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  • Alexandra Dana

The meaning of OM

OM is definitely a popular sound, especially when it comes to practices like yoga or meditation. But what does it mean? And why do we use it? A simple sound, with a profound meaning.


The sound of OM is considered to be the vibration of the Universe. Swami Satchidananda says that "all the sounds that you hear and don't hear in the cosmos are a derivation of the sound OM."


The syllable OM is first mentioned in the Vedas, the sacred Hindu texts, thousands of years ago it was already used in Sanskrit hymns. It is considered a "bija mantra" - seed mantra; a mystic, primordial sound which carries great energy. It is used at the beginning and end of Sanskrit texts or prayers.


From the sound's vibration, the Universe emerges. OM is the sound of creation, the sound of the void. Even in the Bible it is said "In the beginning there was the Word". The power of the primordial sound remains the same in different cultures or traditions. "Aum of the Vedas became the sacred word Hum of the Tibetans; Amin of the Moslems; and Amen of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Jews and Christians. The world's greatest religions state that all created things originate in the cosmic vibratory energy of Aum or Amen, the Word or Holy Ghost."- Paramahansa Yogananda


Although it is frequently written as OM, it contains three sounds : A, U, M - the three vibrations of creation: A (Akaar) - creation; U (Ukaar) - preservation, M ( Makaar) - destruction. The three aspects of the Divine, without which nothing exists, everything is preserved, and everything dissolves back into void. The reason behind chanting OM three times is as a reminder of this three aspects of the sound. When we chant OM we move from a louder sound to a lower one, to guide our awareness within, and end the chant with a moment of silence to allow us to tune in with this primordial vibration.


Chanting the mantra OM in the beginning of our meditation or yoga practice, helps us relax and tune into that nice state we all like to enjoy during our yoga time. It increases our concentration and awareness, and inspires us to feel more at peace. Its healing energy purifies our aura and the environment around us...Talk about those good vibes!:)




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