Benza Guru Garland
The mantra of Padmasambhava is commonly named the ‘benza guru’ mantra, referring to the pronunciation within the mantra:
oṃ āḥ hūṃ benza guru pema siddḥi hūṃ. Although in Sanskrit it is more truly pronounced oṃ āḥ hūṃ vajra guru pema siddḥi hūṃ – simply because there is no ‘v’ sound or the equivalent within the Tibet vocabulary.
At the centre is the seed syllable of Padmasambhava with the distinctive tertsag like visarga, though unlike a true visarga of just two circles ཿ which normally influences to a softer sound of the syllable the visarga suffixes, this tertsag ༔ has a crescent moon shape between and does not have any bearing on a softer pronunciation of the syllable it is placed after.
As described in the dkon mchog spyi ‘dus sadhana of Guru Rinpoche, his seed syllable hūṃ ཧཱུྂ༔ white in colour, sits upon a moon disc at the centre of an eight petaled white lotus.
Though Highlighting black letters with red is more traditionally used within manuscripts, it is not specified as such within the visualisation practice instructions, nor this art piece is a traditional mandala representation. However for the sake of a strong image, black and red to relate the powerful obstacle clearance qualities of Guru Padmasambhava.
With a commissioned instruction to create a benza guru mantra garland for the opening film sequence of new release called ‘Never Forget Tibet’. This art-piece with the mantra of Guru Rinpoche repeated three times as a circular ‘garland’ of letters, highlighting the vowel signs in vermillion red.