Om, Aum, A-u-m

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Om – Aum op Wikipedia

Om or auṃ is a mantra and mystical Sanskrit sound of Hindu origin (geographically India and Nepal). The syllable is also referred to as omkara or aumkara, literally “om syllable”.

The syllable “om” is first described as all-encompassing mystical entity in the Upanishads.
Hindus believe that as creation began, the divine, all-encompassing consciousness took the form of the first and original vibration manifesting as sound “OM”. Before creation began it was “Shunyākāsha”, the emptiness or the void. Shunyākāsha, meaning literally “no sky”, is more than nothingness, because everything then existed in a latent state of potentiality. The vibration of “OM” symbolises the manifestation of God in form (“sāguna brahman”). “OM” is the reflection of the absolute reality, it is said to be “Adi Anadi”, without beginning or the end and embracing all that exists. The mantra “OM” is the name of God, the vibration of the Supreme. When taken letter by letter, A-U-M represents the divine energy (Shakti) united in its three elementary aspects: Bhrahma Shakti (creation), Vishnu Shakti (preservation) and Shiva Shakti (liberation, and/or destruction).

The syllable is mentioned in all the Upanishads, set forth as the object of profound religious meditation, the highest spiritual efficacy being attributed not only to the whole word but also to the three sounds a, u, m, of which it consists. A means form or shape like earth, trees, or any other object. U means formless or shapeless like water, air or fire. M means neither shape nor shapeless (but still exists) like the dark energy content of the Universe. When we combine all three syllables we get AUM which is a combination of A-U-M.

According to Hindu philosophy, the letter A represents creation, when all existence issued forth from Brahma’s golden nucleus; the letter U refers to Vishnu the God of the middle who preserves this world by balancing Brahma on a lotus above himself, and the letter M symbolises the final part of the cycle of existence, when Brahma falls asleep and Shiva has to breathe in so that all existing things have to disintegrate and are reduced to their essence to him. More broadly, Om is said to be the primordial sound that was present at the creation of the universe. It is said to be the original sound that contains all other sounds, all words, all languages and all mantras.

The Māndukya Upanishad is entirely devoted to the explanation of the syllable. The syllable consists of three phonemes, a, u and m, which symbolise the beginning, duration, and dissolution of the universe and the associated gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, respectively.

It is placed at the beginning of most Hindu texts as a sacred incantation to be intoned at the beginning and end of a reading of the Vedas or prior to any prayer or mantra. It is used at the end of the invocation to the god being sacrificed to, as an invitation to and for the latter to partake of.

OM or AUM is the most important and significant word of Mantra tradition. It is considered as the root mantra of all mantra. In a majority of Mantra, you will find OM.

OM is the most often chanted sound among all the sacred sounds on earth. This sound is considered as the sound of the existence.

it is believed that the whole universe, in its fundamental form, is made up of vibrating, pulsating energy. Om is considered as the humming sound of this cosmic energy.

OM is said to be the original primordial creative sound from which the entire universe have manifested. It is also known as the ‘Anahat Nada’, the “Unstruck Sound”. This means the sound that is not made by two things striking together.

If you observe the nature of sound you’ll find that all ordinary audible sound are produced by the striking of two objects : bow and strings, drum and stick, two vocal cords, waves against the shore, winds against the leaves, bat against the ball, tyers against the road etc. In short all sounds within our range of listening are produces by things visible or invisible, striking each other or vibrating together, resulting in pulsating waves of air molecules which we interprets as sound.

In contrast to the above, OM is the sound which is not the result of the striking of two objects. It, rather emanates on its own. It is the primal sound of the universe that contains all sounds in itself.


Om or Aum is of paramount importance in Hinduism. This symbol is a sacred syllable representing Brahman, the impersonal Absolute of Hinduism — omnipotent, omnipresent, and the source of all manifest existence. Brahman, in itself, is incomprehensible; so a symbol becomes mandatory to help us realize the Unknowable. Om, therefore, represents both the unmanifest and manifest aspects of God. That is why it is called pranava, to mean that it pervades life and runs through our prana or breath.

According to the Mandukya Upanishad , “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 implied in it”.

Om is not a word but rather an intonation, which, like music, transcends the barriers of age, race, culture and even species. It is made up of three Sanskrit letters, aa, au and ma which, when combined together, make the sound Aum or Om. It is believed to be the basic sound of the world and to contain all other sounds. It is a mantra or prayer in itself. If repeated with the correct intonation, it can resonate throughout the body so that the sound penetrates to the centre of one’s being, the atman or soul.