Nov 4, 2015

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Lesson 7: Mantra with its phonetic symbol (Thần chú và góc cạnh ngữ âm)

Lesson 7: Mantra with its phonetic symbol (Thần chú và góc cạnh ngữ âm)

Right Buddhist teachings, wrong method of Dharma practice

Lesson 7: Mantra with its phonetic symbol

Some of the Dharma brothers and sisters coming to Song Nguyen Tantra House said that they all have chanted Mani Mantra in Sino -Vietnamese with the sound of “Án ma ni bát di hồng” on the basis of its existence in Pañcamantra. There are some practitiones who would prefer to put their faith in long mantra rather than in short mantra (like preferring  great compassionate mantra to Mani Mantra in which all mantras are declared by Avalokitesvara). There are some practitioners who find an universal mantra like Mani mantra more preferable than a less heard mantra as Cundī Dhāraṇī mantra in the nation of Vietnam. Then there is suggested that it is better to chant in sanskrit than chant in Sino -Vietnamese at present, and finally, they think that long mantra has a better result than short one.

All mentioned viewpoints I have already made clear explanation, but all my oral sayings like the winds or the clouds, which are easy to run away. So I am pleased togive some commentaries on this site in the context of the topic “right Dharma, wrong approach” for your reference.

Firstly, I would like to tell a story: It is said that at the time of his living, when themusician Thanh Son enjoyed the cup of coffee at a small cáfe on Tran Quoc Thao rd, District 3, HCMC with a group of dear old friend in musician field, they secretly regretted the wrong pitches which took them too long time of the maturity in their talent to perceive their mistakes. Taking the song of “the emotion of phoenix flower” for example. However, “the emotion” now becomes “lasting impression” for music lovers although a little people who have good knowledge of music can recognise the certain pitches unfinished in this song.

Like a song has been sung many times for over years, these melodies have rooted in the mind of listeners, it is so easy to remember that everyone all recognize the name of the song by just hearing the first two sentences. Naturally, then listeners instantly arise the bad mood according to the content of this song. This is the success of the song when it becomes timeless. The worldly sounds have such deep impact, let alone the mantra which is the quintessential sound of the universe.

A sound is a part of melody, and the syllables connect together into a sound. Aso, we should focus on how to pronounce the mantra by sentence and word. Basing on the factors of country, ethnicity, there are the differences in reading mantras. Vietnamese practitioners chant Mani mantra with the sound of “Án ma ni bát di hồng”, meanwhile, Indian cultivators read “Om Mani Padme Hùm” for Mani mantra. In Latin language and Slave, Mani mantra is read as “Om mani padme hum” (Um ma ni pét mê hùm), In Tibet, yogis read Mani mantra of Um ma ni pê mê hum.

Om Mani Padme Hum

It is not surprised because people in different countries have their own difficulties in pronunciation. For instances, Rusian can not pronounce correctly the word of “Hanoi”, they read it as “Kha Noi”. It is very difficult for American and English to pronounce the vowel of “OUI” (like the vowel of UY in the word “uy nghiêm, uy lực” in Vietnamese, and the sound of “uy” meaning “yes, agree” in French). In Vietnam, the people in Mekong region can not pronounce the consonant of “R”, instead of that they read like the consonant of “G” as “ Bắt Cá Gô (Rô), bỏ vào Gỗ ( rỗ), meaning catching the perch and then put it into the basket. In the north, some regions, people can not pronounce the consonant of “L”, they read “N” instead,  just as this sentence “Nâu Nâu (lâu lâu) mới nhậu một nần ( lần)” meaning of that it is rarely to drink wine”.

Mani Mantra in Tibetan language

Why did Tibetan practitioner pronounce incorrectly in Sankrit when they were directly taught by Indian Great Master Padmasambhava? From this point, the Padmasambhave’s great compassion clearly concentrated to the factor of ethnicity during his propagation in Tibet because Tibetan found it very difficult to pronounce the sound of “pad” and the sound of “hum” was read as the same with the sound of “hong”.

With his wisdom, the great master Padmasambhava had clearly noticed the Tibetan vocal cord system during their vocalizing “pê mê” in full sentence of “Um ma ni pê mê hum”. While they pronounced such sound, they immediately released the brilliant aura in the certain power route by means of connecting to the pure energy of Guan Yin Bodhisattva realm.

Guru Rinpoche

Also, he recognized that sitting in meditation and chanting Mani mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” at the same time, Tibetan monks chanted the sound of “pad” with the consonant “d” clogged closely in lips, which caused the interference of holy waves to deflect the power route connecting to the pure energy of Guan Yin Bodhisattva realm. Thus, he took silently great delight in their wrong pronunciation of the sound “pe me” which minimized the weakness of their reading “Padme”

Tibetan practitioners have chanted Mani Mantra for over tens of centuries, the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” which has been frequently recited in billion times has had the intense blessings from Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava and Guan Yin Bodhisattva as well as all enlightened beings. Therefore, the spiritual effect on this articulation of Mani mantra helps the practitioners have the faster spiritual results. Of course, this is the universal comparison, not for particular case in which needs other necessary conditions such as faith, Guru devotion, mantra reciting with sincerity. However, if there is the similarity of necessary conditions, Tibetan monks will get more rapid progress on the path to enlightenment, and promote the holy power faster according to their chanting which was personally taught by Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava. So, the practitioners in Song Nguyen Tantra House have been reciting Mani mantra as “Um ma ni pê mê hùm” for ages.

The practitioners in Song Nguyen Tantra House have been reciting Mani mantra as “Um ma ni pê mê hùm” for ages.

From the mentioned point, it is unreasonable to deduce that the difference in the effectiveness and the supernatural power depends on the long mantra and the short mantra. Just as there are 18 kinds of weapon in martial art in which we can not tell that the means of fire or long strolls are more effective than short strolls or long swords. In the term of mantra, we should know that all kinds of demods, heaven ghosts have their own spells or incantations which are not called mantras. The mantras, sacred utterance from Samadhi by the enlightened ones who had vast merit through cultivating in countless lives, have difference from the spells or incantations made by the practitioners in other spiritual traditions who have still not enlightened and remained bound in the prison of the cyclic existence. All mantras having the common basic of selflessness should have five worldly functions (including being respected (by human beings, gods, devils), overpower (exorcizing the evil spirit),disaster removal (disaster will be removed in the process of the descending order),accumulation of benefit (the accumulation of health, wealth), power attracting(absorbing the subtle energies of the universe, from the magic upper realms) and the supreme function of the end in Nirvana. So, there is not distinguishing in the length between long mantra and short one, in the effectiveness between this mantra and that one, or in being magical between this Bodhisattva and others. This is called right Dharma and wrong application.

All mantras having the common basic of selflessness should have five worldly functions

In term of theory, we can explain that long mantra called Vertex mantra (the mantra is released from the top of the head of Buddha), was imparted from the top-head (wisdom chakra) of Buddhas while short mantra called hearted mantra, was imparted from Bodhisattva’s heart, their bliss chakra. Basing on Tantric argument, the mantras imparted from the Buddha are more effective than Bodhisattva’s mantras. Similarly, long mantras have the more supernatural power than heart mantras. However, in the term of Mantra application to expose such effectiveness, those who are ordinary practitioners like us can not perceive. Likewise, long strolls are used better on horse than long swords at combat, but those who do not learn martial art can not have such experience. In the same way, skilled trainee has used tricks to win the opponent’s feeling and sight, how can the ordinary trainees have such experience. Never!

How can the ordinary trainees have such experience?

Therefore, laymen should choose a suitable mantra, in which especially heart mantra is easier to learn by heart than Vertex mantra. If they full-heartedly recite heart mantra with the solid faith and have flexible application, have regular practice, they will get the achievement quickly. Vertex mantra is actually for the recitation in Vajra ceremony, or Initation ceremony to deploy the holy force for disciples. If we use the long mantra like The Shurangama Mantra, the Great Compassionate mantra, it is afraid that practitioners are bored with the number of words in the mantra, which makes them easy to give up practicing. Besides, the core factor of cultivation does not depend on how long the mantra is.

Reciting long mantra of Great Compassion; for instance; in the condition of standing, travelling, sitting and laying down, the practitioners find it difficult to get the state of emptiness, if not, it is easy for them to get trouble during their recitation just like Thien Hong had an accident while he recited the long mantra in his travelling. This is right Dharma, wrong approach.  In addition, long mantra being difficult to remember, easy to forget makes the practitioner become strained, and have unhappy attitude while chanting (for the cultivators who have both bad memory and low background of intelligence), in the same way, there is a saying in Buddhism “to be solder is fear of passing frontier, to be monk is fear of The Shurangama Mantra”. If whoever can learn by heart The Shurangama Mantra becomes arrogant, they will see themselves as the Mahayana practitioners who have good background resulting in being easy to learn by heart, then their swelling ego harms their body and their spiritual life. It is no wonder that the lay men coming to the temple are often asked some questions like “do you learn by heart the Great Compassionate Mantra? or How about Pañcamantra? How long have you had vegetarian diet? Such kinds of questions express the ego only, don’t they? When I stayed in HCMC, I met the young monk who was famous for calligraphy asked me such questions and he had pride himself on his starting preaching The Lotus Sutra at the age of 21. Six year later, it was heard that the monk secularized and had married life under the pressure of the worldly pleasure and suffering.

Actually, it is not subliminal for those who learn by heart many mantras. There is a saying in the army as: “a few things but good” and there is an old folk saying that goes: “A rolling stone gathers no moss”, let alone the Buddhist Dharma in which needs refining the essence of Buddha’s teachings in order to avoid from falling into the case of that Dharma without being quintessential is only one-sided. Hence, it is important to have appropriate method for its typical practitioners, which depends on both the educational quality from the teacher or Guru and the intensive ability of enlightenment from the disciples or practitioners.

Master Tsongkhapa saw them as three principal aspects of the path to enlightenment, just as the lack of leg stirrup, we cannot cook the pot of enlightenment

However, there is some essence of Buddha’s teaching necessary for cultivators to focus on while many practitioners have overlooked, or have no understanding. They are Renunciation, Bodhichitta and Emptiness. Tsongkhapa saw them as three principal aspects of the path to enlightenment, just as the lack of leg stirrup, we cannot cook the pot of enlightenment. Renunciation and Bodhichitta are right Buddhist teachings, however; it is essential to apply the right method of dharma practice. How to apply the the right method to practice Dharma, I would like to present in the following lesson.

Phuoc Thanh Village,

Date: 16th August, 2013

THINLEY – NGUYEN THANH

Translated by Mat Dieu Hang


Original Vietnamese post: Bài 7: GIÁO PHÁP ĐÚNG, PHƯƠNG PHÁP SAI (Thần chú và góc cạnh ngữ âm)

The same Topic:

Lesson 1: Five arguments from a profound and rigorous philosopher, Dharmakirti)

Lesson 2: Focusing on the factors of Age, Country and Ethnicity

Lesson 3: Abandoning the subjective opinions

Lesson 4: A rich man lost the key of his treasury

Lesson 5: One Mantra, one Bodhichitta

Lesson 6: Admiration but independence on formality

Lesson 7: Mantra with its phonetic symbol

Lesson 8: Renouncing what needs renouncing

Lesson 9: Attaching to dharma resulting from clinging to ego

Lesson 10: Practice Dharma in daily activities (Tu trong trạng thái động)

Lesson 11: Bodhicitta development, mantra recitation with footsteps

Lesson 12: The superiority of Bodhicitta (Ưu việt Tâm bồ đề)

Lesson 13: Bodhicitta: meditation of focused attention and visualization (Bồ đề tâm: chỉ quán song hành)

Lesson 14: Approach Prajna Paramita (acorrect view of emptiness) by Yidam visualization (Tiếp cận trí huệ bát nhã trong thiền quán Bổn tôn)

Lesson 15 : 3 Ultimate means, 7 Ornaments and 9 Characteristics relating to Yidam visualization

Lesson 16: DO NOT FEEL INFERIOR

  1. thu trang says:
    Thưa Thầy
    Con đọc bài này rồi ah
    Om mani padme hum
  2. Mật Ngữ says:
    Mô Phật
    Pháp đệ hoan hỷ và tán thán thiện hạnh của Đạo huynh Mật Diệu Hằng đã dịch bài viết sang tiếng Anh. Cầu chúc Đạo huynh sức khoẻ, hanh thông thế sự ,đời đạo song hành.
    Om Mani Padme Hum
  3. Mật Phước says:
    Mô Phật
    Pháp đệ hoan hỷ với thiện hạnh dịch bài pháp nhủ” Giáo pháp đúng, phương pháp sai” (bài 7 Thần chú và góc cạnh ngữ âm của vị Thầy sang tiếng Anh của Đạo huynh Mật Diệu Hằng.Cầu chúc huynh sẽ phát huy chuyển tải những bài pháp sang tiếng Anh, nhầm lợi lạc chúng sanh hữu duyên biết đến vị Thầy Mật Giáo, và biết đến con đường giải thoát.
    Con cầu nguyện sức khoẻ và sự trường thọ của Thầy, Cô.
    Cầu mong tất cả chúng sanh uống được tinh tuý cam lồ.
    Om Ah Hum.
  4. Karma Sonam Yeshe says:
    Thank you, Guru, for this sublime discourse on the pronunciation of Om Mani Padme Hum. This very clear: “So, the practitioners in Song Nguyen Tantra House have been reciting Mani mantra as “Um ma ni pê mê hùm” for ages.” – This is how I will practice also.
  5. Mật Tuệ Phúc says:
    Kính bạch Thầy!
    Con xin Quy y Đạo Sư, Quy y Phật, Quy y Pháp, Quy y Tăng cho đến khi giác ngộ tối thượng.
    Con cầu xin Bổn Tôn thông qua sự vận chuyển của vị Thầy gia hộ cho chúng sanh, mọi người trong gia đình con được hanh thông thế sự.
    Hỡi Đại sư Liên Hoa Sanh xin hướng tâm con về Phật Pháp,
    Hỡi các Bậc Toàn giác đừng để con lạc vào tà đạo thấp kém,
    Hỡi vị Thầy từ bi cùng với các Ngài chẳng khác xin để tâm đến con!
    Om Mani Padme Hum!
  6. Mật Địa Cát says:
    Kính Bạch Thầy!
    Con cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy Cô.
    Om Mani Padme Hum
  7. Kanji says:
    Dear Guru,
    I’ve read through this article and I enjoyed the practical analysis and explanations with examples.
    May our Guru and Dakini live long for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May all sentient being achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature
    Om ah hum
  8. Akshay Kumar says:
    Dear Guru
    I have read this article. It is a very interesting one. Thank you so much.

    One may use the right method of practice just as a skilled warrior uses right weapon in war depending upon his circumstances.
    May the Guru live long for the sake of all beings.
    May all beings achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

    • Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con xin phép dịch comment của đạo hữu Akshay Kumar sang tiếng Việt như sau ạ:

      “Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con đã đọc bài này rồi ạ. Con cảm ơn Thầy vì bài viết hay.

      Con hiểu rằng Phật tử được thực hành pháp theo phương pháp đúng cũng giống như một chiến binh thiện nghệ được dùng sử dụng đúng vũ khí trong cuộc chiến và họ có thể sử dụng được trong mọi hoàn cảnh. 

      Con cầu nguyện Thầy trụ thế lâu dài vì sự lợi lạc của chúng sanh.

      Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc của Phật tánh.

      Om Mani Padme Hum.”

  9. marta irene guagliana says:
    DEAR GURU : Thanks Guru for sharing so wonderful articles. They are very interesting and illustrative .Our Guru has health and long for the beenfit of all sentient beings can live …OM MANI PADME HUM
    • Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Marta Irene Guagliana sang tiếng Việt như sau ạ:

      ” KÍNH BẠCH THẦY!

      Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con được đọc một bài viết hay và sâu sắc này. Thầy luận giảng rất hay và có sự minh họa rõ ràng, sinh động.

      Con cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy vì sự lợi lạc của chúng sanh.

      OM MANI PADME HUM.”

  10. Salvatore Antonio Fois says:

    Venerebol Guru;

    My name is Tantra Siramitra.

    Yes some pratictoners they think that long is the mantra better it’s, but I personally i think it is a matter of opinion; the Mani Mantra it’s my first Mantra in which I easily learned by heart, and since then it’s always in my mind stream, for me I can’t let go a day with out the Mani Mantra, and I can guarantee to anyone the effect of the many Mantra it’s miraculous,  OM MANI PADME HUM…….

    Faithfully.

  11. Salvatore Antonio Fois says:

    Venerebol Guru;

    My name is Tantra Siramitra.

    In my house in the meditation rum i treachery two must biutiful tankas of lord Avalokiteshvara one with four harm’s and one extra large with one thousands harm’s, and eleven heads, then I got a beautiful one of Lord Padmasambava, and offcours lord Buddha, and mother Tara, green, and white, also the statue’s several of lord Buddha, lord Mangiushri,  Tara and the Dharma protectors black Mahakala, and white Mahakala, and also a biutiful photo of the 16th Karmapa with the black hat  with crossed harm’s with Vajra, and bell in exsorsesm position, and offcours the mandala and all the needed offerings.

    OM MANI PADME HUM…….

    Faithfully.

  12. Salvatore Antonio Fois says:

    Venerebol Guru;

    My name is Tantra Siramitra.

    In my house in the meditation rum i treachery two must biutiful tankas of lord Avalokiteshvara one with four harm’s and one extra large with one thousands harm’s, and eleven heads, then I got a beautiful one of Lord Padmasambava, and offcours lord Buddha, and mother Tara, green, and white, also the statue’s several of lord Buddha, lord Mangiushri,  Tara and the Dharma protectors black Mahakala, and white Mahakala, and also a biutiful photo of the 16th Karmapa with the black hat  with crossed harm’s with Vajra, and bell in exsorsesm position, and offcours the mandala and all the needed offerings.

    OM MANI PADME HUM…….

    Faithfully.

    • Nguyên Thành says:

      In my Mat gia Song Nguyen there is one! The most important thing is how you practice the Dharma, not to focus on how you worship.
      Read the article: “How to define “worship” and its true expression”

  13. Salvatore Antonio Fois says:

    Venerable Guru;

    My name is Tantra Siramitra.

    Just to let you know! Hill the Holly Tankas, and statue’s in my medication room are well above the head  as they should be.

    OM MANI PADME HUM……

    Faithfully.

  14. Steve Rogers says:

    Dear Holy Guru

    I am Tantra Haramitra

    mantras are still new to me. What I understand now is that it’s not the pronunciation that matters but how you say it. If you recite it from your heart, in the right way and with love it can bring peace and focus to our lives. This is the first Mantra I have learnt and it has become an important part of my daily life.

    i thank you for this teaching and guidance within the Dharma.

    May the holy Guru have good health and live long for the benefit of all sentient beings. May all sentient beings achieve the happiness of Buddha ‘s nature.

    Om mani padme hum

  15. Salvatore Antonio Fois says:

    Venerebol Guru;

    My name is Tantra Siramitra.

    Yes I do understand to focus on the Dharma practice.

    Thank you very much. OM MANI PADME HUM……

    Faithfully.

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