I’d like to add to the explanation of the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra. It’s one of the most popular and important mantras in Buddhism. The mantra covers all the sutras, shastras (commentary of scriptures), and vinaya in Buddhism – basically covering all the literature of Buddhist teaching.
Here I just want to expand on Mani and Padme. Mani is the essence, the reality, the core of everything. It’s the Buddha Nature in yourself.
Padme is the functionality and merits – purification, pacification, understanding the mind through meditation, through chanting, repentance, through all the good deeds you’ve done, good behavior, your speech; you’re carrying out Padme.
Padme is in every aspect of life: what you’ve done, what you’re doing, what you’ve spoken, what you’re about to speak. It’s a method and approach to Enlightenment. It’s the three elements in everything: the essence, the form, and the function.
In some traditions, Om Mani Padme Hum covers and is equal to all other mantras because it would be equal the same kind of meaning and merit as those mantras. So if you want to pay homage to the Buddha, Dharma, to the Bodhisattvas, to repent, to say a daily prayer or chant – Om Mani Padme Hum is for all that and more. It should be a part of everyone’s daily practice or just a mantra to recite during practice, meditation, or anytime throughout the day. The more you can understand it and chant it, the more you can penetrate its meaning and gain insight and wisdom.