The Meaning of the Word OM, the Significance of OM


OM This syllable is the Highest. Whosoever knows this syllable obtains all that he desires” – Katha Upanishad I, ii, 15-17

•  OM is the main symbol of Hinduism

- For the Hindus and Buddhists, OM is the primordial sound, the first breath of creation, the vibration of existence. Most religions indicate that creation began with sound – “ In the beginning was the word ….”

•  OM is uttered at the beginning and finale of all proceedings

•  OM is a symbol and guide to meditation connecting Man, God and the Universe

•  OM gives Vitality. When spoken aloud, it is physically invigorating

•  OM is a Life Giving Force

•  OM is a Sacred Syllable of all Hindu Rites

•  Represents the English equivalent of Trinity ( a u m )
Brama, The Creator
Vishnu, The Preserver
Shiva, The Destroyer

•  Other meanings of OM - Light

- Knowledge

- Shakti (Power and Strength)

•  Aum (OM) is the sound of the infinite.

•  The 3 portions of AUM (OM) relate to the states of waking, dream and deep sleep

•  All the words produced by the human vocal organ can be represented by AUM. A is produced by the throat, U & M by the lips.

•  In the Vedas, AUM is the sound of the Sun, the sound of Light. It is the sound of assent (affirmation) and ascent (it has an upward movement and uplifts the soul, as the sound of the divine eagle or falcon)

•  The word OM is OMNIPOTENT, the Universal God. OM is extolled in the Upanishads as the best and most effective symbol of God. It contains 3 sacred sounds A, U and M where the sound of OM rings into the silence and wakes one in communion with God

•  Although OM symbolizes the most profound concepts of Hindu belief, it is in use daily. The Hindus begin their day or any work or journey by uttering OM. The sacred symbol is often found at the head of letters, at the beginning of examination papers and so on. The OM symbol is enshrined in every Hindu temple premise or in some form or another on family shrines

•  A newly born child is ushered into the world with this holy sign. After birth, the child is ritually cleansed and the sacred syllable OM is written on its tongue with honey.

•  “ OM is the one eternal syllable of which all that exists is but the development. The past, the present, and the future are all included in this one sound, and all that exists beyond the three forms of time is also implies in it” Mandukya Upanishad

•  OM is not a word but rather an intonation, which, like music transcends the barriers of age, race, culture and even species. If repeated with the correct intonation, it can resonate throughout the body so that the sound penetrates to the center of one's being, the atman of the soul.

•  While meditating, when we chant OM , we create within ourselves a vibration that attuned sympathy with the cosmic vibration and we start thinking universally.

•  Dr. Joseph Campel in his book “Power of Myth” says the sound “ OM ” comes without the movement of lips and actually originates within the “self”. Next time, when we say “ OM ” notice that the lips never close while making the noise.

•  The sound of “ OM ” is divine as it comes from within. During OM recitation, the mind is also at a standstill. Try to think while reciting “ OM ”. If you do there will be no sound.

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