Buddhist Mantras

Sacred Sound: Mantra Meditations for Centeredness and Inspiration is available as a double CD or MP3 download from our online store.

Clicking on the link for each mantra below will take you to a page where you can read about that mantra, see the figure associated with the mantra (where applicable), and listen to an audio version of the mantra.

You can chant along to the mantra until you’re confident that you have it fully memorized. There are ten repetitions of each mantra (more or less) to help give you time to learn the mantra and chant along. You can replay the mantra until you think you’ve got it.

Please note that the mantras as written on this site lack some of the diacritic marks that allow for an accurate representation of the pronunciation.

(Diacritics, or accents, are little marks that indicate how a letter should be pronounced. Pali and Sanskrit have many more letters than the Roman alphabet, and these marks allow us to extend the number of characters available to us. Diacritics include the macron — a bar over a vowel that lengthens the vowel sound — overdots, underdots, and tildes. Unfortunately not all fonts possess those diacritic marks, and although some fonts do have the full range of accents not all computers have those fonts installed. There’s therefore no reliable way to represent diacritics on the web. You therefore may sometimes see strange characters or question marks in words.)

It’s best to listen to the audio files in order to get a better appreciation of how they are pronounced (taking into account the fact that I have a Scottish accent). In the heading of each page I’ve represented long vowels with a double vowel (eg. aa) or, where it’s possible to reproduce these in html, with a letter and diacritic mark (e.g. ā).

Note: Tibetans typically pronounce some Sanskrit sounds in a non-standard way. For example they’ll tend to pronounce “padme” (pa-dmé) as peh-mé, and “svaha” as soha. Those who are familiar with the Tibetan pronunciation will therefore notice differences such as these.

Buddhist Mantras not associated with figures

Sabbe satta sukhi hontu
Om shanti shanti shanti
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha

Mantras associated with Buddhist figures

Avalokitesvara
Manjushri/Manjughosa
Vajrapani
Green Tara
Amitabha
White Tara
Shakyamuni
Padmasambhava
Bhaisajyaguru (Medicine Buddha)
Vajrasattva

(For other images of Buddhist figures we recommend visiting the site of this Tibetan thangka painting school).

169 Comments. Leave new

have been searching for an MP3 version of the Short Mandala Offering “Sa zhi po kyi jug shing me tog tram ……… zhing la cho pa shog” and the Taking Refuge and generating Bodhicitta “Sang guya chho dang ….. gya drub par shog”. Is there somewhere I can locate these two for download?
Thanks

Reply

Someone else might, Genspa, but Tibetan mantras and chants are way outside my sphere of knowledge.

Reply

Hi, I am relatively new to the mantras and I would love to know if someone could assist me in the breakdown of some mantras’ meanings?

For eg, the specific meaning of the Black Tara mantra…
Om Tare Tutare Ture (this much I do know the meaning of) bade ? berthagg ? waran ? Naya ? Jo ? Soha( this meaning I do know)

Orange Tara

Om Tare Tutare Ture basi ? dari ? soha

Red Tara mantra

Om Tare, Tutare, washem ? kuru soha

I would so appreciate any help in understanding the specific meanings of the words followed by a question mark.

In fact, I have been googling for hours now in hopes of finding the sanskrit meaning of the word. This understanding would so enhance my using of the mantra.

Thank you for assisting me in this quest, sort of driving quest to find out what I am saying in the mantra prayers.

Reply

What is the meaning of the mantras chanted by tibetan monks at the ceremony that happens before they start to make a sand painting? During this time they gather around the place where they will make the sand painting.

Reply

I don’t know, I’m afraid. The mantras are probably specific to each particular mandala, and the chanting probably includes a lot more than mantras.

Reply

Hi Bodhipaksa

I am really happy to come across this website and read the knowledge you share.

I want to propose to my girlfriend and am looking for a buddhist mantra to inscribe onto something that will bless the marriage, remind us to be compassionate towards each other, and ultimately use our marriage for the benefit of all other sentient beings.

Will GuanYins Om mani padme hum be appropriate in asking for compassion on ourselves and towards all others? Perhaps you know of another more appropriate mantra?

Thank you so much for any thoughts you can share. I only have 24 hours so very much hope for your reply.

Thank you!!!

Reply

You can’t go wrong with Om mani padme hum…

Reply

Thank you

Reply

Hi, I just wanted to pass along an idea for a mala. I made one to honor the Taras. I chose the Grean, Red, White, Blue, Yellow and Orange. I then strung beads of nine of each color divided by a brown bead between each. This way, I can address Them when I have only a short time to do a mala. I placed a dzi bead at the beginning and a Quan Yin jade below that. It is my way to use the colors as a guide. I also have done a 20 day Practice for the first time and had extraordinary results. So, now I am doing a 39 day Practice and having even more extraordinary results in my life….so many that I am compiling a “Gratitude List” everyday.
One gratitude on the list is having found this site….for real!!!

Reply

Hello, what are the mantras for exams?

Reply

The best mantra is probably “Sorry, I have to study” whenever anyone asks you to do something else, or whenever you feel like getting distracted by Facebook :)

But additionally, the Manjushri mantra is traditionally associated with intelligence, the arts and sciences. Did you know that research has shown that people perform better on tests if they think of a professor figure beforehand? I’d imagine thinking of a wise Bodhisattva like Manjushri would have the same effect. Good luck with your exams!

Reply

Haha :D Thank you for your reply.

Reply

It is alright if the mantra is repeated in my head, instead of saying it aloud?

Reply

Yes, indeed. This is very commonly done, especially as part of a visualization practice.

Reply

is there any mantra for fullfill our wishes?

Reply

I’m sure some people regard mantras as being like magic spells that can make our wishes come true. But I don’t think that’s a very helpful attitude.There’s the question of whether our wishes are kusala (not based on greed, hatred, or delusion) or akusala (based on greed, hatred, or delusion); the idea of using a spiritual practice to fulfill a grasping or hateful desire is bizarre.

Mantras should help us let go of unskillful attitudes. But if our desires are skillful — like a natural wish to be free from suffering or to become more compassionate, mindful, wise, and to benefit others — then, yes, mantras can help bring about those wishes.

Reply

My son was in drugs. He got out of it and now he is sinking back in. Is there any mantra that can help him. Please advice

Reply

Hello, Kiran.

My heart goes out to you and your son. The big questions are: does he want to get off of drugs, and is he trying to get off drugs? If both those things are the case, then a mantra (any mantra) would help him keep him mind clear of thoughts of addiction, but that of course can’t be enough in itself. In terms of meditation, undertaking a course in vipassana may be more helpful in giving him a greater ability to work with his desires…

All the best,
Bodhipaksa

Reply

Hi Bodhipaksa,
I am new to Buddhist practice. I realy know nothing at this stage. I do know that it feels right for me, I have a lot to learn. How to meditate, who the Buddhas are. I live in Ireland and there are not many Buddhist organisations here. I would love to get some feedeback from you if possible. Sadly my sister Clare committed suicide last April 2012, my only sibling and my parents are gone too, please tell me if her karma is still in turmoil and what happens to a suicide person. Any advice on how I can live a good fulfilling life and help others? Are you on FaceBook? thanks and I love this site very much. Gina (Galway, West of Ireland).

Reply

Hi, Gina.

I’m sorry to hear about your losses. What a painful thing to experience.

Unfortunately there are no easy answers to your question. A traditional Buddhist answer would be that suicide is not an escape from pain, and that the person who kills themselves will be reborn. We cause ourselves much of our own suffering, unfortunately, and we each have to learn to live more skillfully so that we can experience peace. No one can know where your sister is now, but if she is somewhere then Buddhist teachings would say that she’ll have further opportunities to learn and to find peace.

But for you, I’d suggest that Buddhism encourages us to be open to the discomfort of uncertainty. The Buddha seemed to suggest that some things are unknowable, and that we find our own peace by living with, and being comfortable with, that not-knowing.

I can imagine there aren’t too many Buddhists in Galway. I hope that our site can offer you some guidance in meditation. Under the “meditation guides” link above you’ll find several different meditation practices. I’d suggest starting with mindfulness of breathing and lovingkindness meditation.

Reply

Hi Gina!
I’ve looked around and I’ve found a buddhist centre in Galway that belongs to the Zen school, Sôtô lineage, I hope you will find out the guidance and the peace you need.

Galway Zen Dojo
Bridge Mills O’Connell Street, Galway, Ireland
Tel: 35 (0) 91 529484
Tradition: Soto Zen

Cheers!

Reply

Hi Bodhipaksa,

Thank you for your reply. For someone starting off like me which mantra should I try? and how do you pronounce it? I have heard of different types of Buddhas and mantras and it is a bit confusing. I would need mantras for health, work, peaceful state of mind.. so not sure where to start. Thanks for all your advice. Gina

Reply

Hi Aniboul,

Thank you for the info. Appreciate that. Another question, do you know if there is a book like the’bible’ that the original Buddha would have written with all the guidelines and help? Sorry I dont know where to start. There are so many different streams and a bit confusing. Would like to learn the right thing to do. Gina

Reply

Hi, Gina.

The Buddha didn’t actually write anything. He passed on teachings by word of mouth, and those teachings were passed on down the generations for several hundred years before they were written down. When they were written down, the result was a body of writing something like seven times larger than the bible. Some of it isn’t very readable, and it’s not organized in a way that makes it very accessible. For example it doesn’t start with the easy teachings and then work its way to the more difficult ones. If you want to read the original teachings along with some commentary, I’d suggest Bhikkhu Bodhi’s In the Words of the Buddha, which is really excellent. But you might want to start with a good introductory book to Buddhism, like Sangharakshita’s Guide to the Buddhist Path, or Buddhism for Beginners by Thubten Chodron.

Reply

Hi Gina,
I recommend to start with “One Dharma. The Emerging Western Buddhism” by Joseph Goldstein. Its a perfect book for beginners. Goldstein goes straight to clarify the essential points of Buddhist Teaching, using the approach of different Buddhist lineages and schools.
The Buddha himself didn’t write anything. Now, Buddhist Scriptures (like the Bible) were written originally in Pali Language by the monks, following the Buddha’s passing. It is called “Tipitaka”, or “The Three Baskets” and are divided into three main books: The Discourses Basket (Suttanta Pitaka), it means, the discourses given by the Buddha; the Discipline Basket (Vinaya Pitaka), which the Monastic Codes for the monks and nouns; and the Trascendental Teachings Basket (Abhidhamma Pitaka), which is a compendium of the Buddha’s Teachings. The length of the Tipitaka is equivalent to 15 Bibles, and takes many years of study and guide. This Tipitaka belongs to the Theravada school. Mahayana school also has a Tipitaka, but was written in sanskrit and then translated to Chinese, Tibetan, Japanese, and other languages, and includes another Discourses given by the Buddha, not recognized by the Theravada Lineage. Apart from that scriptures, there are Commentaries, Treatises, etc, that makes Buddhism to have an enormous literary production. Due to this situation, I specially recommend the book written by Joseph Goldstein. in Amazon you can find it only for EUR 11,56.

Reply

Hi Bodhipaksa,

I want to say thank you for all your help. I have so many things to learn and obviously cannot ask you everything. It will take time. I was wodering one thing, if we start now in this life time to learn what we can to achieve enlightenment and we do very well or even better than we were living before, what happens when we start a new life in rebirth? do we have to start all over again to learn Buddhism and hoping that we become enlightened in the next life? in other workds will our subconscious be aware of our previous practice and move us in the right direction? cause it would seem an awful waste to work hard in this life and then to have to do it all over again from scratch?? Is this a stupid question.. I love this site and thank you so much for being here to help and guide every one.. With peace.

Reply

Traditionally, it’s said that any “merit” (positive qualities) we’ve developed in this life will be carried into the next, but there’s no guarantee we’ll hold onto them. But if you have a kind of spiritual curiosity that leads you to reflection and meditation in this life that’s likely what will happen in the next. However, it’s only when we’ve attained the first level of enlightenment (Stream Entry) that we’re guaranteed not to slip back. That’s definitely doable in this lifetime. Lots of people get there, although it can take a couple of decades of practice.

Reply

Thanks for that. So what is Stream Entry? how do I do this now in this lifetime in order not to slp back when reborn again? sorry but you are very helpfull and I appreciate your time in responding. Thank you. Gina

Reply

Hi, Gina.

I wrote a couple of articles that touch on this:
http://www.wildmind.org/blogs/on-practice/a-little-bit-pregnant
http://www.wildmind.org/blogs/quote-of-the-month/to-see-what-is-in-front-of-ones-nose-needs-a-constant-struggle-george-orwell

I have another post I’ve been working on as well. I must get back to that.

But for now, in terms of practice, I’d suggest just working on mindfulness of breathing, lovingkindness practice, and being mindful and kind in daily life. All of this takes us in the direction of Stream Entry.

Reply

Hi Bodhipaksa,

Just wondering if we create our own problems with our mind and how we think, hoe does it work for animals.. do they creat their own suffering (cancers, depression?) as I am involved with animals I was curious to know if they are able to create with thought too.
I am feeling very unsettled and my mind is not stable and calm, I have a lot of stresses and tension, and I get very irritated easily do you have any mantra or suggestion for an easy calming balm that I can use to give peace and not to go down the road of anger and our of control language etc… Thanks once again. Gina

Reply

Hi, Gina.

We certainly create some of our problems with our own minds, which is why one situation might be a pleasure for one person and yet intensely stressful for another. And to some extent that’s true for animals as well. You’ll know very well that different animals have their own personalities, and some are more fearful or confident than others. As far as I’m aware, though, animals don’t have much (or any) capacity for managing their emotions. You or I can experience fear and make a decision to overcome that fear, for example by reassuring ourselves. I’m not sure an animal can do that.

For a mantra, I’d suggest some words from Saint Julian of Norwich: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” I find it very reassuring… I bet you didn’t think you’d be given a Catholic mantra by a Buddhist teacher :)

All the best,
Bodhipaksa

Reply

Hi Bodhipaksa, How do I stop being angry? I live with an ex-boyfirend which is soon to change but until then I have to share my home. He makes me so angry and I do lose control and I hate it. I feel so bad that I do this. Any advice? also I just bought a lovely lady Buddha statue and wanted to know a good name for her? any lady Buddha’s that were inspiring that I could use their name?? Many thanks Gina

Reply

Hi, Gina.

“Stopping being angry” is a rather lofty goal, and it might be better to think in terms of being more patient, or being less angry. Lovingkindness practice helps a lot. So does mindfulness practice, which helps you to become more aware of the mind’s tendency to drift off into angry thinking, so that we can let go of our angry thoughts. When you do let go of an angry thought, you’ll probably notice that you’re experiencing an uncomfortable sensation somewhere in the body — usually around the solar plexus. Notice the pain, and send it your love…

Reply

Oh, the female Buddha will already have a name :) It may be Tara (a good Irish name for you!) or Prajnaparamita, or Guan Yin. If you can point me to a photo of her I can probably tell you who she is.

Reply

Hi Bodhipaksa,

Thanks again for your words. My statue is the Buddha of friendship. She is holding her hands in a prayer with a smile and it says this is called Namaste. It says the namastle Buddha symbolises warmth and goodwill to all you enter the home. A dot shows the third eye and the earlobes are elongated to symbolise the Buddha is all hearing to your needs. Do you know her? and a name I could put to her?
Finding things very hard at the moment, I feel that I have lost everything, from my sister’s death to relationship failure and now I have to move house to downsize.. I am trying so hard to get peace but my mind is agitated.. I feel at rock bottom and want to move forward. Thanks again for your help. Gina

Reply

Hi, Gina.

I’d really have to see a picture to be able to say.

I’m sorry, as well, to hear about the pain you’re experiencing. One thing that can be very helpful is to put our situation in perspective, because of course we never lose “everything,” and to value and feel gratitude for all the things that we do have. So I have some gratitude reflections that might help you feel more even-minded in the face of the painful changes you’re experiencing, and in fact here’s a whole bunch of articles on the topic…

Reply

Hi Bodhipaksa,

I have been learning a lot about Buddhism since I last was in contact with you. Things have improved a bit since last time we connected. But my problem is how to stay calm and react when someone outs you down, taunts you, and I did get upset when I asked for 20 euro help for food as my first payday is next week and I was a little short. I helped this man before many many times, she I found out the money I gave him went to his ex wife. So when he didn’t help me with that 20 euro I found out he gave 100 to his ex wife for his kids. That does hurt, now I will struggle to eat next week trying to do my job and he is jobless and living n my house. He was my ex, and I can’t seem to get any peace, he interferes in everything. Please help me find a way NOT to react hen he puts me down etc. As you know my sister took her own life and this man has not given me the chance to grieve as I am dealing with him all the time. I want to be on my own. I want peace.
I am going to Nepal next year on a pilgrimage and can’t wait. Please reply to me. Thank you. Gina

Reply

Hi, Gina.

I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been having a hard time.

It’s not easy to comment on the kind of situation you describe, especially since I don’t quite understand the situation you describe. But in general I’d suggest that it’s best to accept that it’s painful to be in the situation where you expect help from someone but don’t get it. Let go of the story and just notice your pain — with mindfulness. Take an interest in the pain. Let go of any thinking that arises around it. Give the pain loving attention, like you would give loving attention to a child who was in pain. Responding this way can help you deal with what’s going on inside you.

But then there’s how you deal with what’s going on outside you. There’s the issue of communicating how you feel. And then if you want to be on your own then that’s something you can follow through on, if that seems appropriate. But all of this is in the realms either of advice from friends or from a therapist, and so it’s not something I can provide.

All the best,
Bodhipaksa

Reply

hi Bodhipaksa you are really doing great
please i will like to know any color associate with each mantra and in what direction or position is the best for mantras and the best time of the day to chant each mantra
thanks

Reply

‘Karma-avoiding Mantra’ it is the mantra of Ksitigarbha bodhisatva
from a CD called “Buddhist Chants – Music For Contemplation And Reflection

Mantra of Eliminating Fixed Karma:

ॐ प्रमर्दने स्वाहा – oṃ pra-mardane svāhā

Reply

Dear Bodhipaksa, Thanks for your answer about the Heart Sutra Prajna-paramita mantra sometime ago. I’m still with that practice and can’t say enough (good!) about it… My question today is what are best possible name mantras for the Lotus Sutra in Sanskrit? I’ve run across these two: 1. Om Sadharma Pundarika Sutraya Namaha’ (14 syllables) and 2. Namas Sadharma Pundarika Sutra (11 syllables). Some who gave up another version of SDP may want to try this (& meditation etc)….I prefer #1. Is that OK? They’re “public domain” right, and the buddhas and bodhisattvas in the 10 directions will (if requested) empower without a guru right? Thank you for your response! peace.

Reply

Hi, Rick.

Those aren’t mantras I’ve come across, I’m afraid. I could dig around on Google, of course, but then you could do that yourself (and I’m sure you have!). The mantra of a sutra wouldn’t require any special “empowerment,” though.

Reply

Hi Bodhipaksa

I just recently embrace and study Buddhism, and am starting to getting used to meditation.
Is there any mantra while meditating?

and is there any mantra to promote health, happiness and safety to our love one?
Thank you in advance for you reply.

Reply

I’m guessing you’d be interested in lovingkindness meditation, Eric.

Reply
avatar
Rinchen Lhamo of Nyingma Dharma House
January 5, 2015 12:05 am

Chanting of mantras will indeed bring forth bountiful merits by doing it correctly, compassionately, sincerely, with a good motive and transferring of dedication correctly to all sentient beings. You can have it done in Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, Mandarin, English, Japanese, Korean……etc. So long the essence is not changed, how it is being pronounced is not a big problem. Buddhism has spread far and wide across many nations and having adopting different cultures enables it to create a sense of closeness to the people. But the doctrine still remains the same. Buddha was and is wise and truly compassionate when he taught Buddhism to his followers. Just like a teacher who uses many methods to teach the same subjects because students come in different brought-ups and mentality. Some learn when they are being pushed. Some learn all by themselves. Some learn by play. Some need serious guidance. But at the end if all of them understand the meaning and are hardworking, they will each achieve becoming great adults. Ofcourse then Mantras all have their specific meaning but they all offer you an opportunity to reach enlightment and to know the truth. It doesn’t matter, so long you understand what you are chanting. Once can chant beautifully but not knowing what it means. Another may chant it in English, understanding each word and the essence of the mantra, doing it with body, speech and mind, dedicating it correctly with not a single greed. Now which do you feel you prefer..? Above advice was once taught to me by my Guru because I once was particular about how things must be… following my Guru’s teaching, I am now more happier. Even English has many different pronunciation, but does it mean a Tommato is different from a Toomaytoe? Om Ara PatZa Nah Di….didididididididididi

Reply

waw very interesting. So buddha of medecine for loosing all of a sudden energy in your back!I call it an empty feeling.Gone try! Or do you think another one!

Reply

there are so many buddhist mantras, how do we know which ones we should stick to? I follow nichiren buddhism and i meditate to the white tara. any recommendations?

Reply

Hi, Zeniah.

Usually people will feel a resonance with a particular mantra, or more likely with the figure that the mantra represents, and so the choice isn’t something one consciously does, but that arises from within.

Reply

thank you so much it was very helpful..

Reply
avatar
Sapna shailesh
August 22, 2015 3:12 pm

My husband passed away last December I m very depressed
He was a follower or Buddha .. plz help me I want to convert into Buddhist

Reply

I’m very sorry to hear of your loss, Sapna, and of your depression.

To convert to Buddhism I’d suggest finding a local Buddhist organization where you could officially take refuge in the Three Jewels. It would also make sense to start studying Buddhism, perhaps with an introductory book of some sort.

All the best!
Bodhipaksa

Reply

Hi Sapna

Sorry to hear about your husband. I too had a tragedy when my only sister took her life. I found refuge and solace in the Buddhist religion and I even went to Nepal and India.

I would however ask yourself what is the reason you wish to convert ti Buddhism and that you are doing it for the right reason. Grief takes many forms and twisted roads and what you feel now maybe not what you will feel later on.

Much Jetta
Gina

Reply
avatar
Sapna shailesh
August 26, 2015 5:43 am

Thanks!! My husband taught me Buddhism . We use to pray together and often sing lotus sutra . He was a firm believer of after life . I want to convert coz we were planning to adopt Buddhism this year… I belong to Hindu family and finding very difficult to connect with Hindu gods.. I find peace by preaching Buddha.. although it’s very tough to meditate.. for me . In our locality there is one monastery but it is not good and recently something happened there.kindly suggest something to start as a learner at home.

Reply

Hi, Sapna.

I’m sorry to hear that there are problems at your local monastery, but there’s a lot you can do on your own.

First, I’d recommend that you learn to meditate. There’s a lot you can learn on this site (you can start here). Mindfulness of breathing and lovingkindness meditation is essential! As for studying Buddhist teachings, there’s a lot available online. The website Access to Insight contains a wide selection of original Buddhist scriptures in translation. There are lots of books available, and some of them are free. The first six on this page are all worth reading.

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *