First, the nature of a mantra and what it means:
In the Buddhist tradition, special words are repeated over and over again until they begin to gather a certain “emptiness”. This is not “emptiness” in the traditional sense where we imagine an experience of nothing…rather it is experiencing ourselves in the moment without the usual attachment of ego.
We become free or “empty” of everything but an inner awareness.
That form of enlightened awareness gives us the intuitive knowledge to save ourselves from suffering.
The 6 Syllables and Their Relationship to Suffering
Interestingly, each of the 6 syllables has certain Sanskrit meanings that are important.
These oppose certain internal forces that cause suffering.
Om (ohm)- Om is the sound or “vibration” of the universe. This sound is the most important of all; but in the context of chanting and mantras, it is meant destroy attachments to ego and establish generosity.
Ma (mah)- Removes the attachment to jealousyand establishes ethics.
Ni (nee)- Removes the attachment to desireand establishes patience.
Pad (pahd)- Removes the attachment to prejudice and establishes perseverance.
Me (meh)- Removes the attachment topossessivenessand establishes concentration.
Hum (hum)- Removes the attachment to hatredand establishes wisdom.