OM or AUM
To a yogi, no symbol is more powerful than the syllable OM, as witnessed by these words from the Mandukya Upanishad: "OM: this eternal word is all; what was, what is, and what shall be".
Om is believed to be the first sound from which everything else was created. It is also said to be the sound or name of God. Om represents all the sounds in the universe combined. In the beginning there was nothing and then there was the Word (sound), the word was Om and all of creation emanates from it.
OM, or AUM, is the first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet. OM is also, AUM: The first letter "A" is the root sound, the first sound, pronounced without touching any part of the tongue or palate (mouth open), a hollow sound. The "M" represents the last sound in the series, being produced by the closed lips (mouth closed), and the "U" rolls from the very root to the end of the sounding board of the mouth. The "OM" represents the whole phenomenon of sound producing. Sounds, like talking, are used by all life forms as a way of communicating or bonding with one another. The sounding of "Om" is a non-judgmental way to unite with one another.
Om is the original mantra, the root of all sounds and letters, and thus of all language and thought. The "O" is generated deep within the body, and slowly brought upward joining with the "M" which then resonates through the entire head. Repeating Om for twenty minutes relaxes every atom in your body. Research on healing and sound vibration has shown that the "Om" stimulates the thymus gland, thereby regulating the immune system. By chanting the "Om" we can bond universally at a vibrational level. By chanting the sound, you express your individual vocal vibration, unique to only you. This individually expressed sound vibration blends or harmonizes with all other universal sound vibrations. So, the one becomes many, as we are all part of a larger existence. The "OM" unifies your perceptions so you can sense yourself as an integral part of the universe. It is said that the "a" represents the self in the material world, the "u" represents the psychic realm and the "m" represents indwelling spiritual light. Chanting the "OM" as it relates to the chakras breaks down into two parts". The "O" represents the energy in the first chakra having to do with the solid form (body) and the "M" represents the energy in the sixth chakra having to do with the mind. So by chanting "OM" the mind and body become one. OM is also soothing. It sounds or vibrates like the words "mom" or "home", or the sounds associated with pleasure or good food ("mmmmmmmm").
In the Sanskrit letter the long lower curve represents the dream state, the upper curve stands for the waking state and the curve issuing from the center symbolizes deep, dreamless sleep. The crescent shape stands for "maya", the veil of illusion and the dot for the transcendental state. When the individual spirit in man passes through the veil and rest in the transcendental he is liberated from the three states and their qualities.
© Copyright Tony Riposo 2002