OM ~ What does this symbol represent.

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Post OM ~ What does this symbol represent.

Post by Sarveswara on Tue Jan 08, 2008 11:36 am

The face of truth is covered by the glittering lid of gold.
The Purusha - the ultimate source of conscious life,
Who shines in the sun
I am that Aum,
The Supreme Entity.
"The goal which all the Vedas declare, which all austerities aim at, and which men desire when they lead the life of continence … is Om. This syllable Om is indeed Brahman. 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)

Om or Aum ... This symbol (as seen in the above) is a sacred syllable representing Brahman, the impersonal Absolute of Hinduism — omnipotent, omnipresent, and the source of all manifest existence. Brahman, in itself, is incomprehensible; so a symbol becomes mandatory to help us realize the Unknowable.

Om, therefore, represents both the unmanifest (nirguna) and manifest (saguna) aspects of God. That is why it is called pranava, to mean that it pervades life and runs through our prana or breath.

The Eternal Syllable

According to the Mandukya Upanishad, "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".

The Music of Om

Om is not a word but rather an intonation, which, like music, transcends the barriers of age, race, culture and even species. It is made up of three Sanskrit letters, aa, au and ma which, when combined together, make the sound Aum or Om. It is believed to be the basic sound of the world and to contain all other sounds. It is a mantra or prayer in itself. If repeated with the correct intonation, it can resonate throughout the body so that the sound penetrates to the centre of one's being, the atman or soul.

There is harmony, peace and bliss in this simple but deeply philosophical sound. By vibrating the sacred syllable Om, the supreme combination of letters, if one thinks of the Ultimate Personality of Godhead and quits his body, he will certainly reach the highest state of "stateless" eternity, states the Bhagavad Gita.

The Vision of Om

Om provides a dualistic viewpoint. On one hand, it projects the mind beyond the immediate to what is abstract and inexpressible. On the other hand, it makes the absolute more tangible and comprehensive. It encompasses all potentialities and possibilities; it is everything that was, is, or can yet be. It is omnipotent and likewise remains undefined.

The Power of Om

During meditation, when we chant Om, we create within ourselves a vibration that attunes sympathy with the cosmic vibration and we start thinking universally. The momentary silence between each chant becomes palpable. Mind moves between the opposites of sound and silence until, at last, it ceases the sound. In the silence, the single thought—Om—is quenched; there is no thought. This is the state of trance, where the mind and the intellect are transcended as the individual self merges with the Infinite Self in the pious moment of realization. It is a moment when the petty worldly affairs are lost in the desire for the universal. Such is the immeasurable power of Om.

Om in Daily Life

Although Om symbolizes the most profound concepts of Hindu belief, it is in use daily. The Hindus begin their day or any work or a journey by uttering Om. The sacred symbol is often found at the head of letters, at the beginning of examination papers and so on. Many Hindus, as an expression of spiritual perfection, wear the sign of Om as a pendant. This symbol is enshrined in every Hindu temple premise or in some form or another on family shrines.

Om - A State of Stress-free Existence

From Dr. Devindra S. Malla

There are various explanations of the meaning of Om or Aum. If someone tells you that "
Om" is the sound of God or the Universe, she is simply imagining things. I have a different interpretation. "Om" is the sound of a thoughtless state of mind - a present that is free from all tensions of life - the way to touch the depths of our real selves in its purest form.

The State of Om

The Sanskrit word "Aham", which means "I am", is a reminder of my existence in life. A normal human being leads a life full of thoughts, never getting to know his real self. "Om" is a derivative of "Aham" that rhymes easily in a person's conscious being. When a person chants "Om" she exists in her purest form without the thoughts disturbing her during the sacred moments of spiritual existence.

The State of Existence

"Existence" indicates one state - the present. A happening yesterday is in the past that "existed". I have to imagine and build thoughts of the scenes of yesterday which is bound by time. When I plan for tomorrow, the future "will exist". It belongs to future and I have to build thoughts around the plan. The future is also time-bound. So, both past and future are bound by time and thought.

However, when I remind myself of my existence, with the sound of "Om", it can be only in the present - a state where thoughts don't get born. The present state is timeless, unlimited and with freedom from thoughts, it is free from stress. So, a person chanting Om is without stress, in other words, healthy, efficient and wise.

The State of Meditation

Yoga scriptures advise a meditator to empty the mind and keep it free from all thoughts. If I realize that thoughts are time bound, it will be clear that I have to keep in the present state of "
Om", where thoughts cannot occur. In my present state I can only find my real self and this is a state of meditation.

To me meditation in life can be of two kinds: One, leading your life or Karma while always remaining in the present state of being. This brings high efficiency - without complications the whole being is dedicated to Karma in the "present". The other is as we know, when you sit for meditation in the mornings or evenings, and immerse ourselves in our thoughtless selves. In both cases, the present state serves timeless wisdom on a silver platter and you are at your efficient best.

My Eternal Love, Sarveswara

Love, Faith & Trust ... The Foundation of Everything.

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