French Icon German Icon
PDF Download

Use of the three Heart Mantras

There are 32 explanations of the methods and benefits of practicing these Mantras, but we will mention just a few of the most commonly used methods here. Chiseling Mantras on stones, wearing a Mantra or putting a Mantra over a door can all be the cause of liberation. Chiseling into a stone and placing it underwater can help to reach and liberate the creatures under the water. When printing on prayer flags, the wind can help liberate those beings that are reachable via the wind element. By singing the Mantra, others can achieve liberation simply by hearing the Mantra.


It is also useful if we write a Mantra with gold or silver ink and offer it on an altar. In Tibet, some people would buy copies of texts, even though they are illiterate, and put them on shrines and give them respect. Often, Mantras are carved into the horns or bones of animals whose meat has been eaten, such as yaks and sheep, in the hope that it will help them towards liberation. Prayer wheels are always filled with Mantras and these prayer wheels can be turned by hand, wind or through water to spread the benefits of the sacred seed syllables. Using the Mantra simultaneously with the body, speech, and mind has the greatest benefit, such as circling a Stupa while reciting a Mantra and treating it as a cleansing. You should be careful with Mantras, not grading them or treating them in any way disrespectful, or you can accumulate negative Karma.


If we see any kind of accident, it makes sense to recite one of the three Mantras, but a KAR A ME would be most useful. However, reciting one of these Mantras is beneficial to all other beings, as well as to us. The Mantras have the greatest benefit in reciting the Mantra with the strong intent; to consciously work with it to resolve our ailments.


Best of all is an obligation to make a certain number of Mantra or to recite it for a certain time; this commitment gives the Mantra and the practitioner more power. We should calmly recite it, so that another person sitting with us cannot understand what we are saying, but one should recite the syllables clearly, you do not speak indistinctly.


According to our tradition, the Mala originated with Tönpa Shenrab, the founder of the Bön. Once, while practicing as an ascetic, he planted a tree with twigs in the five colors. The five fruits of these branches were the five Malas – the four doors and a treasure.


Malas are used to count the number of repetitions of a Mantra and should have 108 pearls, though each round is counted as 100 repetitions, for example, if someone inadvertently moves two beads with a recitation. For most Bönpo Mantras, the Mala should be held in the left hand and the beads should be counted in one direction counterclockwise over the index finger. Crystal Malas are recommended for monks, for tantric practitioners Malas from Rudraksha seeds, sandalwood or bones are good. When acquiring a new Mala, these should be empowered by a Lama before we use her. Malas should not be made with too many colors or ornaments, preferably only from the natural colors of the materials. The head, or the turning-pearl of the Mala, symbolizes the three Kayas or bodies of Buddha, the 108 pearls are a symbol of the 108 Bodhisattvas. If we use a Mala for a long time and recite many Mantras, we increase their power, so it should not be easily passed on to third parties. It should be kept in a clean, respected place in our house. In Tibet it was common, when a great master gave away a Mala, every single pearl from this Mala was given to people as a form of protection.


At the beginning of each Mantra are the seed syllables of voidness and clarity, the essence of our being. So each of these Mantras really comes from the same source ꟷ the source of our own being. By reciting these Mantras, looking at their meanings and connecting with the Buddhas who are invited, one purifies oneself and all sentient beings.