Om (ॐ) is the most sacred exclamation in the Hindu religion. It is regarded as the source of all religions and religious scriptures. The syllable Om is also called as Omkara, Onkara, and Pranava. Today, we share with you the meaning, symbol, and benefits of chanting Om.
The symbol Om has been transliterated into English as “Aum.” The three syllables “A+U+M” represents and salutes the Trinity in the Hindu religion in the form of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. These three syllables also represent the three Vedas as Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, and Sama Veda.
As per the Hindu mythology, Lord Brahma (the creator or absolute reality) was one, and He exclaimed, “I am one, but may I become many.” This very thought started a vibration that settled in the form of a sound that is known as “Om.”
This vibration created everything that we see in the Universe. Om is the life force that creates and sustains life. It is the sound of Brahma. So, it is recognized as the predominating force and power in the Universe. Om is recognized as the cause of the Universe, the essence of life, Self-knowledge, Atman, and Brahman.
Om is regarded as the basis of every other mantra in the Hindu religion. Many Hindu scriptures such as the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and Yoga Sutras of Patanjali have detailed descriptions about the meaning of Om. Moreover, in every Hindu religious activity, the chanting of Om is essential. Om is also used as a tool for meditation in the Hindu religion.
What Is The Meaning Of Om/AUM?
Om or AUM is a mystic syllable and carries immense pranic life force energy. It is no ordinary word with dictionary definitions. Om is hailed as the “Word of God.” Om is the sound vibration from which all the manifest universe emanates. It is regarded as the sound of the creator, preserver, as well as the destroyer of the universe. It sustains life and all consciousness in all worlds and creatures.
Om is often written and pronounced as AUM. Each letter in AUM corresponds to a different aspect of the divine.
Here, the first sound, A, invokes Brahma, who is regarded as the creative force in the Hindu religion. The sound, U, invokes Vishnu, who is the preserver of the Universe. And the sound, M, represents Shiva, who is the destructive aspect of God.
So, the three sounds in AUM (OM) represent the three different aspects of the Divine.
The syllable Om has been mentioned in the Upanishads. It has been associated as the cosmic sound or mystical syllable or something divine. Moreover, it is regarded as the symbol of abstract spiritual concepts in the Upanishads.
The syllable Om stands for the “whole of Veda.” The Rig Veda suggests that Om (AUM) correspond to the three stages of cosmic creation. So, Om celebrates the creative powers of the universe.
The Brahmana layer of Vedic texts suggests various meanings to Om, such as “the infinite knowledge” or “the essence of life.” The Sama Veda extracts musical meters from it. The Mandukya Upanishad suggests that Om is imperishable. It is something that exists beyond the bounds of time.
What is the Om symbol mean?
Om or AUM is regarded as the sacred sound of the universe in the Hindu religion. It denotes the ultimate reality that unifies everything in the universe. Om helps in connecting with our divine selves by energizing the chakras throughout the body, notably the third eye and the crown chakra. So, Om is the “seed” mantra for connecting and energizing the chakras.
The Om symbol represents the cosmic sound in the visual form. It has a lot of meaning attached to it. For instance, Om is treated as an important spiritual symbol and is widely appreciated as the basic sound of the universe in most of the ancient Hindu texts.
The Om symbol is visualized as a combination of curves, a crescent, and a dot. It represents the state of consciousness. The letter “A” is representative of the waking state, the letter “U” represents the dream state, and the letter “M” represents the state of deep sleep.
In the symbol Om, the waking state has been represented by the bottom curve. The dream state is represented by the middle curve. The state of deep sleep is represented by the upper curve.
The crescent shape in Om represents Maya or Illusion. It is regarded as an obstacle in the way of reaching a state of bliss. The dot in the symbol Om represents the absolute state of peace and bliss. It is the state in which someone could truly connect with the Divine.
In the state of a deep sleep, the mind is shut down desiring of nothing. The waking state represents the consciousness that experiences the outer world with the five senses. The dream state is when consciousness is turned inwards. The absolute state is the ultimate spiritual state of being in which the consciousness faces neither inwards nor outwards.
In the Hindu scriptures, the symbol Om is also said to represent Lord Ganesha. The symbol loosely represents his elephant form. The curves that are on the left of the symbol represent his head and belly. The curve on the right of the symbol is his trunk. Lord Ganesha is regarded as the God who removes obstacles. So, chanting Om helps us to attain the absolute state of bliss.
The Om vibrations have also been linked with the vibrations that created the world.
In the Hindu scriptures, Lord Brahma’s thoughts started the vibration of sound Om which leads to the creation of the world. Om also represents Pranava, which means to be in control of one’s life force. It represents the three realms of Earth, Heaven, and the Underworld.
Why is Word AUM Powerful?
The universe is pulsating, vibrating, and on the move. It is not standing still. When the Om sound is chanted it vibrates at the frequency of 432 Hz, which is the same vibrational frequency that is found throughout nature. So, Om is the basic sound of the universe.
When we chant Om, we symbolically connect and tune to that sound that’s vibrating in the whole universe. Om acknowledges our connection with all other living beings, nature, and the universe.
Plus, the vibrations of Om have a physical effect on our bodies. It slows down the nervous system. It also calms the mind and has a similar effect as meditation. When our mind is relaxed, the blood pressure decreases, and ultimately it improves the health of our hearts.
That’s the reason behind the power of word Om.
How is OM Created?
The sound or the symbol Om originated in the Vedas. Vedas contain the highest knowledge, both spiritual and material, imparted by God to the first created being named Brahma.
With the help of Vedic knowledge, Brahma went on to create this universe. All this has been recorded in the Vedas, which tells us that Om is the sound of the Universe.
This is also confirmed in the Bhagavad Gita where Krishna says (Chapter 7: Verse 8), “I am the syllable Om in the Vedic mantras.”
Benefits of Chanting AUM
By chanting Om over and over again, one can achieve a state of deep awareness. The practitioner becomes one with the universal vibration and feels the universe as their body. He/she can attain the state of Samadhi or absolute bliss. Here, we enumerate the numerous benefits of chanting Om:
- Chanting of Om creates positive vibrations and purifies the environment around you
- Chanting of Om increases your concentration
- It gives better immunity and self-healing power
- The vibration clears the airways and can be felt in your vocal cords and sinuses
- The sound Om helps you in attaining a meditative state of mind and induces relaxation
- Om benefits every person wherever its vibrations flow
- It reduces blood pressure and relaxes your mind and body
- It gives strength to your vocal cords and the muscles around it
- It activates the body parts when you chant Om and rub hands putting it over the different parts of your body
- It takes your spiritual journey to greater heights
- Chanting of Om cleanses your body and gives a glowing skin
- The sound Om is beneficial to the thyroid gland and throat
- It helps to improve your eyesight
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