Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ (Sanskrit: ॐ मणिपद्मे हूँ, IPA: [õːː mɐɳɪpɐdmeː ɦũː]) is the six-syllabled Sanskrit mantra particularly associated with the four-armed Shadakshari form of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. It first appeared in the Mahayana Kāraṇḍavyūhasūtra where it is also referred to as the sadaksara (six syllabled) and the paramahrdaya, or “innermost heart” of Avalokiteshvara. In this text the mantra is seen as condensed form of all the Buddhist teachings.
The first word Aum/Om is a sacred syllable in various Indian religions. The word Mani means “jewel” or “bead”, Padme is the “lotus flower” (the Eastern sacred flower), and Hum represents the spirit of enlightenment.
In Tibetan Buddhism, this is the most ubiquitous mantra and the most popular form of religious practice, performed by laypersons and monastics alike. It is also an ever present feature of the landscape, commonly carved onto rocks, known as mani stones, painted into the sides of hills or else it is written on prayer flags and prayer wheels.
Due to the increased interactions between Chinese Buddhists and Tibetans and Mongolians during the 11th century, the mantra also entered Chinese Buddhism. The mantra has also been adapted into Chinese Taoism.