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This page also includes a section on The Great Compassion mantra, Dai Bei Zou.

Multiplying the Benefits of Mantra

The Parinata-chakra Sutra says that if this is recited seven times: 

Om, sambhara sambhara bimana shara maha dzawa hung!
Om mara mara bimana kara maha dzawa hung!

then whatever virtuous actions one does that day will be multiplied by
100, 000. (The first part "encourages" benefits and the second part "overcomes" adversity.)

On certain auspicious days, it is believed that the effects of saying mantras are multiplied.  On the 8th of the lunar month, the 15th and the 30th effects are multiplied 100 times.  

During the four Great Festivals (düchen) such as Saga Dawa (Buddha's Anniversary)  the positive effects of saying one single mantra are increased 10 million times.

Also, there are mantras that are believed to enhance the effects of one's mala.  Two versions, among many, follow.  While rubbing the mala, say: 



BB points out that if we say the Mantra for Multiplying Mantras a thousand times, then the accumulated benefit on a day like Saga Dawa is 1 [American-style] billion. 

"Since each one increases the effect of the next by 100,000 or something like that, by the time we get to the end of that 1,000, we need a NASA computer to figure out the multiplier effect.  Then, we say ONE Mani, which is said to be the embodiment of all Mantras. BAM!! We have just recited all the Mantras gazillion number of times -- enough for Buddhahood, maybe? "


"I once asked an American lama about this. In one of his books, the great Dzochen master Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche says that one really sincere prostration, done with proper love, compassion, and devotion, was equal to 100,000 of the less inspired kind. So I asked this lama (jokingly) if I could just do one really great prostration, and then move on to Vajrasattva . . .  .

Sooo  . . .  he said, No.  He told me to think of the benefit there would be in doing 100,000 of these really sincere prostrations.  Why, that's like doing 10 billion of the ordinary kind! What could be better than that?"  ~ SL

CB says:  It's always good to recite the Sanskrit alphabet, or "Ali-Kali," followed by the Vajrasattva mantra and the Om Ye Dharma mantra ...three times, i.e., recite Ali Kali, Vajrasattva, Om ye Dharma, then back to Ali-Kali and do the whole sequence three times. 

The mantra of Dependent Arising (or, dharani of Dependent Origination)

Om, Ye Dharma Hetu Prabhava Hetun Teschan Tathagato Hey Vadat Teshan Cha
Yo Nirodha Evam Vadi Maha Shramanah Ye, Soha! 


The Sanskrit alphabet can also be used to multiply benefits of mantra.

During a puja or sadhana, after the deity's mantras, and before the dissolution, recite the following three times, usually while ringing the bell:

Om, a ah i ii u uu ri rii li lii e ee o oh ang ah /

ka kha ga gha nga/ tsa tsaa dza dzha nya /ta taa da dha na/ 

ta taa da dha na / pa paa ba bha ma/ ya ra la wa sha sa kya.  Swaha !


Mantra in the Chinese Mahayana Tradition 

Nilakantha Dharani a.k.a.  The Mahakaruna or Great Compassion Mantra  [Chinese: Da Bei Zhou]

If humans and gods recite and hold the phrases of The Great Compassion Mantra, then when they approach the end of life, it is said that all the Buddhas of the ten directions will come to take them by the hand to rebirth in whatever Pure Land they wish, according to their desire.

In imitation of The Bodhisattva of Compassion, here usually thought of in Kwan Yin form, one says:

1. Should any living being who recites and holds the spiritual mantra of Great Compassion fall into the three evil paths, I vow not to realize right enlightenment.

2. Should any living being who recites and holds the spiritual mantra of Great Compassion not be reborn in any Buddha land, I vow not to realise right enlightenment.

3. Should any living being who recites and holds the spiritual mantra of Great Compassion not obtain unlimited samadhis and eloquence, I vow not to realise right enlightenment.

4. Should any living being who recites and holds the spiritual mantra of Great Compassion not obtain the fruits of whatever is sought in this very life, then he cannot have been making proper use of the Dharani of the Great Compassion Heart.

People and gods who recite and hold the Great Compassion Mantra will obtain fifteen kinds of good birth and will not suffer fifteen kinds of bad death.

[That is:]
1. They will not die of starvation or privation
2. They will not die from having been yoked, imprisoned, caned or otherwise beaten
3. They will not die at the hands of hostile enemies
4. They will not be killed in military battle
5. They will not be killed by tigers, wolves, or other evil beasts
6. They will not die from the venom of poisonous snakes, black serpents, or scorpions
7. They will not drown or be burned to death
8. They will not be poisoned to death
9. They will not die as a result of sorcery
10. They will not die of madness or insanity
11. They will not be killed by landslides or falling trees
12. They will not die of nightmares sent by evil people
13. They will not be killed by deviant spirits or evil ghosts
14. They will not die of evil illnesses which bind the body
15. They will not commit suicide

Those who recite and hold the spiritual Mantra of Great Compassion will not suffer any of the 15 kinds of bad death and will obtain the following 15 kinds of good birth:
1. Their place of birth will always have a good [ruler]
2. They will always be born in a good country
3. They will always be born at a good time
4. They will always meet good friends
5. The organs of their body will always be complete
6. Their heart will be pure and full in the way
7. They will not violate the prohibitive precepts
8. Their family will be kind and harmonious
9. They will always have the necessary wealth and goods in abundance
10. They will always obtain the respect and help of others
11. Their riches will not be plundered
12. They will obtain everything they seek
13. Dragons, gods, and good spirits will always protect them
14. In the place where they are born they will see the Buddha and hear the Dharma
15. They will awaken to the profound meaning of that Proper Dharma which they hear.

Those who recite and hold the Great Compassion Mantra will obtain these fifteen kinds of good birth. All gods and people should constantly recite and hold it, without carelessness.

~ The Dharani Sutra. Buddhist Text Transl. Society,  Dharma Realm Buddhist University, Calif., USA.

Mantra is also used in other Buddhist schools, and not always as a Vajrayana method.  For instance, in the Kwan Um Zen teaching, 

"... they value and practice mantra, their view is based directly on Emptiness teaching -- however it is incomplete from a [tantric] viewpoint.

Anyway, both Vajrayana schools of Japanese Buddhism (Shingon and Tiendai) use mantra as well as do the Pure Land and Nichiren schools."

~ K. U. at the Kagyu email list

  • Heart [of the Perfection of Wisdom teachings] Sutra mantra:  


As was said: Om -- gone, gone; more than gone; absolutely completely gone -- enlightened! So be it!  

Svaha or swaha is like "Amen!" or "So mought it be!" It is a dedication that seals the prayer formula. 

  • Link to a nice .gif of a hand doing japa-mala.  Good Hindu mantra page.
  • Since the tradition of mantra is Indian, here is a link to the Gayatri, the address to the Sun, Savitr, the embodiment not only of light in the physical sense, but of the illumination that is wisdom.  
  • When the Dalai Lama first read the short story, The Nine Billion Names of God by Arthur C. Clarke (1953) he was moved to telephone the author.  In the story, a group of monks in a Tibetan monastery use a computer as an aid. 

Christian "Mantras"  

The Russian and other Orthodox churches have a tradition of using the Jesus Prayer like a kind of mantra.  As an example,  J. D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey (1961) tells how Franny adopts the practice of repeating a variation of the "The Jesus Prayer," Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me, that she had discovered in The Way of a Pilgrim. 

There is also the Aramaic (Ashuri /Assyrian) word that the founder of Christianity, Paul, used at the end of his first letter to the people of Corinth (1 Cor 16: 22 in the "New Testament" part of The Bible) is maranatha < mar = master, marana= our master, maranatha = "Our Master comes!")  It is the final word, or seal, that the mystic John used to end the "Revelations" (Rev 2: 20), the last section of the New Testament.  It appears in some early Christian liturgy, and inspired by his contact with an Indian monk while in Asia, Dom John Main (1926-1982), the English Irish Benedictine monk, recommended it for use by Christians who would like to practice in the mantra tradition. 


Franny and Zooey is actually composed of two stories originally published in The New Yorker magazine. The first one, "Franny," dates from January 1955.  At her boyfriend's college for a football weekend, teenager Franny Glass feels distress over the hypocrisy and egotism she perceives in the world around her.  She explains to Lane that she even quit a play she was in because she was so embarrassed by feelings of fakery.  She tries to explain her emerging spiritual concerns, but when her boyfriend brushes her off she faints as she is on her way to the ladies' room.  While he helps her, she begins to speak the prayer.

The Way of a Pilgrim  (Shambala, 1996) and its sequel, A Pilgrim Continues His Way was written by an anonymous 19th-century Russian pilgrim, who reported:  

"The invocation of the Name of Jesus gladdened my way. Everybody was kind to me. If anyone harms me I have only to think, 'How sweet is the Prayer of Jesus!' and the injury and the anger alike pass away and I forget it all." 

(There are 3 pages about Mantra.  This is the 3rd.)

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