OM: The Great Mantra for All Spiritual Seekers
by Dr. S. R. Harit
The Science of Aum (Om)
It is our common observation that whenever we look at AUM, feelings of devotion and respect are experienced in our mind. Aum is respected by spiritual aspirants all over the world. A few decades back, Aum was encircled by mystical notions and myths. In the twentieth century, due to scientific research, its universal and secular nature as well as the therapeutic significance was revealed. Aum is undoubtedly a part and parcel of Indian culture. Practically in almost all languages, Aum is drawn as a sacred symbol. There is also an identical type of word in other cultures, i.e. Shalom (Hebrew), Salaam (Arabic), Amen (Christian), and Amin (Islam).
Aum is a one-word mantra and yet the most powerful mantra. It is the essence of all mantras. As a rule, every mantra begins with Aum, otherwise, it is considered as incomplete. Potency of the mantras increases due to Aum, hence it is regarded as the king of all mantras. This is an auspicious mantra through which we can experience the spiritual forces or the vibrations or the special kind of sensations in our body. It not only gives material benefits, but spiritual ones as well.
It is natural that several questions as to the meaning of Aum, its origin, chanting style and frequency, its benefits, etc., would arise in one’s mind. Previously, people used to chant Aum only during religious worship or ceremony, but now anybody can chant Aum and obtain the benefits. Aum is pronounced and written as Om, Aum, or even as Omkar.
Indian Tradition and Aum
Patanjali, the composer of Yogasutras says: “Aum is a symbol or emblem of God.” It is the representative of the divine consciousness (Ishwar). So, wherever there is Aum, there is God. Therefore it is eternal. Aum is surrounded by whatever is auspicious and virtuous. Aum welcomes God and carries holy blessings of God. That is why Omkar sadhana (recitation of Aum) is considered as the supreme spiritual practice. The religions of Jain (Aum namo arihantaya...) and Buddha (Aum mani padme hum...) also recognize and respect the divine nature of Aum. Yoga Vashishtha, a great yoga scripture says that we cannot separate mind and the speed of thoughts easily by ordinary methods. Mind and prana (force of life) are deeply connected with and controlled by each other. Different vrittis (tendencies, activities) arise in chitta (consciousness) that stimulate prana and therefore the mental thoughts. So, if we control prana, we shall be able to control mind and hence, the thought process. According to Mantra yoga, whosoever listens, sees, chants Aum, will become one with the divine consciousness, which is beyond wakeful, dream, and sleep states of consciousness. According to Mandukya Upanishad, Aum represents past, present, future, and that exists beyond time and space. Aum has no beginning or end. It is beyond the gross subtle and causal bodies because it is an expression by God. Aum brings equilibrium in every aspect of our body and destroys our ego, desires, and suspicions.
Relationship of Aum with the Chakras
“A” of Aum is connected to Mooladhar (at the bottom of the spine) and Swadhishthan (just below the umbilicus) chakras. “U” of Omkar is related to Manipur chakra just above the umbilicus. “M” affects Anahat (heart), Vishuddha (throat), and the Ajna (between the eye brows) chakras together. That is why the “M” is deliberately pronounced for longer duration to progress on the spiritual path. As we know, the chakras are the wheels of energy, providing us the energy for different bodily and mental functions. Aum makes these chakras powerful, which in turn keeps one energetic and enthusiastic. This indicates that by chanting Aum, prana moves in an upward direction, and kundalini can be awakened.
Benefits of Omkar Sadhana
The effect of Omkar recitation is very powerful and positive. All the nerves and other channels in the body are cleaned and purified. We experience cheerfulness and get energized. The mind becomes peaceful as its instability is reduced and one can progress successfully in meditation. The practitioner (sadhaka) is psycho-physiologically more relaxed and emotionally well-balanced after an Omkar recitation, which is done in a low pitch manner, rather than high pitch. The cardiac function is also improved as it helps remove the blockages in the coronary arteries. The blood pressure is maintained at the normal level. The state of consciousness becomes conducive for contemplation. The intelligence is sharpened, memory improved, and the grasping (perception) power is strengthened to perceive and retain various kinds of knowledge. One’s personality becomes magnetically powerful, bright, impressive, and yet virtuous. One who practices Omkar japa regularly and sincerely, always remains happy and contented. One acquires sound mental health and is blessed with joy and tranquility. Omkar sadhana bestows us with prosperity and protection in any situation in life, with good fortune on all fronts. There is no doubt that regular Omkar sadhana produces extraordinary spiritual enlightenment. Owing to its supreme nature, it is the bridge, the link between the other forms of yoga, precisely mantra yoga, bhakti yoga, hatha yoga, and raja yoga. Daily practice of yoga should include at least ten chants of Aum.
May all be Healthy, Happy, and Harmonious. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
For guidance on how to recite Aum, please contact Dr. S. R. Harit, who is an Ayurvedic Physician, MD (Ayurveda), PhD, and a Vedic Astrologer. He specializes in Vedic and Ayurvedic teachings, trainings, and consultations for all ages and health conditions. He has been spreading wisdom of Ayurveda and providing health and spiritual guidance in North America for ten years. Ayurveda believes that “Everyone is Unique” and “Prevention is better than cure.” Through his new Saskatoon base, he is raising awareness about benefits of vegetarianism, vedic sound, and meditation.
For a consultation contact 306-979-9679, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.facebook.com/ayuguru for upcoming Ayurvedic Workshops, Cooking Events, Seminars on Sanskrit, and OM chanting.