Om, is known as the primordial sound, the sound of cosmic consciousness. In Sankrit, the meaning of Om, is that which sustains everything.
Before the beginning, the Brahman (absolute reality) was one and non-dual. It thought, "I am only one -- may I become many." This caused a vibration which eventually became sound, and this sound was Om. Creation itself was set in motion by the vibration of Om. The closest approach to Brahman is that first sound, Om. Thus, this sacred symbol has become emblematic of Brahman just as images are emblematic of material objects.
The vibration produced by chanting Om in the physical universe corresponds to the original vibration that first arose at the time of creation. The sound of Om is also called Pranava, meaning that it both controls and sustains the life force, through the Prana or breath. Om also represents the four states of the Supreme Being. The three sounds in Om (AUM) represent the three states of consciousness: waking, dream and deep or dreamless sleep states and the silence which surrounds Om represents the fourth or "Turiya" state.
The Turiya state, in Hindu philosopthy is the experience of pure consciousness. It the state which transcends the three common states of consciousness, and hence is equivalent to the Atman or Brahman.
As the first of the three states of consciousness is the waking state, it is represented by the sound "A" pronounced like "A" in accounting. Because the dream state of consciousness lies between the waking and the deep sleep states, it is represented by the letter "U" which lies between the "A" and "M". This "U" is pronounced like the "U" in would. The last state of consciousness is the deep sleep state and is represented by "M" pronounced as in "sum." This closes the pronunciation of Om just as deep sleep is the final stage of the mind at rest. Whenever Om is recited in succession there is an inevitable period of silence between two
successive Oms. This silence represents the "fourth state" known as "Turiya" which is the state of perfect bliss when the individual self recognizes his identity with the supreme.
The Symbol Om
Just as the sound of Om represents the four states of Brahman, the symbol Om written in Sanskrit also represents everything. The material world of the waking state is symbolized by the large lower curve. The deep sleep state is represented by the upper left curve. The dream state, lying between the waking state below and the deep sleep state above, emanates from the confluence of the two. The point and semicircle are separate from the rest and rule the whole. The point represents the Turiya state of absolute consciousness. The open semicircle is symbolic of the infinite and the fact that the meaning of the point cannot be grasped if one limits oneself to finite thinking.
The Power of Chanting Om
The Om mantra can bring peace, protection and abundance into your life. It is believed that the chanting of Om, creates a spiritual light which manifests around the person like a halo and thereby helps us reach higher states of consciousness.
The chanting of Om drives away all worldly thoughts and removes distraction and infuses new vigour in the body.
When you chant Om, you feel you are the pure, all pervading light and consciousness.
Those who chant Om will have a powerful, sweet voice as it rises from deep within the chest at the level of the diaphragm.
The rhythmic pronunciation of Om makes the mind serene and one-pointed, and infuses the spiritual seeker with energy which ensure self-realisation.
Those who do concentrated meditation of Om daily will be bestowed with tremendous power.
Meditating on Om
Retire to a quiet place, sit down, close your eyes and completely relax your muscles and nerves. Concentrate on the space between your eyebrows and quieten and silence the conscious mind. Begin to repeat "Om" mentally, focussing on the intonation, and 3 states of consciousness while associating the ideas of infinity, eternity, and immortality.
You must repeat Om with the feeling that you are the infinite and all-pervading energy force, or Atman (soul). Mere repetition of Om will not bring the desired result. Keep the meaning of Om always at heart.
Feel the vibration of Om, rising deep from within the core of your physical and spiritual body. Feel that you are the pure, perfect, all-knowing, eternal, free, Brahman. Feel that you are absolute consciousness and the infinite, unchanging existence. Every part of your body should powerfully vibrate with these ideas. This feeling should be kept up all day long. Practice regularly and steadily with sincerity, faith, perseverance and enthusiasm in the
morning, midday and evening.
“Meditation is the path towards self-control! Meditation is good for all purposes!
Meditation only helps a man to progress! Meditation is greater than everything!
Meditation gives discrimination! You can get anything through meditation!
Destruction would occur in all fields. If one wants to free himselfhe should involve in spirituality and thereby develop his self-control.”
- Mother Adhiparasakthi's Divine oracle
There are many mantras used in worship of Amma. The first is always the Moola Manthirum. This mantra forms the foundation which supports all the others. It was not written by a person but was given directly by Amma Herself in Her divine oracle. This mantra has enormous power. Some of the benefits conferred by reciting the Moola Mantra are:
The Divine energy freely flows from the feet of Amma to the different systems of the body. The holy vibrations penetrate all the cells and revitalise the entire system.
Eradication of one's Karma.
Gives you what you rightfully deserve.
Helps solve ailments and genuine problems.
Confers blessings leading to prosperity and a happy life.
Prevents fatal accidents.
Helps one to reach the highest spiritual pedestal of self-realisation and liberation.
Each type of pooja or velvi (sacrificial fire worship) has specific mantras which are recited at a certain time during the ritual. The long mantras have either 108 or 1008 lines and are concluded with a short mantra of three lines and three Om's.
The number 108 has been considered sacred for thousands of years in India. The origin of this number probably lies in astronomy. The average distance from the sun and moon to the earth is 108 times each of their respective diameters. This is true to an accuracy of 0.5% for the Sun and 2% for the Moon.
Each line of the mantra is preceded by Om and concluded with Om. Except for the Moola Mantra, which was bestowed on us by Amma, the task of writing all the other mantras was given to specific people by Amma and they wrote them under Her divine guidance. Two of the 1008 mantras were written by two individuals who were once staunch atheists before they met Amma. The mantras written by people were given their power when they were presented to Amma after completion and She imbued them with power.