Many mantra’s often start with the word Aum, which can also be written as Ohm or Om. But what does this odd word really mean? Where does the Aum come from? And why do people chant it or use it in meditation?
When I first started looking at Kundalini practices, I noticed immediatly that the word Aum or Om is often used in chants. And that it also creates this very intense, but relaxing sensation in your body when you chant it calmly. It just instantly relaxes your body thanks to the way it makes your body vibrate.
Where does OM come from?
Centuries ago, the rishis or seers discovered OM during meditation. It the sacred Hindu text, the Mandukya Unpanishad, it is said that OM is the essence of everything that exists and of life itself. It is said to be all states of time: past, present, future and even transcending time itself.
Ohm or Aum is regarded as the first sound ever; the sound of the creation of our universe (kind of like the Big Bang, but then with Aum sound). According to Vedic philosophy, Om is the primordial sound from which the whole universe was created. A sacred sound in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.
There’s many meanings to the word AUM:
* It is regarded as the first sound ever, that created everything.
* When you meditate in silence, you can even hear the sound within you.
* Everything comes from the sound OM, all beings, planets, stars, plants, languages, you name it.
* The sound Aum is one that makes the whole universe vibrate.
* It has the ability to create, destroy, uphold, give life and movement to all that exists.
* It is also regarded as a way of inviting in a higher frequency.
What does AUM mean?
Om or AUM, such a short but powerful mantra in itself. In the West, this mantra is usually chanted before and after yoga without giving any thought to it really. But there’s so much more to it, as you can now already see from what I’ve explained about it above.
OM is used to see the ultimate truth, also called enlightenment of superconsciousness. By chanting it, you go into a deep state of relaxation and therefore you bring yourself into a higher frequency. And for those who know a bit about energies and the manifestation process: higher frequencies (happiness, love, light, inner peace) are what we want in our life. The higher your frequency, the more high frequency experiences you attract into your life. So all the good stuff, really. So it’s not only the word itself that has a special meaning, but also what chanting this word does to your body.
The sound AUM exists of 3 different sounds, that all vibrate differently within your body. When you chant it the correct way, it creates the sound that comes closest to what is believed to be the primordial sound. Within your body, it creates the same vibration asthat of the Universe.
Here’s the 3 different sounds or vibration explained from within your body:
AU: vibrating the area around your belly button .
OE: vibrating the sternum.
MM: vibrating the throat, nose and sinus area.
There’s also lots of different ways to chant the OHM, but the most used is as follows. The first two sounds (AU & OE) are chanted very slowly, which has an effect on the outer world. The last sound (MM) is also chanted slowly, but affects your inner world.
Do this a couple of times, before meditation or yoga, and feel your energy being shift. It’s as if you align all different body systems (physical, mental, emotional & spiritual body), making you completely relaxed.
The Om Symbol explained
The AUM symbol is a perfect representation of the mind’s journey, as it symbolizes the different states of mind. The bottom curve represents the waking state “Jagratha”. The middle curve (the one a bit more to the right) represents the dream state “Swapna”. And the top curve represents the deep sleep state “Sushupti”.
The crescent shape or semi- circle above the curves represents “Maya”. This is seen as an Illusion or obstacle, that keeps us from reaching the highest state of bliss, called “Turiya”. And that’s what the dot at the top of the symbol represents; the absolute state. This fourth state is believed to be the state in which someone could truly connect with the Divine.
The meaning of the Om symbol, while purely looking at its visual form, comes from the states of consciousness that Aum represents. The letter ‘A’ represents the waking state, ‘U’ represents the dream state and ‘M’ is the unconscious state, or state of deep sleep.
The unconscious state (or deep sleep) is where the mind is shut down, dreaming and desiring of nothing. Moving along the mind’s journey, you often hear people talk about “awakening” or those who are spiritually awake. That’s when you enter the the waking state of the OM symbol. This is general consciousness. It’s looking outwards and involves the use of the five senses in experiencing the world. The next phase of stage of this journey is the dream state, when consciousness is turned inwards. You now know that your physical reality is experienced through your dream state. You understand the concept of dreaming things into reality. And then there’s the absolute state, when consciousness faces neither inwards or outwards, but is quiet peaceful. All perfect in the ultimate spiritual state of BEING.