The Meaning Of The OM Symbol – How To Use It?

Reviewed By Registered Dietitian Erin Kenney, MS, RD, LDN
The Meaning Of The OM Symbol – How To Use It? December 13, 2018

Om – the matrix for all sounds. It is said that when this sound is diversified, it forms all the words used in language. If you have enrolled yourself in a yoga class, it is most likely that you will start and end your regimen by chanting Om. It might be a simple practice, but it has a whole lot more to it. This article will tell you all about this tiny, yet powerful syllable – Om.

Answering Crucial Questions On The Universal Symbol

  1. What Is The Meaning Of Om & Aum?
  2. What Is The Anatomy Of The Symbol Om?
  3. How To Chant Om?
  4. What Is The Power Of Chanting Om?
  5. What Are The Health Benefits Of Chanting Om?
  6. How To Use Om?
  7. What Is The History Of Om?

What Is The Meaning Of Om & Aum?

What-Is-The-Meaning-Of-Om-&-Aum Pinit

Image: iStock

They say that before the world began, Brahma – the creator, the 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. The creation of the world began with this vibration – Om.

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.

The right pronunciation of Om is ‘OOM’, as in hOME.

Back To TOC

The Anatomy Of The Symbol Om

Here comes the anatomy of the Om symbol. Om represents the three states of consciousness.

A – is the waking state (pronounced ‘A’ as in Accounting)
U – is the dream state (pronounced ‘U’ as in Would)
M – is the state of deep sleep (pronounced ‘M’ as in suM)

Usually, when Om is chanted, there is a silence between two Oms. This silence represents the state of Turiya or the fourth state, which is known to be a state of bliss. In this state, a person identifies himself with the Supreme.

Back To TOC

How To Chant Om

How-To-Chant-Om- Pinit

Image: iStock

  1. Look for a calm place. Sit comfortably. The best position to assume would be sitting with your legs crossed and your back erect.
  1. It is important to be comfortable, so wear loose clothes. You need to let all the channels in your body free.
  1. Place your right palm in your left, both facing upward and next to your navel.
  1. Gently close the eyes or glance downward. Make sure your body and mind are calm.
  1. Take account of all the vibrations that happen in each part of your body.
  1. Once you are aware of every sound in your body, breathe in, and count to five. Then, breathe out as you count to seven. With time, try and increase the number. Do this thrice.
  1. When you exhale the third time, feel the vibrations in the abdomen as you chant “AAAAA”.
  1. Exhale and relax for a few seconds.
  1. Breathe in deeply and slowly. As you exhale, feel the vibrations in your neck and chest as you chant “OOOOO”.
  1. Exhale and relax for a few seconds.
  1. Breathe in slowly and deeply again. And as you exhale, feel the vibrations in your neck and head, and chant “MMMMM”. This may cause you to feel dizzy at first, but you could sip a little water and stop the chanting
  1. Exhale and relax for a few seconds.
  1. Breathe in slowly and deeply again. As you exhale, chant Om. Remember that 80 percent of your chant should be AU and 20 percent should be M.
  1. Chant Om three times, and then slowly increase it to nine. Once you finish with the meditation, breathe normally as you concentrate on it for about five minutes.

Back To TOC

The Power Of Chanting Om

The-Power-Of-Chanting-Om Pinit

Image: iStock

  1. When you chant Om, it is said that you will let go of all things worldly. You will start focusing more, and your body will be rejuvenated. You will live life with a new vigor.
  1. If you chant Om 50 times, especially when you are low and depressed, you will feel lively and energized almost instantly. Om is a powerful tonic, and when you chant it, you will be the epitome of purity and light.
  1. People who chant Om have a sweet, yet powerful voice. If you chant Om while you exercise, it will make the mind calm and serene as it imparts spirituality that leads you to ultimate self-realization.

Back To TOC

Health Benefits Of Chanting Om

Health-Benefits-Of-Chanting-Om Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

1. It Helps Reduce Stress And Sets Your Mood Right

Studies say that chanting Om with great concentration helps you reduce the levels of adrenaline in the body, which, in turn, reduces stress. When you chant Om, you are usually in a peaceful, secluded place, and your mind is free of distractions, which makes you feel calm and pious.

If your work is stressful, make it a habit of chanting Om first thing every morning. Your endorphins are boosted, and you will feel relaxed and refreshed all day. Om also helps to balance out the hormones. This means no more mood swings! When you remain in a good mood, your interpersonal relationships automatically improve.

2. Improves Concentration

When you chant Om, you tend to seclude yourself from all thoughts that bother you. Over time, you tend to focus, and your level of concentration will improve.

3. Your Spinal Cord Is Strengthened

When you chant OM, the ‘ A’ vibration is said to impact the spinal cord. As you make it a practice to chant Om, your spinal cord will become more efficient.

4. Chanting Om Is A Great Detox For Your Body

When you meditate, initially, your body de-stresses, and eventually, it begins to detoxify itself. Meditation regulates the blood circulation, which means more oxygen for the body. Also, when you breathe in combination with the vibrations, you get rid of a whole lot of toxins.

5. Your Heart And Digestive System Are Looked After

Firstly, chanting Om enhances blood flow to different parts of the body, and it also reduces your blood pressure. Secondly, when it removes your tension and worries, you heartbeats are normalized, and your heart remains efficient and protected.
Breathing and vibrations also make your digestive system stronger.

6. It Helps Regulate Your Sleep Cycle

The worldly problems and busy schedules are the root causes of all the problems in our lives. Chanting Om removes all causes of worry and imparts great peace to your mind. When your mind is peaceful, your sleep cycle is automatically brought back to normal.

7. You Get A Hold On Your Feelings

Our mind and bodies have succumbed to our anxieties and frustration, and sometimes, we tend to be impulsive about voicing our feelings. This can add to our already troubled life because it is most likely you will repent such rage later. Chanting Om will make your mind stronger, and also make you more self-aware. You will be able to assess a situation before you react.

8. Helps You In Getting Rid Of Negativity

When we think of negative things, which is a human tendency, we tend to attract negativity into our lives. When you chant Om, you tend to concentrate on yourself. And in doing so, your soul drives out the negativity and allows you to attract positive people and thoughts into your life.

Back To TOC

How To Use Om

How-To-Use-Om Pinit

Image: iStock

First of all, you can use Om while you meditate. Make sure you do so in a quiet place. Sit comfortably and relax your nerves and muscles. Concentrate on your third eye (the space between your eyebrows, a little above your eyes), silence your thoughts, and chant Om. As you do this, think of eternity and everything you want from life with all your heart. This will help to channelize your Third Eye Chakra.

Chant Om when you practice yoga. It will enhance the positive effects of the practice.

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.

Back To TOC

History Of Om

History-Of-Om Pinit

Image: iStock

It is said that this sound was first mentioned in the Upanishads (a collection of sacred Hindu texts). 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.

Back To TOC

Om is the seed of all mantras. Om is short, and it vibrates through the body, livening up each chakra. It is the sound that invigorates the Third Eye and Crown chakras, both of which connect us with the divine. Some say that this sound has been recorded in space and sounds something like om-y.

Om – a powerful sound that is meant to instill humility, peace, well-being, and happiness. It is meant to touch the lives of every human being’s heart. Invite this beautiful sound of creation into your life today!

Recommended Articles