There are many who think that the Avalokiteshvara practice and the mani mantra are just for simple folks and children and old people, not for real practitioners and scholars. This attitude is based on ignorance; it is absolutely mistaken. In fact, of all deities, Avalokiteshvara is the principal deity and the most important. This is true today and it was true in the past, during the time of the great pandits and mahasiddhas of India, almost all of whom achieved their realization through their practice of Avalokiteshvara. Each and every one of them had visions of Avalokiteshvara, and it was through those visions that they received their spiritual attainments and realizations. And in Tibet, especially, all the greatest masters had the strongest connection with Avalokiteshvara. They had visions of Avalokiteshvara, they were given prophetic indications from Avalokiteshvara directly, and it was through Avalokiteshvara that they achieved spiritual realizations.
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Avalokiteshvara is truly unlike any other deity. Many people are attracted to the wrathful deities, like Vajrakilaya, Hayagriva, Guru Dragpo, and so forth, and want to accomplish them, but unless one knows very well and exactly how to practice the generation and completion stage inner tantric practices of the wrathful deities, it is very difficult to accomplish them. Avalokiteshvara, however, is very simple to accomplish, and the mani mantra is very easy to recite. So keep these things in mind.
The blessings of accomplishing Avalokiteshvara are extremely great. Have no doubt about this. To recite even just one round of the mani mantra is of tremendous benefit, inconceivable benefit. To pray to Avalokiteshvara from the depths of ones heart and recite the mantra is truly a very profound practice in itself. If you pray to Avalokiteshvara regularly, and recite the six-syllable mantra as much as you can, it is absolutely certain that when you pass from this life you will not take rebirth in the lower realms. So, consider this and incorporate the practice into your life.
You should see all appearances as the form of Avalokiteshvara, you should hear all sound as the speech of Avalokiteshvara, which is the six-syllable mantra, and you should consider that all arising thoughts are the mind of Avalokiteshvara. You should have compassion and loving kindness for all living beings without exception, from the tiniest insect to the largest being, because all of them, just as you do, wish to be happy and have a desire to experience bliss. Not a single one of them wishes to suffer. So, it is important to always have loving kindness for all sentient beings, maintain the threefold state of pure awareness, and recite “OM MANI PEME HUNG” as much as possible.
When you recite “OM MANI PEME HUNG,” the six syllables of Avalokiteshvara, it is important to understand that they have the power to subjugate and eliminate the ordinary samsaric six syllables, thus obstructing or closing the doors to rebirth in the six classes. That is one specific power of the mani mantra. Also, in this very lifetime, simply reciting “OM MANI PEME HUNG” will eliminate illness, disease, and demonic force possession. One will become happy and peaceful and fully endowed. Reciting it will enhance ones power to meditate and one will develop deeper levels of meditative absorption in this lifetime that will carry over into future lifetimes. At the time of death one will not have to take rebirth in the three lower realms and will instead be reborn in Dewachen, the Western Pure Land of Great Bliss, or in Avalokiteshvara’s own pure realm of Riwo Potala, and there one will gradually achieve the status of buddhahood. Until that time, the blessing and the power of ones practice will not be exhausted; it will continue to produce the result of enlightenment.