OM, pronounced om, is a mystic word or mantra sacred to Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs. It is regarded as the syllable of the supreme reality and is sometimes called the mother of mantras. OM is considered the one primordial sound or vibration from which all other names and forms arise and to which we all return. In Hinduism, it’s three Sanskrit phonemes- A, U and M, symbolize the Divine Trinity Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer. Or the three levels of consciousness–waking, dreaming, and deep sleep. In Buddhism it is often understood as symbolizing the true character of reality. The continuous repetition of OM is a form of meditation and in this silence and calm, do we discover our true selves, and the reality that is within us. The Sikhs, consider it the most direct and concise Divine Name. OM is a word of invocation, adoration, peace and auspiciousness. OM is the Alpha, and the Omega—The beginning and the end. The symbol that you see above this square shows is AUM (OM). The symbol is in Devanagri script, a style of writing that is common to many of India’s languages. However, we cannot say that the symbol is of any particular linguistic origin – it is not even Sanskrit, the ancient language of India. The symbol, like the meaning, is universal and symbolizes the formless aspect of God.
Of all the mantras the most powerful is the single syllabled one – pronounced ‘Aum’ or ‘Om.’
It is the sound that has been realized by ancient Rishis in the highest states of meditation and though it is great to go through the intellectual study done below we have to remember that actually it is a sound that goes beyond the intellect and we can only begin to understand it by actually chanting it and feeling its effect in one’s innermost core.
As noted by the Sages:
Aum is the primordial sound, the root mantra which empowers and gives life to all other mantras.
All mantras start with Aum.
It is called the Pranava or that which provides prana or life force to the mantra. Just as a body is only living when the life-giving breath is flowing through it, similarly the mantra gets empowered only when it begins with Aum. All mantras are hidden in Aum which is the abstract, highest mantra of the cosmos. Aum is the manifest symbol of the Vibration named God. It is the manifest symbol for the Unmanifest Supreme. The universe has come from Aum, rests in Aum and dissolves in it. Aum represents the Self which is the Supreme non-dual Reality.
The word AUM (OM) is made up of three letters that express the three great aspects of GOD
A – denotes the power of God to create the Universe. (Brahma-The Creator)
U – denotes the power of God to preserve the Universe. (Vishnu-The Preserver)
M – denotes the power of God to dissolve the Universe. (Shiva-The Destroyer)
Thought, Universal identity, oriented to self-knowledge
This is the crown chakra that relates to consciousness as pure awareness. It is our connection to the greater world beyond, to a timeless, spaceless place of all-knowing. When developed, this chakra brings us knowledge, wisdom, understanding, spiritual connection, and bliss.
Light, Archetypal identity, oriented to self-reflection
This chakra is known as the brow chakra or third eye center. It is related to the act of seeing, both physically and intuitively. As such it opens our psychic faculties and our understanding of archetypal levels. When healthy it allows us to see clearly, in effect, letting us “see the big picture.”
Sound, Creative identity, oriented to self-expression
This is the chakra located in the throat and is thus related to communication and creativity. Here we experience the world symbolically through vibration, such as the vibration of sound representing language.
Air, Social identity, oriented to self-acceptance
This chakra is called the heart chakra and is the middle chakra in a system of seven. It is related to love and is the integrator of opposites in the psyche: mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity. A healthy fourth chakra allows us to love deeply, feel compassion, have a deep sense of peace and centeredness
Fire, Ego identity, oriented to self-definition
This chakra is known as the power chakra, located in the solar plexus. It rules our personal power, will, and autonomy, as well as our metabolism. When healthy, this chakra brings us energy, effectiveness, spontaneity, and non-dominating power.
Water, Emotional identity, oriented to self-gratification
The second chakra, located in the abdomen, lower back, and sexual organs, is related to the element water, and to emotions and sexuality. It connects us to others through feeling, desire, sensation, and movement. Ideally this chakra brings us fluidity and grace, depth of feeling, sexual fulfillment, and the ability to accept change.
Earth, Physical identity, oriented to self-preservation
Located at the base of the spine, this chakra forms our foundation. It represents the element earth, and is therefore related to our survival instincts, and to our sense of grounding and connection to our bodies and the physical plane. Ideally this chakra brings us health, prosperity, security, and dynamic presence.