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Eternal Law

AUM - Word of GOD , Sound of infinite

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The most sacred symbol in Hindu dharma. Aum (OM) is the sound of the infinite.


Aum is said to be the essence of all mantras, the highest of all matras or divine word (shabda), brahman (ultimate reality) itself.

Aum is said to be the essence of the Vedas.


By sound and form, AUM symbolizes the infinite Brahman (ultimate reality) and the entire universe.


A stands for Creation


U stands for Preservation


M stands for Destruction or dissolution


This is representative of the Trinity of God in Hindu dharma (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva)


The three portions of AUM relate to the states of waking, dream and deep sleep and the three gunas (rajas, satva, tamas)


The three letters also indicates three planes of existence, heaven (swarga), earth (martya) and netherworld (patala)


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

upwards movement and uplifts the soul, as the sound of the divine eagle or falcon.


Of all the Mantras, the most powerful and the significant one is the single-syllabled incantation called the Pranava. This is the 'OM'.


The available literature upon the significance of these Vedic Mantras is the almost voluminous. Nowhere in this world can we meet with more sacred symbol that has got such a vast amount of significance.


From Vedic times until the present day the 'OM' has been taken as a symbol and as an aid to meditation by spiritual aspirants. It is accepted both as one with Brahman and as the medium, the Logos connecting man and God. The entire history of the syllable is in the revelations of the Vedas and in the declarations of the Upanishads, and this history in the hands of the lager philosophers developed into what came to be known as the Sphota-vada or the philosophy of the word. The perceptable universe is the form, behind which stands the eternal inexpressible, the Sphota, manifested as Logos, or Word. This Eternal Sphota, the essential material basis for all ideas or names, is the power through which God creaes the Universe. Iswara - the Brahman conditioned by Maya-first manifests Himself as the Sphota, the inexpressible word, out of which He evolves as the concrete, sensible word.


There is a verse in the Vedas: "Prajapati vai idam agre aseet" (In the beginning was Prajapati, the Brahman): "Tasya vag dvitiya aseet" (Withwhom was the Word): "Vag vai paramam Brahma" (And the Word was verily the Supreme Brahman). The idea belongs to Hinduism and in the fourth Gospel of the New Testament we read it repeated; "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.". This Sphota has its symbol in the word 'OM'. Thus, in the 'Maitrayana Upanashad' after it has been said that there is one Brahman without words, and a second, a Word-Brahman, we are told that the word is the syllable 'OM'. The sound of 'OM' is also called 'Pranava', meaning that it is something that pervades life, or runs through prana or breath.


The very central theme of 'Mandukya Upanishad' is the syllable 'OM' through which the mystery of Brahman is gathered to a point. The text of this Upanishad first treats 'OM' in terms of the Upanishadic doctrines of the three states of waking, dream and sleep, bu then passes on to the 'fourth' (Turiya) thus transporting us beyond the typical Upanishadic sphere into that of the later "Thou art the sheath of Brahman". That is, 'OM' is the container for the Supreme and, therefore, invoking 'OM' is the container for the Supreme and, therefore, invoking 'OM' is invoking the Supreme.


In every piece of music there are three aspects, viz (1) the meaning of the song: (2) the laws of music and (3) the sound of the song. Similarly, in 'OM' there are three aspects. The first the mere sound, the mere mantra as pronounced by the mouth; the second is the meaning of the syllable, which is to be realized through feeling; and the third is the application of 'OM' to you character, singing it in your acts and so through you life.


"OM" represents the Self, which is the Supreme Nondual Reality. The Self is known in four states, namely, the waking-state, the

dream-state, the deep-sleep-state and the fourth state, called the 'Turiya'. All these states are represented in the sounds of 'OM' (i.e. A,U and M) and the silence that follows and surrounds the syllable.


The sound 'A' represents the waking-state; the sound 'U' represents the dream state and the 'M' represents the deep sleep state. The waking state is super imposed on the 'A' sound because it is the first of the three states of Consciousness and so is the sound 'A', the very first of the letters of the alphabet, in all languages. The dream is bu a view within the mind of the impressions that had reflected on the surface of the mental lake during the waking state. Besides, the dream-state occurs, between the waking and the deep-sleep-state and comes second among the three states of Consciousness. And so, 'U' being next to 'A' in order of sounds, and also 'M' sound of 'OM' is super imposed, the deep sleep state. The comparison between the last sound of the 'OM' and sleep lies in that it is the closing sound of the syllable, just as deep sleep is the final stage of the mind in rest. A short pregnant silence is inevitable between two successive OK-s' On this silence is super imposed the idea of the "fourth state" known as 'Turiya'. Thi is the state of Perfect Bliss when the individual Self recognizes its identity with the Supreme.


In OM, the sound A, U, and M are Mantras or forms; there is also in AUM, the common principle called the Amantra-OM that which signifies the thing-in-itself, running through and pervading the threefold phenomena of Waking-Dream and Deep-sleep. The law of memory is that one who remembers and experiences must be one and the same individual, or else memory is impossible. So, as we can remember all our experiences in all the three different planes, there must necessarily be a single common factor which was a witness of all the happenings in all the three planes. There must be some Entity within ourselves who is present in the waking world, Who moves and illumines the dream, Who is a distant observer in the deep-sleep world, and yet Who is not conditioned by any of these three realms. This entity conceived as the fourth state (Turiya), is the Real, the Changeless, the Intelligent Principle.


The syllable 'OM' symbolizes both the spheres: (a) the phenomenal, visible sphere of the 'Jagat', wherein the manifestations of time and space appear and perish, and (b) the transcendent, timeless sphere of the imperishable Being, which is beyond, yet one with it. Thus 'A' the "Waking-state" 'U', the "Dream" 'M', the "Deep-sleep" and the silence, "Turiya": all the four together comprise the totality of this manifestation of Atman-Brahman as a syllable. Just as the Sound 'M' manifests itself, grows, becomes transformed in its vocal quality and finally subsides into the silence that follows, so too the four 'states' or components, of Being. They are transformation s of the one experience, which taken together, constitute the totality of its modes, whether regarded from the microcosmic or from the macrocosmic point of view.

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"The word that all the Vedas disclose;

The word that all austerities proclaim;

Seeking which people live student lives;

That word now I will tell you in breif-

It is OM!

For this alone is the syllable that's Brahman!

For this alone is the syllable that's supreme!

When, indeed, one knows this syllable,

he obtains his every wish.

This is the support that's best!

This is the support supreme!

And when one knows this support,

he rejoices in Brahman's world."

~Katha Upanishad 2.15-17

<marquee behavior="alternate">Jaya Shiva Omkara!!</marquee>

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This was a great post. The origin of the monosyllable OM is very intriguing. I read in a thesis paper that the all of the Shrutis and Smrutis are merely commentaries on that one sound OM. What is contained in OM is essentially the universal truth.


Since language and logic of the human mind is severely limited, so is the extent to which we can explain the meaning of OM. Thus, by chanting OM, we evade all those limitations and concentrate on the Self, and then ultimately realize the Paramatman that pervades all of existence, including the atman.

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