Bhagavad Gita Aum – Om mantra meditation

॥ ॐकार ॥

Excerpts/collection from various sources.

Bhagavad Gita Aum

From: The Bhagavad-Gita by Ramanand Prasad, Ph.D.

रसोऽहमप्सु कौन्तेय प्रभास्मि शशिसूर्ययोः ।
प्रणवः सर्ववेदेषु शब्दः खे पौरुषं नृषु ॥ ७-८॥

O Arjuna, I am the sapidity in the water, I am the radiance in the
sun and the moon, the sacred syllable OM in all the Vedas, the
sound in the ether, and the manhood in men . (7-08)

ओमित्येकाक्षरं ब्रह्म व्याहरन्मामनुस्मरन् ।
यः प्रयाति त्यजन्देहं स याति परमां गतिम् ॥ ८-१३॥

One who leaves the body while meditating on Brahman and uttering OM,
the sacred monosyllable sound of Brahman, attains the Supreme goal.

ॐतत्सदिति निर्देशो ब्रह्मणस्त्रिविधः स्मृतः ।
ब्राह्मणास्तेन वेदाश्च यज्ञाश्च विहिताः पुरा ॥ १७-२३॥

“OM TAT SAT” is said to be the threefold name of Brahman . The
BrAhmana, the Vedas, and the Yajna were created from this in the
ancient time . (17-23)

तस्मादोमित्युदाहृत्य यज्ञदानतपःक्रियाः ।
प्रवर्तन्ते विधानोक्ताः सततं ब्रह्मवादिनाम् ॥ १७-२४॥

Therefore, acts of sacrifice, charity, and austerity prescribed in
the scriptures are always commenced by uttering “OM” by the knowers
of Brahman . (17-24)

ॐ तत्सत्

ज्ञानेश्वरी (Marathi)

अकार चरण युगुल । उकार उदर विशाल ।
मकार महामंडल । मस्तकाकारे ॥

हे तिन्ही एकवटले । तेथ शब्दब्रह्म प्रकटले ।

bhagavad gita aum
om hindi
om sound
om mantra
om chanting
om images
om movie
om hd
The MAndukyopanishad , which belongs to the Atharva Veda and contains twelve
verses, is an exposition of the principle of OM as consisting
of three
elements A, U, M, which refer to the three states of waking, dream and
dreamless sleep.
The supreme self is manifested in the universe in its gross, subtle and
causal aspects . Answering to the four states of consciousness namely
wakefulness, dream, dreamless sleep and transcendental consciousness,
the last aspect of godhead being all inclusive and ultimately real.

ॐ इत्येतदक्षरं इदं सर्वं, तस्योऽपव्याख्यानं, भूतं भवद्
भविश्यद् इति सर्वं ओंकार एव, यच् चान्यत् त्रिकालातीतं
तदप्योंकारमेव ।

OM, this syllable is all this . An explanation of that (is the
following). All that is past, the present and the future, all this is
only the syllable OM . And whatever else there is beyond the threefold
time, that too is only the syllable OM.
OM is the symbol of Brahman, and also the means of realizing their
It should be remembered that OM is a SYMBOL for something, and
statements like “Through this alone … ” should be construed as about teh
idea that OM represents, not its aural effect.
1- कठोपनिषद् : [I.I . 15]

सर्वे वेल्दयतामनन्ति, तपाम्सि सर्वाणि च यद् वदन्ति,
यद् इच्चन्तो ब्रह्मचर्यम् चरन्ति, तत् ते पदं संग्रहेन
ब्रवीमि । ॐ इत्येतत् ।

(Yama says to Nachiketa) That word which all vedas declare, which all the
austerities proclaim, desiring which (people) live the life of a religious
student, that word, to thee, I shall tell in brief : that is OM.
2- कठोपनिषद् : [I.I . 17]

एतद् आलम्बनं श्रेश्थं एतद् आलम्बनं परं ।
एतद् आलम्बनं ज्ञात्वा ब्रह्म लोके महीयते ॥

(Yama says) This OM is the best support , knowing which one
becomes blessed in the world of brahma.
3- प्रश्नोपनिषद् : [V.2]

तस्मै स होवाच, एतद् वै, सत्य काम, परं चापरं च ब्रह्म यद्
ओंकारः तस्माद् विद्वान् एतेनैवायतनेनैकतरं अन्वेति ।

(PippalAda says to SatyakAma) That which is the sound OM, O satyakAma,
is verily the higher (Parabrahman) and the lower (Aparabrahman) Brahman.
Therefore, it is with this support alone does the wise man reach the one or
the other.
4- तैत्तरीयोपनिषद् : [I.vIi . 1]

ॐ इति ब्रह्म, ॐ इतीदं सर्वं, ॐ इत्येतद् अनुकृतिः ह स्म वा
अप्योश्रावयेत्याश्रावयन्ति, ॐ इति सामानि गायन्ति, ॐ शोमिति
शस्त्राणि शम्शंथि, ॐ इति अध्वर्युः, प्रतिगारं प्रतिगृणाति,
ॐ इति ब्रह्म प्रसौति, ॐ इत्यग्निहोत्रं अनुजानाति, ॐ इति ब्राह्मणः
प्रवक्ष्यन्न् आह, ब्रह्मोपाप्नवानीति, ब्रह्मैवोवाप्नोति ।

Aum is Brahman . Aum is this all . Aum, this, verily, is compliance . On
uttering `recite’, they recite . With OM, they sing the chants of SAma
Veda . With OM, they resite the prayers . With OM the
advaryu priest utters the response . With OM does the priest utter
the introductory eulogy . With OM, one assents to the offering to fire.
The symbol OM is used to indicate the indescribable Brahman, whose
true nature, like the riot of colors in the summer sky, can be felt, but
the experience remains supremely personal.
हरिः ॐ तत्सत्

Light on Yoga ( योग दीपिका)
by B.K.S . Iyengar (1985 edition)

According to Sri VinobA BhAve, the Latin word Omne
and the Sanskrit word Aum are both derived from
the same root meaning all and both words convey the
concepts of omniscience, omnipresence and
omnipotence . Another word for Aum is pranava, which
is derived from the root nu meaning to praise,
to which is added the prefix pra denoting superiority.
The word , therefore, means the best praise
or the best prayer . The symbol OM is composed of three
syllables, namely the letters A, U, M, and
when written has a crescent and a dot on its top.
A few instances of the various interpretations are
given to it may be mentioned here to convey its meaning.
The letter A symbolises the conscious or waking state
(jAgrata-avasthA), the letter U the dream
state (svapna-avasthA) and the letter M the dreamless
sleep state (sushupta-avasthA) of the mind and
spirit . The entire symbol, together with the crescent
and the dot , stands for the fourth state
(turIya-avasthA), which combines all these states and
transcends them . This is the state of samAdhi.
The letters A,U and M symbolise respectively speech
(vak), the mind (manas) and the breath of life
(prAna), while the entire symbol stands for the living
spirit, which is but a portion of the divine spirit.
The three letters also represent the dimensions of
length, breadth and depth, while the entire
symbol represents Divinity, which is beyond the
limitations of shapes and form.
The three letters A, U and M symbolise the absence
of desire, fear and anger, while the whole
symbol stands for the perfect man (a sthita-prajna),
one whose wisdom is firmly established in the divine.
They represent three genders, masculine, feminine
and neuter, while the entire symbol represent all
creation together with the Creator.
They stand for the three gunAs or qualities of
sattva, rajas and tamas, while the whole symbol
represents a gunAtIta, one who has transcended and
gone beyond the pull of the gunAs.
The three letters correspond to the three tenses
– past, present and future – while the entire
symbol stands for the Creator, who trancends the
limitations of time.
They also stand for the teaching imparted by the
mother, the father and the Guru respectively . The
entire symbol represents Brahma VidyA, the knowledge
of the Self, the teaching which is imperishable.
The A, U and M depict the three stages of yogic
discipline, namely Asana, prAnAyAma and
pratyAhAra . The entire symbol reprsent samAdhi,
the goal for which the three stages are steps.
They represent the triad of Divinity, namely,
BrahmA – the creator, Vishnu – the Maintainer, and
Siva – the Destroyer of the universe . The whole
symbol is said to represent Brahman from which the
universe emanates, has its growth and fruition and
into which it merges in the end . It does not grow
or change . Many change and pass, but Brahman is
the One that ever remains unchanged.
The letters A, U and M also stands for the mantra
`tat.g tvaM asi’ (`That Thou Art’), the realisation
of man’s divinity within himself . The entire symbol
stands for this realisation, which liberates the
human spirit from the confines of his body, mind and
intellect and ego.

OM or Hare KrishNa?

This comes from a text scan (with permission) of an article
in the July 94 Back to Godhead magazine . You can find this
article, along with other articles from BTG on the Bhakti
vijaypai at (Vijay Sadananda Pai).
(c) 1994 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International.

Used with permission.
by Kurappiah Chockalingam
(Kuruppiah Chockalingam, an eighteen-year-old student from Melbourne,
Australia, is an active member of Bhaktivedanta Yourh Services, which holds
weekly programs for children and adults at the Melbourne ISKCON temple.)

Though the sacred sound OM is often associated with impersonalists, only the
devotees understand its full import.
Throughout the vedas there is much mention of the syllabel OM . This
spiritual vibration, which is sometimes called omkara or pranava, comprises
three Sanskrit sounds – a, u, and ma (the a in ma is silent). When these
three sounds are combined, the result is the single-syllabled vibration OM.
An unusual attribute of OM is that it has no direct translation from
Sanskrit into English . And though every Vedantist will accept OM to be a
representation of God, exactly how OM is viewed differs according to various
schools to thought . These schools can be classified into two main
categories, the Mayavadi, or impersonalist, and the Vaisnava, or devotee.
The impersonalist, as the name suggests, is happy to treat OM as an
impersonal, formless, representation of the Absolute Truth . Therefore, the
Mayavadi will very openly chant OM, being careful to avoid names such as
Krsna and Rama, which according to them, are limited . A Mayavadi might
explain his theory of pranava OM like this: “Since this whole universe has
been created by Him (God), whatever there is in the universe is Him alone.
As such, He has no name . But if He has to have a name, then all names are
His, for He alone is appearing in all forms . The first sound in most
languages is a; the last sound to leave as our mouth closes is m; u is the
center of the two . Together, they represent all the basic sounds from which
words are produced . And threfore, these three sounds, making up the
syllable OM, represent the entire universe of names and forms . ”
Using such reasoning, the impersonalist concludes that the holy name Krsna
is ultimately no different from any other word one can dream up . OM, says
the impersonalist, contains all sounds, and so it is the universal sound,
whereas “Krsna ” and “Rama ” are limited.
All Vaisnavas know, however, that such speculation on the Lord’s holy name
is one of the ten worst offenses one can commit at His lotus feet (tathartha
vadah). Lord Caitanya, therefore, has repeatedly warned us to steer clear
of such offenders, or pasandis.

What does omkara mean to the vaisnavas?

The Gosvamis of Vrndavana have analyzed OM (a-u-m) as follows: The letter a
refers to Krsna, the master of all planets and all living entities . The
letter u indicates Srimati Radharani, the pleasure potency of Krsna, and m
indicates the living entities . Thus omkara represents Krsna; His name,
fame, pastimes, potencies, and devotees; and everything else pertaining to

To the devotees of the Lord, thereis no differnece between chanting His holy
name and reciting omkara, for Krsna has stated in Bhagavad-gita (7-8, 9-17,
10-25) that omkara is He Himself in the form of sound . Just as omkara is
non-different from the Lord’s holy name, it is also inseparable from the
Lord’s beautiful tow-armed form as Syamasundara . Pranava OM is therefore
used in the Vedas and Upanisads to address the Supreme Person -VAsudeva, or
Thus, omkara serves no other purpose than to remind the devotee of Krsna.
Srila Prabhupada confirms this fact in a purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam
(9-14-48) wherein he states that just as Hare Krsna addresses the Lord
together with His energy, so too does omkara.
It is therefore clearly evident that OM refers to the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, Krsna . Yet, surprisingly enough, the Mayavadis are not altogether
wrong in thinking that omkara possesses no form . Where’s the catch?

Three angles from which OM may be viewed

Omkara, like Krsna, can be realized or viewed from three angles, as Brahman,
Pramatma, and Bhagavan . The speculative Mayavadi knows omkara to be nothing
beyond Brahman, or spiritual, and at the same time without shape or form.
The mystic yogi sees whatever the Mayavadi sees but also realized that
omkara is situated within the heart of everyone as Paramatma, or the
supersoul . And the Vaisnava knows all that the other two transcendentalists
know, but he also realized that it is the personal aspect of omkara,
Bhagavan, that makes the other two aspects possible.

Srila Prabhupada likened these three features of the Lord to the sunlight,
the sun globe, and the sun-god residing within the sun . If I were studying
the sun, would my knowledge be complete if I could research no further than
the sunlight or the sun globe? Some material scientist might answer yes,
but a more intelligent person would want to know, “Where does the sunlight
come from? ” or “What gives the sun its power to shine? ” Just as one
automatically knows about the sunlight and sun globe the moment he learns
that the sun-god, Vivasvan, is the source of both, so one realizes omkara
completely when oen understands that OM ultimately possesses form . Srila
Prabhupada highlights this important fact in a purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam

The understanding of the impersonalist philosopher, though not altogether
incorrect, is therefore incomplete . The devotee or Vaisnava, however, knows
omkara in truth.

Hare Krishna and OM
The same in all respects?

Though Hare Krsna and OM are equally potent sound forms fo the Lord, there
is one difference . If at the time of death one chants Hare Krsna, even
though unintentionally, one attains the spiritual Vaikuntha planets without
a doubt . This is a universal truth that has been accepted by all great
authorities . If, however, one similiarly chants OM, not thinking of Krsna,
one attains to the impersonal brahmajyoti sky of the spiritual world but
does not associate with Krsna . This fact is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita

One may ask why, if omkara is ultimately personal, one shouldn’t reciprocate
with Krsna personally on leaving one’s body withe OM on one’s tongue . The
answer is that it is possible to chant OM and go to Krsna but the process
involves much more than simply externally uttering OM.
According to the Gita (8-13), those who chant OM and at the same time

ओमित्येकाक्षरं ब्रह्म व्याहरन् मां अनुस्मरन् ।
यः प्रयाति त्यजन् देहं स याति परमां गतिम् ॥

“After being situated in this yoga practice and vibrating the sacred
syllable OM, the supreme combination of letters, if one thinks of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead and quits his body, he will certainly reach
the spiritual planetes . ”

In a purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam (7-15-31) Srila Prabhupada informs us that
to fix the turbulent, restless mind upon Krsna at the moment of death while
thus uttering OM, there are certain rules one must follow . These rules are
listed in Bhagavad-gita (6-11, 8-12). For example, one must sit in a
certain precise posture, cease all the activities of the senses, fix the
mind on the heart, and fix the life air at the top of the head.
In addition to all this, Prabhupada points out that only brahmanas, or those
in the mode of goodness, can properly recite OM . When one chants OM after
having fulfilled all these prerequisites, only then can he reap the same
result as he would have received from inadvertently chanting Hare Krsna.

Then why such a thing as OM?

Since both the Lord’s holy name and omkara are transcendental sound
vibrations, what then is the purpose of omkara?
Krsna, being all-knowing, could clearly understand that there will always be
a class of people called avyaktasakta cetasam, or those attached to His
impersonal aspect . Since such impersonalists have no solid name or form to
fix their minds upon, Krsna has provided them with pranava OM.
Since OM has no direct meaning or refers to no particualr form, the
Mayavadis assume, without complete knowledge, that the Absolute Truth is
beyond all names and forms . To make the Mayavadis thinking this way is
Krsna’s intention, for not everyone is capable of acknowledging the Lord’s
transcendental name and form . Thus, their minds being absorbed in
impersonal OM, the Mayavadis ultimately merge with the unmanifest
brahmajyoti effulgence of the Lord, a type of liberation called

Though sayujya-mukti ensures freedom from material misery, the Vaisnavas
consider it no better than hell, for in such a state there is no
reciprocation with the lotus feet of the Lord . Consequently, the pure
devotees are very careful to see omkara in the light of His beautiful form.

Devotees spread only the holy name

The pure devotee, whose mind is fixed twenty-gour hours a day on the form of
the Lord, rises above all rules and requirements for chanting OM . Such a
devotee, having transcended the three modes of material nature, goes beyond
even the qualifications of a brahmana . Thus the devotee’s chanting of OM is
pure, whereas a Mayavadi, who cannot relate omkara to Krsna, chants OM
becoming submerged, to a certain extent, in ignorance . Those who actually
follow every prerequiseite and recite OM as directed by Krsna are generally
those mystic yogis who, as previously discussed, are more inclined to inner
meditation on Krsna as Paramatma than to pure devotional service.
Although all Vaisnavas are more than qualified to freely chant OM, the
Gaudiya Vaisnavas, devotees of Lord Caitanya, seldom do so . As mentioned
earlier, one must be a qualified brahmana to chant OM properly . Most people
in this Age of Kali are no better than sudras (kalau sudra-sambhavah).
Therefore, the Vaisnavas, who care only for the welfare of others, do not
very much promote the chanting of omkara . Instead, they particularly
promote the chanting of Hare Krsna.

As explained by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, niyamitah smarane na kalah: the
requirements for chanting Hare Krsna are absolutely none . Therefore, the
only practical means of spiritual advancement for all of us fallen souls of
Kali-yuga turns out, once again, to be the chanting of the maha-mantra: Hare
Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama,
Hare Hare.

The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga
by Swami Vishnudevananda
1960, Julian Press, NY
Vedantic meditation to conquer death
and develop intuition

In Vedantic meditation the most important thing is to realize that
one’s real self is the sun of suns, the light of lights . In the state of
meditation one can rise above the body and above the mind and
dehypnotize onself into the light of lights, into the sun of suns.
Meditation should be started after a few rounds of breathing
exercise and a few minutes of chanting of the name of the Supreme
Almighty who resides in the heart of hearts as the self or atman, and
when the mind obtains some exaltation or is elevated to a certain
height, it becomes very easy to make it soar much higher and even
to great heights . One must make the mind rise into the higher regions
by humming the syllable OM (OM). The meaning of the syllable OM
is different to different persons . Everyone in his own stage of spiritual
development has to give it the meaning that suits him best.
Some people meditate on OM as the sun of suns shining within their hearts,
while others meditate upon the ajna chakra (space between the
eyebrows) while chanting OM . One can choose and meditate on either
of these places (the heart or the space between the eyebrows.)
While chanting OM one should meditate on the meaning

I am the light of lights; I am the sun; I am the real, real
sun; the apparent sun is my symbol only . [In dreams we see
objects not by the light of a lamp, nor by the light of the moon,
sun, or stars, and yet we see them . If without light we cannot
see, then with what light do we see light?] It is the light of my
real self; itis the light of my atman, and it is my light that makes
everything visible in my dreams.

I am a monarch of monarchs . It is I who appear as all
the beautiful flowers in different gardens . In me the whole
world lives, moves, and has its being . Everywhere it is my will
that is being done . I am manifested everywhere, I feed every
being, from the smallest microbes to man . I existed before the
world began.

Evil thoughts and worldly desires are things concerning
the false body and the false mind, and are things of darkness . In
my presence they have no right to make their appearance . I am
– not bound by any actions; I command elements . I am all-per
vading, like supreme ether . Like light and invisible rays, I per
– meate and pervade every atom and every object . I am the low
est; I am the highest; I am the spectator, I am the showman, I
am the performer . I am the most famous people, and most dis
reputable, ignominious; I am the most fallen . Oh, how beautiful
I aml I shine in the lightning; I roar in the thunder; I ffutter in
leaves; I hiss in the winds; I roll in the surging seas . The friend
I am; the foe I am . To me, no friends, no foes . Whatever be the
state of this body, it concerns me not; all bodies are mine . I
am the whole universe; everything is in me; I am limitless, eter
nal, all-pervading . I am in each and all . I am in you; you are in
me . Nay, there can be no you and I, no difference . Soham,
Soham, Soham . I am that, I am that, I am that . OM OM OM.
To realize his self, a beginner gets great help from the chanting
of the syllable OM while meditating on its meaning . With this kind
of meditation, one frees oneself from the clutches of death and attains
immortality . No action can bind one, as there is no agency
or “enjoyership ” in one’s actions . One always identifies
oneself with the all-pervading self by
removing “I-ness ” and “mineness. ”

Before beginning this kind of meditation, students are advised
to remove the three impurities of the mind: mala or selfishness;
vikShepa or tossing of the mind; and avarana, or the veiling power, if they
wish to achieve quick results . These three impurities of the mind may

1- Mala, or selfishness, is the grossest impurity . It is to be found
in all men, in varying degrees and intensities, according to
the degree of spiritual development of their souls; and it can
be removed only through selSess service . Therefore every
student, low or evolved, should spend some time in serving
others without thought of reward before proceeding to deeper

2- The second impurity is known as vikShepa sakthi, or tossing
of the mind . Mind becomes unsteady because of this impurity,
and concentration becomes difficult . The Yogi method
of stopping this tossing is through Yogic breathing (see
Breathing, Chapter 8), devotion, and chanting.

3- The last is the subtlest of all impurities, known as avarana
sakthi, or the veiling power of the mind . This avarana sakthi
clouds the pure consciousness or self, and produces body
consciousness . This is the most difficult impurity (the idea of
body consciousness) to get rid of . Vedantic meditation amd
the inquiry, “Who am I? ” removes this veiling power . Only
then can the self shine of itself.

The philosophy and meaning of the
sacred syllable OM

Several volumes have been written to explain the meaning of the great
syllable OM . In fact, all Vedanta and all Hindu philosophy is
simply an exposition of this syllable OM . OM covers the whole universe.
There is not a law, a force, or an object in all the world that is
not comprised within the syllable OM . We shall try to explain how all the
planes of being, all the worlds, all phases of existence are encompassed
by OM . The importance of this syllable will be explored from various
points of view in order that people may attempt to grasp it with their
minds as well as accept it with their whole hearts . As we are all
rational beings, we should not take up anything unless it appeals to
our intellect.

The literal meaning of Vedanta is the end of knowledge, the
end of speech; and the whole of Vedanta is represented by OM . OM
consists of A, U, M, and according to the rules of Sanskrit grammar,
A and U when joined together become O, and thus A, U, M, produces
the sound OM . The sound of OM is the most natural sound that can
be uttered; even a mute can produce this sound . Observe boys in a
playground when they are very happy; their overflowing joy finds
natural expressioti with a prolonged sound of O, which is simply OM
cut short . Not only children, but all people use this sound on occasions
when they feel exhilarated, whether it is at a football game, a horse
race, or a party . It is common to note that many people answer “Oh,
yes, ” or “Oh, my God! ” When one is sick in bed or in trouble, when
one is suffering from extreme pain, this sound of oh or um, which is a
corrupted expression of OM, comes from one’s lips . The Hebrew,
Arab, and English prayers end with “Amen, ” which most remarkably
resembles Aum.

Why should this sound be so prorninent in everybody’s life?
The answer is because it is a natural sound; it brings relief from pain
for a sick person; it expresses mental moods in the form of sounds,
which in turn bring peace and harmony . If one gets a little relief from I
pain by uttering this sound incorrectly, then may it not bring more
peace and harmony if it is chanted in the right way? This OM is also
known as pranava, or that which pervades life or runs through the
prana or breath . Even the sound of bells, the noise of a flowing river,
the whistling of the wind, or blowing of a conch shell produces the
sound OM.

All thought is related to language as the obverse and reverse
sides of the same coin . One cannot exist without the other . Can
anyone see an object without thinking of it? Nothing is perceived
without thinking accordingly . The very word “perceive ” signifies mental
thought . Thought and language are the same, and one cannot think
without language.

Absence of language occurs primarily in two cases: in intuitive
perception and intuitive ideation . Intuitive ideation is the formation
of a mental image of an object . I see a tree and close my eyes and see
it again in mental image . Every form is associated with a name and
utterance of a name brings forth the picture of the object . When I say
“chair, ” immediately the form of a chair appears in my mind . Though
many mental images of sights and sounds occur that do not always
bring up their names, and though this intuitive process may actually
take place without language, yet in description, analysis, classification,
judgment, and other mental elaborations, language is indispensable.
One can look at the moon without remembering the name of the moon,
but when one analyzes and thinks of what it is, then language comes.
Therefore, nothing is perceived in this world without thought, and
there can be no thought without language . Thus the world is related
to language; language, to thought; and thought, to the world
In the Bible it is said: “In the beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was God . ” The word or language
is not something arbitrary or invented . No man ever invented language
because the word itself is God . The Vedic language (the original
language) was revealed by God directly to the mind and when it was
corrupted, it was called human language . Now we want to have a
single word or sound that will represent the whole world . In all
languages we have some sounds that come from the throat, others that
come from the palate, and others from the lips . There is not a single
sound in any language that comes from organs below the throat, as
the throat is the one boundary of the vocal organ, and none come from
outside the lips as the lips are the other boundary . Now we have A, U,
M . The sound A is guttural; it comes from the throat . U (oo) proceeds
exactly from the middle of the vocal region, the palate . M is labial and
nasal, which comes from the extremity of the vocal organ or lips ..

Thus, A represents the beginning of the range of sound; U represents
the middle, and M represents the end . It covers the whole field of
the vocal organs . Thus OM represents all language and, since world
and language are interrelated, it represents all the world.
Sounds are of two kinds: articulate or varnatmak and inarticulate or
dhwanyatmak . Varnatmak sounds are capable of being written,
while dhwanyatmak cannot be expressed by characters or by written
words . Ordinary language is vamatmak, and the language of feeling,
such as laughter and weeping, is dhvanyatmak . Laughter cannot be
t expressed in written language.

The articulate or natural language (dhwanyatmak) has a purpose
that camlot be served by varnatmak . Suppose a foreigner who does not
know the language of another country wants some food, and people
cannot understand his language . He may then start weeping because
of hunger; this language of feeling (weeping) can be understood and
people give him food . When you laugh, everyone understands that
something pleasant has happened . The language of music is also
dhvanyatmak . The language of music is different from the language of
thought . In melodious music there is a charming effect upon the mind.
Similarly, OM chanting has a charm about it that brings the mind of
one who chants under control and directly brings the feeling of peace
and rest to the mind . In that state the individual is one with God.
Though the effect of the chanting of OM cannot be scientifically
proved, it is nonetheless experienced by all who practice it sincerely.
There is no denying the changes within oneself when they take place.
Now let us discuss the philosophy of OM . The sound A,
according to the tseaching of Vedanta, represents the so-called material
universe, the world of the gross senses, that which is observed in the
waking state . All the experience of the dream world and the world of the
spirits, the astral plane, and heaven and hell are signified by U . M
represents the unknown, the deep-sleep state and all those things
which are beyond the comprehension of the intellect.
Thus, OM (OM) covers all the threefold experience of man
(waking, dreaming, and deep sleep).

It is a common thing to note that generally the philosophy of
the West is based on experience in the waking state and takes little or
no notice of the experience of the dream or of the deep-sleep state.
Vedanta says that in order to find out the reality or truth, one must
analyze all three states of experience of man; otherwise the data will
be incomplete . Most philosophers limit themselves to the waking state,
and all their discoveries and investigations are based on the waking
state alone . Vedanta considers all the data from the threefold
experiences . The world of the waking state disappears entirely in the other
two states, dreaming and deep sleep.

In dreams, thougll the external world disappears, it is the same
“I ” which perceives . The intellect and personal consciousness vanish
entirely in the deep-sleep state and yet the real “I ” or self remains the
same . Thus “I ” or self is the same in all these three states, and this self
is the underlying reality that experiences all these states.
This unchangeable and immutable principle, this reality that remains constant
through the threefold worlds, is the true self or atman . This is OM.
How do we know that the wor]d exists? How do we know there
is a universe? Because we touch, hear, see, smell, and taste things; that
is the only proof . Our senses are the only direct or indirect proof of the
existence of this world.

Sensation is the primary cause of all perception, intellectual
understanding, etc., and it is not limited to our waking state alone . In
the waking state our senses are in the gross form and we perceive
objects . But we perceive in our dream state also . The sense organs operate
in the dream state even though the external ears and eyes are not
functioning . Thus in effect the dreaming mind evokes simultaneously both
the object and the sense organs that perceive the object . So in dreamland
the senses and the objects sensed are like the positive and
negative poles of the same object . In dreams the subject and the object
spring up together . Both the subject and the object of dreams are
represented by the sound 61 in OM, and the underlying reality, in
which both the subject and the object appear as waves in the ocean, is
the pure self or OM.

Although objects in dreams are produced simultaneously with
the corresponding perceiving senses, they appear to have a long past
of their own and as long as one is dreaming, so long is the dream
reality for one’s consciousness . When we say that this solid, rigid world
is real, the statement is entirely founded on the evidence of perceiving
senses and is equivalent to the dreaming person calling the object of
the dream real whereas in reality both waking and dreaming states
are unreal.

The senses themselves exist only by virtue of the elements they
perceive . Without the objective world of the elements, the senses could
not perceive whether they were in a dreaming or a waking state; so for
the existence of the senses the objective world is essential . In the same
way, for the existence of the world the senses are essential . Is that pot
reasoning in a circle? It is, indeed, and serves only to prove the illusory
nature of the world in the waking state as in the dream state . The
objects of dreams are real as long as the dream lasts . Those objects are
no more when one wakes . In the deep-sleep state, what happens to the
solid world of the waking state? Everything disappears . Thus we see
that there is no reality to the world either in the waking state or in the
dream state.

Vedanta defines reality as that which persists in all circumstances.
That which appears as reality at one time and disappears like
a mist after awhile must be an illusory phenomenon . The dreamland
we call unreal because when we are awake it is not there . Just so the
solid must be unreal because it also vanishes in the dream and
deepsleep states.

Then what is reality? The sound A in OM represents the
apparent subject (senses) and object (elements or world) of the waking
state as mere manifestations of the underlying reality, me . The only
hard reality is the Self or “I, ” which never changes
in any state . That
“I ” is the witness of the waking, dreaming, and
deep-sleep states . Thus
Vedanta comes to the conclusion that all the three states of man,
waking, dreaming, and deep sleep, are unreal and the real self, which is
knowledge absolute, existence absolute, and bliss absolute, is the only
stern reality, before which the apparent reality of the world melts

Many do not like to accept this conclusion because it is derived
from considering the dreaming and deep-sleep states as rivals of the
waking state . If twe analyze our lives, almost half of the time we are
either in a dreaming or a deep-sleep state . There being night at any
time over half the surface of the earth, almost half the population is
always in the dreaming or deep-sleep state . Thus a man spends almost
half of his life either in sleep or in dream . Childhood is a long dream.
If we count the time, the hours spent in the waking state are almost
equal to the time spent in sleeping and dreaming . Therefore we cannot
consider only those things that take place in the waking state as all of
reality and the other states as unreal . Even the strongest man or wisest
man without exception is bound by the law of sleep, and the inexorable
power of sleep takes no account of his ardent desire to stay awake and
enjoy the sense world . Since the dream and deep-sleep states are as
powerful as the waking state, we cannot neglect these former two
states and consider only the latter . That is why Vedanta philosophy
delves deeply into all the threefold states of man to find out the
underlying reality . Again there are plants in a state of perpetual deep
sleep and there are animals in a constant state of dreaming . To them our
world is different . To the eyes of an ant, a frog, an elephant, a fish, or
an owl things are very different . How dare we disregard their
experience and consider the waking state of man alone as real?
Thus in OM (OM) the first letter A stands for this reality, the
self, as underlying and manifesting the illusory material world of the
waking state . U represents the dream and the psychic or astral worlds,
and the last letter, M, denotes the absolute self underlying the chaotic
state and represents all the unknown, the deep sleep . Thus OM means
the underlying reality behind the scenes, the eternal truth, the
indestructible self that one is, and when OM is chanted one must throw
the body and mind into the true self and melt into the reaT atman or ‘
pure consciousness.

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