, in that nested, protected environment, has also been brought out to the world, but also is under going a change, deepening. As the Dharma is being revealed and opened up to the world, new levels are being opened up, new knowledge, new information.
Chenrezig is usually seen in the form that we see in this graphic: white bodied with four arms, seated on a lotus. In Tibetan and Sanskrit, the lotus is Padme, Padma, or Pema.
Chenrezig is the emanation of Amitabha, which means the limitless light, or infinite light. Chenrezig is the compassion of all the Buddhas, embodied as a Buddha.
This image of Chenrezig displays his outer meaning, the public level of instruction about Chenrezig, which generally includes no mention of sexuality. This is the type of image related with Om Manipadme Hum that is taught publicly in every Tibetan tradition, and also in other Mahayana traditions in China and some other countries. Chenrezig is known in the Chinese traditions as Kuan Yin, and in those traditions, Chenrezig is represented as a woman, because compassion, or love, is often characterized as the type of love that the mother has for a child. It is that deep, that protective, that profound.
In his hands, he holds a precious element – his hands are in the position of prayer, and between them is a stone called Chintamani. The Sanskrit word Chintamani can be translated in various ways, because it is very deep and very symbolic, and we mentioned in a previous lecture that it is usually translated as "the wish fulfilling gem." It has a very deep significance, especially in Tantra. In his other hands, he holds other symbolic elements: a rosary and a flower.
His primary importance is that he represents compassion, or Bodhichitta. We have explained previously that Bodhichitta is a Sanskrit word that is usually translated as "awakening mind," but the deeper meaning in Tantra is sexual energy, and that is also what the stone in his hand represents – he is holding it over his heart. That stone is the foundation stone mentioned in the Bible, mentioned in the Zohar , hidden in the Greek mysteries. It is the stone that Arthur drew the sword from, it is the stone that Jacob anointed with oil. It is the foundation of the temple, that the builders rejected, but that Jesus taught very beautifully about. In Kabbalah, that stone is the Sephirah Yesod (literally, "foundation"), which relates directly to the sexual organs and the sexual energy. When you remember that Christ is the source of life, then you can understand why he holds the sexual energy in his hands. Sexual energy is the source of life. Without sexual energy, life would not exist. Christ works through sex.
Chenrezig holds the stone at his heart, meaning that our sexual energy needs to be pure, related with the heart, emotion, related with compassion, not lust, but related with prayer – his hands are held together as in prayer, and between them is the stone. His hands represent man and woman, and between them is the sacred stone, the Grail. This is very significant.
The Six-syllable Mantra
Om Manipadme Hum: these are the letters of this mantra. It has six letters, and in this graphic you see that each one has a different color. The colors are symbolic and important. We see here five primary colors that are important in all Buddhism: yellow, green, white, blue, and red. The five colors relate to five elements. They also relate to five afflictions, the five poisons, and other aspects of the teachings. The sixth color, which in this particular image is a dark blue, also can be black. The six colors relate to the six worlds, the six bardos, the six paramitas, the six types of beings, and more. They have very deep significance.
These are Tibetan letters, six syllables; each one has importance and meaning. They start from left to right, just like English.
The first one, which is white, is Om. The letter Om is a mantra from Sanskrit, from Hinduism. Om sounds like one sound, but it is actually three sounds, and in the Tibetan letter we can see those three components very clearly. I will come back to that to explain more about the Om.
The second letter, which is green, is Ma. The third, which is yellow, is Ni. The fourth is blue, Pad, which is actually two letters, but one syllable. The fifth, is Me, which is written enclosing the Pad. The final is Hum, which is black.
The mantra begins with Om, and that letter has three components, which relate to the three forces, the Trikaya, the Trinity. The bottom portion, the largest part, is the Tibetan letter Ah. It is the Tibetan equivalent of what is known in Hebrew Kabbalah as Kether, the Father, the Crown. Just above that Ah is a dashed line, which represents the letter O. This relates to Chokmah in Kabbalah. At the very top is the Tibetan letter M, which is written as a circle; incidentally, in Hebrew and in Sanskrit, the M is written as an enclosed shape, a circle or square. The same is true in Tibetan. Thus, the the syllable Om has three parts. We often write the mantra long form as AOM or AUM.
You may have heard that the vowel or mantra Om is the most important mantra. This is because this mantra encodes or symbolizes Christ. Christ has three forces that work in harmony to create. All life emerges as a result of the power of creation, and creation is always a combination of three factors. This is why every religion has a trinity as its foundation. Christianity has the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Hinduism has Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Kabbalah has Kether, Chokmah, and Binah. The Egyptians had Osiris, Isis, and Horus. In every religion—the Nordic, the Egyptian, even in Masonry—we find those factors, three forces. In the Gnostic tradition, we call them the Logos. This is because, in the book of John in the Christian Bible, it says:
In the beginning was the Logos.
The book of John is written in Greek. The word Logos is Greek, and is usually translated as "word." In scripture, Logos does not refer to a written or physical word. Logos refers to the sound that emerges from the emptiness. If we consider a thought as a concept or message that is unmanifested, when we speak it, the word that emerges is logos. Similarly, the Logos is the expression or manifestation of a message or intelligence. In other words, the emptiness or Unmanifested Light had the impulse of creation, an archetype that needed to become something, and when that archetype expresses and starts to become something, that is Logos. So, in Buddhism, this is represented by Amitabha, the infinite light, manifesting Chenrezig out of compassion for all beings. The infinite light, Amitabha, sees the suffering of all beings, and recognizes the need to do something, thus Chenrezig appears; that is the Logos: the Manifested Light.
It is important to understand this, because in many religions, in many schools, these three forces are talked about in a very dry, scholarly way, in a very intellectual way, like if we are just organizing pieces of a puzzle on a table. These three forces are not inanimate objects, they are not mechanical forces in nature, they are cognizance that has the creative power to produce an entire universe, and all the beings in it. The reason that happens is because of love, because of compassion, not out of tyranny, not out of a cruel joke, not to punish us, but out of compassion for us. These three forces are how compassion, love, comes to be. These three forces are in everything, but in us, they are obscured. We have lost touch with it, we do not see it, because we are too hypnotized by our pride, by our lust, by our fear, our attachment, our ignorance and all of the other discursive qualities that have disrupted our mind.
The Logos is a trinity, a unity of three forces:
In any form of creation, there are three forces at work. For example, for you to have your physical body, you two parents had sex. Your father represents the positive or active force, your mother represents the receptive or passive force, and sex is the force that unified them. Your body was the result.
Om represents the creative (sexual) power of nature. Om represents the manifestation of the Absolute, it is the vibration of Creation: three forces in motion. We say "Om," but hidden in that are three sounds: A-O-M.
When we look at that more closely on the Tree of Life, we see at the very top of the Tree of Life, the Absolute, Amitabha, the infinite light that first emanates as the upper Trinity on the Tree of Life. That Trinity is the three forces that begin to create all living things - in other words, manifestation begins. What does that imply? It implies a change from the Absolute Primordial Emptiness, to something. That happens because of Karma. It happens because of causes that have been put into motion in the past, that must be answered. It happens because all of us have setup causes in the past that have to be solved, and it happens because the infinite light seeks to perfect compassion, through us. The only way that can happen, is if we are here, alive, with the chance to act, using those energies of the three forces in ourselves. Those energies of the three forces come through us in many ways – we have three nervous systems: the central, sympathetic and grand sympathetic. We have three brains: Intellect, Heart and Body. We need to use those three forces in every motion of ourselves, physically, emotionally and mentally, but consciously. In order to take advantage of those forces, and use them in manifestation wisely. So, what we see then, is Om here, at the top of the Tree of Life. If we superimpose this graphic over our physical body, the feet are related with Malkuth, at the bottom. The top of the head, with Kether at the top. So, that Om vibrates from the Infinite above, throughout our entire being. Those three sounds synthesized in that mantra, create everything, including ourselves. So, the use of that mantra is quite powerful. This is the breakdown of this specific meanings of these words.
Mani, which is the second set of syllables, Ma and Ni, means:
Mani comes from the root Sanskrit term, Ma, which means "to create."
It is quite obvious that all the meanings of this word are all related. What in our body is the strongest magnetic force that we have? Sex, there is nothing stronger in us than that power. The sexual power is the power to create, and it is a magnet, which can attract or repel. That magnet is most powerful in the sexual organs, and it is the power of Ma, the Mother.
The syllable Ma is used worldwide for Mother: Ma, Amma, Uma, Oma, Mama, Mother, Mater.
In Sanskrit, Ma means "to create." Who has that power? The Mother. How does the Mother have the power to create? Through sex. There is no other way. As we always state, in every esoteric tradition:
As Above, So Below, and As Below, So Above.
If, physically, the only way to create life is through sex, it is also true above, spiritually. The only way to create spiritual life, is through sex, but as Chenrezig shows it: holding the Mani stone, as a prayer, at his heart. This is the only way to create in harmony with the Divine, through prayerful, pure, sexuality.
The second set of syllables, Padme, means lotus, but it also is a symbol for the vagina. This is a very obvious symbol that most people, especially who have studied art history, know very well; throughout the centuries and in pretty much every culture, flowers have been used to represent feminine sexual potency, even as late as the recent century with artist like George O'Keeffe. But, in previous eras, throughout time, and in every culture, flowers represent the unfolding of creation which happens through the vagina. The child is created through that.
The final syllable is Hum. This is the syllable that is represented with the color black. Hum synthesizes the entire mantra. Hum sounds like Om. It is almost the same, but it has an H. The H is mantra of the breath. The Logos is the thought, the imagination of God that comes into being through a word, and that word can only express through breath. This is why the Aztec priests, when they were asked by the Conquistador priests, "What is the name of your God?" the Aztec priests said, "Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhh." It is the power of the breath that creates through the Word.
So, here in these six syllables - Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum – we see the creative power of God, the creative power of any Buddha, which is sexual, which is why every religion has emphasized the importance of pure sexuality and has told its strongest initiates that to advance to the highest levels of the tradition, you must retain that sexual energy and transform it. Not to spend it like a beast, not be lustful, but to harness that energy and make it pure. This is why initiates in traditions were converted into monks and nuns, to enter into a period of preparation in which they retained that energy, were not hypnotized by any form of lust or distraction sexually, and could learn to work with that energy directly, until the time came when they were prepared to enter into a relationship to fully harness that energy. This is hidden throughout the Bible, it is hidden throughout Tantra. It was never made public, and that is because most of us have never been interested, we have only been interested in satisfying our desires. In these six syllables is the synthesis of the entire teaching. Any real spiritual teaching, anywhere in the world, has this synthesis in its heart. It may not be visible now, because of degeneration, because of politics, because of the interest that people have to corrupt their traditions and take power, but it is always there, hidden.
The Jewel in the Lotus
The meanings of this mantra that we have already explained are not given publicly in any other tradition. Thus, today I have already introduced you into a secret level that was never given publicly, and there is more—which we are going to talk about next—but just so you are aware of it, most people say that Om Manipadme Hum means "the Jewel in the Lotus." That is because Mani can mean jewel, and Padme can mean lotus, but nobody knows why the mantra has that meaning. Why would it be important to have a mantra that means "the Jewel in the Lotus?" Why is that meaningful? Why is that the most important mantra in Tibetan Buddhism? Publicly, no one knows, because they have not been initiated into the levels where that knowledge is given. I am going to give you some of that knowledge today.
These syllables have meanings far deeper than the surface level, but even if you look at the superficial level, you can see something very deep. Mani represents the masculine sexual power, a phallus. Padme represents the vagina. The power to create life is in the union of these two, the crossing of male and female. When that union happens in a pure way, without lust or animal desire, when Mani and Padme unite between the Om and the Hum, the result is a divine creative power. That is why "the Jewel in the Lotus" is important, but this meaning has not taught publicly until recently.
Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso
The deeper level of this mantra is taught in secret, and it is related to the secret level of the teachings of Chenrezig, which are that level called Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso. Here we see an image of this level of Chenrezig: He is in his white bodied form, but in sexual union with his consort, his spouse, who is called Vajrayogini. Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso is a Tibetan name that is difficult to translate to English, but it means something more or less like, "The ocean of liberation" or "The Saviour Ocean." It is hard to translate that into English, because those Tibetan words have very deep significance.
Clearly, you can see that Chenrezig relates to sexual knowledge. Yet, monks and nuns of the Tibetan tradition are not initiated into the secret aspect of Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso. So, if you go and ask a monk or Nun about the sexual teachings related to Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso, they might get mad or offended. This happened to a friend of mine, that is why I am telling you. We have to be respectful of the level at which every student is working. Do not assume that other people know what you know. We have to respect their level, and the work that they are doing. Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso is the highest Yoga Tantra in Tibetan Buddhism, it is one of the most secret techniques and teachings that is given in Tibetan Buddhism. It is secret knowledge. This means that the vast majority of people in the Tibetan tradition do not know about it. Even though some people may have received an empowerment or lecture about Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso, this does not mean they received the secret teachings of Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso. This means that if you know about the secret aspect of Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso, you should be respectful about it to others when discussing it, or asking about it. Be aware that they may not know.
Nonetheless, in this image we can see Chenrezig in the male form, united with Chenrezig in the female form. One is white and the other red. In Tantric iconography, white and red represent solar and lunar forces, what is known in Sanksrit as Ida and Pingala, while in the Bible they are Adam and Eve, male and female, the two aspects of our vital energy. In other words, this image does not just represent a Deity; it does represent a divine being, but its most important meaning is inside of us, related to our own energies on a very high level, energies that we can learn to harness and utilize. This image represents the creative and destructive power of sexuality.
Chenrezig in his usual form with the lotus and the rosary in his hands, which represent method and wisdom, is united with a red Dakini, or divine woman. She is Vajrayogini; that name means "Diamond Yogini," which is a very pure being. If you have ever heard the word Vajrasattva or Vajradhara, it is related to that. In Tantric symbolism, Vajradhara is Adi Buddha, what in Hebrew is called the Ain, the highest aspect of anything; it is the nothingness or Void. Vajrayogini is the essence of the Void, the very power of knowledge of emptiness.
In this image, she holds in her hands two important elements: a drum and a skull filled with blood. In other images of her, you will see that she holds a blade, a knife. These images represent, on one hand - the drum is the beating of the heart back and forth, which is male female, resounding in all of creation: male...female...male...female... duality. And the other is the human with blood – this is the vital energy, the sexual energy.
Oma Nipa Dam Hum
This mantra Om Manipadme Hum can also be arranged in another way, because the original Sanskrit does not have spaces, it is just lines of mantras, just like Hebrew . In other classes we have always talked about Barashith, the first word of the book of Genesis, which has an infinite number of interpretations. The same is true of this mantra: it has infinite meanings. Here is one:
Oma Nipa Dam Hum
It is the same six syllables, but read differently.
Oma is the name of the Goddess – Amma, Mother.
Nipa is Sanskrit and means, "water flowing down." That water is the same what is written in Hebrew in the Bible as Schamayim, which is usually translated as "heaven," but literally means "fiery waters." Schamayim or the fiery waters above in heaven relate to the divine power of creation. Nipa refers to the waters in the beginning that God divides, one from the other. That water is sexual water, which descends into us, into our energetic system, into our nervous systems, from above, from "heaven" into our earth, every day.
In Tantric medicine, it is said that sexual energy flows from the top of the spine downwards and reaches the sexual organs. When that energy reaches the sexual glands, we have the urge for sexual action. This happens every day, in cycles. That descending water is Nipa, the "water flowing down," the creative waters that flow through our nervous system.
The next syllable is Dam, which means to be rooted, established. In other words, we want that energy to flow into us and be rooted and established in us, not lost, not wasted, not misused.
So, you see, Om Mani Padme Hum has two distinct meanings from the same six syllables, and both are related to earth. In this case, this is more personal: Oma Nipa Dam Hum is a prayer to our own Divine Mother to bring that creative energy into us and make it firm, establish it, make it strong. Not corrupted, not mixed with lust, not mixed with fear and pride and envy, not wasted in animal lust or bestiality or addiction, attachment to sex, but instead harnessed, given back to Her, made pure. This is only one additional meaning of that mantra.
Spirituality and Lust
When Padmasambhava gave this mantra to humanity, and gave these teachings, he knew and recognized that all of us are very lustful and will interpret these teachings according to our lust, and this is what we find nowadays. If any of us decide to research this sexual, spiritual information on the internet and in books, 99% of what we find will be completely infected by lust. People take these sacred, holy teachings, and use them in order to fulfill their desires, to have lots of sex with lots of people and call it "spiritual." They are lying to themselves and others. The proof of it is here: Padmasambhava, the bringer of Tantra to Tibet stated,
"Lustful people do not enter the path to liberation." - Padmasambhava, from oral instructions to Lady Tsogyal
Most people that are studying spirituality nowadays, to some degree, have heard about sexuality in relation with spirituality. They have heard something about Tantra, Yoga , Alchemy, transmutation, but it is very rare to find anyone who has heard about it in the right way: that sex should be something ethical, not lustful. Pure, conscious, not animal, not indulgent.
This is beautifully expressed by Krishna, the symbol of Christ in Hinduism, when he said:
"I [Christ] am sex that is not contrary to religious principles." - Bhagavad-gita 7.11
Christ is the solar fire, the light that gives life to all things. Life comes from sex. Even spiritual life comes from sex, but only when that sexuality is pure, untainted by lust.
Thus, Krishna [Christ] said:
"Among thousands of men, one perchance strives for perfection; even among those who strive and are perfect, only one perchance knows me in truth.
"Earth, water, fire, air, ether, thought (Manas) and reason (Buddhi), egoism (Ahamkara) – thus is My Prakriti [womb of divine mother space] divided eight-fold.
"This is the inferior (Prakriti); but distinct from this know thou My superior Prakriti [universal ocean of sexual water], the very life, O mighty-armed, by which this universe is upheld.
"Know that all beings have their birth in these [because all are born of sex]. So, I am the source and dissolution of the whole universe.
"There is naught else higher than I, O Dhananjaya; in Me all this is woven as clusters of gems on a string.
"I am the sapidity in water, O son of Kunti. I am the light in the moon [mother] and the sun [father]. I am the syllable Om in all the Vedas, sound in ether, humanity in men.
"And I am the agreeable odour in the earth and the brilliance in the fire, the vitality in all beings, and I am the austerity in ascetics.
"Know Me, O Partha, as the eternal seed [semen] of all beings..." - Bhagavad-gita 7
Truly spiritual sexuality is united with prayer and compassion. We cannot comprehend that, at our level, because our minds are so corrupted by self-interest. Self-interest is a contrary current to Christ. The Christic energy is only concerned with compassion for others, not oneself. It is only concerned with helping others to end suffering. Lust only wants satisfaction of desire, and thus, those of us who are lustful are in an opposing current to the Christic current. The continual addiction to lust is a continual production of suffering, and thus if you are serious about conquering suffering, about helping others, you have to deal with lust. It is the single most important aspect, to make real progress. It cannot be avoided. It is proven in this mantra.
The six syllables, when disarranged and analyzed in their meanings, as I explained in the beginning, have an infinite level of meanings: so many meanings and so much importance that not even the Buddhas can explain it all. But, if we look quickly at a little simple chart of the six syllables, we can start to understand something about their depth.
The Six Syllables
The first syllable is Om. It relates to the element of wind, or air. When used consciously with energy, it helps to cultivate new virtues, because it brings the qualities of Christ into us, the quality of Chenrezig, that energy, that force. It directly opposes pride. Chenrezig is not proud; Christ is not proud. Christ is humble. Moreover, Christ is generous. The energy and force of Christ is the force of sacrificial love, a love for others that is so strong, it is stronger than a mother for a baby. A mother can give her life for her child, and Christ does the same for us. Whether Christ is manifested in a bodhisattva, a Master, or is working from the internal worlds for us, Christ gives, and gives, and gives and gives, and does not ask for anything in return. The syllable Om represents all of that, empowers all that, energizes all of that.
If you were simply to use that mantra Om and constantly keep that vibration with you, throughout your day, throughout your night, not mechanically, not just repeating it in the same way you think about all your worries, but to be conscious of it from moment to moment alongside everything you do, actually tasting it on your tongue, experiencing it in your mind, feeling it in your heart, projecting it throughout your body, that energy can change you, because you are bringing your Consciousness here and now—present—and you are invoking inside of yourself an intelligence that is far superior to your animal mind. All of that comes from just one syllable.
If you work with the mantra Om, you will find that it naturally helps you to realize that pride is an affliction; the mantra Om naturally inspires you with humility and with generosity. Naturally: it is not forced. You do not have to think, "Okay, I am doing the mantra Om, and I have to be humble and I have to give to others." It is not like that. The mantra simply has this effect, spontaneously. If you use it consciously, these qualities will emerge on their own. It just happens. It will not happen if you are doing it mechanically, just repeating it, but distracted in thinking about other things; then this mantra has no power.
The second syllable is Ma, which in the graphic is green. Ma relates to the element of water. It overpowers jealousy and envy, and it cultivates and helps us to understand ethics. Ma is the name of the Divine Mother. The mantra Ma is important. If we really remembered our Divine Mother from moment to moment, we could never be afraid. Moreover, we would never want something that we do not have, because we would feel Her presence in us. We suffer now because we do not feel the presence of the Divine, we do not even believe in it all the time, and we are supposed to be spiritual people.
If you use this mantra Ma, constantly keeping it in your presence, constantly aware of its sound in your heart, in your mind, in your body, and in everything you do—going to work, eating, cooking, cleaning, taking care of the house, taking care of the kids, going to bed, going to the bathroom, showering, everything you do—if that Ma is there with you and you are present and you are watching yourself, and you are prayerful, you will not have a chance for your envy to interfere, because that Ma brings the power and energy of your Divine Feminine. She loves you. When you feel that love, you need nothing else. In fact, you want to get rid of what you have, because you find that everything else is a distraction, a burden. Materialism takes too much time and energy, and you just want to be free to be with Her, to feel Her in yourself. That is how true ethics emerge. If you are really feeling and sensing the presence of your Divine Mother, you cannot do anything unethical, it is impossible. When you really feel the presence of the Divine Mother with you, how can you lie? How can you cheat? How can you feel lust or indulge in pride, or want something that is not yours? You cannot, because her presence is there in your heart and you cannot do it. The reason we are capable of committing those mistakes is because we forget her, intentionally and unintentionally. The syllable Ma has a lot of power.
Ni is the third syllable. It is yellow, related with earth. Ni is related with lust or craving, desire, even passion. It is an afflictive force, related with earth, because earth is our body. In every scripture, in every religion, the Earth represents the body. The Earth, our body, is afflicted with lust, because we have created lust in our minds, and the body is subjected to that desire. The mantra Ni helps us to cultivate and establish patience. Why? Because it takes a lot of patience to deal with lust. Lust is very powerful; it does not give up easily. It is not easy to overcome. It is potent, it is subtle. It uses every trick it can in our psychology and in our environment in order to feed itself. To conquer lust cannot be done in a day, a week, a month, it takes a life time, maybe more. The result of conquering lust is to become a Buddha, an Angel. That does not come quickly. Thus, we need patience.
The fourth syllable is Pad. It is blue, and is related with the Ether or sky. In Tibetan Tantra, ether is represented by the sky; have you looked at the night sky? I mean looked at, really. If you do, you will realize that you cannot conceive of it. It is too huge. When you look at the sky and you contemplate how many suns, how many galaxies, solar systems, planets... it is overwhelming. We are nothing, in that scale, in that scope. We are specks of dust. That comprehension dispels ignorance.
Our fundamental ignorance is that we think we are something. We think only about ourselves, all the time. This is the root of suffering. The Buddha taught about three poisons. Ignorance [avidya] is the very centre of the Wheel of Samsara, it is the axis upon which it spins, and that ignorance is a lack of knowledge of oneself. It is a complete misapprehension of our true nature. It is a grasping at an identity that does not exist. That constant grasping at "me and myself, I..." "What I need, what I want, how I was wronged, what I deserve, what I will get." This is the cause of suffering. It is the cause of all of the suffering on this planet and every planet.
We have a very foolish perception of life; that is why we suffer, that is why there is pain, that is why there is anxiety and fear, and violence and war, and rape and poverty, and every injustice that exists, because we are not aware of anyone else. We are not even aware of ourselves. To have real knowledge is to understand the relationship between ourselves and others. It is to understand that every one deserves better than what we give them. It is to learn to treat each as Christ taught: to love each other. It is to recognize that in every person is a Divinity that deserves a chance for liberation. If we continue with our lust, we obscure that opportunity for ourselves and others. If we continue with our pride, putting ourselves above others, we obscure the chance for our own liberation, and others. With our greed, with our envy, with our jealousy, with our fear, we create all the wars, we create all the starvation, the hunger, the hardship. It is not other people, we do it. If you go into any community in the world now, we always hear, "Our suffering is the result of such and such person, that politician, that company, that corporation, that country, those guys..." That is all lies. Every particle in the universe is propelled by cause and effect. If we are experiencing an effect, we produced the cause. The Buddhas and Angels are in Heaven and Nirvana because they produced the causes to be there. We are suffering in Hell because we produced the causes to be there.
True knowledge comes from conscious diligence; to be awake, to be cognizant, to pay attention, to abandon the false sense of self and to look deeper into each moment at how we are impacting others, how we are impacting the world. Our mind is not a closed shell that no one else can see into. We all effect each other. We sense each other, we feel each other, we effect each other. We are not isolated. We are inside of each other. If you are around an angry person, you feel it, you sense it, it infects you. Samael Aun Weor told us the most dangerous, damaging element is a negative emotion, like lust, anger, envy, because it is so infectious it is more dangerous than any disease. Everybody is worried about AIDS and cancer, but anger, pride, lust, are far more damaging than AIDS, cancer and heart disease. This is because anger, pride lust and envy poison the soul, the mind and the heart. AIDS kills your body, but you can get another body. But, pride and lust that infects you from others, and that you infect others with, can effect you for lifetimes. It can effect others for lifetimes, and there is a heavy karma, a lot of consequences, it is very serious. Thus, to dispel ignorance about our true nature, about the nature of suffering, about the nature of the planet, we need diligence, we need to work hard, consciously, paying attention, learning about life, how we interact with others. This mantra Pad brings that power to work with these aspects of psychology.
The fifth syllable is Me, which is painted in red and is related with fire. Me is related to attachment. Usually people hear about attachment and they think about their attachment to their ipod, or their attachment to their car or their house, or maybe their children or husband or wife. These are all forms of attachment that can produce a lot of suffering, but they are not the most important forms of attachment. The most dangerous and damaging form of attachment is to ones own false sense of self. The form of attachment that produces the most suffering is our attachment to our image; what others think of us, how they talk about us, how they see us, how we're dressed, how we walk, how we talk, our reputation. This is the most important form of attachment we need to work on; our self image. In other words, self-esteem. Now, it should be understood that we are talking about egoic self-esteem; pride. We need real self-esteem, which is the dignity of the Consciousness. We need to love that self, our true nature, not the ego.
By attachment, we mean any mental formation that does not fundamentally exist. If you study Gnostic philosophy, you will discover that nothing fundamentally exists, nothing. We have a lot of attachment to our body, to our hair style, to how much weight we have gained or lost, how much money we have in the bank, the clothes we wear, the city we live in, our education, our language, the books we have read, our musical tastes. Everything about our personality, we have attachment to. Everything about our family, our country. Of course, our material possession as well, but those are not the most significant attachments that we have. The most significant attachments that we have are psychological. The physical parts do not matter that much. Whether you are rich or poor, truly it is irrelevant. What is relevant is our state of Consciousness and its relationship with what it perceives. Contemplate that.
When our Consciousness misperceives, we build attachment. When we mistakenly perceive ourselves, or external things, we build attachment. Every single ego is attachment. Every ego of pride, every ego of lust, of envy, of fear, of jealousy, of avarice, of laziness; they are all attachments. Not attachments to external things, but attachments to sensations. We are attached to pride, because of how it makes us feel. We are attached to lust, not because of how it feels physically, but how it feels psychologically. Contemplate that.
The fulfillment of lust is not really a physical act, it is psychological. Lust, which we talked in relation with the syllable Ni, can only be really eliminated by analyzing attachment. Because, really, what we are usually lusting is the sensation of being lusted for; we want to be wanted. We do have lust for others, to explode that energy, to feel the sensations of sex, to indulge in that force. To feel all of that, what we call, pleasure. But it is not the physical component that we are attached to, it is the psychological one, that feels strengthened when someone lusts for us, it boosts our pride, and we become attached to that. So, men want to look sexy and woman want to look sexy, and they want to be wanted. Because of lust? Yes. But, mostly because of an attachment to a false sense of self. To that pride, "Yes, they want me!" That attachment is a lie. It creates suffering. It has nothing to do with love, nothing. And that is how the ego works in every case, with lust, with anger, with pride, with laziness. Attachment is involved with all of them, ignorance is involved with all of them.
The final sixth syllable is Hum, which synthesizes everything. It is black, and is related with anger. Typically, we think of anger as someone red-faced and yelling. That is one form. But anger in this context is much deeper. Anger is also resentment. Anger is also hatred. Anger is also aversion, avoidance.
There are many now who have heard this teaching. Samael Aun Weor published his first book in 1950; it has been 61 years. Millions of people have heard about this knowledge, yet very few fulfill it. They all have different reasons and excuses, but in every single case, no matter what they state, the reason they do not fulfill it, is because of aversion, anger. They avoid the truth. They are angry at God, angry at religion, but the root of it, and what nobody wants to recognize, is that they are angry with themselves. Every soul, every Consciousness who encounters this teaching, if they are sincere with themselves, they know it is true. It cannot be denied, it is truth. And the ones who avoid it, deny the truth. Often they become angry. They attack the teaching, they attack the teacher. This is a very serious issue, all over the world. Not just in the Gnostic tradition, but in every tradition; it happens always.
The antidote to that anger is real wisdom. That does not come from books. In Sanskrit, it is Prajna. Prajna is the wisdom-energy of Chenrezig, which in Sanskrit is called Manjushri. This image is Prajna. You see, Manjushri here has a book and a sword. The book is Prajna, and the sword is discriminative awareness of perception, that cuts through appearances and sees the truth. We need that. You see all of these rays of light? They are all of these vowels. In order to see the truth, we need to awaken. So, we need all of these mantras, all of these vowels, all of these qualities to be working in harmony with each other. That is why Om Manipadme Hum is the single most powerful mantra we have.
The Power of Mantra
Padmasambhava taught pages and pages and pages and pages about this mantra. So did many other pandits and scholars in the Tibetan tradition, in the Tantric tradition, in the Mahayana traditions, about this mantra, about its power. That is why he said that not even all the Buddhas can explain the power and knowledge in this mantra. Our problems are so deep, so profound; we need these syllables united, working in us constantly.
If you have ever seen anything about Tibet, you have seen people chanting. Maybe with a prayer wheel, maybe with a rosary, and they are always chanting this mantra, because of its power, because of its emphasis in the tradition. Samael Aun Weor taught this mantra, but he taught it in a very profound way. He provided it in this form: Om Manipadme Hum. It is perfectly valid, and very powerful. However, it is the introductory level, it is the basic level. If you use that mantra seriously, daily, from moment to moment, constantly keeping that mantra present, with you as you are present here and now, it will transform you.
Some people say that a mantra is just sounds, it is just a bunch of vowels, syllables strung together, it does not mean anything. We are talking and thinking all day long, the same vowels and syllables, and those do not liberate us. How could these six syllables liberate us? What is the difference? This line of thinking is skeptical, but it provides a useful entry way into the explanation of why mantra works. If you use the mantra the way you use your thinking now, it will not do anything. If you just chant it mechanically, repeating it to yourself, as some people get the instruction, that "you need to do this mantra 1000 times, or you need to do this mantra 10,000 times, or you need to do it 1,000,000 times," and you will even see people with little counters, walking around clicking it... click, click, click, as they do the mantra very rapidly. They are making a mistake. You can say the mantra once and get more power from it then you can if you say it 10,000,000 times, if you say it once properly. Properly means present, awake, here and now. Not distracted, but using all of the force of your attention to empower it. That is what makes the mantra work: your Consciousness. It is not the vowels, it is not the syllables, it is you. Not you here, physically, terrestrially, not the sound of your physical body's voice; it is the energy that comes from above, through your three nervous systems, through your three brains, from Chenrezig in you, from Vajrayogini in you. If you are conscious, present, cognizant, paying attention, relaxed, visualizing that energy in motion, visualizing the mantra, you will awaken. You will awaken in direct proportion to your diligence.
So, here are these six vowels, six syllables; Om Manipadme Hum. This is a perfectly valid way of using this mantra. But, as I mentioned, it is the beginning level. It is not the secret level. For most people, this mantra, as it stands, can take them very far on the path. Its chief power is to awaken intuition, the powers of the heart. Remember, Chenrezig holds the Chintamani at his heart. In other words, he takes all of your sexual power and focuses it in your heart. The power of the heart is intuition, the ability to know without reasoning, just to know it. It is a type of knowledge that is far beyond the intellect; it is Divine.
With intuition, we can navigate the most difficult and complex problems with utter simplicity, because we do not have think about it. We do not reason, we do not compare options, we do not analyse, we just know.
All of us are facing complicated problems. Life is hard. Life is filled with suffering right now, for all of us, because of our ignorance, because we are asleep. But, by awakening intuition, we start to see where to place our feet. Not through reasoning, not because we read it in a book, or somebody told us, but because we know it in our heart. That is the chief power of this mantra.
It is most effective if we are transmuting the sexual energy. If we are fornicating, if we are continuing with the orgasm, this mantra cannot do anything. It cannot do anything, because there is no energy. The energy that Christ needs, that Chenrezig needs to liberate us, is Bodhichitta, which is the sexual energy. That is the energy that creates the soul, that creates the awakening mind, the mind of Christ. It is that sexual energy, purified and made creative, Divinely. If you are wasting that energy through animal sex, through masturbation, through lust, through pornography, you are wasting your time. None of this will help you.
The Secret Mantra: Om Masipadme Hum
In order to walk on these paths, in order use these mantras, to use these practices, to awaken intuition, to see the truth, you need energy. There is no other way. That is why initiates who have received this type of teaching, beginners, get this mantra in a slightly different form. That third syllable, instead of being Ni, becomes Si: the mantra is Om Masipadme Hum. The S is now incorporated into the mantra. Because of ignorance, this version of the mantra has been cause for some controversy. Some people do not understand the change in the mantra, and criticize Samael Aun Weor for teaching it in this way. That is because those people do not understand. They do not have the instruction. So, if you are a student of this tradition, and you hear criticism, you should feel compassion for those people; do not get angry, because they do not know.
Samael Aun Weor explained that when he was visiting Tantric adepts in the internal planes, he saw that in the physical world, they were chanting the Om Manipadme Hum, with the N. But, in the internal worlds, in the Astral plane, the 5th dimension, they were saying, Om Masipadme Hum; the N was exchanged for an S, internally, secretly. So, those who are in the physical world, who are asleep, do not know about that level of instruction. Thus, we should have compassion for them, and educate them, so that they will understand.
So, now I am going to explain to you why the N becomes an S. If you look at this mantra, usually we disarrange the vowels, the six syllables, as four words: Om Mani Padme Hum. But, the reality is, in Sanskrit, and in Tibetan, there are no spaces. That means that when you are looking at the letters, there are different words that appear, this is part of the beauty of those languages. So, I already showed you the example of how Om Ma, can be Amma, the mother. Similarly, if we look deeper into these letters, we find additional meanings that are hidden to the eyes of the flesh.
Firstly, we need to understand something; every vowel has a vibratory significance and importance in our physiology, not only in the physical aspect, but the internal aspect. These mantras or vibrations are specific tones in nature that stimulate matter and energy. We are talking all the time, and thinking all the time, but we are getting worse all the time. If we start to awaken and use our sexual energy wisely, all of that sound can change us in a good way. This is why, in every tradition, the beginners chant. They sing sacred songs, prayers, mantras, and scriptures. This is true in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, every tradition. Why? Not because it sounds nice, which it does, but because of the energy. When you sing consciously, you put these vowels into motion, in your physical body, in your vital body, in your Astral body, in your mental, in your Causal body. This is how you awaken through vowels.
We talk about seven fundamental vowels: I E O A U M S. Om Manipadme Hum has all the vowels but one; it does not have the S. The S is the mantra that stimulates the power of sex. That is why we say sssssssssssex. The S is a serpent, the Kundalini. What is the sound that fire makes? Sssssssss. What is the sound that a serpent makes? Sssssssssss. That is the power we need to awaken, the power related with the sexual organ. Thus, when you change Om Manipadme Hum to Om Masipadme Hum, you are directly addressing the sexual energy.
If someone is not initiated into this knowledge, and they take that S and begin to use it, they could cause harm. That is why in the physical world, the S is not incorporated in the mantra. That is why, for centuries, it was not taught publicly to incorporate the S in the mantra. Only those who had awakened, and were working in the internal worlds, awakened, worked with the S. Now, there is no more time. We do not have time for everybody to awaken physically in order to be introduced to that knowledge; we need to awaken fast. The karma is too heavy for us to wait. So, now this teaching is given openly.
We can learn more about the S when we look at other mantras in the tradition. In Sanskrit, in Hinduism, one of the most famous quotes from scripture is:
Tat Tvam Asi
which means, "You are that." But, as I explained to you, Sanskrit and Tibetan do not have spaces in the letters. So, this Tat Tvam Asi, which means, "You are that" has other meanings.
- Tat is the Ain Soph. Tat is the Absolute, Shunyata, the emptiness, it is the Adi Buddha, it is Amitabha.
- Tvam is the Monad, our True Self; Chesed, in Kabbalah.
- Asi means, "You are."
So, when we put them together, Tat Tvam Asi; "You Soul, are also That (the Absolute)." This is a very profound statement in Vedanta, the ancient philosophy of Hinduism.
But, when we look closely at these Sanskrit letters, we also see that it can be read, "Tattva Masi." A Tattva is a vibration of energy. When I explained to you the first five syllables of Om Masipadme Hum, or Om Manipadme Hum, we were talking about the five elements; Air, Earth, Water, Fire and Ether. Those are Tattvas, they are vibrations of energy. So, this phrase, "You are That" can also be read, "Tattva Masi," which means the vibration of matter, or the vibration of energy, of Masi.
Masi is Sanskrit; it means "the Black One," or ink, dark water of a dark river. It can also mean "to become black."
So, if we break down Om Masipadme Hum, we see that Om is the Divine Mother. Masi is to become black, dark water, or ink, and it relates to a river. Padme and Hum we know. What does this mean? What does it mean to become black, or to be of a river?
Buddhism comes from Hinduism. In Hinduism, all of the Goddesses are related with water. Every Goddess has a river. In India, you find the great river Sarasvati, the great river Kali Gandaki. These are the names of Goddesses and the names of rivers: why? Because those Goddessses are the waters that come from above, to below. The power of sexuality is the sexual water that flows into us.
What does it mean "to become black?" I explained this teaching once to a student, and she become terrified. She thought it means that if we use the mantra Om Masipadme Hum we are going to become black magicians. She left the teaching because of that word Masi; that was her excuse. She did not understand that Oma is the name of the Divine Mother, and Masi is her most profound aspect: Prakriti, or in other words, Vajrayogini.
The Factors of Awakening
Yajrayogini is also known in Hinduism, and is called Kali. Kali means, "The Black One." So, when you say Om Masipadme Hum, you are calling the Divine Mother, in her most profound aspect: Vajrayogini, Kali.
Sometimes Vajrayogini is called Sarvabuddha Dakini, which means, "The Dakini who is the essence of all Buddhas." What is the essence of all the Buddhas? What is a Buddha? One who is awake. What is the chief characteristic of a Buddha? Love. What is the chief characteristic of a mother? Love, the power of sacrifice. So, what is the chief characteristic of the Divine Mother? Universal power of sacrifice and love.
Vajrarogini usually appears in a very wrathful form, and to Westerners, this seems scary, and they think, "This is devil worship." It is not. This is the Mother with her power as a defender, as a protector. Let me tell you, there is no more powerful figure than a mother protecting her children. If you go out into the woods, you do not have to worry about the male bear, you have to worry about the female bear, who is protecting her cubs.
Vajrayogini has a very terrifying aspect, and in this particular image, you see that she has across her shoulder,a staff. You have probably seen that staff before, if you have ever looked at an image of Padmasambhava, it is the same staff. That staff represents the spinal column. That is where she works, in the spinal column. She is Kundalini itself. That is the fire (sssssss) that is around her: the power of her creative force, harnessed, utilized in the spine. In other words, through applying this science in ourselves, her energy descends into us. We all have that energy in us, but latent. It is asleep, it is not used; we are not using it. But, when we learn to awaken that power, it is Kundalini, and it rises up the spine. So, just as that energy descends down through our nervous systems, and becomes established in the sexual organs, when we learn how to harness that power, it awakens and ascends back up the spinal column. That is what awakens us. That is what liberates us. She does it. Not because we dress well. Not because we said a mantra one million times. Not because we paid tithes, or we served our Guru, but because we fulfilled the requirements which are:
- Sanctity, number one, we are eliminating the ego.
- Chastity, number two, we are saving the sexual energy, so that she can use it.
- Charity, number three, we are sacrificing for others.
These three factors must be in action in us every day; birth, death and sacrifice, daily. That is how her power awakens, through the three forces. That is Christ, the Logos. Three forces that create through us. Through our three brains, through our three nervous systems, through birth, death and sacrifice, in our actions. That is why we see on this figure that she is red. That is the red fire of all of our energies being used by her power to cleanse us.
In her hands, she has a knife. This particular type knife is not a common knife, it is not a kitchen knife, it is not a hunting dagger, it is a tool that is used for cutting up dead bodies. You have probably heard in Tibetan culture about sky burials. In much of Tibet there is little wood, and the ground is too hard to bury people, so in certain regions of Tibet, when you die, your body is cut to pieces so that the birds can eat it. That is the knife they use. It is a knife for flaying bodies. In her other hand she has a skull cap, the top of the human skull, from which she is drinking. This all sounds scary, but it is actually quite beautiful. That is your skull. She is nourished by what is in your mind. So, what is in your mind? Anger? Pride? Doubt? Or are you focused completely on trying to help other people? On serving others? Are you truly conquering your defects and helping to deal with the problems that we have as a world? She will awaken in you according to the nourishment that you provide her.
Around her neck, we see a big garland of 108 skulls. This is of very deep significance. It relates to the number of chances we get in a humanoid body, to reach liberation. It also relates to our egos that must die.
She stands upon a yellow pedestal. The color yellow is related with the body; the physical body, the earth. It is also related with the mind. So, Vajrayogini is not a deity outside of us, she is the Divine Mother Kundalini. She will awaken in us, according to how we work with her energy.
I hope you can see why Om Masipadme Hum is important. It is her mantra. She is the spouse of Chenrezig, she is the female aspect of Christ. She is the power of creation and destruction; if we learn to work with her, we can eliminate our defects, which we see under her feet. She is trampling on our pride, our lust, our envy, our gluttony, our greed and all of our suffering. She can do that, in as much as we follow her guidance. We need to become an expression of her compassion. Vajrayogini is the dynamic active aspect of Chenrezig. We saw the graphic of Chenrezig who first emerges from Amitabha, and Chenrezig represents the compassion of the Buddhas, but for him to act, to create, he needs a spouse. A man alone cannot create a child, and a woman alone cannot create a child. Likewise, for us to awaken as a child, spiritually, to create the Soul, to be born again, we need the union of these two forces in ourselves: Chenrezig and Vajrayogini. This is something that has to happen in us.
So, try to work with Om Masipadme Hum. The mantra is best used constantly, not just for ten minutes. Use it 24 hours a day, in everything you do. Chant it, silently. Chant it aloud if you can. But, the most power you can extract from a mantra, is when you are chanting it with full attention, silently, inside. The power of the mantra should be directed psychologically, not physically. If you are chanting it physically, you are going to be distracted about the sound of your voice, or worried if other people are listening; you are going to be worried if you are in tune or not. None of that matters. What matters is to be consciously pronouncing the tones, and to be visualizing its power.
It is stated in the scriptures that this mantra, in either form - Om Manipadme Hum or Om Masipadme Hum – has the power of every other mantra. If you need protection, if you need healing, if you need insight or understanding, this mantra will do it. But it cannot do it if you are not paying attention. It cannot do it if you are distracted. It cannot do it if you are thinking about work, while you are sitting there, supposedly meditating. You have to be fully, consciously aware of what you are doing, for the mantra to have the power that it has, for it to help you. This is emphasized in this quote from Patrul Rinpoche, who wrote many years ago,
"As your life runs out like the setting sun sinking away,
Death closes in like the lengthening shadows of evening.
Now what's left of your life will vanish as fast as the fading shadows;
There's no time to waste–recite the six-syllable mantra.
"The six-syllable mantra, although perfect as Dharma,
Is fruitless recited while chatting and looking around;
And to cling to the number recited is to miss the point outright.
Undistractedly watching the mind, recite the six-syllable mantra."
Memorize it, use it. Do not just store this as intellectual knowledge; make it practical. It really does not matter if you remember all the correspondences and meanings of the vowels. It does not matter if you can remember the color of each of the symbols and what element it relates to, and the names that are hidden in it. None of that matters. What matters is that you open your heart and mind, and that you are attentive and present and you sing it, inside.
Personally, I think singing is more potent. You can chant it, just in a monotone, and you can chant it fast or slow, it does not matter. What matters is to use it consciously. Personally, I think that when you sing it, you bring more power in your heart. That is just me. It is really up to you how you use it.
You may find many different songs or melodies that are related to this mantra, and they are all good. You will also find variations in the pronunciation. This mantra has been used for hundreds and hundreds of years, throughout Asia, and is now spreading in the West. And, throughout that usage, you will find little differences in how it is written, little differences in how it is pronounced, and none of that matters. For example, because Spanish does not have a written letter that corresponds to the Asian pronunciation of the final syllable, Samael Aun Weor wrote the mantra as "yum" or "yom," because if he had written it with an H, his Spanish-language readers would have left that silent (the H is silent in Spanish). Thus, millions of people now presume that the mantra has a hard Y sound at the end. It does not; it should have the hhhhh sound, but that sound is not in Spanish. The closest sound in Spanish is with a Y. That is not exactly the right sound, but it works. To illustrate why it works, let me relate a story to you.
A devoted meditator, after years concentrating on a particular mantra, had attained enough insight to begin teaching. The student's humility was far from perfect, but the teachers at the monastery were not worried.
A few years of successful teaching left the meditator with no thoughts about learning from anyone; but upon hearing about a famous hermit living nearby, the opportunity was too exciting to be passed up.
The hermit lived alone on an island at the middle of a lake, so the meditator hired a man with a boat to row across to the island. The meditator was very respectful of the old hermit. As they shared some tea made with herbs the meditator asked him about his spiritual practice. The old man said he had no spiritual practice, except for a mantra which he repeated all the time to himself. The meditator was pleased: the hermit was using the same mantra he used himself -- but when the hermit spoke the mantra aloud, the meditator was horrified!
"What's wrong?" asked the hermit.
"I don't know what to say. I'm afraid you've wasted your whole life! You are pronouncing the mantra incorrectly!"
"Oh, Dear! That is terrible. How should I say it?"
The meditator gave the correct pronunciation, and the old hermit was very grateful, asking to be left alone so he could get started right away. On the way back across the lake the meditator, now confirmed as an accomplished teacher, was pondering the sad fate of the hermit.
"It's so fortunate that I came along. At least he will have a little time to practice correctly before he dies." Just then, the meditator noticed that the boatman was looking quite shocked, and turned to see the hermit standing respectfully on the water, next to the boat.
"Excuse me, please. I hate to bother you, but I've forgotten the correct pronunciation again. Would you please repeat it for me?"
"You obviously don't need it," stammered the meditator; but the old man persisted in his polite request until the meditator relented and told him again the way he thought the mantra should be pronounced.
The old hermit was saying the mantra very carefully, slowly, over and over, as he walked across the surface of the water back to the island.
Learn the six syllables, use them for yourself. There is no need to discuss it, or talk about it with anyone. If you use it, you will experience it. But, you have to use it consciously.
Personally, I recommend that when you use this mantra, you also visualize Chenrezig, you visualize your Divine Mother, you visualize Christ. You do not have to use these Tibetan or Hindu forms; you can visualize Jesus. Jesus is an emanation of Avalokiteshvara, he is an incarnation of Chenrezig. So is the Dalai Lama. So is Padmasambhava. So is Milarepa. So is Moses. So is Quetzalcoatl, and Jon of Arc. There are hundreds of examples. You can use any of them. Any Deity or Master that stimulates your heart, that inspires you, that gives you a sense of security and protection. Visualize that Deity when you use that mantra. Not just as an image in the sky, but as being here and now with you. That is how you use it. So, lets say for example you feel very close with Krishna from the Hindu tradition, you can use this mantra and visualize Krishna, present, standing with you, sitting with you, walking with you, talking with you. If you feel close to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, you can use her as your image when you use this mantra. Each of these Masters or Deities is an expression of Chenrezig. They are all valid. You can also visualize Samael who is a great incarnation of Chenrezig. You can visualize him with you, helping you, as you use the mantra, chanting the mantra.
The power of this mantra will emerge in direct proportion to the amount of energy you invest into it. If you do it a few minutes a day, you are going to get very little. But, if you take this mantra seriously, and you begin to chant it constantly, always remembering, and when you forget, you start again; chanting it, chanting it, chanting it, in your mind, throughout all of your activities, it will help you a lot.
I know the first argument is, "I won't be able to do my job, I won't be able to drive my car, it'll be dangerous, I'll get hit by a bus when I cross the street." No, you will not. If you are doing this properly, you are paying attention. That is the measure. To do this mantra properly means you are present, here and now, in your body, paying attention. If you are distracted, you are not doing it right. This mantra should support and energize your presence in the moment. It should give you fuel and energy to be here and now, diong whatever you must do with full and complete attention. Then when you meditate, you can relax, close your eyes, visualize your mantra, visualize your Deity, it has even more power. You can use this while you are doing your retrospection. You can do it while you are analyzing an ego. You can do while you are entering into dream Yoga . You can do it while you are trying to analyze a dream.
This mantra has the power to open doors, especially the door of your heart. This mantra, since it is related with Chenrezig, it is said that its chief benefit, I mentioned, is intuition, but it has a purpose. It is not just intuition so you know which lottery ticket to buy. It is intuition so that you know how best to act on behalf of others. What is the interest of Christ? What is the purpose of the Divine Mother? It is not just to give powers to people who are greedy and want to show off powers. This is what many people think. They think that, "If I awaken Kundalini, I will awaken powers, then I will be very impressive." That is ignorance, and attachment, and pride. All fueled by lust. The Divine Mother does not want to show powers, does not want to impress people, she wants to save everyone from suffering. She cannot do that through us if we are full of pride, full of arrogance or envy. She can only do that if we are a fit vessel. So, we have to become a fit vessel.
Questions and Answers
Audience: Is Vajrayogini the same as Tara?
Instructor: In the same way that every Deity is a reflection of Deity itself, yes. Tara is the Divine Mother of compassion who emerges from the compassion of Chenrezig. The story goes that, when Chenrezig first came out of Amitabha and looked at all the suffering beings in all the worlds and felt overwhelming compassion, this tear sprang out of his eye, and that was Tara, the Divine Mother. So, yes, in that sense, she is Vajrayogini, but two sides. Tara is usually shown white. She is the active componant of the compassion; she is the protective aspect, the Mother who reaches out to protect. Whereas, Vajrayogini is the wrathful part, who reaches out to eliminate the ego, to directly fight against the causes of suffering.
Audience: With the mantra, do we get more benefit when we visualize every vowel and every chakra in the body?
Instructor: Yes, you can definitely do the visualization with the vowels. As I mentioned the two variations of this mantra have the 6 or 7 vowels, depending on which mantra you are talking about. Om Masipadme Hum has the 7 vowels, and every sound relates to the chakras. So yes, if you want to directly stimulate those chakras, then visualize that energetic centre when you pronounce that sound. So, Oooooo is related with the heart. So, you put your attention in the heart to stimulate that region. That is a very valid way of using this mantra. But, it is only one. There are many ways to use it.
Audience: Is compassion expressed slightly differently through man and woman?
Instructor: I suppose it depends on what level we are talking about. If we are talking physically, then clearly, we all have our own ways and idiosyncrasies of expressing things, and there are some differences between men and women. But, if we are talking about real compassion, which is the intelligence and wisdom of Christ, that is Bodhichitta, that is not with any gender. Bodhichitta is genderless, it is androgynous, it is neither male nor female. It has no preference. It is pure love. One. It has differentiation in terms of how it expresses through one or another. That differentiation is going to come through the idiosyncrasy of the Being. Not through the compassion itself. So, I would say that you have to consider compassion, not terrestrially, but ultimately. I put it that way because, too often we interpret spiritual teachings according to our own terrestrial perceptions of differentiating between "me and you, male and female, self and other, American, South American, European." We have all these differentiations, which are all false. The reality is, we have all been men, we have all been women. We have all been oppressed and we have all been oppressors. Real compassion perceives that. Real compassion is Prajna or Bodhichitta, which cuts through all appearances and sees the fundamental truth. So, in that context there is no differentiation between man and woman.
Audience: I made the mistake of asking a Lama one time, who was giving a lecture on Om Manipadme Hum, and I asked him and pronounced it "Om Masipadme Hum." And he gave me a 20 minute story of how somebody wrongly pronounced a mantra. [inaudible...]
Instructor: Well, it is true that we need precision in our practices, but we have an education that is different from that tradition. That is why I mentioned that we have to be respectful of the traditions of others. What we are teaching in these lectures is not the same thing that you are going to find taught in a Tibetan Buddhist lineage. We talk about a lot of the same terms and concepts, but this is a different lineage. The truth is, even though it sounds strange and it can sound shocking, is that the Tibetan Buddhist lineage came from our tradition. It is not the other way around. The Gnostic tradition is much older. When you understand that, and you understand that there are levels of instruction, you can understand that there are going to be many groups and schools at many different levels of teachings. We have to respect that and understand that. And understand that not everyone is going to have the level of instruction that we have here. It sounds strange to put it that way, but it is true. Even amongst other schools, you find differences in the information that is given, even in the Tibetan tradition. The knowledge that is given to the beginner is very different from that given to those who have advanced through different initiations. In fact, the knowledge can be contradictory. There are often fights and schisms that emerge because of those differences, where groups will split because they do not realize the difference in instruction is necessary for the level of being of each group. Even though the teachings appear to contradict, each group needs what they get. It is is the same with these mantras. Samael Aun Weor is a great Tibetan Lama, but he is a great Tibetan Lama who has received all of the lineages and is able to provide teachings that supersede the physical lineages. The lineages he is transmitting are very profound. It is not to say that the Tibetan lineages are without value; they are all very precious and important, we need to respect them all, but we should not confuse them with what Samael Aun Weor taught. They are different.
You bring to my mind a story of a man I mentioned earlier, who went to a group of monks and started talking about the sexual aspect of the teachings, and they got very angry with him. This became a big problem, because he was trying to ask them about transmutation with a partner, and these monks were very angry saying, "No, that does not exist. That is lustful, that is wrong, you should not be teaching that or studying that. You are mistaken." They got very upset, and that is because they only knew the level of education they had received thus far. They did not know that their own tradition has the sexual teachings. They were not introduced to it. They had not been initiated into that level of instruction, and in fact, very few people are introduced to it. In Tibetan Buddhism, the sexual teachings are highly protected and restricted. So, my friend who asked them about it made a big mistake, and he realized that. So, the benefit of his experience is that now we can explain this to everybody. You have to understand the level of instruction that people have received; not everyone is ready for this type of material.
The other distinction we should point out is not easy to discuss. Samael Aun Weor began to give these teachings in 1950, because he was to initiate the new Aquarian era, and bring the teachings into the open. He was the first person to do that. That was his job in 1950, and it is still his job, and he is still doing it. The Tibetan Buddhist traditions, whether Kagyu, Gelugpa, Shakyapa, Bonpa, or Nyingma, are all beautiful, but they belong to the previous era. They are Piscean, not Aquarian. They only have knowledge related to the Piscean era; there are very few awakened masters bringing new knowledge into the Tibetan traditions, and the ones that are are doing so in secret way. Thus, the public aspect of the Tibetan teachings is not Aquarian, from the new era. It sounds strange, but it is true. The Tibetan teachings are beautiful, they are important, we respect them, just like every other religion in the world, and we need them, but they are mostly Piscean. Now those teachings are being propagated in the West so that the Western cultures can better understand their own traditions. That is why we are studying it. When we study this material, we can better understand Jesus, we can better understand Mohammed, we can better understand all of the mythologies, because these teachings, when they are put together, reveal the whole picture. Thankfully, the Tibetan initiates preserved these teachings, even if they were not practicing them all.
The truth is, in the Tibetan teachings the sexual component and many of these mantras were kept in secret by only a handful of people, for centuries. In many cases, it passed from one teacher to one disciple, to another disciple, to another disciple; from one person to one person, for a long time. We tend to think that Tibet was filled with enlightened beings; it was not. It was a country like any other country; afflicted with problems, and a lot of suffering. But, fortunately, it has protection from the Masters and was given an opportunity to protect these teachings and preserve them. Even now, it is not clear if any Tibetans are practicing the Maithuna of White Tantra. However, there is a lot of evidence of Tibetans practicing Black Tantra. Of course, the same is true in every religious tradition, even Gnosis, because the ego is so strong in everyone.
Specifically, in regard to these teachings that I was talking about today related to the different levels of the teachings of Chenrezig, the public teachings were widely available in Tibet throughout the history of Tibet, except in the times when Buddhism went underground. Yet, the secret teachings of Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso were passed from one person to another. There was not a big group practicing the secret knowledge of Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso, there were no big schools, temples or monasteries practicing these techniques. Not even Milarepa had access to the secret teachings of Chenrezig Gyalwa Gyatso, and Milarepa is an extremely awakened master. That is how secret this knowledge has been, for thousands of years, and is now becoming open. So, we have to think about that and really value this knowledge. It is extremely precious. We have no idea of its value.
This mantra, used consciously, can take you to complete enlightenment. We have hundreds of mantras, hundreds of techniques and practices; this one can do it. But, you see how lazy we are. We have so many tools, and we do not even use them.
Audience: Are we supposed to pronounce Si, instead of Ni in the mantra, because of the urgency? And short syllables, or should we elongate the vowels?
Instructor: I taught you two versions of this same mantra: Om Manipadme Hum and Om Masipadme Hum. They are both good. If you are serious about awakening your Consciousness and transmuting your sexual energy, use the Om Masipadme Hum. Use it with the S, it has more power. But, you need to use it wisely, consciously. Not mechanically. The extension of the vowel is very useful, but not required. Oftentimes we will practice these mantras as a group, and we will extend the vowels. The purpose of that is to give us a chance to really concentrate on them. If we say it rapidly, you can barely feel or concentrate on each sound. You can use it that way, and there is no problem, but generally we will slow it down and extend the vowels so that we have a chance to really concentrate in each sound, visualize with each sound, feel each sound. But, really, it is up to you. For myself, I change it, I never leave it the same. I am constantly changing and altering my practice, to keep it very fluid so that I do not let it become mechanical. I am constantly looking at it in a new way and changing it and trying to re-analyze it and re-address it, so that it does not become repetitive and dead.
Audience: Why is the M used more often than the other vowels?
Instructor: The M occurs very often in this six syllable mantra because the M is related to prostate and the uterus. When you look at the graphic that I showed you of the physiology of the body in relation with these sounds, you see that the M corresponds with the sexual glands, where the sexual energy is. So, that M, when you chant it – Mmmmmmmm – that is a strong vibration that stimulates the energy in the prostate or uterus. When you combine that with the S, it has a lot of power. You can use these mantras, these sounds individually, and we do; we often lead retreats or Meditation sessions where we will just use one sound and work with that for a period of time, to get familiarity with it.
Instructor: Whether you do it with emphasis or not is up to you. To say Aaaooommmm, or Oooommmmm, even if I say Oooommmm that A is at the beginning, it is subtle. It is really up to you. Again, to emphasize the important of the use of mantra is not in how it comes out of the physical mouth. What empowers the mantra is attention; how we pay attention and how we are directing energy. That is what makes it powerful. So, whether I say, Aaaooomm, or Oooommm, it is pretty much the same thing. But, if I do it without being aware of it, if I am thinking about where I parked my car while I am doing that, I am wasting my time.
Instructor: If you emphasis the A, it is good. But, the A also occurs in other parts of the mantra: Paaaaadme. Again, there are many variations of the pronunciation of this mantra. If you look at how its used all over the world, you will find a bewildering array of pronunciations. That is why I deemphasize pronunciation. We all have our own accent, we all have our own way our tongue works for us. Just use that, do not get distracted by that.