General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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Re: Mantras

Postby ground » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:46 am

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Re: Mantras

Postby Tilopa » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:10 am

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Re: Mantras

Postby Tilopa » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:14 am

And this as well....

The Benefits of Chanting Om Mani Padme Hum by Lama Zopa Rinpoche

The benefits of reciting the Compassion Buddha mantra are infinite, like the limitless sky.

Even if you don’t have much intellectual understanding of Dharma, even if the only thing you know is om mani padme hum, still the happiest life is one lived with an attitude free of the eight worldly concerns. If you live your life with the pure attitude free of attachment clinging to this life and simply spend your life chanting om mani padme hum—this six-syllable mantra that is the essence of all Dharma—that’s the purest Dharma.

It looks very simple, very easy to recite. But if you think of the benefits, it’s not at all simple. Here, I’d to mention just the essence of its infinite benefits.

Reciting the Compassion Buddha mantra just once completely purifies the four defeats of breaking the four root vows of self-liberation and the five uninterrupted negative karmas.

It is also mentioned in the tantras that by reciting this mantra you achieve the four qualities of being born in the Amitabha Buddha pure land and other pure lands; at the time of death, seeing Buddha and lights appearing in the sky; the devas making you offerings; and never being reborn in the hell, hungry ghost or animals realms. You will be reborn in the pure land of Buddha or as a happy transmigratory being.

When one who recites ten malas a day goes swimming, whether in a river, an ocean or some other body of water, the water that touches that person’s body gets blessed.

It is said that up to seven generations of that person’s descendents won’t get reborn in the lower realms. The reason for this is that due to the power of mantra, the body is blessed by the person reciting the mantra and visualizing their body in form of the holy body of Chenrezig. Therefore, the body becomes so powerful, so blessed that this affects the consciousness up to seven generations and has the effect that if one dies with a non-virtuous thought, one is not reborn in a lower realm.

Thus, when a person who has recited ten malas of om mani padme hum a day goes into a river or an ocean, the water that touches the person’s body gets blessed, and this blessed water then purifies all the billions and billions of sentient beings in the water. So it’s unbelievably beneficial; this person saves the animals in that water from the most unbelievable suffering of the lower realms.

When such a person walks down a road and the wind touches his or her body and then goes on to touch insects, their negative karma gets purified and causes them to have a good rebirth. Similarly, when such a person does massage or otherwise touches others’ bodies, those people’s negative karma also gets purified.

Such a person becomes meaningful to behold; being seen and touched becomes a means of liberating other sentient beings. This means that even the person’s breath touching the bodies of other sentient beings purifies their negative karma. Anybody who drinks the water in which such a person has swum gets purified.

We are unbelievably fortunate to have met the Dharma and to have the opportunity to do recitation and meditation on the Compassion Buddha. It is an easy way of purifying whatever negative karma we have collected, in not only this life but in many previous lives as well.

Because we have met the Buddhadharma, and especially this method--the practice of Compassion Buddha and recitation of his mantra--it is easy to purify negative karma and collect extensive merit and thus to achieve enlightenment. We are unbelievably fortunate.

Therefore, there is nothing more foolish than not taking advantage of this great opportunity. Normally, we get continuously distracted and waste our lives. Not only that, but all the actions done with ego and with the three poisonous minds of anger, attachment and ignorance create negative karma, the cause of suffering. In all existence, there is nothing more foolish than using this perfect human body to create only suffering.

Even if you know the teachings on how to meditate on bodhicitta, you still need to receive the special blessings of the deity, Compassion Buddha. You receive these by doing the meditation and recitation we practice in the mani retreat. Therefore, recitation of om mani padme hum is one way to actualize bodhicitta--to transform your mind into bodhicitta and make your meditation on bodhicitta effective.

Generally, according to my experience, in my home of Solu Khumbu in the Himalayas of Nepal, there are people who live their lives chanting om mani padme hum but have no idea of the three principal aspects of the path--renunciation, bodhicitta and the right view of emptiness--not even the words. Even though they can’t read and don’t even know the alphabet, they have great devotion to compassion and bodhicitta and live their lives reciting om mani padme hum. Such people are warm-hearted, very kind, very compassionate. This is proof from my experience that it has the effect of transforming the mind into a good heart and compassion.

Without bodhicitta, you cannot cause all the happiness for all sentient beings. You cannot do perfect work for all sentient beings, and you cannot achieve the complete qualities of the realizations and cessation, even for yourself.

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Re: Mantras

Postby zangskar » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:25 am

Mantras as aids for concentration is only one part of mantra traditions. But given only a one week test run all that you can hope to test for is your immediate individual response to different mantras as concentration aids.

I doubt most teachers would claim that some arbitrary "authentic" mantra would necessarily be better than some arbitrary but "inauthentic" mantra for this purpose, so therefore I fail to see much purpose for your test. But anyway, concentration exercises are good either way, I just wished to point out some limitations of the study. :)

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Re: Mantras

Postby mint » Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:33 pm

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Re: Mantras

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:46 am

Also, depending on the native language of the person reciting the mantra, some of the sounds may be completely different. For example, Sanskrit: vajra, Tibetan: benza. Chinese: O Mi To Fo, Japanese: Amida Butsu
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
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Re: Mantras

Postby dakini_boi » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:02 am

Experiment a success. :smile: Now we have a true piece of "anecdotal evidence" to the effectiveness of authentic mantras.

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Re: Mantras

Postby Grigoris » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:38 am

Some mantra do have a literal meaning, some do not. One function of mantra is to put the analysing, conceptual mind on hold. That's why the literal meaning is not always important. Another aspect of matnra is that they replace our gibbering monkey talk with pure speech, if you are busy reciting mantra you don't have the opportunity to cuss and gossip.

Another thing to contemplate. Instrumental music. It doesn't have lyrics but it can convey a feeling or a meaning, right? If music can do this why can't mantra? Mantra are also "just" sound.

As one of my favourite Mahasiddhas used to say: "A-wop bop-a loo-mop, a-lop bam-boom! Tutti Frutti, aw-rooty!"
PS :twothumbsup: to TMingyurs post! Spot on!
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Re: Mantras

Postby booker » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:30 pm

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