by Linda Heaphy May 05, 2017

Om, also written as Aum, is a mystical and sacred syllable that originated from Hinduism but is now common to Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism and the Bön faith.

According to the Hindu Mandukya Upanishad,whichis entirely devoted to the explanation of the syllable, "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". Although Om symbolizes the most profound concepts of universal creation including the three stages of existence (birth, life and death), it is in use daily. The devout begin their day, work, prayers or a journey by uttering Om, the symbol is enshrined in every Hindu temple and it is often found at the head of letters and at the beginning of important documents. Many wear the sign of Om as a pendant, and it is the first syllable of the sacred mantra "Om mani padme hum".

Interestingly, it is believed that the Christian "Amen" and Islamic "Amin" are both derived from Om. In western culture both the spoken word and the written symbol have become synonymous with eastern spirituality, meditation and the very concept of peace itself. Repetition of the word Om is said to slow the breathing, calm the nervous system and send the glands and organs of the body a gentle vibrational massage.  Om is also a very popular symbol in contemporary body art and tattoos.


Om is the first syllable of the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum, seen here in stylised form
on a gau (Buddhist prayer box or shrine) a prayer to Avalokitsvara,
the Compassionate Buddha.
Photo credit: Kashgar


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Linda Heaphy
Linda Heaphy


5 Responses

Gilbert
Gilbert

July 17, 2018

The Om/Aum word come from Hinduism. Some now say it is part of Buddhism but Buddha was born Siddharta Gautama, an Indian Prince and an incarnate of Lord Vishnu from Hinduism, teaching about dharma and karma. Aum /Om is not a symbolism of yoga as recognized by those not practising Hinduism rather a powerful word which is used starts any mantras with the aim to contact/speak with the ultimate form of God. Read the Bhagavat Gita. Hinduism is an old religion which existed long before Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Hindusim cannot be thought of as broken into sects as Christianity. Many people like aspects of Hinduism such as medication and yoga but think that one must be a Hindu/Hindustani to practise, and associate sex and drugs from the seventies. This unfortunate perspective of the North American is attributed by musicians from that era wanting to sell records and dis-connect with Christianity. Though many Indians say Hinduism is a way of life practised my many Indians and not all Indians are Hindu by ethnicity. There are many ethnicities in India and not everyone by ethnicity is Hindu/Hindustani. Nonetheless, chanting Om/Aum, practicing yoga or meditation by using another medium such as Buddhism doesn’t mean that the word Om/Aum or yoga or meditation belong to other religions based on “modern age”. Taking aspects of another religion and using it to enhance their own lives by dejecting it belongs to a specific religion is hypocritical.

Har
Har

July 03, 2018

I have been looking at the exact significance and meaning of AUM for last several years in the various books of the Indian religion. I am glad to get most of the answers in the article. Thanks are due to the author for the hard work.

The name Kashgar of your site appeared a bit strange to me as it is the name of the town in Muslim dominated state of Western China

Hari Malla
Hari Malla

July 03, 2018

More important for the modern age is the OM symbol in addition to the syllable or sound.It give su the idea hhow life is evolved and salvation is reached in a scientific way. The three lines signify the earth forces which are three namely electricity, magnetism an d gravitation. The crescent with the point signify the moon which forms our brain cortex and the point is the earth moon barycenter. Now this is important because it gives the idea from where our consciousness comes from;
Hari Malla.

Jacallen
Jacallen

February 15, 2018

This is a very good website!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Arup Kumar Barat .
Arup Kumar Barat .

October 27, 2017

OUM is the combination of O/A + U + M .
O/A means sisty karta Lord Bramva .
U means palan karta Lord Vishnu .
M means mukti data Lord Maheshshwar .
If a man told OUM at the last time of his life before his death with other conditions , then he will be free from birth and death , ie , he will be makhsha or mukti and his Attma will be inter in nirakar Bramva , ie , in Lord Shiv .
If you want to know about other conditions , then you have to read the SHRIMAT BAGBAT GITA .
Regard ,
Arup Kumar Barat .

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