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Birthday of Avalokitesvara

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

“The work of bringing benefit to beings Will not, then, make me proud and self-admiring. The happiness of others is itself my satisfaction; I do not expect another recompense.”

― Śāntideva, The Way of the Bodhisattva


Today is the 19th day of the 2nd lunar month. We celebrate the birthday of Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.


The ideal of the bodhisattva provides both the inspiration and path of awakened service that is foundational to Mahāyāna Buddhism. Bodhisattva is a being who has generated bodhicitta, a spontaneous wish and compassionate mind to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. Bodhisattva is anyone who lives in the spirit of bodhisattva vow, committing to put others before oneself, to assist others on their path of awakenment. The principal focus of Mahāyāna teachings is on cultivating a mind wishing to benefit other sentient beings.


“All the joy the world contains Has come through wishing happiness for others. All the misery the world contains Has come through wanting pleasure for oneself.”

― Śāntideva, The Way of the Bodhisattva



OM MANI PADME HUM


The first verse of the Mantra of Avalokitesvara is chanted in Chinese temples every morning is the very Six-syllable Brilliant Mantra. The meaning of the six syllables is great and vast.


Om:

Om is the most sacred sound in the universe. When we utter the Om sound, we put ourselves at the same level as all the other sentient beings in the world, that we are humble, and we are one. Om embodies our dedication, taking refuge, and also the Three Bodies of the Buddha.


Mani:

Mani is the maṇi-jewel. Buddhist literature makes many mentions of mani’s special merit, such as cleansing and illumination, and even curing diseases. The lustre of the maṇi-jewel is a metaphor for the Buddha nature of all sentient beings that can be polluted by worldly dust. And when a mortal being becomes enlightened, the jewel will regain its original glory.


Padme:

Padme means pure lotus flower. When a practitioner’s behaviour, speech, and thought come to be as pure and immaculate as a lotus flower, the maṇi-jewel or Buddha nature residing in this person’s mind will manifest itself.


Hum:

Hum embodies the seed of all Bodhicitta, the enlightenment-mind, the mind that strives toward awakening, empathy, and compassion for the benefit of all sentient beings.


Listening or chanting mantra helps bring your awareness inwards and calm the mind. Meditation is a tool, and so are breathing and chanting practices. Mantra is like a bridge for you to stand on top of a running body of water. It facilitates the detachment process of the mind. As you stand on that bridge, you are able to look down and see the river running, just as your own life is going by.


OM MANI PADME HUM

OM MANI PADME HUM

OM MANI PADME HUM


By mindfully invoking the power of Compassion,

I remove the obstacles on the path of awakenment.

By mindfully invoking the power of Compassion,

I release the karma that holds me back.

By mindfully invoking the power of Compassion,

The altruistic motivation thus arises in me.

By mindfully invoking the power of Compassion,

All beings will have a loving heart

By mindfully invoking the power of Compassion,

All beings will be cherished and experience love.



Jinyin Joint Palms




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