30 September 2009

Tattoo - spot the mistakes!

Originally uploaded by Punkcore
Anyone who knows a little about Lantsa or Ranjana should be able to spot the mistakes in this man's tattoo - I spotted three errors in the characters visible, but then I've been typing up Lantsa mantras for a couple of weeks using the CBETA font and the SiddhaṃKey input system. My comments on the mantra are on the original site - click on the image to see them.

21 September 2009

ye dharma hetu prabhava

ye dharma in LantsaReplaced Tibetan, and added images of Lantsa (left), Sinhala (Pāli) scripts to the Ye dharma page. This phrase is often called the Buddhist credo (Latin: I believe)

Ye dharmā hetuprabhavā hetuṃ teṣāṃ tathāgataḥ hyavadat teṣāṃ ca yo nirodha evaṃ vādī mahāśramaṇaḥ

20 September 2009

New Logo

Some of you will notice that I've created a new logo for the site - this is partly in preparation for the publication of the book of the website. The character is dma. In Sanskrit 'visible mantra' would be darśataḥ mantraḥ giving the initials D.M. Combined into one bīja you get dma.

18 September 2009

Couple of Websites to Look at

These two websites may be of interest:

Mật Tông - Vietnamese Esoteric Buddhism
Some interesting Lantsa calligraphy here - most of the site is in Vietnamese but the visual stuff is good.

Siddham & Ranjana Keyboard
When this first launched I wasn't impressed. I don't like the CBETA Siddhaṃ font for start. But recently I re-visited the site and it seems to have come a long way. What really interested me was the input method for Ranjana and a decent Ranjana font. It's pretty good except for the spacing - it seems as though the letters are about 200% too wide so can't be grouped together to write words or mantras. (I used a character spacing of -20pts in Word and got a better, if slightly uneven, result). The Ranjana font isn't Unicode (I think conjuncts are displayed using individual characters rather than ligatures), and there are some gaps (dhīḥ and tāṃ can't be input for instance). However its a good start and the results are certainly better than my shakey calligraphy!

12 September 2009

Evil Tattoo

A friend posted this on his Facebook page and I thought it would make a good cautionary tale:
A Buddhist, who’s more faith than reason, into all things tantric, spots the paṁ syllable in a purification practice. He goes along to the local tattoo parlour and has it tattooed on his shoulder blade.

He's showing it off to a friend who reads the practice and says: 'It says here that paṁ is the seed syllable for all evil.'

'Oh, I’ve got the seed syllable for all evil tattooed on my shoulder blade.' Sad, but true.

My response was that he might reassure his friend by reminding him that paṃ is also the bīja for Paṇḍāravāsinī, plus I think evil would have to be pāṃ (from the first syllable of the Sanskrit word pāpa). This is one case where diacritics matter!

12/9 Noticed this Kelly Osbourne interview today:
"I hate my tattoos. I saw someone about getting a couple removed, especially the keyboard, because I don't even know how to play the piano and I was drunk when I got it. I was a spiteful brat who got tattoos to piss off my mum and now I think they are ugly. People define you by tattoos and I don't want to be defined by an anchor on my arm! Unfortunately, having them removed is going to be painful."

09 September 2009

Siddhaṃ 'a' bīja

Siddhaṃ 'a' bīja - raw
Originally uploaded by jayarava
Sometimes everything goes right.

06 September 2009


I have re-evaluated my Sanskrit re-creation of the Amitāyus mantra from the Tibetan, which is on the Amitābha page. The Tibetan reads (in Unicode)


This is usually transliterated: om amarani dziwantaye soha which reflects Tibetan pronunciation. The actual syllables are: oṃ ā ma ra ṇi dzi wan te ye svā hā, from which I have now reconstructed the Sanskrit:

oṃ amaraṇi jīvantaye svāhā
ओं अमरणि जीवन्ताये स्वाहा

More details and Siddhaṃ calligraphy on the Amitābha page. Ideally I'd find a Sanskrit source for this mantra to clarify the matter - if you know one please let me know.

05 September 2009


Alerted to a minor error on the Padmasambhava page I have updated it. I've replaced the the Siddhaṃ calligraphy, and the Tibetan calligraphy (with a font based image), but I've also added some material that I had prepared for the forthcoming Visible Mantra book (don't hold your breath). Now you will also find the Thöthrengtsal or Skull Garland mantra, and the Seven Line Invocation - both in Uchen and transliterated - with Saṅgharakṣita's translation of the latter which is based on the oral explanation he received from Dhardo Rinpoche. Both of these are popularly chanted in the FWBO.

02 September 2009

100,000 Visitors

Earlier today visiblemantra.org topped 100,000 visits for 2009 which is very gratifying, especially as I haven't done much work on the site lately. Thanks everyone!

100,000 visitors have downloaded more than 320,000 pages with the Vajrasattva page being the most popular by a long way. 2% - which is, like, 2000 sessions - have looked at more than 100 pages - 10 out of 10 for perseverance whoever you are.

Work on turning the site into an attractive book is progressing rather slowly, but it is progressing. That work will eventually translate back into the site with vastly improved Tibetan, and Devanāgarī for everything. I'm hoping to get hold of a good Lantsa font before too long as well.

Vajrasattva Mantra

Vajrasattva: I replaced my rough Tibetan Calligraphy of hūṃ and oṃ vajrasattva hūṃ with images created using fonts. Much better! I've also added the 100 syllable mantra in Unicode - here it is again:

བཛྲ་སཏྭ་ཏྭེ་ནོ་པ་ཏིཥྛ། དྲྀ་ཌྷོ་མེ་བྷ་བ། སུ་ཏོ་ ཥྱོ་མེ་བྷ་བ།
སུ་པོ་ ཥྱོ་མེ་བྷ་བ། ཨ་ནུ་ར་ཀྟོ་མེ་བྷ་བ། ས་རྦ་སི་དྡྷི་མེ་པྲ་ཡ་ཙྪ།
ས་རྦ་ཀ་རྨ་སུ་ཙ་མེ ཙི་ཏྟཾ༌ཤེ་ཡཿ་ཀུ་རུ་ཧཱུྂ།
ཧ་ཧ་ཧ་ཧ་ཧོཿ བྷ་ག་བ་ན ས་རྦ ཏ་ཐཱ་ག་ཏ་བཛྲ་མཱ་མེ་མུ་ཉྩ།
བཛྲཱི་བྷ་བ་མ་ཧཱ་ས་མ་ཡ་སཏྭ ཨཱཿ །།
ཧཱུྂ ཕ་ཊ

You can use this (ie cut and paste) to display the mantra using any Unicode font which has the Tibetan range - such as Tibetan Machine Uni, or Microsoft Himalaya. There are a number of other fonts around. Note that the 100 syllables end with āḥ - hūṃ and phaṭ are added for special purposes - see the page for explanations. Note also that there are variations in the spelling and my version is my best attempt to convey the Sanskrit using Uchen.

01 September 2009

Sabbe Satta Sukhi Hontu

sabbe satta in various scriptsThanks to stumble.com the page with my decorative version of the Pāli mantra sabbe sattā sukhi hontu has become one of the most popular pages on visiblemantra.org. As a result I have spruced up the sister page - May all beings be happy - which shows the mantra in formal siddhaṃ (new calligraphy), and added versions in Tibetan (Uchen), Devanāgarī and Sinhala - using images of fonts to spare you my ragged calligraphy in those scripts (screen shot left).

I've discovered a good utility for transcribing Sinhala so will be adding that script for other Pāli phrases - if you know of one for Burmese and Thai let me know.