OM is also the essence of form, AH the essence of sound, and

HUM the essence of mind. So by reciting this mantra, you are also

purifying the environment, as well as yourself and all other beings

within it. OM purifies all perceptions, AH all sounds, and HUM the

mind, its thoughts and emotions.

Internally OM purifies the subtle channels, AH the wind, inner air

or flow of energy, and HUM the creative essence. 2

On a deeper level, OM AH HUM represent the three kayas of

the Lotus family of buddhas: OM is the Dharmakaya: the Buddha

Amitabha, Buddha of Limitless Light; AH is the Sambhogakaya:

Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion; and HUM is the Nirmanakaya:

Padmasambhava. This signifies, in the case of this mantra,

that all three kayas are embodied in the person of Padmasambhava.

At the innermost level, OM AH HUM bring the realization of the

three aspects of the nature of mind: OM brings the realization of its

unceasing Energy and Compassion, AH brings the realization of its

radiant Nature, and HUM brings the realization of its skylike Essence.


VAJRA is compared to the diamond, the strongest and most precious

of stones. Just as a diamond can cut through anything but is

itself completely indestructible, so the unchanging, nondual wisdom

of the buddhas can never be harmed or destroyed by ignorance, and

can cut through all delusion and obscurations. The qualities and activities

of the body, speech, and wisdom mind of the buddhas are able

to benefit beings with the piercing, unhindered power of the diamond.

And like a diamond, the Vajra is free of defects; its brilliant

strength comes from the realization of the Dharmakaya nature of

reality, the nature of the Buddha Amitabha.

GURU means "weighty"; someone replete with every wonderful

quality, who embodies wisdom, knowledge, compassion, and skillful

means. Just as gold is the weightiest and most precious of metals, so

the inconceivable, flawless qualities of the Guru—the master—make

him unsurpassable, and above all things in excellence. GURU corresponds

to the Sambhogakaya, and to Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of

Compassion. Also, since Padmasambhava teaches the path of Tantra,

which is symbolized by the Vajra, and through the practice of Tantra

he attained supreme realization, so he is known as "the VAJRA


PADMA means lotus, and signifies the Lotus family of the buddhas,

and specifically their aspect of enlightened speech. The Lotus

family is the buddha family to which human beings belong. As

Padmasambhava is the direct emanation, the Nirmanakaya, of Buddha

Amitabha, who is the primordial buddha of the Lotus family, he

is known as "PADMA." His name Padmasambhava, the "Lotus-born,"

in fact refers to the story of his birth on a blossoming lotus flower.

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