Om Mani Pedme Hum and Tsa-Tsa

Om Mani Pedme Hum

Om Mani Pedme Hum
Om Mani Pedme Hum
Mantra in Tibetan
Mantra in Tibetan
Om Mani Pedme Hum (or Om Mani Pedme Hung), is the most common mantra in Tibet, recited by Buddhists, painted or carved on rocks, prayer wheels, or yak skulls and seen around most usually. Tibetan people, almost all Buddhists, do believe that it is very good to practice the mantra of Chenrezi, the Bodhisattva of Compassion (The protective deity of Tibet), which may, relieve negative karma, accumulate merit, help rescue them from the sea of suffering and achieve Buddhahood. Speaking the mantra loud or silently, spinning prayer wheels with the mantra, and carving mantra into stones are the usual practices.

So what is the mantra? There is no definite answer to the question since it is not easy to translate the mantra into other languages. According to the Dalai Lama, the six-syllable mantra means one can transform one's impure body, speech and mind into those of a Buddha by following the path which is inseparable integrality of method and wisdom. The first syllable, Om, symbolize one's impure body, speech and mind, and also the pure noble body, speech and mind of a Buddha. Buddhism claims that an impure body, speech and mind can be transformed into pure ones of a Buddha, who was once impure and later by removing their negative attributes, achieved enlightenment on his path.

Mani, the jewel, symbolizes factors of method, compassion and love, the altruistic intention to become enlightened. "Just as a jewel is capable of removing poverty, so the altruistic mind of enlightenment is capable of removing the poverty, or difficulties, and of solitary peace. Similarly, just as a jewel fulfils the wishes of sentient beings, so the altruistic intention to become enlightened fulfils the wishes of sentient beings", the Dalai Lama says.

PADME means lotus and symbolizes wisdom. Growing out of mud but not being stained by mud, lotus indicates the quality of wisdom, which keeps you out of contradiction.

The last syllabus, Hum, means inseparability, symbolizes purity & can be achieved by the unity of method and wisdom.


Sutra printing board in Drepung Monastery
Tsatsa, with its origin in Sanskrit, is a typical Tibetan Buddhist art form. Actually they are votive tablets in Tibetan Buddhism, usually clay impressions made with a metal mould containing hollowed, reversed image of a deity, a stupa or other sacred symbols. As holy objects, they can be found inside stupas, prayer wheel niches, holy caves and monastery altars or beside holy mountains, holy lakes and other holy sites. Small ones can be put inside a portable amulet shrine (called Gau in Tibetan) and taken as amulets by those traveling. Local people believe that making tsatsas is a merit accumulating action and a compulsory skill of monks.

Tsatsas fall into different categories in accordance with ingredients added, including plain clay tsatsa, which has no special ingredient; ash tsatsa, which has ashes of late lamas added; medicine tsatsa, which has Tibetan herbs added; humoral tsatsa, which contains liquid produced in the mummifying procedure of late high lamas; and tsatsa made by high lamas themselves or other celebrities. In addition, however, there are some virtual tsatsas made. Lucky visitors may find in some region that local people are using their tsatsa moulds stamping in wind, water and fire! They believe everything can be used to make the holy object, even wind, water and fire.

After tsatsas being molded, they are dried or fired to be hard. Only after ritually empowered can they be used as holy objects!

- Last updated on Jul. 18, 2022 -
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