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Om: A Small Yet Powerful Syllable


‘Om,’ 'Ohm' or 'Aum’ is considered to be the primordial sound that originated with the universe and has been chanted for thousands of years. The continuous chanting of Om leads to profound enlightenment. The whole universe blends into this one word which represents the unification of mind, body, and spirit. Om symbolizes the spiritual and creative power, and its three core characteristics: creation, preservation, and liberation.

Om is considered to be the first sound. It is said that the natural sound that existed in the illusion before the physical creation came into existence was the echo of Om. That's why Om is called the voice of the universe. What does this mean? Somehow the ancient yogis knew what scientists are telling us today: the universe is not permanent. Nothing is always solid or stable. Everything that vibrates creates a rhythmic vibration that ancient yogis captured in the sound of Om. We are not always conscious of this sound in our daily lives, but we can hear it in autumn leaves, in the waves of the ocean, or in the sound of a conch shell if we listen carefully. The chanting of Om connects and makes us a part of this movement of the entire universe – whether it is the setting sun, the rising moon, the tides, our heartbeat, or the sounds of every atom within our bodies.

Om is also a seed syllable, used as a building block for other mantras. In the chakra system, it is connected to the third eye, which represents intuition and self-knowledge.



The syllable Om is first mentioned in the Upanishads (Mundaka, Mandukya, Svetasvatara, and Katha), which are sacred Hindu texts that focus on the different theories of the Ohm meaning. According to the Mundukya, Om is imperishable which means it is present in all states of time, past, present, future, as well as transcending time itself. In Mundaka Upanishad, Om is described as the bow; the soul is the arrow, and Brahman is the target. Svetasvatara Upanishad describes Om as the fire which though potentially present in firewood is not seen until two sticks are rubbed against each other.

It is also mentioned in some chapters of the Vedas, the Bhagavad Gita, Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and also thoroughly discussed in the oldest Vedantic texts.



A combination of curves, a crescent, and a dot makes the Om symbol. The top curve represents the state of deep sleep or unconscious, the large bottom curve represents the waking state, the middle curve denotes the dream state, the crescent/ semicircle represents the illusions/Maya and the dot is the absolute state or highest state of consciousness. This is the fourth state which is believed to be the state in which one could truly connect with the higher supreme. The meaning of the Om symbol is regarded as inexhaustible, infinite language and knowledge, and the essence of everything that exists and of life itself.



Om Meditation involves the chanting of ‘Om’ or ‘Aum’. In Om meditation, as we exhale the A-U-M, the vibration of it links us to the original source of creation. If done properly, the sound resonates from your pelvis towards the crown of your head, filling your body with vibrating energy that simultaneously empowers and radiates serenity.

During meditation, when Om is pronounced in a correct manner, it has four syllables with the pronunciation of 'AUM'. The first syllable A pulsate the energy in the solar plexus and sending up into the chest. With the second syllable – U – the sound moves up into the throat as the sound moves forward along the upper palate. M – is the third and prolonged syllable that brings the vibrating energy through the throat, third eye chakras as the teeth come together to touch gently. Last and the final syllable is the deep silence of the infinite as the overall vibrating energy rises through the body and into the Universe. Try to meditate on OM till you attain Samadhi. If your mind gets distracted by Rajas and Tamas, practice Dharana (concentration) and Dhyana (meditation) again and again.

Significance of Om Chanting and Meditation

We chant “Om” at the beginning and end of a yoga class for several reasons: Om allows us to separate the time of our practice session from the rest of our everyday lives. It signifies that our yoga and meditation session is a sacred time in which we care for ourselves while also practicing mindfulness. There are scores of other reasons why we chant or meditate on Om, such as:

  • When you chant Om, it vibrates at the frequency of 432 Hz which is the frequency vibrated in all the things throughout nature.
  • Being the basic sound of the universe; chanting Om symbolically and physically connects you to everything around you and the Universe.
  • With its rhythmic pronunciation and vibrations, it calms down the body and soothes the nervous system.
  • Om chanting enhances mental alertness, lowers blood pressure, and normalises the heart rate.
  • Meditating on Om can help you to get relief from stress and depression. It stimulates nerves and affects the brain which works wonders in the treatments of depression and epilepsy.
  • It balances your emotions which helps you to control anger and increases patience compassion and tolerance levels. Creating positive vibrations in the body attracts positivity into your life.
  • Chanting Om helps to synchronize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which makes a super-powerful brain.
  • The vibrations caused by the sound of Aaaa strengthen your spinal cord. The sound is generated from the abdomen and helps to strengthen the muscles associated with the spinal cord.
  • The vibration of the sound uuu is created by vocal cords which facilitate the functioning of thyroid glands and the throat. It also opens up the sinuses to clear the airways.
  • Om Meditation helps with mood swings and enhances work capacity and performance. Thus it is said that with regular chanting you can improve your personal as well as professional life.
  • Research has suggested that Om or Aum chanting created a significant impact on the spinal cord of a person. The vibrations created during Om meditation enhance the efficiency of the spinal cord.
  • Meditating on Om Mantra purifies the environment around you and creates positive vibrations.
  • Your focus and concentration increase when you chant this universal hymn.
  • Meditating on Om detoxifies your mind by wiping out the negative energy from your physical, emotional and mental body.
  • The regular practice of Om meditation will help you go deeper into your spiritual journey. Do your practice with complete devotion, dedication, and patience to get tremendous spiritual benefits.
  • Chanting Om before bedtime helps you to sleep with a peaceful mind and also cures insomnia. It regularizes our sleep patterns and enhances the quality of our sleep.
About Author: Sanjjay Raturi
The Seeker, Writer, Himalayan Philosopher
Sanjjay Raturi "Sagar" was born into a Brahmin family in the North Indian Himalayas. He has been connected to spirituality since birth, growing up in a beautiful place near the source of the holy river Ganges. This led him to start practicing mantra chanting and meditation during his childhood.
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