Reflection : Om Mani Padme Hum
Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hung
Dear Dharma Brothers & Sisters,
Please kindly grant me a moment of your time and let me share with you my personal encounter with the six-syllable mantra OM MA NI PAD ME HUNG, and some of the benefits of the mantra as taught by my teacher His Eminence Drubwang Rinpoche. The first time I heard the six-syllable mantra, I was 13 years old. At that time, I did not know much about the mantra or its benefits and was only told that it was the mantra of Chenrezig. I was very attracted to the mantra and found myself reciting it very naturally because I felt tremendous calm listening to the mantra. Over the years, as I learnt more about the benefits of the mantra, I began to recite it more often. There were also several occasions when I felt deeply moved while hearing the mantra being recited by a group of monks and laypersons. At those times, I felt overwhelmed by this indescribable raw compassion that the mantra encompassed.
After receiving teachings from Drubwang Rinpoche, who constantly encouraged people to recite the six-syllable mantra, I started to develop greater confidence and devotion in the mantra. Rinpoche had said on many occasions that the six-syllable mantra was the essence of the 84,000 teachings of the Buddha and the heart mantra of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the past, present, and future times. Rinpoche had said that the benefits of the mantra went beyond this lifetime and that we would truly realize the benefits of the mantra at the time of our death. Rinpoche also emphasized that reciting the six-syllable mantra would enable us to take rebirth in Pure Land and eventually liberate us from samsara. Although hearing about the benefits of the six-syllable mantra was very inspiring, but what truly motivated me to do the six-syllable mantra practice was seeing how Drubwang Rinpoche devoted his life to this practice. Rinpoche did not just preach about the six-syllable mantra, but he spent every moment of his life reciting the mantra. Rinpoche recited the mantra while eating, walking, sitting, standing and even sleeping. While taking care of him when he was ill recently, I saw for myself how he recited the six-syllable mantra even in his sleep. When I was sad because of his illness, Rinpoche said to me not to worry about him but instead to do more six-syllable mantra recitations. Rinpoche said that reciting more six-syllable mantras would be beneficial to all sentient beings. How could anyone not be moved and inspired by his teaching? Some people might question whether the six-syllable mantra was too simple a practice to lead one to Enlightenment. In my view, if even such a highly realized and accomplished master like Drubwang Rinpoche continues to do the practice, then the practice is definitely good enough for us. Rinpoche had also reiterated on many occasions that the power and blessings of the six-syllable mantra were inconceivable.
Apart from Drubwang Rinpoche, the annual Mani Retreats held at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery played a great role in helping me develop greater devotion towards the six-syllable mantra. Nothing could describe the peace and tranquility one experienced during those ten days of constantly reciting the six-syllable mantra from morning to night. The retreat gave me an opportunity to look inwards, away from the hustle and bustle of daily pursuits. It gave me a glimpse into the nature of my mind which helped me develop greater conviction towards the dharma. By constantly reciting the mantra during the retreat, it became second nature to me. I found myself reciting the six-syllable mantra when situations were difficult and even in my nightmares. I was not trying to seek help from some greater powers when I recited the mantra, but was trying to invoke the Chenrezig within me. Rinpoche taught me that every one of us possessed the Buddha nature which is no different from that of Chenrezig. For quite some months even after the retreat, the mantra would continue sounding in my head regardless of what I was doing. Unfortunately, as the toll of work and other mundane pursuits got heavier, I spent less time on the six-syllable mantra practice. Hence, we need to recharge ourselves and regain the momentum for our practice and the Mani Retreat at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery this December is a great opportunity for us to do so. Drubwang Rinpoche also emphasized the importance of such a retreat because it allowed us to accumulate 100 million six-syllable mantras with relative ease. Rinpoche had said that in such times, it was difficult for one to recite 100 million six-syllable mantras by oneself but the multiplying effect of such a retreat allowed us to achieve 100 million mantras relatively easily. Hence such a retreat is an extremely rare opportunity not to be missed.
To conclude, I really hope that by sharing whatever little that I have heard and learnt, I would have given you some idea about the six-syllable mantra practice and its benefits. Rinpoche had said that Singapore was a very sacred place and that the people were all very kind and virtuous, hence very suited to do the six-syllable mantra practice. He asked that I pass his message to the dharma brothers and sisters here to recite more six-syllable mantras. Hence, here I am, just fulfilling a promise to my guru. I sincerely pray and hope that many of you would be able to come to this retreat and experience for yourselves the benefits of the six-syllable mantra. May all of you be blessed with happiness always.
With Metta, Lily
More info on upcoming 100 Million Mani Recitation Retreat: