What is Om and What does Om Symbol Mean?

Om or AUM is a sound not a word and this sacred sound are originated in the Hindu religion. There are lots of thoughts behind Om but the essence of every thought is “AUM is omnipotent “. It is the imperishable Sound in the universe.

One of my friend writers has beautifully explained the nineteen meaning of this mantra and these are, the protector, ever-moving, the charmer, the lover, contented, the knower, the pervader, the listener, the ruler, the entreater, the doer, the wisher, radiant, the attainer, the embracer, the destroyer, the receiver, one that divides itself, ever-growing.

AUM The three sounds also symbolize the three Vedas, namely (Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda)

The Shiva Purana (Indian Text) highlights the relation between deity Shiva and the Pranava or AUM. Shiva is declared to be Om, and that AUM is Shiva. Even there is a mantra “Om Namah Shivay” is itself an example of this divine sound.

The primordial of this sacred syllable is found in mandukya upanishad (text).

Indian Rishi(sage) Patanjali In century 2nd BC called it to be the “creative” word.

If someone wants to understand deeply about Om, He or She needs to spend some valuable time to understand the power of Om.

Before understanding Om, we need to understand our self and this is one of infinite question that who we truly are? Intellectual people say that everything that exists in the universe exists with the inside of this vibrational frequency of Om or AUM.

It means the sound of Om creates different vibrations and all the different vibrations are in the spectrum of Om. When we start chanting AUM or Om, we start to making Oh and its way from the throat to the back of the tongue as it rolls mmm – the mmm to M hmm all the way up to your lips.

The root of all sounds all languages and then after ohm comes to rest which represents pure consciousness.

Let me explain these 5 points to know deeply about this divine sound.

  1. Om is the vibrational frequency of this entire manifestation and also the root of all sounds.
  2. Om represents the absolute oneness and wholeness of everything in the symbol.
  3. Om symbol represents the different levels of consciousness that we have the capacity to tune into as human being the waking state which is what we’re in right now.
  4. The level of consciousness which is the transcendent round realm that transcends all of who we actually are?
  5. Om is a collection of ancient spiritual sense.

There are seven chakras in our body and the sound of Om can activate all these chakras. The sound AUM has everything. It can hit you all chakra from first to seventh which is the top of the head.  

The OM mantra is a universally sung mantra even though it originated in the Vedic civilization but the fact that it has expanded and transcended various boundaries clearly shows and proves its importance.

I think things are getting clear about it, But, lots of things are yet to describe about Om, let us move forward and dig down the meaning of this powerful mantra.

What is the Meaning of Om?

If we write Om in the roman script, it is also A, U, M .

Expert says that each character has its own meaning. AUM – A- Creator, U- Preserver,  M- Destroyer

According to Hindu community, AUM is the combination of three powers. Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and in Hindu culture they think Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva is God.

Om Mantra is known as primordial seed (bija) of the universe and is easy to remember and recite. It is a root mantra of all mantras.

Om is said to be the essence of all mantras in the world. It’s a sign of God. This one word is considered the essence of the universe. In the past, this word is also a symbol of waking, dream, and sleep and gross, subtle and causal states.

AUM is a natural sound and it is widely used in Hindu culture. AUM has three letters according to Sanskrit. Ah, Oo, Ma.

In Hindu culture they correlate the sound of these three characters with their GOD, Ah means Brahma (Creator),  Oo means Vishun (Preserver) and Ma means Shiva (Destroyer)

“A” is creative power. Oo or “U” is sustaining power, operative power. And “M” is a destructive power.

Ancestor says that Om is in your blood. It is in our every single and each pore. This sound is everywhere and you cannot live without it.

Here are few quotes about OM

“Om is the mysterious cosmic energy that is the substratum of all the things and all the beings of the entire universe. It is an eternal song of the Divine. It is continuously resounding in silence on the background of everything that exists.”

Amit Ray, Om Chanting and Meditation

“Omniscient, omnipotent, omnivorous and omnipresent all begin with Om.”

Ashwin Sanghi, The Krishna

“Om (or AUM) is the primordial throb of the universe. It is the sound form of Atma (Consciousness).”

Maitri Upandishad

The origin of OM

There is no debate on this subject that Om is imperishable and omniscient. But it is a sacred syllable in Vedic civilization. Vedic culture is found in South Asia and the citadel of Vedic civilization in India.

So basically this sound is invented by the rishis (The sage) in Vedic civilization.

Rishis (The sages) say that at the beginning of the universe, the first form of Omkar form is remembered. It is believed that the sound of the entire universe is always ejected.

Everyone has been familiar with the importance of Omkar sound since the beginning of Indian civilization. According to Vedic’s, Om represents the origin of the entire universe and the entire creation. This controls the speed of our breathing.

It is believed that it is very holy and powerful. If Om is added before any mantra, it becomes completely pure and full of power.

“word which all the Vedas rehearse.”

Katha Upanishad

Four Upnisads (Mundaka, Mandukya, Svetasvatara, and Katha), Bhagavad Gita (Holy Book), and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (text) are the strong evidence of OM and these all are written in Indian civilization.

AUM is a natural sound and natural sound has the ability to connect you with God. So the AUM is the combination of three powers just like God. “G” stands for a generation or generative power. “O” stands for operative power. “D” stands for destructive power.

It is very a powerful sound and It can open up all the chakras, especially the Sahasrara. Sahasrara is the top of the head. And that’s what they think the God resides there.

Let’s come to the point “The Origin of Om”. As we have covered the topic “that first evidence of this sacred sound was found in Katho Upnishad. Moreover, there is enough evidence in all four Upnishads, Bhagwad Gita (Holly Book), Vedas, and Patanjali Yoga Sutra (Indian text) about Om. So the majority of people believe that India is the origin of Om.

What is Om symbol mean?

Just look at the symbol for Om. It is a perfect combination of A, UU, and MM in the Devnagari script.

OM-symbol
OM-symbol-details

Some say this symbol is representative of the face of Ganapati. Some say it represents the body of the divine mother, shakti.

All of these arguments are true because this is the sound of the divine that reverberates within the human body, and in the same way, across all creation.

The significance of Pranava has been mentioned in so many scriptures, from Patanjali Yoga Sutras to Bhagavad Gita, and Upanishads.

Lord Krishna says this repeatedly in Bhagavad Gita and it is mentioned the Omkar is called monolithic Brahman.

The soul is Omkar in terms of alphabets and in terms of quantity it is form A, U and M.

As we have covered this topic that Om is made of three letters, which is well known. AUM. “A” means arising or arising, “U” means to rise, fly, mean growth, “M” means to become silent ie to become “Brahmin”.

The word Om is made up of three sounds and their description is also found in the Upanishads.

What are the 4 parts of OM or AUM?

In the Upanishads we see Om being teased out as having four parts representing the four stages of consciousness, which we can reflect in the chanting by going A then U then M then silence, so it’s kind of like the circle of life as well. Like the beginning, the middle, the end, and then the in-between out of which everything

OM-symbol-details
OM-symbol-details

The ingredients of Omkaara are A, U, M, Bindu(point), Ardchandra Rodhini, Nad, Nadanta, Shakti (power), Vyapini, or Mahashunya, Samana, and Amina. Of these, the three types of Akar, Ukaar, and Makar are signifiers of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, the creators of creation, status, and destruction.

“A” signifies Brahma; it is sacrificed in the heart by pronunciation. “U” signifies Vishnu; He is sacrificed in the throat and “M” signifies Shiva and He is a sacrifice in the palate.

The point on the top of the Om character is itself the form of God. There is no distinction between the points of speech from the point above

Does Om mean God?

Om sign indicates a regular or natural relationship with God. It is mentioned in Upanishad (Indian text) that Om is God and it was before the world and will be after the world.

All religions in the world, more or less, they are following this sound and that is OM. In Christianity it is called “amen”, Or in Islam, it is called something different but all major religions, they follow this sound.

Different People might have different beliefs as to the shape form and name of God, but all of them have a single founding principle and it is basically Om It becomes God.

In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali describes Om as the sound of Ishvara (God) which is often translated as Lord or God.

What is generally referred to as God is that which the Source of Creation is? Where is this source of creation? Let’s understand it practically.

If you look closely at a plant sprout or a person grows while the raw material for it is being gathered from outside, the process of creation itself seems to be happening from within. So there is something which is created, and the creator is within the created.

This is the beauty of all of it. All of the creation animate or inanimate is in some stage of creation, maintenance or destruction, all happening from within.

This is all every God, Guide, or Guru has been trying to help us with empowering our own capabilities, to access the source of creation that is within ourselves.

This is all every scripture on spirituality is trying to help us to give us a process of turning inward because that is where Divinity lies.

We know that the most obvious signal of life within the body is the breath. The Sanskrit name for this is Pranava (life), Vayu (air) prana(breath), which can be roughly translated.

As the source of life prana, is Pranava, this life force manifests itself. As the aspects of creation, maintenance, and destruction within the human body.

Hindus believe the mantra “OM” is the name of God, the vibration of the Supreme. It is sometimes chanted as three sounds, a-u-m, symbolic of the three major Hindu deities: Brahma Shakti (creation), Vishnu Shakti (preservation), and Shiva Shakti (liberation, and/or destruction).

According to the “Dhyana Bindupanishad”, the specialty of Om Mantra is that in all the situations that are chaste or profane, one who chants it must achieve the goal

In the Taittiriyopanishad it is said about Om-: Om is Brahma. Om is the direct world. OM is a copy of the world. Whoever starts listening to that sound starts connecting with the divine. This is a simple way to connect with God

“I am the Father of this world, Mother, Ordainer, Grandfather, the Thing to be known, the Purifier, the syllable Om, Rik, Saman, and also Yajus.”

Lord Krishna Bhagavad Gita

Is Om the most powerful mantra?

Om is the beginning of every mantra, it is said that no mantra without Om is fruitful, no matter how much it is chanted. Our and every breath of yours emits the sound of Om.

Om is spread across the universe. Om is effective for everyone whether someone trust or not. It is a divine sound. This mantra connects directly with the human soul.

It is believed that chanting Om once is important than chanting a mantra a thousand times. The second name of Om is God. AUM is immortal It doesn’t destroy.

 It is mentioned in a Granth(text) that one who chants the mantra in the form of “Kush (grass)”, facing the east for a thousand times, all his actions are proved.

The importance of Om has been underlined several times in the Bhagavat Gita one of the Indian holy books. It is mentioned in the eighth chapter that a person who renounces a body chanting Brahman in the form of AUM letters attains the ultimate speed.

One, who realizes the intensity and power of Om, gets to roots of all physical and psychological problems in life. They understand the deeper meaning and purpose of existence in life.

Chanting or listening to OM balances all 5 elements that we are made of and helps us cope with even the illness that even science does not have a solution for.

“The sound itself seems to calm the nervous system,”

says Stephen Cope

“When we sound om together, we’re aligning body/mind/spirit; we’re aligning with one another; we’re aligning with the universe because it’s the sound of the universe and we’re referencing something real,

Bhavani Lorraine Nelson

“We chant it because yogis have for thousands of years. And when we chant it, we’re connecting with those yogis in a ritual way, and drawing upon the support of the practices they’ve been doing for a long, long time.”

How is OM pronounced?

It is natural for the mouth to produce the sound “O” when mixing aa and uu together. It is because the mouth is physiologically arranged that way, these grammar rules came about.

Start chanting AUM….

First, open your mouth, rest your jaw, and make the space between both lips and raise the sound “ahh” from the belly, the tongue will not touch the palate.

When it comes to the number of “oooh” the lips come close to each other and sound passes through the abdomen to the heart.

Now it’s a time of “mmm” the lips almost touch to each other and create buzzing in the head, the tongue floats middle of the mouth and the fourth syllable is silent, nothing to speak, just observe your feelings.

There are three vibrations while chanting AUM. The first vibration you should feel in the belly with “Aaaa”. The second vibration will generate into Chest with “Uuuuu” .and the third vibration you will feel in the head with “Mmmm”.

When the sound aa, mixes with the sound ii, it becomes ee. When it mixes with uu, it becomes O. So yes, it is pronounced OM. it is a combination of the sounds aaa, uuu, and mmm.

These sounds are manifest inside the human body, just below the navel, at the chest, and above the throat.

The soul is Omkar in terms of alphabets and in terms of quantity it forms A, U and M. There is no quantity in the fourth leg and it is past and trait less monotheism by practice.

This means that both the ontological word Brahman and the past Brahman is integral to it. Purity is taken care of in the pronunciation of Om.

Sit in a calm place and take 10 deep breaths to relax the mind and then the chant the 3 sounds “Aaaa”, “Uuuu” and “Mmmm” with a silent break among each sound.

Use of OM in Yoga Classes

A simple sound “OM” is heard in almost every yoga class. I assume you joined yoga classes if not you can start Yoga poses at home. Here is a Yoga guide for beginners.

om-in-Yoga
om-in-Yoga

Many of you have experienced that Om is chanted before starting the Yoga class or before finishing it. It is believed that Yoga class completes only after chanting the Om mantra.

Even Om is used while meditating in yoga classes. People have experienced that when in the deep state of meditation, there is a sound that is heard continuously. The same sound continues everywhere, both inside and outside of the body. And by listening to it, the mind and soul feel at peace and that sound is called Om. It is very important to be in meditation to listen to that sound.

But whoever keeps chanting Om, positive energy develops around him or her. So the sound of Pranava (life), is a combination of aaa, uuu, and mmm.

There are whole systems of Yoga, that make use of these three sounds, in varying proportions to activate those particular locations and the corresponding chakras inside the human body.

In yoga class when we chant this we really are connecting to a whole different bunch of layers of meanings that go back thousands of years

Continuous meditation on the sound, and meaning OM, one of the ways of chanting Om is seen as an effective way of achieving the objective of Yoga.

Benefits of chanting OM

Just 5 minutes of OM chanting daily relieves all extra burdens on the 5 elements of our body and spirit. It clams down the mind and promotes good blood flow and energy flow in the body

It cures mental illnesses, heartbeat, and blood circulation is organized.  Both the pronunciation and the hearer benefit from it because it increases working power.

If you repeat in a certain way it really benefits you physically, mentally, and spiritually. It leaves a positive impact on the body as well as pronunciation in the light of it; there is an interview of self-realization. Chanting it while sitting in Padmashan brings peace and concentration to the mind.

Scientists and astrologers say that teeth, nose, tongue are all used in reciting Oum and Ekakshari Mantra Om, which reduces hormonal secretion and by reducing glandular secretion, this word protects from many diseases and seven body Awakens the Chakra (Kundalini)

When we chant Om we are connecting to the purest and highest form of consciousness that we have the capacity. We’re tuning into the universe.

Chanting Om creates positive vibrations at your home. Om is a complete mantra, no need to chanting any other complicated or time-consuming mantra, after chanting this mantra.

This mantra gives strength at the time of crises because it has the power to reveal the remedial action its recitation itself.

I would like to share one of real example of this mantra. My friend lives

In France and his wife was suffering from a throat choking problem and her voice was very low almost inaudible. Them someone suggested her to chanting Om at least two times in a day for 21 times each. And you don’t believe, she got relief with this therapy.

Why is the word Om powerful?

OM is the deepest sound of this whole Universe. We are made of OM, our energies are transmitted in the form of OM and the flow of life goes on with OM.

The whole universe is made up of 5 elements: Earth, Water Fire, Air, and Space. These elements maintain balance in our bodies and mind. The human body is also made of 5 elements: Earth element (bones and Muscles) Water element (Blood), air element (Breath)Fire element (Heat), and space element consciousness.

If any one element is taken out, the body will not survive. There are various energies in the body, like Bio-energy, magnetic energy, electrical energy, mechanical energy, and chemical energy. These energies run the body. These are called Vital Force or Prana Shakti. any imbalance in the five elements brings imbalance in the prana shakti leading to sickness and disease.

“The word Ek Omkar Satnam is very popular and a hundred percent truth. An Onkar is a true name.”

Guru Nanak

“All the fruitful names are vested on Omkar and they are important only because of Omkar“ 

Ram Krishan

When we chant a sacred word like Om, our consciousness becomes a point that helps us to meditate a lot.

Tibetan scholar Lama Govinda wrote that om expresses and leads to the “experience of the infinite within us.”

What religion does the OM belong to?


Though this syllable is found chiefly in Vedic civilization Om is immortal and omniscient. Om is a sacred syllable but no civilization can prove its supremacy over it because Om is the essence of creation.

An expression of reverence for Omkar is seen everywhere in the Buddhist and Jain communities.

Mandukya upanishad says : Om is the sound which is, everything that is manifest.

Many cultures have tried to express this in their own terminology. They had their own ways, laid down by masters, who mastered this capability of accessing divinity within.

This same sound, what is being chanted as Ameen in Islam, and Amen, in Christianity. So, if there are many versions of this sound, Sanskrit shows how to pronounce it correctly

How to Chant OM and harness its power

Wake up in the morning and chant the Omkar sound. Om can be chanted in Padmasana Sukhasana Vajrasana. It can be pronounced 5, 7, 10, or 21 times according to your time.   Om can speak loudly or can speak slowly. You can also chant them with Om chanting Mala. Om’s pronunciation helps the body and mind to concentrate.

Start chanting AUM….

First, open your mouth, rest your jaw, make the space in both lips and raise the sound “ahh” from the belly, the tongue will not touch the palate.

When it comes to the number of “oooh” the lips come close to each other and sound passes through the abdomen to the heart.

Now its time of “mmm” the lips almost touch to each other and create buzzing in the head, the tongue

float middle of the mouth and the fourth syllable is silent, nothing to speak, just observe your feelings.