Om or Aum is the first syllable uttered before every Mantra or Hymn. No meditation is complete without chanting this auspicious sound. No God's name is complete without saying Om before it. But, what does this syllable really mean? Why is it considered so holy?
Om is often described as the root of everything. The religious scriptures say that Om is nothing but the ultimate and supreme power; the Paratbramhan. It is 'Pranava' or the sound that governs the 'Prana' or life in our souls.
It is the present, the past and the future. Om is a sound that is omnipresent, omnipotent and it is all around us.
In this article, we shall learn some facts about the Pranava Mantra or Om. Read on to know more.
• The Story Of Om
The origin of Om is the story of the beginning of the universe. It is said that in the very beginning, in a time even before time, there existed only darkness. Then, a resounding sound was heard, which was Om. It was from this Om that the Gods emerged and the creation started.
• Om Contains All The Sounds Of Every Human Language
All human languages contain sounds that are produced using the throat or at the lips. Om or aum has all these sounds in it. "A" is the sound produced from the throat, "M" is made at the lips and "Au" sound is caused by the rolling of the tongue.
• Om Represents Time
The syllable A in om stands for the waking state of the mind. The U is for the dream state. M is the state where mind is in deep sleep. Every time, Om is pronounced with a pause in the end. This is called 'Turiya' or the state of infinite consciousness.
• The Symbolism Of The Letter Om
The letter Om as written in Sanskrit is also symbolic in nature. The letter is made up of 3 curves, a dot and a chandrakala at the top.
The bottom curve is the wakeful state, middle curve is the dream state and the upper curve is the intense deep sleep. The dot is the 'Turiya' or the consciousness. The chandrakala stands for the veil of maya that separates the consciousness from the other three states of mind.
• Lord Ganesha And Om
The form of Lord Ganesha roughly resembles that of the letter Om. The large head and the belly are the upper and lower curves. The trunk stands for the curve in the middle that faces the other side.
• Om As The Bow And Arrow
In the Mundaka Upanishad, Om has been compared to a bow and arrow. The person who chants Om is the bow, Om is the arrow and the Paratbrahman is the target. One who wishes to reach the target of the Brahman must practice the chanting of Om.
• Om Is Indestructible
Mandukya Upanishad says that Om is indestructible. Om is the present, past and the future. Everything that was, that is and that will be came from Om and one day, it shall return to Om.
• Om - The Primal Power
In Katha Upanishad, Om is said to be the primal force behind everything. It is called the force that resulted in all creation. All the Vedas are from and for Om.
• Om Heals The Soul
When you meditate, Om first purifies the mind. Then, Om takes the mind away from all the stress and strain of everyday life. In the end, Om leads the mind to tranquility and heals the soul.
• Om Is The Supreme Consciousness
In Srimad Bhagavat Geeta, Lord Krishna tells Arjun that Om is the supreme consciousness. He went on to say that those that remember and meditate on Om will reach the ultimate goal of life, which is to attain Moksha.
• Om Is The Sound Of God
Om is said to be God speaking to you in his own voice. One should completely understand its 'Mehatva' or significance and meditate on it for long. Doing so will take away all troubles from your mind and will clear the obstacles in your path.
• Om Is 'Akhanda'
Swami Vivekananda said that Om is 'Akhanda' or the unseparated Almighty. It is this supreme power that all men seek in various ways. One who knows that Om and the Supreme power are the one will receive all that he asks for.
• Om Is The Greatest Blessing
This 'Ekakshar' or one syllable Om is the only blessing that you will need. It is said that great Gurus bless their disciples by just whispering Om into their ears.
• Om Is Greater Than Any Mantra
A layman without the knowledge of Vedanta or other religious nuances may be unable to utter a Mantra with perfection. In such cases, he can just chant the Pranava Mantra. There is no greater Mantra than chanting a resounding Om, as the syllable encompasses the whole world, the living and the non-living and every God and Goddess known to man.
• Om Is Both The Formless And The One With A Form
It is said that man worships Almighty in its 'Saguna roopa' (with a form), as he cannot conceive its 'Nirguna roopa' (without a form). Om is the manifestation of both the Nirguna and Saguna roopa. The sound of Om stands for the Nirguna roopa of the supreme power. The written letter Om stands for the Saguna roopa.