A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation" (cf. spiritual transformation). Its use and type varies according to the school and philosophy associated with the mantra.
In the context of the Vedas, the term mantra refers to the entire portion which contains the texts called Rig, Yajur or Sama, that is, the metrical part as opposed to the prose Brahmana commentary. With the transition from ritualistic Vedic traditions to mystical and egalitarian Hindu schools of Yoga, Vedanta, Tantra and Bhakti, the orthodox attitude of the elite nature of mantra knowledge gave way to spiritual interpretations of mantras as a translation of the human will or desire into a form of action.
For the authors of the Hindu scriptures of the Upanishads, the syllable Om, itself constituting a mantra, represents Brahman, the godhead, as well as the whole of creation. Kūkai suggests that all sounds are the voice of the Dharmakaya Buddha — i.e. as in Hindu Upanishadic and Yogic thought, these sounds are manifestations of ultimate reality, in the sense of sound symbolism postulating that the vocal sounds of the mantra have inherent meaning independent of the understanding of the person uttering them.
Nevertheless, such understanding of what a mantra may symbolize or how it may function differs throughout the various traditions and also depends on the context in which it is written or sounded. In some instances there are multiple layers of symbolism associated with each sound, many of which are specific to particular schools of thought. For an example of such see the syllable: Om which is central to both Hindu and Buddhist traditions.
While Hindu tantra eventually came to see the letters as well as the sounds as representatives of the divine, the shift toward writing occurred when Buddhism traveled to China. Although China lacked a unifying, ecclesiastic language like Sanskrit, China achieved its cultural unity through a written language with characters that were flexible in pronunciation but more precise in meaning. The Chinese prized written language much more highly than did the Indian Buddhist missionaries, and the writing of mantras became a spiritual practice in its own right. So that whereas Brahmins had been very strict on correct pronunciation, the Chinese, and indeed other Far-Eastern Buddhists were less concerned with this than correctly writing something down. The practice of writing mantras, and copying texts as a spiritual practice, became very refined in Japan, and the writing in the Siddham script in which the Sanskrit of many Buddhist Sutras were written is only really seen in Japan nowadays. However, written mantra-repetition in Hindu practices, with Sanskrit in any number of scripts, is well-known to many sects in India as well.
Mantras, the Sanskrit syllables inscribed on yantras, are essentially 'thought forms' representing divinities or cosmic powers, which exert their influence by means of sound-vibrations.
The Sanskrit word mantra- (m.; also n. mantram) consists of the root man- "to think" (also in manas "mind") and the suffix -tra, designating tools or instruments, hence a literal translation would be "instrument of thought".
An Indo-Iranian *mantra is also preserved in Avestan manthra, effectively meaning "word" but with far-reaching implications: Manthras are inherently "true" (aša), and the proper recitation of them brings about (realizes) what is inherently true in them. It may then be said that manthras are both an expression of being and "right working" and the recitation of them is crucial to the maintenance of order and being. (See also: Avestan aša- and Vedic ṛtá-).
Indo-Iranian *sātyas mantras (Yasna 31.6: haiθīm mathrem) thus "does not simply mean 'true Word' but formulated thought which is in conformity with the reality' or 'poetic (religious) formula with inherent fulfillment (realization).'"
Latin word Mentor (also in its usage in English and other languages) is a cognate (cf. Mens sana in corpore sano = Healthy mind in a healthy body), as is the root preserved in most Slavonic languages as Mądr-/Mudr-, for wisdom and Sage, cf. Russian Mudrec.
The Chinese translation is zhenyan 眞言, 真言, literally "true words", the Japanese on'yomi reading of the Chinese being shingon (which is also used as the proper name for the prominent esoteric Shingon sect).
Mantra in Hinduism 
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Mantras were originally conceived in the Vedas. Most mantras follow the written pattern of two line "shlokas" although they are often found in single line or even single word form.
The most basic mantra is Om, which in Hinduism is known as the "pranava mantra," the source of all mantras. The Hindu philosophy behind this is the idea of nama-rupa (mind-body), which supposes that all things, ideas or entities in existence, within the phenomenological cosmos, have name and form of some sort. The most basic name and form is the primordial vibration of Om, as it is the first manifested nama-rupa of Brahman, the unmanifest reality/unreality. Essentially, before existence and beyond existence is only One reality, Brahma, and the first manifestation of Brahma in existence is Om. For this reason, Om is considered to be the most fundamental and powerful mantra, and thus is prefixed and suffixed to all Hindu prayers. While some mantras may invoke individual Gods or principles, the most fundamental mantras, like 'Om,' the 'Shanti Mantra,' the 'Gayatri Mantra' and others all ultimately focus on the One reality.
In the Hindu tantra the universe is sound. The supreme (para) brings forth existence through the Word (Shabda). Creation consists of vibrations at various frequencies and amplitudes giving rise to the phenomena of the world. The purest vibrations are the var.na, the imperishable letters which are revealed to us, imperfectly as the audible sounds and visible forms.
Var.nas are the atoms of sound. A complex symbolic association was built up between letters and the elements, gods, signs of the zodiac, parts of the body – letters became rich in these associations. For example in the Aitrareya-aranya-Upanishad we find:
The mute consonants represent the earth, the sibilants the sky, the vowels heaven. The mute consonants represent fire, the sibilants air, the vowels the sun? The mute consonants represent the eye, the sibilants the ear, the vowels the mind.
In effect each letter became a mantra and the language of the Vedas, Sanskrit, corresponds profoundly to the nature of things. Thus the Vedas come to represent reality itself. The seed syllable Om represents the underlying unity of reality, which is Brahman.
There are several forms of mantras:
- Bhajan, spiritual songs
- Kirtan, repetition of God's name in songs
- Healing mantra
- Guru mantra, the first initiation (Diksha) given by the master to the disciple
- Bija mantra, represents the essence of a mantra (e.g. "Om")
Viniyog (declaration) - Some rituals also take vow before any Mantra chanting, ritual is as follows - hold water in a teaspoon or palm, announce these parts of a Mantra (Viniyog), and then at end of it, let water flow on earth, as symbolic of the resolution being absorbed by earth and cosmos.
Parts of Viniyog are --
- Rishi (Seer who first attained or mastered the Mantra)
- Chhand (meter of Mantra = pattern of pronunciation)
- Mantra's Devta (Deity)
- Beej (seed, power source of Mantra)
- Shakti (enhancing power, like to mature the seed)
- Keelak (unlocking password)
- Abheesht Arth (your purpose of chanting)
Mantra japa 
Mantra japa was a concept of the Vedic sages that incorporates mantras as one of the main forms of puja, or worship, whose ultimate end is seen as moksha/liberation. Essentially, mantra japa means repetition of mantra, and it has become an established practice of all Hindu streams, from the various Yoga to Tantra. It involves repetition of a mantra over and over again, usually in cycles of auspicious numbers (in multiples of three), the most popular being 108. For this reason, Hindu malas (bead necklaces) developed, containing 108 beads and a head bead (sometimes referred to as the 'meru', or 'guru' bead). The devotee performing japa using his/her fingers counts each bead as he/she repeats the chosen mantra. Having reached 108 repetitions, if he/she wishes to continue another cycle of mantras, the devotee must turn the mala around without crossing the head bead and repeat.
To attain single-pointedness of mind, repetition of mantra's can be done in the following ways:
- Mantra Yoga (chanting)
- Japa Yoga:
- Vaikhari Japa (speaking)
- Upamsu Japa (whispering or humming)
- Manasika Japa (mental repetition)
- Likhita Japa (writing)
It is said that through japa the devotee attains unity, or extreme focus with the chosen deity or principal idea of the mantra. The vibrations and sounds of the mantra are considered extremely important, and thus reverberations of the sound are supposed to awaken the Kundalini or spiritual life force and even stimulate chakras according to many Hindu schools of thought.
Any shloka from holy Hindu texts like the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutra, even the Mahabharata, Ramayana, Durga saptashati or Chandi are considered powerful enough to be repeated to great effect, and have therefore the status of mantra.
Some very common mantras, called Nama japa, are formed by taking a deity's name and saluting it thus: "Om Namah (name of deity)" (meaning "I honor/salute...") or "Om Jai (name of deity)" (meaning "Hail..."). There are several other such permutations, including:
- Om Namah Shivaya or Om Namo Bhagavate Rudraya Namah (Om and salutations to Lord Shiva)
- Om Namo Narayanaya or Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevãya (Om and salutations to Lord Vishnu)
- Om Shri Ganeshaya Namah (Om and salutations to Shri Ganesha)
- Om Shri Mahalakshmiyei Namah (Om and salutations to Shri Lakshmi, the Great One)
- Om Kalikayai Namah (Om and salutations to Kali)
- Om Sri Maha Kalikayai Namah (the basic Kali mantra above is strengthened with the words Sri [an expression of great respect] and Maha [great]. It has been said that this mantra is rarely given to anyone because it is so intense.)
- Om Hrim Chandikãyai Namah (Om and salutations to Chandika)
- Om Radha Krishnaya Namaha (a mantra to Radha, said to promote love in a relationship)
- Om Namo Venkateshaya (Om and salutations to Lord Venkateswara)
The use of Mantras is described in various texts which constitute Mantra Shastra (shastra, sastra: law-book, rule or treatise).
Some of the major books which are used as reference for Mantra Shaastra are
- Parasurama Kalpa Sutra
- Shaarada Tilakam
- Lakshmi Tantra
Some Hindu and Jain mantras 
The Gayatri mantra is considered one of the most universal of all Hindu mantras, invoking the universal Brahman as the principle of knowledge and the illumination of the primordial Sun.
ॐ भूर्भुवस्व: |
भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि |
धियो यो न: प्रचोदयात्
Om Bhū~~Bhurva~Swah(50/50 pranaunsation by nose and mouth).
(Om) Tat Sa viturVa renyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhīmahi
Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayāt, (Om)
Lead me from ignorance to truth 
असतोमा सद्गमय ।
तमसोमा ज्योतिर् गमय ।
मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय ॥
ॐ शान्ति शान्ति शान्तिः ।।
asato mā sadramaya
Tamasomā jyotir gamaya
Oṁ śhānti śhānti śhāntiḥ (Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 1.3.28)(it is true words)
From ignorance, lead me to truth;
From darkness, lead me to light;
From death, lead me to immortality
Om peace, peace, peace
The Navkar Mantra or Namokar Mantra is the supreme Jain mantra and the fundamental prayer in Jainism which can be recited at any time of the day. While praying by reciting this mantra, the devotee bows with respect to Arihantas, Siddhas(liberated souls), spiritual leaders (Acharyas), teachers (Upadhyayas) and all the monks. This worships the virtues of all the supreme spiritual people instead of just worshipping one particular person. It is important to note that the Navkar/Namokar Mantra does not mention the names of even Tirthankaras and Siddhas. At the time of recitation, a Jain devotee remembers their virtues and tries to emulate them. In this mantra Jains bow down to these supreme spiritual personalities, and therefore, it is also called Namokar Mantra. The Digamber Jain believe the starting 5 lines is the original Mantra whereas, Shewtambars believe the Nine Line... The Rest Four lines as per Digambers are the advantages or the description of the Mantra. This Mantra is called the King of Mantras. According to Jain Text, all Mantra in the world came from this Mantra hence, this is also called Mahamantra. The Jains in this mantra bows to the Five Teachers, hence it is also called Panch- Parmesthi mantra. It is said that if someone recites this mantra, no celestial, and any mantra, tantra can affect him i.e., it saves and wins over all other Mantra, hence it is also called Aparajit Mantra. It is also mentioned in the books that Namokar Mantra has no beginning and no end, no one creates it and no one in the world can destroy it hence this is also called Anadhi-Nidhan Mantra.
Why Namokar Mantra is called king of all other mantra is because "OM" came from Namokar mantra. If we break OM, it is Arihant(A), Ashariri Siddh(A), Aacharya(AA), Upadhyay(U), Muni(M) i.e., A+A+AA+U+M= AUM =OM. Every Mantra other than Namokar uses OM like in Hindu, Sikh, Buddha mantra which is originally came from Namokar Mantra hence it is called the King of all Mantra. It can recited anywhere, any how, in any sense, when you are in danger or in home, or sleeping, or resting, or sitting, or standing, or while listening, while you are eating, bathing or anything, just you need to have clean heart, i.e., your thoughts must be clean and you must have faith in it. It has the power to save from any diseases, any suffering, anything, anywhere, any how.
Namo Arihantânam I bow to the Arihantâs (Prophets). Namo Siddhânam I bow to the Siddhâs (Liberated Souls). Namo Âyariyânam I bow to the Âchâryas (Preceptors or Spiritual Leaders). Namo Uvajjhâyanam I bow to the Upadhyâya (Teachers). Namo Loe Savva Sahûnam I bow to all the Sadhûs (Saints). Eso Panch Namokkaro,
Mangalanam Cha Savvesim,
Padhamam Havai Mangalam.
This fivefold bow (mantra) destroys all sins and obstacles
and of all auspicious mantras, is the first and foremost one.
Shanti mantra 
Oṁ Sahanā vavatu
Oṁ Shāntiḥ, Shāntiḥ, Shāntiḥ.
Om! Let the Studies that we together undertake be effulgent;
Let there be no Animosity amongst us;
OM. Peace, Peace, Peace.
(Recited before the commencement of one's education)
– Blackkrishna Yajurveda Taittiriya Upanishad 2.2.2
Universal Prayer 
सर्वेषां स्वस्ति भवतु । सर्वेषां शान्तिर्भवतु ।
सर्वेषां पूर्नं भवतु । सर्वेषां मड्गलं भवतु ॥
Sarveśām Svastir Bhavatu
Sarveśām Sāntir Bhavatu
Sarveśām Pūrnam Bhavatu
Sarveśām Mangalam Bhavatu
May good befall all,
May there be peace for all
May all be fit for perfection,
May all experience that which is auspicious.
सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः। सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः।
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु। मा कश्चित् दुःख भाग्भवेत्॥
Sarve bhavantu sukhinaḥ
Sarve santu nirāmayāḥ
Sarve bhadrāṇi paśchyantu
Mā kanchit duḥkha bhāgbhavet--~~~~
Om, May all be happy. May all be healthy.
May we all experience what is good and let no one suffer.
Additional Hindu mantras 
- Om Namo Narayanaya
- Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya Dvadasakshari mantra
- Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram
- Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Also chanted as Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.
- Om Namah Shivaya Panchakshara mantra
- Sūrya namaskāra
- So'ham (I am He or I am That)
- Ram Nam Rama Mantra
- Aham Brahma Asmi (I Am Brahman)
- Sri Vidya Mantras
- Dakshinamoorthy Mantra
Neo-Hindu new religious movements 
The spiritual exercises of Surat Shabda Yoga include simran (repetition, particularly silent repetition of a mantra given at initiation), dhyan (concentration, viewing, or contemplation, particularly on the Inner Master), and bhajan (listening to the inner sounds of the Shabda or the Shabda Master).
Repetition of a "mantram" (e.g., mantra) or holy mane is Point 2 in the eight-point Passage Meditation program taught by Eknath Easwaran, who recommended using a mantram drawn from a faith tradition, east or west. The mantram is to be used frequently throughout the day, at opportune moments. This method of mantram repetition, and the larger program, was developed for use in any major faith tradition, or outside all traditions. Easwaran's method of mantram repetition has been the subject of scientific research at the San Diego Veterans Administration, which has suggested health benefits that include managing stress and reducing symptoms of PTSD.
Agnicayana yajna ritual 
The Atiratra Agnicayana "the building up of the fireplace performed over-night") or Athirathram; the piling of the altar of Agni is a twelve-day Śrauta yajna ritual of the Vedic religion, the predecessor of modern day Hinduism which is considered to be the greatest ritual as per the Vedic ritual hierarchy. It is also the world's oldest surviving ritual. Its mantras and theological explanations in the Brahmana texts are first attested in the Yajurveda Samhitas (Taittiriya, Kathaka; Vajasaneyi). The practice of this ritual was generally discontinued among Brahmins by the late Vedic period, during the rise of Jainism and Buddhism in India. Nevertheless, a continuous, unbroken 3,000 year tradition has been found to exist among a few Nambudiri Brahmin families in Kerala, South India.
Mantra in Buddhism 
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Mantra in non-esoteric Buddhism 
In Buddhism in China and Vietnam, ten small mantras were finalized by the monk Yulin (玉琳國師), a teacher of the Shunzhi Emperor for monks, nuns, and laity to chant in the morning.
The Shurangama Mantra may be the longest mantra.
Mantra in Shingon Buddhism 
Kūkai (774-835), a noted Buddhist monk, advanced a general theory of language based on his analysis of two forms of Buddhist ritual language: dharani (dhāra.nī) and mantra. Mantra is restricted to esoteric Buddhist practice whereas dharani is found in both esoteric and exoteric ritual. Dharanis for instance are found in the Heart Sutra. The term "shingon" (lit. true word) is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese term for mantra, chen yen.
The word dharani derives from a Sanskrit root dh.r which means to hold or maintain. Ryuichi Abe suggests that it is generally understood as a mnemonic device which encapsulates the meaning of a section or chapter of a sutra. Dharanis are also considered to protect the one who chants them from malign influences and calamities.
The term mantra is traditionally said to be derived from two roots: man, to think; and the action-oriented suffix -tra. Thus a mantra can be considered to be a linguistic device for deepening ones thought, or in the Buddhist context for developing the enlightened mind. However, it is also true that mantras have been used as magic spells for very mundane purposes such as attaining wealth and long life, and eliminating enemies. In daily living, many thought the pronunciation of the mantra was not important to take its effect and the expected effect may not happen because of fixed karma (定業), or because there appears a better way to solve the situation.
The distinction between dharani and mantra is difficult to make. We can say that all mantras are dharanis but that not all dharanis are mantras. Mantras do tend to be shorter. Both tend to contain a number of unintelligible phonic fragments such as Om, or Hu.m, which is perhaps why some people consider them to be essentially meaningless. Kūkai made mantra a special class of dharani which showed that every syllable of a dharani was a manifestation of the true nature of reality – in Buddhist terms that all sound is a manifestation of shunyata or emptiness of self-nature. Thus rather than being devoid of meaning, Kūkai suggests that dharanis are in fact saturated with meaning – every syllable is symbolic on multiple levels.
One of Kūkai's distinctive contributions was to take this symbolic association even further by saying that there is no essential difference between the syllables of mantras and sacred texts, and those of ordinary language. If one understood the workings of mantra, then any sounds could be a representative of ultimate reality. This emphasis on sounds was one of the drivers for Kūkai's championing of the phonetic writing system, the kana, which was adopted in Japan around the time of Kūkai. He is generally credited with the invention of the kana, but there is apparently some doubt about this story amongst scholars.
This mantra-based theory of language had a powerful effect on Japanese thought and society which up until Kūkai's time had been dominated by imported Chinese culture of thought, particularly in the form of the Classical Chinese language which was used in the court and amongst the literati, and Confucianism which was the dominant political ideology. In particular Kūkai was able to use this new theory of language to create links between indigenous Japanese culture and Buddhism. For instance, he made a link between the Buddha Mahavairocana and the Shinto sun Goddess Amaterasu. Since the emperors were thought to be descended form Amaterasu, Kūkai had found a powerful connection here that linked the emperors with the Buddha, and also in finding a way to integrate Shinto with Buddhism, something that had not happened with Confucianism. Buddhism then became essentially an indigenous religion in a way that Confucianism had not. And it was through language, and mantra that this connection was made. Kūkai helped to elucidate what mantra is in a way that had not been done before: he addresses the fundamental questions of what a text is, how signs function, and above all, what language is. In this he covers some of the same ground as modern day Structuralists and others scholars of language, although he comes to very different conclusions.
In this system of thought all sounds are said to originate from "a" – which is the short a sound in father. For esoteric Buddhism "a" has a special function because it is associated with Shunyata or the idea that no thing exists in its own right, but is contingent upon causes and conditions. (See Dependent origination) In Sanskrit "a" is a prefix which changes the meaning of a word into its opposite, so "vidya" is understanding, and "avidya" is ignorance (the same arrangement is also found in many Greek words, like e.g. "atheism" vs. "theism" and "apathy" vs. "pathos"). The letter a is both visualised in the Siddham script, and pronounced in rituals and meditation practices. In the Mahavairocana Sutra which is central to Shingon Buddhism it says: Thanks to the original vows of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, a miraculous force resides in the mantras, so that by pronouncing them one acquires merit without limits". [in Conze, p. 183]
Mantra in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism 
Mantrayana (Sanskrit), that may be rendered as "way of mantra", was the original self-identifying name of those that have come to be determined 'Nyingmapa'. The Nyingmapa which may be rendered as "those of the ancient way", a name constructed due to the genesis of the Sarma "fresh", "new" traditions. Mantrayana has developed into a synonym of Vajrayana.
Noted translator of Buddhist texts Edward Conze (1904–1979) distinguishes three periods in the Buddhist use of mantra.
Initially, according to Conze, like their fellow Indians, Buddhists used mantra as protective spells to ward off malign influences. Despite a Vinaya rule which forbids monks engaging in the Brahminical practice of chanting mantras for material gain, there are a number of protective for a group of ascetic monks. However, even at this early stage, there is perhaps something more than animistic magic at work. Particularly in the case of the Ratana Sutta the efficacy of the verses seems to be related to the concept of "truth". Each verse of the sutta ends with "by the virtue of this truth may there be happiness".
Conze notes that later mantras were used more to guard the spiritual life of the chanter, and sections on mantras began to be included in some Mahayana sutras such as the White Lotus Sutra, and the Lankavatara Sutra. The scope of protection also changed in this time. In the Sutra of Golden Light the Four Great Kings promise to exercise sovereignty over the different classes of demigods, to protect the whole of Jambudvipa (the India sub continent), to protect monks who proclaim the sutra, and to protect kings who patronise the monks who proclaim the sutra. The apotheosis of this type of approach is the Nichiren school of Buddhism that was founded in 13th century Japan, and which distilled many previously complex Buddhist practices down to the veneration of the Lotus Sutra through recitation of the daimoku: "Nam myoho renge kyo" which translates as "Homage to the Lotus Sutra".
The third period began, according to Conze, in about the 7th century, to take centre stage and become a vehicle for salvation in their own right. Tantra started to gain momentum in the 6th and 7th century, with specifically Buddhist forms appearing as early as 300CE. Mantrayana was an early name for the what is now more commonly known as Vajrayana, which gives us a hint as to the place of mantra in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. The aim of Vajrayana practice is to give the practitioner a direct experience of reality, of things as they really are. Mantras function as symbols of that reality, and different mantras are different aspects of that reality – for example wisdom or compassion. Mantras are often associated with a particular deity, one famous exception being the Prajnaparamita mantra associated with the Heart Sutra. One of the key Vajrayana strategies for bringing about a direct experience of reality is to engage the entire psycho-physical organism in the practices. In one Buddhist analysis the person consists of 'body, speech and mind' (refer: Three Vajra). So a typical sadhana or meditation practice might include mudras, or symbolic hand gestures; the recitations of mantras; as well as the visualisation of celestial beings and visualising the letters of the mantra which is being recited. Clearly here mantra is associated with speech. The meditator may visualise the letters in front of themselves, or within their body. They may be pronounced out loud, or internally in the mind only.
Om mani padme hum 
Probably the most famous mantra of Buddhism is Om mani padme hum, the six syllable mantra of the Bodhisattva of compassion Avalokiteśvara (Tibetan: Chenrezig, Chinese: Guanyin). This mantra is particularly associated with the four-armed Shadakshari form of Avalokiteśvara. The Dalai Lama is said to be an incarnation of Avalokiteshvara, and so the mantra is especially revered by his devotees.
The book Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism by Lama Anagarika Govinda, gives a classic example of how such a mantra can contain many levels of symbolic meaning.
Donald Lopez gives a good discussion of this mantra and its various interpretations in his book Prisoners of Shangri-LA: Tibetan Buddhism and the West. Lopez is an authoritative writer and challenges the stereotypical analysis of the mantra as meaning "The Jewel in the Lotus", an interpretation that is not supported by either a linguistic analysis, nor by Tibetan tradition, and is symptomatic of the Western Orientalist approach to the 'exotic' East. He suggests that Manipadma is actually the name of a bodhisattva, a form of Avalokiteshvara who has many other names in any case including Padmapani or lotus flower in hand. The Brahminical insistence on absolutely correct pronunciation of Sanskrit broke down as Buddhism was exported to other countries where the inhabitants found it impossible to reproduce the sounds. So in Tibet, for instance, where this mantra is on the lips of many Tibetans all their waking hours, the mantra is pronounced Om mani peme hum.
Some other mantras in Tibetan Buddhism 
The following list of mantras is from Kailash - Journal of Himalayan Studies, Volume 1, Number 2, 1973. (pp. 168–169) (augmented by other contributors). It also includes renderings of Om mani padme hum.
Please note that the word swaha is sometimes shown as svaha, and is usually pronounced as 'so-ha' by Tibetans. Spellings tend to vary in the transliterations to English, for example, hum and hung are generally the same word. The mantras used in Tibetan Buddhist practice are in Sanskrit, to preserve the original mantras. Visualizations and other practices are usually done in the Tibetan language.
- Om vagishvara hum This is the mantra of the Mahabodhisattva Manjusri, Tibetan: Jampelyang (Wylie "'jam dpal dbyangs")... The Buddha in his wisdom aspect.
- Om mani padme hum The mantra of Avalokitesvara, Mahabodhisattva, the Buddha in his compassion aspect.
- Om vajrapani namo hum The mantra of the Buddha as Protector of the Secret Teachings. i.e.: as the Mahabodhisattva Channa Dorje (Vajrapani).
- Om vajrasattva hum The short mantra for White Vajrasattva, there is also a full 100-syllable mantra for Vajrasattva.
- Om ah hum vajra guru padma siddhi hum The mantra of the Vajraguru Guru Padma Sambhava who established Mahayana Buddhism and Tantra in Tibet.
- Om tare tuttare ture mama ayurjnana punye pushting svaha The mantra of Dölkar or White Tara, the emanation of Arya Tara [Chittamani Tara]. Variants: Om tare tuttare ture mama ayurjnana punye pushting kuru swaha (Drikung Kagyu), Om tare tuttare ture mama ayu punye jnana puktrim kuru soha (Karma Kagyu).
- Om tare tuttare ture svaha, mantra of Green Arya Tara - Jetsun Dolma or Tara, the Mother of the Buddhas: om represents Tara's sacred body, speech, and mind. Tare means liberating from all discontent. Tutare means liberating from the eight fears, the external dangers, but mainly from the internal dangers, the delusions. Ture means liberating from duality; it shows the "true" cessation of confusion. Soha means "may the meaning of the mantra take root in my mind."
According to Tibetan Buddhism, this mantra (Om tare tutare ture soha) can not only eliminate disease, troubles, disasters, and karma, but will also bring believers blessings, longer life, and even the wisdom to transcend one's circle of reincarnation. Tara representing long life and health.
- oṃ amaraṇi jīvantaye svāhā (Tibetan version: oṃ ā ma ra ṇi dzi wan te ye svā hā) The mantra of the Buddha of limitless life: the Buddha Amitayus (Tibetan Tsépagmed) in celestial form.
- Om dhrung svaha The purification mantra of the mother Namgyalma.
- Om ami dhewa hri The mantra of the Buddha Amitabha (Hopagmed) of the Western Pureland, his skin the colour of the setting sun.
- Om ami dewa hri The mantra of Amitabha (Ompagme in Tibetan).
- Om ah ra pa ca na dhih The mantra of the "sweet-voiced one", Jampelyang (Wylie "'jam dpal dbyangs") or Manjusri, the Bodhisattva of wisdom.
- Om muni muni maha muniye sakyamuni swaha The mantra of Buddha Sakyamuni, the historical Buddha
- Om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha The mantra of the Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra (Heart Sutra)
- Namo bhagavate Bhaishajya-guru vaidurya-praba-rajaya tathagataya arhate samyak-sambuddhaya tadyata *Tadyata OM bhaishajye bhaishajye maha bhaishajya raja-samudgate svaha The mantra of the 'Medicine Buddha', from Chinese translations of the Master of Healing Sutra.
Mantras in other sects and religions 
- Ye Dharma Hetu Ancient Buddhist mantra, often found in India and other countries
- Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō The mantra of the Nichiren Buddhism.
- Ná Mó Běn Shī Dà Zì Zai Wáng Fó (南無本師大自在王佛) The mantra of the Buddhayana sect (佛乘宗).
- Námó Tiānyuán Tàibǎo Āmítuófó (南無天元太保阿彌陀佛) The mantra of the Way of Former Heaven and the T'ung-shan She.
- Guān Shì Yīn Pú Sà (觀世音菩薩) The mantra of the Li-ism
- Zhēnkōngjiāxiàng, wúshēngfùmǔ (真空家鄉，無生父母) The mantra of the Luo Sect (羅教)
- Gomtrazan．Gwaarla．Rarunka．Sohuan．Satnum The mantra of Ching Hai.
- Zhōngshùliánmíngdé, zhèngyìxìnrěngōng, bóxiàoréncíjiào, jiéjiǎnzhēnlǐhé (忠恕廉明德、正義信忍公、博孝仁慈覺、節儉真禮和) The mantra of the Tiender and the Lord of Universe Church
- Qīngjìng guāngmíng dàlì zhìhuì wúshàng zhìzhēn móní guāngfó (清淨光明大力智慧無上至真摩尼光佛) The mantra of the Manichaeism in China
Mantra in Sikhism 
Mantras in Sikhism are fundamentally different from the secret mantras used in other religions. Unlike in other religions, Sikh mantras are open for anyone to use. They are used openly and are not taught in secret sessions but are used in front of assemblies of Sikhs.
Mantra in Taoism 
See also 
- Buddhist chant
- Pranava yoga
- Prayer beads
- Rabbit rabbit,rabbit, superstition periodic mantra.
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