Spinning Prayer Wheel Symbolism

Posted by on 20th May 2023

Spinning Prayer Wheel Symbolism

Spinning Wheel Mantra its Calming Properties and Meaning

Likely you have seen the prayer wheel being spun by Buddhists as they pass by in zen aesthetic imagery.

That’s not just by accident; the spinning prayer wheel is probably one of the most widely recognized symbols of Buddhism today.

So why is it that spinning these wheels are so meaningful as a global symbol, and where did they come from?

The spinning wheel and its mantra is a centuries-old practice with many therapeutic and meditative benefits. It is said that this mantra can calm the mind, soothe the soul and bring about a sense of inner peace. This article will explore the calming properties of the spinning wheel mantra, uncover its mysterious meaning. Read on and explore how this practice can be used as a form of meditation.

What is the Spinning Wheel Mantra?

The mantra “Om mani padme hum” is most commonly used, but other mantras may be used as well. Also sometimes depicted are dakinis, Protectors and very often the eight auspicious symbols (ashtamangala).

Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum

Pronounced: Ohm – Mah – Nee – Pod – Meh - Hum

This chant brings you joy and peaceful vibrations and supposedly, contained in this verse is the truth of the nature of suffering and how to remove its causes.

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History of the Spinning Wheel Mantra

Prayer wheels are used by many Tibetans everyday, sometimes for hours on end. Worshippers turn prayer wheels to accumulate merit, to help all beings in the world and to purify their karma (intentional actions). They are part of a meditation practice.

Example of a Spinning Wheel Necklace


How to Utilize the Spinning Wheel Mantra

Speaking the mantra aloud or silently, spinning prayer wheels with the mantra, and carving the mantra into stones are the usual practices.

It is very good to recite the mantra, but while you are doing it, you should be thinking on its meaning, for the meaning of the six syllables is great and vast.

You can learn more by following this link where

Matt Caron of Sivana East explains the symbolism of the prayer wheel.


Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum are the six true words, but what do they mean?

The six true words: Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum is the most common mantra in Tibet, recited by Buddhists, painted or carved on rocks, prayer wheels, or yak skulls and seen around Tibet very commonly. According to Tibetan culture, it is said that all the teachings of Buddha are contained in this mantra, and that to know the phrase is to know enlightenment. 

In the Buddhist tradition, special words are repeated over and over again until they begin to gather a certain "emptiness". The word emptiness here does not mean one experiences nothing, but rather it is about experiencing ourselves in the moment, without the usual attachment of ego. There is no emptiness, but rather we are filled with an inner awareness, which give us the intuitive knowledge to save ourselves from suffering.


Om - The sound or "vibration" of the universe, it symbolizes one’s impure body, speech and mind, and also the pure noble body, speech and mind of a Buddha. Buddhism claims that an impure body, speech and mind can be transformed into the pure one of a Buddha, who were once impure and later by removing their negative attributes, achieved enlightenment on this path. It is meant to destroy attachments to ego and establish generosity.

Ma Ni - The jewel, symbolizes factors of method, compassion and love, the altruistic intention to become enlightened. “Just as a jewel is capable of removing poverty, so the altruistic mind of enlightenment is capable of removing the poverty, or difficulties, and of solitary peace.” Similarly, just as a jewel fulfills the wishes of sentient beings, so the altruistic intention to become enlightened fulfills the wishes of sentient beings establishing ethics and patience.

Pad Me means lotus and symbolizes wisdom. Growing out of mud, but not being stained by mud, the lotus indicates the quality of wisdom, which keeps you out of contradiction. The ability to remove attachment to prejudice (the mud) and establishing perseverance (the lotus) as well as losing possessiveness and gaining concentration.

The last symbol, Hum, means inseparability; symbolizing purity and can be achieved by the unity of method and wisdom. The removal of attachment to hatred and establishment of wisdom.

Understanding the Simple Meaning of the Spinning Wheel Mantra

According to the Dalai Lama therefore, Om Mani Padme Hum means that on the path of life, with intention and wisdom, we can achieve the pure body, speech and mind of a Buddha.

The spinning wheel mantra has been around for centuries. It is a powerful meditation technique that can bring about a sense of inner peace and tranquility. By understanding the history, benefits, and meaning of this mantra, you can use it to calm your mind and cultivate a deeper understanding of yourself and the world.

Now that you know the calming properties of the spinning wheel mantra, try it out for yourself! Find a quiet place and get ready for a deeply relaxing experience.