Practicing yoga doesn’t mean sticking to excruciating macrobiotic diets, enduring arduous sessions with a yoga guru or requiring various degrees of material renunciation. Practicing yoga on a Soufit Journey means experiencing a slice of nirvana, even if “peace, love, and light” isn’t your mantra.
Tuesday, 8 December 2015
AUM the eternal sound of Universe.
Om is not a word but rather an intonation, which, like
music, transcends the barriers of age, race, culture and even species. It is
made up of three Sanskrit letters, aa, au and ma which, when combined together,
make the sound Aum or Om. It is believed to be the basic sound of the world and
to contain all other sounds. It is a mantra or prayer in itself. If repeated
with the correct intonation, it can resonate throughout the body so that the
sound penetrates to the centre of one's being, the atman or soul.
During meditation, when we chant Om, we create within
ourselves a vibration that attunes sympathy with the cosmic vibration and we
start thinking universally. The momentary silence between each chant becomes
palpable. Mind moves between the opposites of sound and silence until, at last,
it ceases the sound. In the silence, the single thought—Om—is quenched; there
is no thought. This is the state of trance, where the mind and the intellect
are transcended as the individual self merges with the Infinite Self in the
pious moment of realization. It is a moment when the petty worldly affairs are
lost in the desire for the universal. Such is the immeasurable power of Om.
"The goal which all the Vedas declare, which all
austerities aim at, and which men desire when they lead the life of continence
… is Om. This syllable Om is indeed Brahman. Whosoever knows this syllable
obtains all that he desires. This is the best support; this is the highest
support. Whosoever knows this support is adored in the world of Brahma." ~ Katha Upanishad I
The syllable is discussed in a number of the Upanishads,
which are the texts of philosophical speculation, and it forms the entire
subject matter of one, the Mandukya.
AUM is a bow, the arrow is the self, And Brahman (Absolute
Reality) is said to be the mark. (Mandukya Upanishad) The essence of all beings
is the earth. The essence of the earth is water. The essence of water is the
plant. The essence of the plant is man. The essence of man is speech. The
essence of speech is the Rigveda. The essence of Rigveda is the Samveda. The
essence of Samveda is OM. (Chandogya Upanishad) All those activities which
people start with uttering the syllable OM do not fail to bear fruit.
(Shankaracharya's Commentary on the Taittriya Upanishad 1.8.1) In the Puranas
the syllable Om became associated in various ways with the major Hindu
devotional sects. Saivites mark the lingam (a symbol of Shiva) with the symbol
for Om, while Vaishnavites identify the three sounds as referring to the
trinity of Vishnu, his wife Sri, and the worshiper.
Om is spoken at the beginning and the end of Hindu mantras,
prayers, and meditations and is frequently used in Buddhist and Jain rituals as
well. Om is used in the practice of Yoga and is related to techniques of
From the 6th century, the written symbol of Om was used to
mark the beginning of a text in a manuscript or an inscription. Om Parvat, a
sacred peak at 6191m in the Indian Himalayas, is revered for its snow
deposition pattern that resembles Om.
In Hinduism, Om (also spelled Aum) is a Hindu sacred sound
that is considered the greatest of all mantras. The syllable Om is composed of
the three sounds a-u-m (in Sanskrit, the vowels a and u combine to become o)
and the symbol's threefold nature is central to its meaning. It represent
several important triads:
- The three worlds - earth, atmosphere, and heaven
- The three major Hindu gods - Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva
- The three sacred Vedic scriptures - Rg, Yajur, and Sama
Thus Om mystically embodies the essence of the entire
universe. This meaning is further deepened by the Indian philosophical belief
that God first created sound and the universe arose from it. As the most sacred
sound, Om is the root of the universe and everything that exists and it
continues to hold everything together.