The Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇī or Mahākaruṇā Dhāraṇī, popularly known as the Great Compassion Mantra in English (大悲咒), is a dhāraṇī of Mahayana Buddhist origin. It was spoken by the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara before an assembly of Buddhas, bodhisattvas, devas and kings, according to the Mahakarunikacitta Sutra. Like the now popular six-syllable mantra “om mani padme hum”, it is a popular mantra synonymous with Avalokiteśvara in East Asia. It is often used for protection or purification.

The chanting of this dhāraṇī is perhaps the most frequently performed Buddhism song by Chinese-speaking musicians. It is often falsely named Tibetan Great Compassion Mantra (藏传大悲咒) or The Great Compassion Mantra in Sanskrit (梵音大悲咒) in both Chinese and Taiwanese recordings.


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