Buddhist chants and meanings

We take a look at some of the most well-known Buddhist chants and meanings of these mantras.

Apr 30, 2024
Buddhism is an Indian religion that encompasses a journey to enlightenment that leads to the awakening of the soul.
There are four doctrines for enlightenment: existence itself is suffering (Dukkha); suffering always has a cause, generally craving and attachment (Trishna); the end of suffering (Nirvana); and the eightfold path, which includes wisdom, meditation, and morality.
Observance and meditation are core acumen of Buddhism. One such traditional means of preparing the mind for meditation is “chanting.”
Buddhist chants are powerful recitations or musical verses not meant to worship God but instead to help realize enlightenment.
It is a process of cultivating mindfulness and releasing ego and attachment to worldly delusions to change how we perceive and experience.
Here are ten popular Buddhist chants and meanings to help you in your meditation.

1. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

This is one of the most powerful Buddhist mantras, which means that we should surrender and dedicate ourselves to supreme power. Namo means “to devote ourselves.” Myoho can be translated as “a mystic.” Renge Kyo means “to blossom like a lotus.”
So the mantra suggests that if we surrender ourselves to that divine power, we will blossom and feel happy and beautiful.
Benefits of chanting this mantra:
  • It provides the strength to face problems.
  • We surrender ourselves to God that provides us strength.

2. Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhassa

This mantra gives homage to Buddha, which will help to gain enlightenment and perform good deeds.
This Buddha mantra literally means, “I honor and pay tribute to the blessed one, who is fully enlightened and is the only one.”
Benefits of chanting this mantra:
  • It helps one to get rid of all worldly attachments and surrender to the supreme power.
  • It helps to strengthen one’s mind.

3. Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha

Green Tara, also known as “the Mother of Liberation” or “she who saves,” is the embodiment of profound compassion helping you to attain liberation.
This mantra helps in the culmination of spiritual efficacy, universal salvation, relief from mundane sufferings, receiving blessings, and individual salvation as well.
Benefits of chanting this mantra:
  • It helps you achieve all your goals.
  • Will give relief from suffering.

4. Om Mani Padme Hum

This chant is also called the Avalokitesvara mantra, which is chanted to seek the blessings of Chenrezig, who is a famous Buddhist. He is known for his compassion for nature.
This mantra seeks to cultivate compassion and invoke universal sound with the ultimate goal of enlightenment, love, and peace.
Benefits of chanting this mantra:
  • This will help you cultivate compassion and peace.
  • This provides peace and enlightenment.

5. Namo Amituofo

This mantra is utilized to ensure rebirth in the Pure Land of Amitabha. It enables you to be on the correct path of attaining Buddhahood.
Apart from rebirth in the Pure Land, it also helps in safeguarding one from delusions and dangers to develop the inner strength to overcome all obstacles.
Benefits of chanting this mantra:
  • Chanting of this mantra will save you from all the delusions of the world.
  • This mantra helps you to develop the inner strength to face all the problems.

6. Gate Gate Para Gate Parasam Gate Bodhi Svaha

The Gate Gate mantra is often known as “the Great Heart of Wisdom Sutra,” or “the Heart Sutra.” This final verse means, “Going, going, going on beyond, always going on beyond, always becoming Buddha.”
It helps to inculcate the essence of the heart sutra and obtain clarity in your spiritual life.
Benefits of chanting this mantra:
  • This will help you attain clarity in life.
  • This will promote thinking beyond worldly attachments and attain spirituality.

7. Om A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhih

This mantra is chanted to worship Manjushri, a Buddhist Bodhisattva of wisdom. He is depicted holding a sword in one hand and a lotus with a book in the other hand.
The sword signifies the ability to cut out all delusions. It enables you to gain wisdom and make the right decisions.
Benefits of chanting this mantra:
  • Chanting this mantra will help you to gain clarity of circumstances.
  • It gives you the strength to make correct decisions, even under challenging circumstances.

8. Tayata Om Bekanze Bekanze Maha Bekanze Radza Samudgate Soha

This is also called the “Mantra of Medicine Buddha.” The term Radza Samudgate means supreme, and Bekanze literally is the name of Medicine Buddha.
The Tayata Om mantra can be translated as “Hail Appear, O Healer, O King of Healing.”
Medicine Buddha is depicted as holding amrita in one hand, which signifies the nectar of immortality to cure the sufferings. His left hand is in the dhyana or meditation position.
Benefits of chanting this mantra:
  • This will help to activate the inner power and promote healing from within.
  • Regular chanting of mantras helps to maintain good physical health.
This mantra and 2 others from this list are beautifully rendered in the Ancient Chants from India - Volume 3 album.

9. Om Tare Tuttare Ture Mama Ayuh Punya Jnana Pustim Kuru Svaha

This mantra is chanted to invoke White Tara at the time of illness. Like Green, Tara is invoked at a time of danger. The term Ayuh means “long life,” Jnana” is “wisdom”, Pustim can be translated as “abundance,” and Kuru means “to make it happen.”
White Tara is depicted as sitting cross-legged with seven eyes that symbolize watchful eyes in all directions.
Benefits of chanting this mantra:
  • Chanting this mantra relieves a person from all diseases.
  • This will ensure the well-being of an individual mentally and spiritually.

10. Om Muni Muni Mahamuni Shakyamuni Svaha

This mantra is chanted to praise Shakyamuni Buddha, who will develop ethical values and habits in our lives. This will develop an individual spiritually and will give rise to good health and fortune.
Benefits of Chanting Mantra:
  • This mantra will promote good health and prosperity in the life of a person.
Practicing these mantras initially can be difficult and uncomfortable. For a better understanding, it is essential to gain an understanding of Buddhism and the meaning of texts.

Great Buddhist Material

Following this practice will help to attain the maximum benefits of the mantra. We have enlisted a few products that will help you to chant the mantra properly to their full potential.

1. Zen: Buddhist Chant

Zen is an audio CD that mixes all the Buddhist chants with good music to promote healing and spirituality.

2. Living by Vow: A Practical Introduction to Eight Essential Zen Chants and Texts

This book will help you to gain a clear understanding of all the mantras and sutras and how to incorporate them into your life.


Buddhism gives a lot of emphasis on simplicity, peace of mind, and healing.
Chanting of mantras given in Buddhism helps to please the senses and stimulate the mind and emotions to achieve compassion, awareness, good health, and prosperity.

Listen to powerful Buddhist chants

Here's a list of mantras that you can listen to right now. These are meditation mantras that are great at illustrating the meaning of Buddhist chants.
These were mentioned at various points in the post. Play these mantras in the background as you revisit them.