Shakyamuni Buddha Mantra and Chants
He is regarded as the Supreme Buddha and is the first enlightened individual to be visualized. Despite some confusion from those who do not follow Buddhism, it is important to note that the Buddha was not considered to be a God.
He was rather a mere human, like the rest of us, who was able to develop an extraordinary perception about existence. This perception helped him to rid his mind of the things that cause us all a level of suffering; craving, hatred, and delusion.
This, in turn, helped him to attain levels of true peace and contentment – and remain free from the suffering of sentient beings.
Table of Contents
Shakyamuni Buddha Mantra
Shakyamuni is a name for the nirvana-kaya aspect of the Buddha and is therefore considered by Buddhists to be synonymous with the historical Buddha. In early texts the Buddha is most often referred to as Bhagavat or “the Blessed One”, or as Gautama (Pali Gotama) his clan name.
It is said that the historical Buddha grew up in a life of luxury but after seeing that everyone would grow old, become ill, and die, he abandoned his home and joined a group of ascetics seeking the way beyond death.
Subsequently, he abandoned severe asceticism as well and pursued a middle way between hedonism and asceticism that enabled him to make a decisive breakthrough known as bodhi, awakening, usually translated as enlightenment. He spent the rest of his life teaching others how they could also awaken.
The letter is the source of all the other letters, the source of all mantras.
In the Shingon school, the seed-syllable of Sakyamuni is bhah
This comes from the first letter of the most common way of addressing, or referring to, the Buddha Bhagavan with the visarga (ḥ).
The visarga is a common indicator of a bija in early tantra but is eclipsed by anusvara (ṃ) in later traditions.
Tibetan Uchen Mantra
Mantra in Devnagari
om muni muni mahamuni sakyamuni svaha
Alternative Tibetan Mantra
om muni muni mahamuniye svaha
Meaning of Shakyamuni Buddha Mantra
As with the majority of mantras, there can be several types of meanings associated with the Shakyamuni Buddha mantra; however, it is possible to come up with several literal English translations so that the true essence of this powerful mantra can be better understood.
- Om – Some believe that Om does not have an actual conceptual meaning. However, it can typically be reflective of an awareness of the surrounding universe. It is used at the start of many mantras and can be thought of as opening yourself up to the truth of what is coming next with the recital of the mantra.
- Muni – This term is often translated to mean sage or wise one.
- Maha – This term is typically translated to mean great or supreme.
- Soha – This term is often translated to mean hail or greetings.