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When reciting or listening to mantras such as Om Mani Pade Hum, what difference does it make when either listening, reciting or both?

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The esoteric vibrations are what its all about. This is why the best mantras are in their original language (usually Sanskirt) not the transliterated and especially not the translated versions.

To answer your question: How much stronger would the vibrations be if you say it with your voice than your mind? Much much stronger. You are basically doing a magic summoning spell, summoning good karma and asking for the respective forces to help you. The more in-sync you are with the vibration the more likely they will be able to "hear"/feel your call and help you.

At higher stages of focus, where you are doing it mentally and you can ignore everything else, it does not make much of a difference because the focus is the same and the vibrations have already sufficiently transformed the body.

Thus, do it loudly verbally, using it as your focus. Once your focus is developed (jhana) then you can do it silently.

I would recommend "How to mantra" by William Bodri for more esoteric information in regard to this subject.

  • If these mantras did not exist, what vibrations would provide the same result? How do mantras "help" you? – Motivated Oct 29 '15 at 7:09
  • The esoteric vibrations such as "ohm" would provide the same result. Learn about the "six healing sounds." Mantras like "keys" or "passwords" to create a doorway to the deity that is helping you. Without creating this doorway, the deity could not help with your karma as easily. – Ahmed Nov 10 '15 at 16:03
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Reciting increases the concentration of just listening.

Other benefits of reciting are listed in these Buddhist Mantra FAQS:

What are some of the benefits?

  • Development of intent, focus and concentration
  • Improved breathing patterns and improved health
  • Sonic healing, similar to the way cats and dolphins use sound for healing and keeping healthy
  • Development of attributes or experiences associated with specific mantra
  • A graduated system of improvement. In particular through assessment of needs and provision by teachers specialising in mantrayana
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Could be everything, could be nothing. Everything depends on you. You could recite one million mantras without meaning anything and viceversa. Only counts what you get from it.

  • Hi Rodzun and welcome to Buddhism SE. We have a Guide and a Resource tab for new users that you might like. – Lanka Oct 30 '15 at 22:01

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