Buddhism Your Questions Answered (171 FAQ)

Q&A 169. Hanging the calligraphy of the Great Compassion Mantra

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Q:  We all know the extraordinary power of the Great Compassion Mantra.  When we hang a calligraphy of the mantra at home, Dharma Protectors will be present. May I know whether, if there are family members who do not practise Buddhism and vegetarianism living in the house, we can still hang the calligraphy of the mantra? Is there anything we need to observe if we wish to do so?


  • The Great Compassion Mantra comprises the sacred names of Bodhisattvas. Where a calligraphy of the mantra is displayed, Bodhisattvas and Dharma Protectors will be present. Therefore, you have to be especially respectful.
  • To a person who does not practise Buddhism, displaying a calligraphy of the mantra has little effect, and it is merely a piece of artwork that lacks energy. Nevertheless, the Great Compassion Mantra will still help to prevent calamities in general. For people who do not practice vegetarianism, as long as they do not eat live creatures and have faith in Buddhism, they will still be blessed and protected by the Bodhisattva. Otherwise, it would be difficult for the Bodhisattva to protect and bless them. Therefore, it is most important to have faith in Buddhism.
  • Generally, the use of calligraphy of the Great Compassion Mantra from the Guan Yin Citta Centre is recommended. Many other versions on the Internet have errors or typos, please do not use them. If you are producing the calligraphy of the mantra yourself, please take note of the following:
    • Do not use black as the background colour. You should use yellow or white instead.
    • The text can be in black as it appears more solemn. Gold is fine too.
    • It can be printed or handwritten, you must ensure that there is no error (the Guan Yin Citta Centre version is recommended).
    • There are no restrictions on the typeface in Chinese. It can be in semi-cursive script, cursive script, regular script, etc. However, please ensure it is neat and legible.
    • It is acceptable to write on paper, silk, etc.
    • On handwritten versions, do not sign or stamp your name.
    • A rectangular version is best. It can be displayed in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Places to display the calligraphy of the mantra:
    • Position it in places that are clean such as the living room, study, or prayer room.
    • Do not position it directly above the yellow landscape background painting of the Buddhist altar. You can display it opposite or on either side of the Buddhist altar.
    • If it is displayed beside the Buddhist altar, there is no hard and fast rule about the height for the mantra and the yellow landscape painting. (Note: if you are hanging a landscape painting of water and mountains near to the yellow landscape painting of the Buddhist altar, please ensure that its position is lower than the yellow landscape painting. However, the height of their display will not be a concern if they are a distance apart.)
    • You may display the calligraphy of the mantra in a single bedroom that is clean, and where the occupant’s thoughts are pure. However, the head or feet of the occupant should not face the mantra. If conditions do not permit this placement, it is acceptable to display it obliquely opposite to the head or the feet. It is best to place it on the wall alongside the bed.
    • It can also be placed in a basement room.
    • Do not hang it in sordid places, such as in the washroom or couples’ rooms. Do not place it on the wall shared by these rooms either. Finally, do not hang it over a mirror.
    • Other places you can display it include opposite the Buddhist altar, the entrance area of the house (facing the main entrance), on the wall beside the couch or behind the office desk.
    • If there are family members who do not practise vegetarianism and the mantra is placed in the living room, please ensure that it is placed a distance away from the dining table where non-vegetarian food is consumed.
    • It can be displayed beside a clock but not underneath.
    • Position it away from air conditioners and toilet entrances.
    • It is disrespectful to position it behind the television. It is acceptable to place it behind the couch facing the television as long as they are reasonably separated.
  • It is best to frame the calligraphy of the Great Compassion Mantra as this makes it statelier. This does not apply to the landscape painting of water and mountains or the yellow landscape painting for the Buddhist altar as they are boundless, while a frame restricts it. In fact, they look very stately and beautiful without a frame.
  • It is best to obtain a calligraphy of the Great Compassion Mantra which has been blessed by Master Lu. For those that have not done so, you may perform recitations to invite Guan Yin Bodhisattva to bless the calligraphy. Usually, during incense offering, optimally during auspicious timings such as 8am, 10am, etc., raise the scroll of the Great Compassion Mantra slightly above your forehead. Place it on the altar (it is not necessary to unroll it) and pray to Guan Yin Bodhisattva for blessings. Thereafter, bow 7 times. It is best to recite the Great Compassion Mantra and Heart Sutra once each.
  • Do not display the calligraphy of the Heart Sutra as it will easily attract foreign spirits. The Heart Sutra is a kind of energy, vibration and a form of currency. Many foreign spirits will come for it when they see it. On the other hand, the Great Compassion Mantra represents a sort of “solidity” or “stability”. It is a dharma gem that will guard us from negative energy.
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