What is the meaning of Om?

Om Symbol

Origin of Om

Om, or Aum, is one of the ancient Sanskrit syllables with origin in the Vedas from 1500 to 1200 BC. It was part of a collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns that were songs of praise for divinity.  At first these hymns were only spoken with the mouth, but later on, they were written out, and further elaborations carried out in religion and meditation.  Elaborations on Om later spread through Hinduism, Buddhism, and even to Yoga.  Om is one of the spiritual mantras that connects one to all the essence of creation and divinity.

It's meant to be spoken at the beginning and end of prayers, meditations, and chants to clear away spiritual obstacles.  It's even used in similar rituals within Jainism and Buddhism.

The Significance of Om

Om represents all aspects of divinity and invokes the creative, preserving, and destructive divinity. The A represents the creative divinity Brahma, the U represents the preserving divinity Vishnu, while the M represents the destructive divinity, Shiva. The pronunciation of Om thus integrates the entirety of divinity.

In Hinduism, Om has been known to unite the earth, heaven, and atmosphere.  The design of the Om symbol also incorporates every state of the mind: the waking state, the dream state, the deep sleep state, and infinite consciousness.

Benefits of Om

Om connects all the aspects of human existence and is a great tool for Meditation. The significance of Om comes from the fact that it draws from the deepest source of inspiration.

Mantras connect the mind to a perfect state and enhance the art of Meditation. Om combines the forces of divinity and the state of mind, and it enhances concentration.

As one chants Om, the mind gets relaxed and one is able to attain that perfect state while everything else fizzles out. The chants usually reduce to a mere whisper when the vibrations are connected to that of the earth.

The chanting of Om does not show affiliation to a certain belief although it has been known to be more popular with Buddhism, Hinduism, and similar belief. In the simplest terms, Om connects the mind to divine forces in attaining a perfect state. And in the midst of all the turmoil, we all need that peace.

Author: Seetal Parikh-Chopra

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