FTV Opinions, By Pt. Jayanarayan Badal Ji: OM is considered the first universal, elementary, and the sacred sound that creates the cosmic vibration which gives birth to all other sounds and resonates a high spiritual and creative energy in the chanter of this mantra. OM, a Beej (seed) mantra, or a one-syllable chant is often chanted at the beginning and/or end of any Hindu discourses and pujas. OM chanting creates a vibration like sound of the creation of the universe and said to create a sense of harmony and unity between the body, mind, and soul. OM is the symbol of the purest vibration, vigor, and energy that connects us to everything in existence. It is a way of using sound to create energy with the mind and body. OM Japa (repeated chanting) allows you not only to hear the sound of OM but also you begin to amalgamate with the vibration of the mantra, integrating it into your being (present) and getting the feeling of oneness with yourself (soul), with the universe, with the nature, and with the God (super soul) – the higher power you believe in.
The word ‘OM’ is accurately written and pronounced in Sanskrit as A-U-M and the chanting of it is actually more like: ah-oh-mmm. According Samkhya and other scriptures, the letters of OM correspond to three gunas (principals of nature). Holistically speaking, the letter A in AUM represents the conscious/waking state/world (Tamas Guna – darkness, inertia and ignorance), the one we see and experience fully; U symbolizes the unconscious/dreaming state/world (Rajas Guna – passion, activity and dynamism) the one we envisage but cannot physically reach, and the M represents the inner deep silence of the infinite in our mind that is the subconscious plane (Sattva Guna -purity, truth and light), which is not accessible in fleeting moments and not able to realize how both conscious and unconscious world emerge. Neurologically speaking, the A and U sounds have a broad effect on body and mind and the M vibratory sound gently perusing mind to reach a state of calm on the subconscious plane. These three states of mind equate to the conscious, unconscious and subconscious states that encompass the divine energy (Shakti). In Hinduism, these three letters symbolize the convergence of three Lords: A for Brahma (creator), U for Vishnu (Sustainer) and M stands for Shiva (Destroyer). OM is a way of referring to the universe, the creation and the creator, all in one universal sound.
When chanting OM mantra, the breath with deep and full inhalation becomes driving force behind the sound that your mantra carries strength and length. Most remarkably, the silence between each OM mantra is as important as the sound, and is described in the Maitri Upanishad as, “tranquil, soundless, fearless, sorrowless, blissful, satisfied, steadfast, immovable, immortal, unshaken, enduring.” The moments of silence amidst beautiful sounds can help your mind to feel the vibration within you and about you and to sink in the beauty of this life through the connection created by the sound itself. Aligning your attention with OM means aligning your mind with the infinite power of creation.
Early morning and evening are great times for deep meditation and OM mantra chanting. Sit cross-legged with an upright posture, with your spine, head, neck and spine aligned. Close your eyes and inhale deeply and release your breath while executing the OM chanting. Repeating OM chanting for three times will allow you to feel the vibration of the OM sound. How long you choose to chant is up to you.
A – The stretched-out A sound begins at the back of your throat and as it is stretched out, you will begin
to sense your chest and solar plexus vibrating.
U – The stretched out “oo” sound will gradually resonate along your upper palate, creating vibrations in
M – The prolonged “mmmm” sound is created with your front teeth and lips gently touching each other.
You will now start to feel the top of your body vibration.
When we chant ‘O’ prolonged, we produce more painkillers and when we chant ‘M’ prolonged, we produce more tranquilizers.
According to Upanishads, in the cosmos there was a time when nothing existed apart from a tranquil, and quiet space. Then out of the nonentity came an entity. Then the first movement from the un-manifest to the manifest is known as the vibration of OM. It is the first sound that was produced at the time of creation of the universe. The sound of OM helps us to discover our hidden consciousness. Chandogya Upanishad says Om is Brahma, the timeless consciousness. It is believed that the trinity inhabits in OM.
In Rigveda, Vamadeva Rishi’s mantra describes Om as Vishvateeth transcendental. He calls Om as Samudra (sea), Aparimita (endless), Rooprahita (shapeless), Sarvavyapi (omniscient). In the Mandukya Upanishad, Om is defined as Brahma. Patanjali Yoga sutra calls OM as ‘Ishwar Pranidhana‘ i.e. reaching God with devotion. When you chant OM, you will be able to seize the drifting mind and all inner conflicts will disappear. In the Namokaar mantra of Jainism, Om occupies a vital place as the remover of all sins. In Sikhkhism, Omkaar is the only truth. Om is auspicious and its chanting helps us in attaining harmony. Thus, OM is the transcendental sound that carries magic that can free your mind from material conditioning. Om is not a word but rather an intonation, which is beyond the barricades of age, race, culture, and description OM includes all possibilities and prospects; it is everything that was, is, or can be. Just like God, Om is supreme and remains undefined.
There are innumerable proven benefits of chanting of OM:
- Help us unwind ourselves and help us gain control over our breathing by a relaxation of the muscles in our breathing system, vocal cord, and sinus.
- Produces direct effects in our body, mind, and soul by intercepting the flow of thoughts that constantly distract us.
- Creates vibrations which stimulates metabolism, removes toxins, thus leads to weight loss
- The vibrations in throat improves thyroid gland
- Relaxes mind, and body, regulated blood pressure and blood circulation improves heart health and gives sound sleep.
- It is a spiritual way to overcome anxiety and depression and get stress free and balanced life.
- Helps to get rid of tiredness and gives refreshment.
- OM ends your sins and begins your punya.