Om: The Meaning, Use, And Benefits Of Chanting One Of The World’s Most Revered Symbols
What is the meaning of Om?
In Hindu mythology, before the world began, Brahma (the creator or absolute reality) was one, and He said, “I am one, but may I become many?” This thought created a vibration that settled into a sound. This sound was Om. From this vibration, everything in the universe sprang into existence.
When you chant Om, the vibration from that sound correlates to the original vibrations that were sounded in the universe when the world was created. The sound of Om is often called Pranava, or that which runs through breath (Prana) and sustains life. Om is also a representation of the four states of the Supreme Being.
O is a diphthong and is usually spelled as AU in Sanskrit. A diphthong is the combination of two vowel sounds that make the sound of one vowel. Some people refer to Om as OM, and others as AUM, but the difference between them is merely in translation.
SEE ALSO: 20 Fast Facts About Hinduism
The anatomy of Om
How to chant Om
- Wherever you’re sitting right now, adjust your posture to sit up straight, and close your eyes
- Take a nice long, deep breath and let it go
- With your next deep breath, let an “Ooooo” slip out low and rumbly from your belly
- When you’re half-way through your breath, slowly bring your lips together into an “Mmmmmmmmm”
- And then taper off and enjoy the silence.
- That’s one Om! You can do as many as you’d like. Shoot for chanting 10 minutes, and embrace the stillness.
The power of chanting Om
When Om is chanted over and over again, it has the effect of deepening the meditator’s consciousness and brings them into a deeper state of awareness. Even more than that- they say when Om is truly experienced, the practitioner can become one with the vibration and feel the universe as their own body.
This is one of the many different forms of samadhi.
Benefits of chanting Om
- Chanting of the Om Mantra purifies the environment around you and creates positive vibrations.
- Your concentration increases when you chant this universal hymn.
- Om chanting gives you better immunity and self-healing power.
- It improves your concentration and helps you focus.
- The Om chanting produces a vibration and sound which is felt through your vocal cords and sinuses. The vibrations open up the sinuses to clear the airways.
- It can place you in a meditational state which gives you deep relaxation.
- The Om not only benefits the person who is chanting it but also to the people around them, wherever its vibrations flow.
- The Om Mantra has cardiovascular benefits – by relaxing our mind and body, our blood pressure will decrease and our heart will beat with regular rhythm.
- Om chanting actually improves your voice by giving strength to your vocal cords and the muscles around it. This is very helpful during old age.
- It is said that rubbing your hands together while om chanting and putting those charged hands on different parts of body heals or activates those body parts.
- Through chanting and meditation, you can have better control over your emotions, thus allowing you to see situations with a clear and rational mind.
- Regular chanting of this Mantra will take you on a spiritual journey to greater happiness and positivity, but only if it is done daily for a longer period of time. Mantras are not an overnight fix to your problems – you must have patience and learn the correct techniques.
- When the OM Mantra is chanted in a group, the effects are amplified and this will produce immense positive vibrations which charge up the entire vicinity.
- It has been our experience that Om can even help cleanse your skin. The massive levels of internal positive energy and a cleansed aura that come from chanting the Om Mantra regularly will be reflected externally with a sunny glow on your face and body.
- Your spinal cord is strengthened through the vibrations caused by sound of Aaaa. As this sound is generated from abdomen, it helps to strengthen the supporting muscles of the spinal cord.
- The sound uuu is created by vocal cords which benefit the thyroid glands and the throat.
- If you’re looking at the spiritual eye while chanting, your eyesight will start improving.
How to use Om
Once you begin chanting Om, keep the feeling and meaning of the sound in your heart at all times. And as you do so, feel free, pure, and aware of yourself. Let your body vibrate with these ideas, and spread the power of Om through your hearts, bodies, and life.
History of Om
It is said that this sound was first mentioned in the Upanishads (a collection of ancient sacred Hindu texts, thousands of years old). The Mandukya Upanishad is a text dedicated to Om. It says that Om is imperishable. It says that Om was in the past, it is the present, and it will be in the future. Om is said to be anything that exists beyond the bounds of time.
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