The Meaning of Om Mantra (Aum Mantra or Pranava Mantra)

Sanskrit Mantras

OM, pronounced AUM, according to Vedic literature, is the primordial sound vibration from which the whole cosmos with all its creations is believed to have evolved.

This sacred sound vibrates at a frequency of 136.1 Hz.

Today, researchers from NASA are reporting that the sound emanating from the sun is at this frequency.

The universe reacts to this healing frequency.

All the mysteries of matter can be understood by perceiving the relationship between vibration, particles, and energy (prana).

Aum mantra meaning:

  • A represents creation;
  • U refers to the preservation of „life” or „our universe”;
  • M is the last part of the cycle of existence when all things are returned to their initial essence.

„This mantra Om indeed represents the Absolute (Brahman). It is the highest. He who knows its essence and worships it attains the supreme goal and knows all.” – quote from Katha Upanishad.

We can also find a quote in another ancient text – “Om is the one eternal syllable of which all that exists is but the development. The past, the present, and the future are all included in this one primordial sound, and all that exists beyond the three forms of time is also implied in this sound.” – Mandukya Upanishad.

Aum symbol meaning:

This sacred symbol is a syllable representing Brahman, the impersonal Absolute, omnipresent, omnipotent, and the source of all manifest existence. Brahman is incomprehensible, so a sacred symbol becomes mandatory to help us realize the Unknowable. The four divine states of Brahman are – karuna (compassion), mudita (sympathetic joy), metta (loving kindness), and upekkha (equanimity).

Moreover, some scholars say that this symbol is connected to Lord Ganesh, the destroyer of obstacles, the Hindu half-elephant god, because if you squint, you can see Lord Ganesh rotund curves and graceful trunk represented.

Lord Ganesh (Image source

Om also represents both the nirguna (unmanifest) and the saguna (manifest) aspects of God. That is why this symbol is called pranava, to mean that it pervades life and runs through our energy (prana) or breath.

Literally, Pranava in Sanskrit signifies „humming”. This mantra denotes God as the Primal Sound. This sacred sound can be heard as the sound of one’s own nerve system, and advanced meditators and mystics hear it everyday, like the sound made by an electrical transformer or a swarm of bees, or a thousand vinas playing in the distance. It is an energetic inner experience, one that an advanced meditator hold with great adoration.

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The practitioner is taught to inwardly metamorphose this sound into the inner light which enlightens ones’ thoughts and to relax in this blissful consciousness of light.

Pranava mantra is recognized as the sound of the nadanadi sakti. Hearing it one draws close to the Supreme Consciousness. When we are living constantly in the lower chakras, or when the world too strongly controls our mind, this healing sound may, for a time, not be heard.

But it returns as awareness withdraws, as the mind becomes perfectly quiescent, still, silent. Listen and practice the pranava mantra in your quietest moments and you will learn to recognize it as an everyday encounter with the Divine that lives within all existence.

Pranava mantra chanting benefits:

Chanting of the beej mantra Om is said to calm the nervous system, slow the breathing, and send the glands, chakras, and organs of the body a gentle vibrational massage. It fills the mind and consciousness with the idea of eternal perfection.

When you recite this mantra properly, you enter into a meditative state. You are not simply reciting a sound or a word or a phrase, you are creating a vibration (sound).

What kind of vibration?

Not a vibration which irritates you agitates you or creates a desire in your mind for a particular object, but a healing vibration which removes all other particular vibrations puts an end to all insignificant desires and creates a desire for the Universal. As the fire burns straw, this desire for the Universal burns up all other meaningless desires.” – Swami Krishnananda’s quote.

Om mantra meditation:

Sit in a comfortable undisturbed place. Close your eyes and for three minutes relax your mind and body. Take some deep breath. Now chant at least seven times AUM in succession. Make each deep breath last as long as possible.

Take a deep breath and chant aaaaaaa~~~~~uuuuuuu~~~~~ mmmmmmm. Then again repeat this chanting. After this, stop chanting the mantra and sit for a moment of silence. You’ll be amazed by the inner peace you’ll get in such a small amount of time. Practice steadily and daily with sincerity, perseverance, faith, and enthusiasm in the morning, before the sunrise.


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