Chenrezig Mantra (Avalokiteshvara Mantra) lyrics:
”Om Mani Padme Hum.”
Avalokiteshvara mantra translation:
”Behold! The jewel in the lotus! or
Praise to the jewel in the lotus.”
In Tibet, Chenrezig (or Avalokiteshvara in Sanskrit, translated into English literally – Lord who looks down) is a benevolent Bodhisattva known as the embodiment of the compassion of all the Buddhas, hence his name – the Bodhisattva of Compassion.
According to an ancient legend, the Bodhisattva took a vow that he would not rest until he had liberated all the living beings in all the realms of suffering.
“May I be able to establish in emancipation all living beings in the barbaric Land of Snow; where the beings are so hard to discipline and none of the Buddhas of the three times has stepped…May I be able to mature and emancipate them, each according to his/her own way. May that gloomy barbaric country becomes bright, like an island of precious jewels.” From Geshe Wangyal`s book – „Door of Liberation”.
“He is represented in numerous forms, of course, but in one of the most beautiful, he has eleven heads, a thousand arms, and a thousand eyes, with one eye in the palm of each hand. His arms symbolize his power of compassion to reach into every atom, every moment, and every life of every being, like a great king of Dharma.”
Robert Thurman continued – ”He is the king of reality, a king of compassion, helping all the sentient beings along the way to enlightenment, giving each a thousand helping hands, which are symbolic of an infinite number of helping hands.
These helping hands are not just helping you according to what he thinks you need, but they are sensitive to what you really need because Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara has infinite powers of sight. The palm of each hand has an eye, the most sensitive area of the body, and therefore he sees exactly what you need and how you need to be helped.” – Robert Thurman
Mantra meaning on syllables:
The first syllable – OM closes the door to the suffering of being reborn in the gods’ realm. The suffering of the gods arises from their ability to foresee one’s fall from the gods’ realm. The suffering in this realm comes from pride.
The second syllable -MA closes the door to the suffering of being reborn in the warring gods’ realm. The suffering of these asuras is constant fighting. The suffering in this realm comes from jealousy.
The third syllable – NI closes the door to the suffering of being reborn in the human realm. Humans suffer from birth, old age, sickness, diseases, and death. The suffering in this realm comes from desire.
The fourth syllable – PAD closes the door to the suffering of being reborn in the animal realm. The suffering of animals is stupidity, preying upon one another, being killed by men for meat or skin. And being beasts of burden. The suffering in this realm comes from ignorance.
The fifth syllable – ME closes the door to the suffering of being reborn in the hungry ghosts’ realm. The suffering of hungry ghosts is hunger and thirst. The suffering in his realm comes from greed.
The sixth syllable – HUM closes the door to the suffering of being reborn in the hell realm. The suffering of the hell is heat and cold. The suffering in this realm comes from anger or hatred.
There’s a tradition to do Chenrezig retreats, reciting 100 million purification mantra thousand-armed Chenrezig. It’s very common in many places to hold this retreat – in Tibet, Nepal, India, and Ladakh. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama regularly gives Chenrezig Initiations and Teachings all around the world.
Benefits of chanting Chenrezig Mantra:
“Most tantrayana or vajrayana visualization and mantra meditation practices require that an energetic initiation and subsequent authorization and instruction be given by a qualified lama before the sadhana can begin. Nevertheless, a few spiritual practices, those that were given publicly by Gautama Buddha, do not fall under such restrictions.”
Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche continued – ”Very definitely, all the practices given in the Sutras have the full blessing of the Gautama Buddha and therefore can be practiced if one has the aspiration to do so. Such practices include those of the noble Chenrezig and of the Mother of the Buddhas, Green Tara.
Naturally, whenever it is possible for you to take the Vajrayana initiation of Chenrezig or Mother Tara, you are encouraged to do so.
Right now, the practice in which I am giving you instruction can be practiced straight away, due wholly to the blessing of Gautama Buddha. When you finally do get around to receiving this powerful initiation, it will deepen your practice and strengthen your connection with your root lama and with Yidam Chenrezig.” – Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche