Aum or Om

Aum – The Primordial Sound:
OM(Aum) is a Hindu sacred sound that is considered the greatest of all mantras. According to Vedic philosophy, Om is the primordial sound from which the whole universewas created. It is a sacred sound in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Om is also know as Omkāra (Aum syllable). It appears at the beginning of most Vedic chants and is said to be the essence of the Vedas.

3 letters in AUM:
  • AUM is composed of the three letters A, U, M.
  • The letter ‘A’ symbolises the physical plane,
  • ‘U’ the astral plane and
  • ‘M’ the causal plane.
Purana story of 3 letters:
In the Puranas the syllable Om became associated in various ways with the major Hindu devotional sects. Saivites mark the lingam (a symbol of Shiva) with the symbol for Om, while Vaishnavites identify the three sounds as referring to the trinity of Vishnu, his wife Sri, and the worshiper.

When taken letter by letter, A-U-M represents the divine energy (Shakti) united in its three elementary aspects: Brahma Shakti (creation), Vishnu Shakti (preservation) and Shiva Shakti (liberation, and/or destruction).

The three portions of Aum relate to the states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep and to the three gunas (tendencies or qualities) of rajas, sattva and tamas. They are ruled by the Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the Divine in its threefold role as the creator, sustainer and destroyer of the universe.

3 letters in sanskrit view:
1. It is the sound of creation that is heard in deep meditation
2. It is the most sacred of all Sanskrit mantras
3. It is a symbol which represents the four levels of consciousness

In Yoga:
Om represents all time: past, present, and future; and is beyond time itself. Om represents the eternal oneness of all that is, and is the ultimate goal of yoga: to become unified in body, mind and spirit.Chanting Om is perhaps the oldest of yoga’s spiritual practices.

Psychically, advanced Yogic students, by virtue of a subjective mastery over the repetition of OM, release rhythmic internal vibrations and regulate the irregular flow of the vital force, the unsteady and disharmonious vibrations of the five sheaths, restore a rare poise and balance to the mental functions, and seek to hit the plexuses and awaken the powers coiled in them.

According to music:
Musicologically, it constitutes the substratum of all the seven notes, and in one of the preceding higher gradations of its own self-manifestation, it presents itself as the primal music of the spheres, subtler than the one of Shakespeare's grand conception, and sweeter than the celestial music 'acoustically perceived' by the poetic genius  of  Milton, audible only to the inner audience of the perfected Yogis.

Transcendentally, it represents itself as 'Nada-Brahman', the Melody Absolute, claiming for its devotees such supreme Indian Beethovens as Tyagaraja.

First sound Omkara:
Sound has three different aspects. These blend together into one whole. The three aspects areCreation, Sustenance and Destruction, which are the functions of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.The three aspects thus represent the Trinity of the Godhead.

These aspects are embedded in the sounds of the letters of A, U and M i.e. Akara, Ukara and Makara. The combination of these three sounds result in and make Omkara.” “Thus the three letters A, U and M make the word AUM (Om). The sound A arises at the throat, the sound U arises from the tongue and the sound M arises from the lips, when they join together, they become one sound and it arises from the navel. The navel is compared to the lotus and it is the place where Brahma resides.”
“The ‘Akara’ sound should begin in a low tone and gradually rise into a crescendo in the
course of ‘Ukara’ and then slowly soften when uttering ‘Makara’. The course is like a triangle- starting at the base, rising to a peak, descending again to the base.”

Om Symbol:
The three curves that are joined together stand for the three levels of reality within which man moves.

Lowest curve: 
The lowest curve represents the world of waking experience, corresponding to the physical body and to the material universe.

Middle curve:
The middle curve on the right hand side represents the dreaming state of man and corresponds to the mental life; the inner world of dreams, imagination and subjective experience.

Upper curve:
The upper curve is said to represent the state of dreamless sleep, during which consciousness persists. It corresponds to the causal body, ‘subtler than the subtlest’ from which the other two states arise. .

Above these three curves is a dot, which has an arc below it to emphasise its separation from the rest. This dot stands for that other order of reality that lies altogether outside manifestation, and can never be grasped by the mind. The dot signifies the fourth state of consciousness, known in Sanskrit as turiya. In this state the consciousness looks neither outwards nor inwards, nor the two together. It signifies the coming to rest of all differentiated, relative existence This utterly quiet, peaceful and blissful state is the ultimate aim of all spiritual activity. This Absolute (non-relative) state illuminates the other three states.

Semi circle:
Finally, the semi circle symbolizes maya and separates the dot from the other three curves. Thus it is the illusion of maya that prevents us from the realization of this highest state of bliss.

The semi circle is open at the top, and when ideally drawn does not touch the dot. This means that this highest state is not affected by maya. Maya only affects the manifested phenomenon. This effect is that of preventing the seeker from reaching his ultimate goal, the realization of the One, all-pervading, unmanifest, Absolute principle. In this manner, the form of OM represents both the unmanifest and the manifest, the noumenon and the phenomenon.

OM is associated with Ganesha
The physical form of Lord Ganesha is said to be that of OM. 

The upper curve, of OM, is identified with the head or the face of Ganesh. The Lower curve his belly. The twisted curve, on the right side of OM is the trunk.

Power of OM:
The real understanding of the sacred word, symbol and sound ”Om” or “Aum” can only be felt by hearing it internally and then becoming one with it in all creation. Such is the Power of “Om”.


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