Om is considered a highly sacred sound that is at the start of all the Vedic prayers and most of the mantras. It is also used while greeting someone, such as “Hari Om”.
Why do we chant Om?
It is believed that everything in this universe is vibrating and energetic. When we chant Om, it vibrates at the frequency of 432 Hz, which is believed to be the fundamental frequency of this universe. The Om sound rouses the internal energy. Close your eyes and chant Om to feel the internal vibration. Chanting Om not only affects you but also your surroundings.
Chanting Om physically affects the nervous system of the body. The sound calms down the nervous system and relaxes the mind, just like mediation.
In Hinduism it is believed that the Om sound is the universal and cosmic name of the Lord. Om is also known as ‘pranava’, meaning a symbol by which the Lord is praised.
The Om sound is considered auspicious and is chanted before commencing any project. It is said that God had also chanted Om and atha before creating the world.
Om means everything in life – it means the goal of life; it is the truth and meaning of life; it is comprised of all the forms and formless things of life.
For meditation purposes, Om is repeated as a mantra.
Every yogic posture begins and ends with sound Om or Aum, as the word has cosmic vibrations. The great sage Patanjali even wrote that contact with God can be established by meditating on the word Om.
Om is written in many ways, but most commonly it symbolizes lord Ganesha. The head of the lord is denoted by the upper curve, stomach by the lower large curve, the side is the trunk, and the semi-circular arc with red dot denotes ladoo or modoka, the sweet ball in Lord Ganesha’s hand.
How to pronounce Om?
Om consists of four syllables: A, U, M, and the silent syllable. In this A is pronounced as a prolonged “awe”, U is pronounced as a prolonged “oo,” and M is pronounced as a prolonged “mmmm”. The last syllable is a silence.