what is om

What is AUM?

We always chant AUM before starting and closing of class. The very common question that comes up is, "Why chant AUM and what is the significance of this sound?"

Here is a brief explanation of the meaning and significance of AUM.

AUM is considered to be the ‘primordial sound’ in Upnishads and other texts. The Mandukya Upanishad, in particular, is fully devoted to the discussion of AUM which is provided in Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh. In the Upanishads, AUM is mentioned as being the same as Brahman (the supreme consciousness).Even it’s been believed that before the material creation came into existence there was only the sound of AUM. This sound of AUM also known as "antar-naada" (the inner sound) which can be experienced in our pure inner self. The pureness comes so positively when you do Chanting Yoga in Rishikesh.

Meaning of AUM

Sanskrit word AUM is composite of 3 letters. According to Mandukhya Upanishad, the three letters A, U and M are corresponding to three states they are jagriti(waking), swapan(dream) and shusupti(deep sleep). But after successive repetitions of the mantra (AUM) the silence between, represents the fourth state called ‘turiya’ (literally the ‘fourth’ in Sanskrit), a state that transcends these three states. These 3-states correspond to the conscious, sub-conscious and unconscious states of the mind. The fourth state represents witnessing consciousness. Fully describe version are also teaches through registered courses in rishikesh.

AUM in Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

As Patanjali states in sutra 1.28, AUM should be repeated with reflection upon its meaning and significance in mind. The technique for chanting AUM is given below:

Sit in a comfortable posture with the spine upright and lined with head, neck alignment. Let the breath be normal and slowly close the eyes and take a deep inhalation. With exhalation start uttering the AUM sound.Now as the chant begins the first syllabus is “A” should be pronounced short, rather than long with highest pitch of the all three syllabus. Vibration can be experience around your navel abdominal area (near Mooladhara chakra) and traveling upward as chant continues second syllabus is “U” should be pronounced longer with lower pitch than syllabus A. The Vibration can be experience around your chest cavity. When the vibration reaches the throat area, convert the sound to a deep rumbling sound of "M".Third syllabus is “M” should be pronounced longest and with lowest pitch among all (like a deep rumbling).Continue to feel the vibration moving upward until it reaches the crown of the head (near Sahasrara Chakra).

You may repeat this process number of time but at last chant be still and feel the vibration of AUM throughout the body and mind.

Other names for AUM

In some of the Upanishads and other text, AUM is referred to as:

  • PRANAVA – Controller and giver of life force.
  • UDGITA - The uplifting chant.
  • OMKARA- AUM syllable.
  • TARAKA - The one that helps us cross the ocean of this unstable life.
  • AKSHARA- Indestructible or imperishable.
  • SHABDA BRAHMAN- Supreme consciousness as sound.

Benefits of chanting AUM

  • The go on recitation of OM (called Udgita Pranayama) fills one with kindliness, calmness, tranquility and serenity.
  • When we execute it with the understanding that OM is nothing but a dscription of Ishvara, it brings us closer to our true nature, our own pure self.
  • Boost concentration and mental sharpness.
  • Decrease stress and cure depression.
  • Works on emotions and benefits to remove negativity.
  • Correct spinal cord function ,straightens back.
  • Restraints blood pressure and heart diseases
  • Chanting of the Om Mantra clarify the environment around you and builds positive vibrations.
  • Om chanting actually boost your voice by giving power to your vocal cords and the muscles around it. This is very great during old age.

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