Archive for August, 2010

AUGUST 12, 2010

The meaning of “AUM” or “OHM”

Posted by Dorothy under Philosophy1 comment

The most powerful and common mantra, with a highly significant symbol and vibrational sound properties since the ancient yogic times is the sacred word and symbol of “OM” / “AUM”. The word can be spelled either way because the letter “o” is said to consist “a” and “u”. There are also different ways in which OM is pronounced. Some accentuate the O and others the AU.

In this blog post, I would like to share with my fellow readers the meaning of AUM in terms of pronunciation, the vibrations it creates in relation to our human body and its symbolization as a word of the Universe. Similarly to the many ways of pronouncing this sacred word, there are also various meanings to it, but I have found one explanation which relates well with my “AUM chanting” experience. Read on to discover “AUM”!!

“A – emerges from the throat, originating in the region of the navel U – rolls over the tongue M – ends on the lips A. In fact, when correctly pronounced, or rather, rendered, the “A” can be felt as a vibration that manifests itself near the navel or abdomen; the “U” can be felt vibrating the chest, and the “M” vibrates the cranium or the head. The abdominal vibration symbolises Creation; It is interesting that the “creative” or reproductive organs are also located in the lower abdomen. The vibration of the chest represents Preservation, which is also where the lungs are situated (the lungs sustain or preserve the body through breath). The vibration of the head is associated with Destruction or sacrifice, since all that gives up or destroys is first destroyed mentally. Hence, the entire cycle of the universe and all it contains is said to be symbolised in AUM.

A stands for CREATION



On a separate note, I would also like to highlight a verse from the Upanishads to emphasise the importance of AUM.

The goal which all the Vedas declare, which all austerities aim at, and which men desire when they lead the life of continence, I will tell you briefly: it is OM. This syllable OM is indeed Brahman. This syllable is the Highest. Whosoever knows this syllable obtains all that he desires. This is the best support; this is the highest support. Whosoever knows this support is adored in the world of Brahma.

– Katha Upanishad I, ii, 15-17

With all these in mind, I hope that you will be more thoughtful the next time you chant AUM. Embrace your AUM experience

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