In the Nyingma tradition (the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism), Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum mantra is believed to be a powerful mantra that can engender union with the Three Vajras (body, speech, and mind) of Padmasambhava’s mind-stream and consequently those of other enlightened beings.
“In the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, Buddha Shakyamuni announced his parinirvana to the students who were with him at the time. Many of them, particularly Ananda, the Buddha’s cousin and personal attendant, were quite upset upon hearing this. So Shakyamuni Buddha turned to Ananda and told him not to worry.
“Eight years after my parinirvana, a remarkable being with the name Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche) will appear in the center of a lotus and reveal the highest teaching concerning the ultimate state of the true nature, bringing great benefit to all sentient beings.”
Buddha Shakyamuni said that Padmasambhava would be even more enlightened than himself. Of course, Buddha Shakyamuni was fully enlightened and there is no higher realization, but by the Buddha’s manner of expression, we can begin to understand the importance of Guru Padmasambhava.
Some accounts hold that Guru Rinpoche is a direct reincarnation of Buddha Shakyamuni. Buddha Shakyamuni also said Padmasambhava would be an emanation of Buddha Amitabha and Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (or Chenrezig in Tibet) and referred to him as the embodiment of all the Buddhas of the three times.
Many prophecies indicate that Guru Rinpoche would be a fully enlightened Buddha, appearing in this world to help sentient beings.
For the most part, Buddha presented Hinayana and Sutra Mahayana teachings, while Guru Padmasambhava taught the Vajrayana. Both revealed the complete and perfect path to awakening so that individuals of all capacities would be able to benefit.
The absolute level of the Buddha’s teaching is beyond conception. If it did not go beyond the conceptual level, there would be no need to change our normal way of understanding things.
To help us realize the primordial nature, Buddha taught again and again that we must transcend clinging to ordinary dualistic conceptions, close-mindedness, narrow attitudes, traditional rules, beliefs, and limitations.” – quote from The Eight Manifestations of Guru Rinpoche by The Venerable Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche.
Padmasambhava mantra meaning on syllable:
- Om this is the primordial sound of the universe and represents the perfect splendor and richness of sambhoghakaya, the manifest body of splendor.
- Ah represents the total unchanging perfection of dharmakaya, the manifest body of absolute reality.
- Hum represents the presence of Guru Padmasambhava as the nirmanakaya.
- Vajra represents all the heruka deities of the mandalas.
- Guru represents the root and transmission gurus and the holders of intrinsic awareness.
- Padma represents the assembly of dakinis and dakas.
- Siddhi represents the life force of all the wealth deities and the guardians of the treasure teachings.
- Hum represents the life force of the dharmapalas, the protective deities.
Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum translation in English:
I invoke you, Vajra Guru, Padmasambhava, by your blessing may you grant us ordinary and supreme realization.