Tibetan OM and Om Mani Padme Hum Tattoo Meanings

Om Mani Padme Hum
By © Christopher J. Fynn / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

We are all familiar with the OM symbol and its amazing shape. Written in Sanskrit, this symbol is known as the most important spiritual sound in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It is always placed in front of a mantra which is a form of a prayer that has strong spiritual power.

There are many temples and shrines where we can notice OM engraved on the walls, combined with other Sanskrit words. It always comes in front of the mantra because it is believed that when we say it Om or A-U-M it cleans the body before we continue further with our spiritual discipline.

The most famous OM symbols that have amazing shapes from which many people are fascinated are the Hindu OM and the Tibetan OM.

The difference between the Tibetan OM and Hindu OM

The Hindu Om became very popular in the past two decades and we can see it inked on many people as a sign of their connection with its spiritual meaning. It is the same with the Tibetan Om but, this sign’s meaning is often connected with a person who is a devotee of Tibetan Buddhism. The origin of this sound comes from Hinduism. It was found in one of the Upanishads (sacred texts) known as the Mandukya Upanishad.

In Buddhism, the sound Om was deeply accepted by the Tibetan Buddhists who were influenced by Hinduism. As mentioned before, the Om comes in front of a mantra and in Tibetan Buddhism, the most common mantra is Om Mani Padme Hum. See Lord Buddha tattoos and their spritual meanings.

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The meaning of the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum

It is very interesting that the Sanskrit mantras can’t be translated accurately, but on the other hand, if one devotes himself to say these mantras, he can understand them from the inside. The same goes for the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum for which is believed that it contains all of the teachings of Buddha. The six syllable mantra in which the word Mani is often translated as a gem or a jewel and the word Padme means Lotus. The word Hum is symbolizes spirit of enlightenment.

The Lotus is the sign of purity in the Hindu and Buddhist teachings. It is believed that through good deeds we open the petals of our Padma or spiritual Lotus and from the inside of the Lotus, we create a gem or a jewel which can represent Nirvana or Moksha which is the final transcendent state that breaks the circle of reincarnation.

The meaning of the Tibetan OM tattoo

Tibetan Om Tattoo

When it comes to the shape of these two signs, we can notice that the Hindu Om has a more curved form and the Tibetan Om is more pointy. The Tibetan Om almost looks like a tribal tattoo and it is a stunning art if we detached it from its meaning just for a second.

Many tattoo artists say that people come to ink Om on their bodies and when they choose the Hindu OM, some of them have a deep connection with its meaning and some of them add it because of fashion. There is a group of people who often ink the Hindu Om sign because of their passion for the Psy Trance Scene where it is very popular.

But when asked about the Tibetan OM, they always say that this sign is keeping its meaning connected with Tibetan Buddhism. We can see many different Tibetan Om tattoos which are mostly combined with various Buddhism motifs. We can see tattoos of the Tibetan Om with the Buddha inside of them, with Lotus flowers or gorgeous mandalas in the background.

The meaning of the Om Mani Padme Hum tattoo

Some people ink even larger Tibetan tattoos adding the whole Om Mani Padme Hum mantra on their bodies. Each person can have its own interpretation of this mantra and because of that, we can see amazing tattoos where the words are placed in different positions. We can see tattoos of the mantra designed in a circle, horizontally or vertically on the back with the lotus flower in the middle or petals added on the sides, sometimes each syllable is inked with many colors and patterns to look even more beautiful, and sometimes is just a small tattoo on the arm or leg or neck.

The script of the Tibetan People is fascinating just as it is. Some tattoo artists say that sometimes people add Tibetan letters not even knowing what they mean just because it looks cool. It is a very elegant script which is a challenge for tattoo artists to practice it and to create stunning tattoo concepts with it. Some of them are even specialized in Tibetan tattoos and make various designs of the Om symbol and other meaningful mantras.

Known as the sound of the Universe, you can never go wrong with inking the Tibetan Om. Even if some don’t know the deeper meaning, the spiritual connection is there. Besides the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra there are hundreds other Tibetan mantras.

Each one of them has a special meaning that you can connect with and ask your tattoo artists to come up with the most amazing concept.

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