Buddhist Mantras and Chants

We extend deep gratitude to our friend, Satyadhana, for his kindness and wisdom in clarifying pronunciation for these mantras/chants and for providing the pronunciation guide below.
Popular at Triratna Retreats and Pujas

Buddhist Mantras

Amitābha Mantra
oṃ amitābha hrīḥ   Tibetan alternative: oṃ amideva hrīḥ (see: Visible Mantra for more information)
Avalokiteśvara Mantra
oṃ maṇipadme hūṃ  
Green Tārā
oṃ tāre tuttāre ture svāhā  
Mañjuśrī
oṃ a ra pa ca na dhīḥ  
Padmasambhava
oṃ āḥ hūṃ vajraguru padmasiddhi hūṃ  
Śākyamuni Mantra
oṃ muni muni mahāmuni śākyamuni svāhā
Buddha Shakyamuni as Lord of the Munis
Vajrasattva

Standard

oṃ vajrasattva hūṃ

100-Syllable Vajrasattva Mantra

oṃ vajrasattva samayam anupālaya vajrasattvatvenopatiṣṭha dṛḍho me bhava sutoṣyo me bhava supoṣyo me bhava anurakto me bhava sarva siddhiṃ me prayaccha sarvakarmasu ca me cittaṃ śreyaḥ kuru hūṃ ha ha ha ha hoḥ bhagavan sarvatathāgatavajra mā me muñca vajrī bhava mahāsamayasattva āḥ
White Tārā Mantra
oṃ tāre tuttāre ture mama āyuḥ-puṇya-jñāna-puṣṭiṃ kuru svāhā  
Peace
oṃ śanti śanti śanti   This mantra is used at the end of Triratna pujas.
Prajñāpāramita Mantra
gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā  
Vajrapāṇi
oṃ vajrapaṇi hūṃ

Buddhist Chants

Heart Sutra, The
The Bodhisattva of Compassion, When he meditated deeply, Saw the emptiness of all five skandhas And sundered the bonds that caused him suffering. Here then, Form is no other than emptiness, Emptiness no other than form. Form is only emptiness, Emptiness only form. Feeling, thought, and choice, Consciousness itself, Are the same as this. All things are by nature void They are not born or destroyed Nor are they stained or pure Nor do they wax or wane So, in emptiness, no form, No feeling, thought, or choice, Nor is there consciousness. No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind; No colour, sound, smell, taste, touch, Or what the mind takes hold of, Nor even act of sensing. No ignorance or end of it, Nor all that comes of ignorance; No withering, no death, No end of them. Nor is there pain, or cause of pain, Or cease in pain, or noble path To lead from pain; Not even wisdom to attain! Attainment too is emptiness. So know that the Bodhisattva Holding to nothing whatever, But dwelling in Prajna wisdom, Is freed of delusive hindrance, Rid of the fear bred by it, And reaches clearest Nirvana. All Buddhas of past and present, Buddhas of future time, Using this Prajna wisdom, Come to full and perfect vision. Hear then the great dharani, The radiant peerless mantra, The Prajnaparamita Whose words allay all pain; Hear and believe its truth! Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha
May all beings be happy
sabbe sattā sukhi hontu
Refuges and Precepts
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa Buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi. Dhammaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi. Saṅghaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi. Dutiyampi buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi. Dutiyampi dhammaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi. Dutiyampi saṅghaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi. Tatiyampi buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi. Tatiyampi dhammaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi. Tatiyampi saṅghaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi. Pāṇātipātā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi Adinnādānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi Kāmesumicchācāra veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi Musāvādā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi Surā-meraya-majja pamādaṭṭhānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi Sādhu! Sādhu! Sādhu!
This being, that becomes...
imasmiṃ sati idaṃ hoti imass’ uppādā idaṃ uppajjati imasmiṃ asati idaṃ na hoti imassa nirodhā idaṃ nirujjhati

Sanskrit Pronunciation Guide

Vowels

 Pronounced like  Examples
 a  cup  dharma, karma
 ā  tar  prajnā, mahā
 i  hit  mitra
 ī  police  śīla
 u  put  guru
 ū  rude  pūja
 ṛ  crib  samskṛt
 e  prey  deva
 ai  aisle  maitri
 o  go  bodhi
 au  haus [German]  gautama
 (a)ṁ/ṃ Depends on next letter:
  1. At the end of a sentence, it is a nasalized sound similar to “bon” in French
  2. Before a vowel, it is pronounced as a true “m”
  3. Before a consonant, it takes on the nasalized sound of that following consonant (ṅ, ñ, ṇ, n or m).
 
  1. oṃ maṇipadme hūṃ
  2. oṃ amitābha hrīḥ
  3. Often formally changed to that nasal: for example, “saṃgha” is typically written/spelled as “saṅgha“, though either one is correct.
 (a)ḥ  echoes previous vowel  hrīḥ

Guttoral

(back of throat)
 Pronounced like  Examples
k  kit
karma
kh  brickhouse
khajit
g  go  gate
gh  baghouse  saṅgha
 sling  saṅgha

Palatal

(soft palate)
 Pronounced like  Examples
c  chow
citta
ch  beachhouse
gacchāmi
j  joy
jātaka
jh  hedgehog
jhāna
 bunyan
prajñā

Retroflex

(tip of tongue to top of mouth)
Pronounced like Examples
 tot
dṛṣṭi
ṭh
 hothouse
adhiṣṭāna
 dad
garuḍa
ḍh
 bedhead
dṛḍho
 nun
karuṇā

Semi-Vowels

Pronounced like Examples
y yell yoga
r run ratna
l lad loka
v van vajra (svāha)