Om in the Upanishads and Yogasutras
In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Om is used as an the symbol of affirmation. Which could be "Yes" or "Agree" etc. In a verse of Chandogya Upanishad which says that by meditating upon the Om one can remove darkness, fear and can gain strength, richness, food and gain win over death or be immortal.
Now Patanjali's Yogasutra states that god is expressed as Pranava. If someone chant it continuously over a period of time can lead to mastery of right knowledge or unwanted things which happen in our like like interruptions, distractions like disease or dullness of self and many more.
Yogic traditions say that chanting of the Om continuously can bring many benefits to ourselves like purity of mind body and environment. It can remove sins, desire, delusion and attachments. Once the attachment towards the materialistic world is gone, then we can gain spiritual strength soon and then finally to Moksha. In Buddhism attachment is said to be the true cause of suffering. To know more about the attachment you can check this link Attachment.
The Mandukya Upanishad
The word Aum or Om was first used in Mandukya Upanishad to explain the creator or Brahman as the ultimate reality. In the opening verse of Mandukya Upanishad the significance of Aum is described as "Idam sarvam" which means everything (The past, present and future).
The ultimate brahman has four quarters as below:
- Waking state (jagrata)
- Dream state (svapna)
- Deep sleep state
- Transcendental state (turiya)
Aum in the Tantras and Upanishads:
The tantras describe Aum as pure vibration or spanda. This is the cause of the source of all sounds and vibrations.
Quote Of The Day
"If one chants the holy names of the lord, even in helpless condition or without desiring to do so, all the reactions of his sinful life departs, just as when lion roars, all the small animals flee in fear."
Om can be distinguished into two types according to Amritabindu Upanishad
- Audible Om
- Inaudible Om
Audible Om is perishable where as Inaudible Om is imperishable. Reciting Om mentally reaches deeper states of meditation into subtle planes. Only by meditating Om mentally one can reach higher states and be one with the god. According to Amritabindu Upanishad Om is the chariot to reach god.
You might have heard many mantras prefixed with Om. Some of the well known mantras as given below
- Om namah Sivayah
- om gam ganapatheya namaha
- Om namo bhagavate Vasudevaya
Then there are long mantras like Gayatri mantra, mrutyunjay mantra, etc. which are prefixed with om.
Om mani padme hum is one of the Buddhist mantra which mean “Praise to the Jewel in the Lotus". According to daily lama it means “great and vast”. The teaching of Buddha is all wrapped into this one phrase. Chanting this mantra sends vibrations to different parts of the body or to be precise chakra centers where it is needed the most.
So you can give Om a try next time.