394 APPENDIX FOUR 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 GURU PADMA 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 GURU." 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.
TWO MANTRAS 395 When the syllables VAJRA GURU PADMA are taken together, they also signify the essence and the blessing of the View, Meditation, and Action. VAJRA means the unchanging, diamantine, indestructible Essence of the truth, which we pray to realize in our View. GURU represents the luminosity Nature and noble qualities of enlightenment, which we pray to perfect in our Meditation. PADMA stands for Compassion, which we pray to accomplish in our Action. Through reciting the mantra, then, we receive the blessing of the wisdom mind, the noble qualities and the compassion of Padmasambhava and all the buddhas. SIDDHI HUM SIDDHI means "real accomplishment," "attainment," "blessing," and "realization." There are two kinds of siddhis: ordinary and supreme. Through receiving the blessing of ordinary siddhis, all obstacles in our lives, such as ill-health, are removed, all our good aspirations are fulfilled, benefits like wealth and prosperity and long life accrue to us, and all of life's various circumstances become auspicious and conducive to spiritual practice, and the realization of enlightenment. The blessing of the supreme siddhi brings about enlightenment itself, the state of complete realization of Padmasambhava, that benefits both ourselves and all other sentient beings. So by remembering and praying to the body, speech, mind, qualities, and activity of Padmasambhava, we will come to attain both ordinary and supreme siddhis. SIDDHI HUM is said to draw in all the siddhis like a magnet that attracts iron filings. HUM represents the wisdom mind of the buddhas, and is the sacred catalyst of the mantra. It is like proclaiming its power and truth: "So be it!" The essential meaning of the mantra is: "I invoke you, the Vajra Guru, Padmasambhava, by your blessing may you grant us ordinary and supreme siddhis," Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche explains: It is said that the twelve syllables OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM carry the entire blessing of the twelve types of teaching taught by Buddha, which are the essence of his eighty-four thousand Dharmas, Therefore to recite the Vajra Guru mantra once is equivalent to the blessing of reciting,,, or practicing the whole teaching of the Buddha, These twelve branches of the teachings are the antidotes to free us from the "Twelve Links of Interdependent Origination," which keep us bound to samsara: ignorance, karmic formations, discursive consciousness, name and form, senses, contact, sensation, craving, grasping, existence, birth, old age and death, These twelve links are the mechanism of