Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇī

Great Compassion Mantra

Mantras Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇī
Commentary and preparations by Max Makki

Great Compassion Mantra


This mantra is believed to have been transmitted to an assembly of monks by the Bodhisattva, Avalokiteśvara. Avalokiteśvara asked for Gautama Buddha's permission to speak, and when granted, he narrated a story dating back billions of eons into the history of the cosmos. The story reads as follows:

AVALOKITESVARA: Billions of eons ago, a Buddha appeared in the world. This Buddha's compassion towards me - and all living beings - was so great that he spoke this expansive, immaculate, unhindered, Great Compassionate Dharani. With his golden hand, he rubbed my head and spoke.

AMITABHA: Virtuous man, hold this mantra so that you may grant benefit and joy to all living beings in the coming age of evil.

AVALOKITESVARA: Before I heard the mantra, I was at the first level of Bodhisattva and, upon hearing the mantra, I advanced beyond the eighth level of Bodhisattva. With a joyful heart, I vowed: 'If I were given one thousand hands and eyes right this instant, then I will work towards the benefit and happiness of all living beings.'

Immediately after I took this vow, my body sprouted one thousand hands and eyes, and the worlds in the ten directions shook in six different ways. Thousands of Buddhas from the ten directions shone their light upon my body and lit up an incalculable number of worlds.

Benefits of Reciting the Mantra

Avalokiteśvara reported a host of benefits for memorizing and chanting the Great Compassion Mantra. Among them are the following:

  • Peaceful deaths
  • Favorable rebirths
  • The power to command ghosts
  • The power to command demons
  • Protection from harassment by ghosts, demons and Devas
  • Being watched over by honorable and divine beings

Many more benefits are reported, and an exhaustive list can be found in the Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇī Sutra.


Citation for this transliteration: Chandra, Lokesh (1988). The Thousand-armed Avalokiteśvara. Page 142. New Delhi: Abhinav Publications, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. ISBN 81-7017-247-0.

namo ratna-trayāya

nama āryāvalokiteśvarāya bodhisattvāya mahāsattvāya mahākāruṇikāya

oṃ sarva-bhayeṣu trāṇa-karāya tasmai namaskṛtvā imaṃ āryāvalokiteśvara-stavaṃ nīlakaṇṭha-nāma

hṛdayaṃ vartayiṣyāmi sarvārtha-sādhanaṃ śubhaṃ

ajeyaṃ sarva-bhutānāṃ bhava-mara-viśodhakaṃ


oṃ āloka e āloka-mati lokātikrānta ehy-ehi hare mahābodhisattva

smara smara hṛdayam

hi hi hare āryāvalokiteśvara maheśvara parama-maitra-citta mahākāruṇikā

kuru-kuru karma


dehi-dehi me varaṃ kamaṃ

dhuru-dhuru vijayate mahāvijayate

dhara-dhara dharāṇiṃdhareśvara

cala-cala malla vimal-āmala-mūṛtte

ehy-ehi lokeśvara

rāga-viṣaṃ viṇāśaya

dveṣa-viṣaṃ viṇāśaya

moha-jāla-viṣaṃ viṇāśaya

hulu-hulu malla

hulu hare padmanābha

sara-sara siri-siri suru-suru

buddhya-buddhya bodhaya-bodhaya maitriya nīlakaṇṭha

kāmasya darśanena prahlādaya manaḥ svāhā

siddhāya svāhā

mahāsiddhāya svāhā

siddha-yogeśvarāya svāhā

nīlakaṇṭhāya svāhā

vāraha-mukha-siṃha-mukhāya svāhā

padma-hastāya svāhā

cakrāyudhāya svāhā

śaṇkha-śabda-nibodhanaya svāhā

mahā-lakuṭa-dharāya svāhā

vāma-skanda-deśa-sthita-kṛṣṇājināya svāhā

vyāghra-carma-nivasanāya svāhā

namo ratna-trayāya

namaḥ āryāvalokiteśvarāya svāhā