Omniscient aum


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Omniscient aum

  1. 1. Omniscient AumCaroline Robertson NDCopyright © Ayurveda Elements 2010 Ayurveda Elements Training, Tours, Treatments, Resorts, Hospitals Phone/fax: 0011 61 2 9904 775 17 Orchard Road, Chatswood NSW Australia 2067 ayurvedaelements@gmail.comPraised as the password to enlightenment, oldest language- Sanskrit. Also denotingaum is a sacred syllable and symbol something from start to end are the termsencapsulating secrets of the universe that from alpha to omega and from A to Z. Itʼsenhance all areas of life. been noted that the fi rst sound uttered as babies emerge from the womb is oftenPraised as the password to enlightenment, “Ahhh.” Hence the letters “a” and “m” areaum is a sacred syllable and symbol symbolic of the continuous cycle of birth, lifeencapsulating secrets of the universe that and death, known as samsara in Sanskrit.enhance all areas of life. If you had to chooseone archetypical image or word associated To explain earthʼs origin, scienceʼs big bangwith Eastern philosophy what would it be? A theory is paralleled by the Vedasʼ ʻbig aumword that encompasses everything. Youʼll fi theoryʼ. Vedic scriptures say that when aumnd it on Yoga room walls, in scriptures, on was fi rst chanted it entered the causal oceanincense packets and even as a mystical creating ripples of sound vibration thattattoo. Not just confi ned to Eastern religions, swelled into a cosmic soup. The resultingyouʼll also hear it chanted during Hindu, waves created the fi ve successive elementsMuslim, Buddhist and Christian ceremonies. of ether, air, fi re, water and earth. As to howAum (and its synonyms Amen, Ameen, subtle sound vibrations can cause denseOmkar and Alm) is the omniscient pulse that matter to form, quantum physics offers somebeats at the heart of every molecule in the insights. According to this science theuniverse. Adopted as the monosyllabic universe consists of practically nothing, withanswer for everything past, present and each molecule 99.9 percent empty except forfuture, aum is the decoder to lifeʼs mysterious miniscule particles vibrating at highmessage. Aum is also the primordial hum frequencies within them. This proves thatfrom which all sounds and forms arise and though everything appears to be densereturn to as Swami Sivananda explained “the matter in reality it is essentially space.whole world has come from aum, rests inaum and dissolves in aum.” Our bodies are 99.9 percent space or ether with a dynamic dance of electrons whirlingSo whatʼs the big deal about aum? Though around in a dervish pas-de-deux creating themany chant it and are familiar with its script, illusion of solid matter. It is said that thesefew understand the deeper signifi cance of resonating molecules create a vibrating hum.this sanctifi ed symbol. The linguistics andphonetics of aum offer some clues to its Our bodies are 99.9 percent space or etherinherent power. Statements regarding aum as with a dynamic dance of electrons whirlingthe trigger for material manifestation and around in a dervish pas-de-deux creating thedissolution can be related to the letters “a” illusion of solid matter. It is said that theseand “m”. “A” has fi rst pride of place in all resonating molecules create a vibrating hum.alphabets and “m” is the last letter in the To guess what this musical matrix might   1  
  2. 2. sound like imagine placing a stethoscope to a denominational deities was inspired by hiscellular molecule. As the electron whizzes desire to promote interfaith harmony. Thoughpast like a racing car- it plays the soundtrack the infamous aum shrinkyo of Japan actedof the self. Vedantists hypothesise that this is under the banner of aum to committhe distinctive drone of aum. Like a universal destructive acts, it would take more than aelectrical transformer this hum is the music of crazy cult to tarnish itʼs 5,000 years ofspiritual energy animating and orchestrating documented efficacy. Aum is mostgross matter on a universal scale. It is the prominently noted in the Vedic scriptures butself-sustaining continuum that composes the other versions of it include the Christensubstrate of the universe also known as the Amen, Islamic Ameen and Alm, the Buddhistunifi ed field. Aum is synonymous with life as Om, the Sikh Omkara and the Egyptian/it generates the universal bio-rhythms that Judaic Amen. The widespread references toharmonise the cycles of creation, aum not only point to the common origins ofpreservation and destruction. religion but suggests that all scripts grew from similar roots. Variations of the aum script arePhonetically, aum is a very natural and evident worldwide. The oldest known areeffortless sound to form. Inhale deeply, then carved on ancient Ujjain coins, engraved onexhaling notice the sound “A” rising easily the Sohugara copper plate, painted in Indiaʼs Ayurveda Elements | Training, Tours, Treatments, Resorts, Hospitals Phone/fax: 0011 61 2 9904 775 • 17 Orchard Road, Chatswood NSW Australia 2067 • Copyright © Ayurveda Elements 2010  from the chest. Meeting the roof of the mouth prehistoric cave walls and inscripted onit becomes “au,” reverberating through the artefacts from Khajuharo. Traces of aum cancranium. As a fi nale the mouth closes with be seen in much of the iconography,the buzzing sound of “mmm.” Repeated with sculpture, paintings and other art forms ofcorrect intonation aum is said to echo to the India, Burma, Tibet and Nepal.core of our being thereby cleansing cells,balancing chakras, calming the mind and Tantric scholars have related aum to prayerawakening the spirit. Listening to aum is also as when the symbol is turned on its side,very soothing and healing. The sound of aum with a little imagination, it depicts a person inis inherent in all sounds but is clearly the prayer pose.recognisable in the tolling of church bells,donging of temple gongs and blowing of a Tantric scholars have related aum to prayerconch shell. as when the symbol is turned on its side, with a little imagination, it depicts a person in theUniversal Language prayer pose. Another interpretation says theTranscending divisions of race or creed, aum “3” represents the three trilogies of aumis a universal term known as “Mahavakya” or explained later, the wave symbolises anthe great sound of divinity. Swami Sivananda energy wave and the dot a particle of matter.said “aum is the property and spiritual Various references to the symbol are strewnheritage of all people throughout the world.” throughout ancient vedic texts, most notablyAn anecdote illustrating the global in the Aitreya Brahmana, Kanshitakiacceptance of aum occurred in Moscow in Brahmana and the Ashwalayam Shrout1989 when it was the first religious chant Sutra. An entire treatise glorifying aum calledpermitted at a conference attended by the the Mandukya Upanishad details its esotericRussian Head of State after seven years of significance. Crowned as the cream of Vedicthe communist suppression of spirituality. wisdom, aum is mentioned in theAumʼs non-sectarian connotations make it an Kathopanishad as “the goal of all the Vedasideal unifying force for all religions. Swami and the result of all penances.” Krishna in theVivekanandaʼs vision to build a temple where Bhagavad-Gita even says “I am the aumkaronly aum was worshipped rather than in the Vedas.” Considering this, the scripture   2  
  3. 3. Panini-ashtadyayi advises students to chant Parmahamsa Yogananda wrote “each timeaum twice for every mantra and the ancient one utters a word he puts into operation thelawgiver Manu warns that one must recite three qualities of aum”. Vedic scriptures alsoaum at the start and finish of every lecture or say that whatever we meditate on we willelse all knowledge will be lost. Hence aum is unite with. Therefore when we comprehendroutinely chanted as a potentising prefix to the depth of aum we connect with ourUpanishads, shlokas and mantras. Common essential origins, life purpose and destination.examples of this include aum shanti, om mani Aum can also link us with both the formlesspadme hum, aum namah shivaya and aum divinity (nirguna brahma) as well as thenamo narayana. embodied divinity (saguna brahma), transcending religious differences.Aum is the common thread woven throughthe complex tapestry of the Hindu pantheon. The three inherent letters (triyakshari) of aumAs an allinclusive term it can be used to are visas allowing passage through the mainaddress anything or anyone but is commonly checkpoints of our consciousness towardslinked with Brahma, Shakti, Shiva, Uma, enlightenment. This transcendental tourVishnu, Rama, Surya and Narayana. Ganesh occurs simultaneously on a physical andis also known as “om-kaara-svaroopaʼ or ʻthe metaphysical platform. Physically when we Ayurveda Elements | Training, Tours, Treatments, Resorts, Hospitals Phone/fax: 0011 61 2 9904 775 • 17 Orchard Road, Chatswood NSW Australia 2067 • Copyright © Ayurveda Elements 2010  aum-figured oneʼ, as he is sometimes chant aum it travels from the naval bouncingdepicted within an artistic aum swirl. Aum has off the sounding board of the hard palate toeven emerged in modern times as the highly dissolve after the lip tingling ʻm.ʼrevered symbol of East Africaʼs Ivory Coast Energetically, aum originates at the subtleand in Bali, Indonesia where it represents bodyʼs lower chakras, uncoiling like thestrength. The English terms omniscience, kundalini snake to peak at the crown chakra.omnipotence, omnipresence and omen are When repeated with clear intonation aumexamples of how aum has filtered into aligns us at all three levels- physically,everyday western life. mentally and spiritually.Secret Symbolism The ʻAʼ awakens consciousnessThe semantics of aum are all-encompassing. The ʻUʼ uplifts awarenessAs South Indian tantric scholar Dr Raghavan The ʻMʼ merges one with the supreme reality.insisted, “you canʼt limit the definition of aum,it is beyond the confines of language. The silent vibration remaining called sabdaEverything about aum is correct whether brahma is when true transcendence is said tosacred or profane because aum is unlimited.” take place, the silent and still gap betweenTo heighten oneʼs appreciation of aum and our deeper dimensions of perception,Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras states “aum must The silent vibration remaining called sabdabe repeated during meditation only whilst brahma is when true transcendence is said tounderstanding its meaning.” Remaining take place, the silent and still gap betweenmindful of aumʼs symbology during practice our thoughts. This last lingering tone is like anmagnifies the forces it activates. The Vedas etheric electrical transformer empowering theexplain that sound is an expression of form spirit to animate matter.therefore when we say a word all its relatedcharacteristics spring to mind. The traits of Aum Accoladesaum portray a picture of eternal truths often Aum meditation is useful for both personalgrouped as trilogies linked to each letter. As and planetary upliftment. It facilitates an   3  
  4. 4. internalising process that quietens the senses Aum Attunement(pratyahara), improves focus (dharana) and In the words of the Sufi Saadi “however muchconnects the consciousness with higher you study you cannot know without action.”truths (dhyana). This ultimately leads to So it is that one can only appreciate aumʼsenlightenment or samadhi, a state of potency through practical experience. Thereunconditional love and bliss. Sri are many ways to meditate using aum.Sankaracharya likened aum to sulphur which Options include visualising it, listening to it,binds restless mercury into a stable unit, just chanting it, wearing it and depicting it throughas aum meditation brings the restless mind to art. A traditional Hindu rite of passage usesa single focus. The honed mind is like a laser aum to initiate children into learning. Eachbeam, burning up negative karma and baby is ushered into the world by painting andestructive tendencies. Hindus and Buddhists aum symbol on itʼs tongue with a goldteach that this is the path to enlightenment. implement to ensure a life of auspiciousAs Krishna states in the Bhagavad-Gita “one communication and education. Chanting iswho has perfected yoga and chants aum widely recommended as the easiest way tothinking of god at the time of death will attain employ aum to still the spiritual abode.” Ramdas ofAnandashram assures that one who chants Aum expert Dr Nagendra outlines threeaum 60,000,000 times will attain spiritual phases when chanting aum: Ayurveda Elements | Training, Tours, Treatments, Resorts, Hospitals Phone/fax: 0011 61 2 9904 775 • 17 Orchard Road, Chatswood NSW Australia 2067 • Copyright © Ayurveda Elements 2010  salvation. The word mantra means to cleanse 1) The descending phase where one feelsor free the mind so chanting aum gives one aum waves engulfing the bodyclarity and calm in challenging situations. 2) The ascending phase where one feels uplifted, lighter and expansiveExperiments conducted by Trascendental 3) The silent interval when a deep serenityMeditators en masse proved this when one may be feltpercent of the population chanted aum andcrime rates decreased. Perhaps it is the There are also four levels of chanting stylesconsistent chanting in temples, mosques and that often progress naturally over time:churches that creates such a peacefulenvironment within these sanctums. On a 1) Vaikari: Aum is repeated audibly torecent visit to Mata Amritanandamayiʼs reinforce the vibration mentallymodern hospital in India every PA message 2) Madhyama: Aum is recited in the mindwas prefaced by a soothing “Aum Namah while mouthing it silentlyShivaya,” softening the generally sterile and 3) Pashyanti: Aum is chanted silently withoutmorose mood of a hospital. moving the mouth 4) Para: Aum is crystalised in the cellularMore immediate benefits of aum meditation memory and naturally vibrates in the bodyinclude an improved memory, concentration, without conscious effort. At this stage it isvoice, lustrous face, regulated breathing and even be repeated during sleep.a heightened mood. People I spoke to When chanting aum it should flow as onementioned a significant increase in energy, continuous sound rather than three separateeven after chanting aum only three times. letters. On exhaling the ʻaʼ rises from theSwami Sivananda supports this, claiming naval becoming ʻauʼ as it enters the throat“when chanted with faith and rhythm, aum fills and concludes in an effortless aum. All threeone with a spiritual strength, new vigour and phases should be roughly equal in” Initially on practicing aum it is conducive to find a quiet place where you wonʼt be   4  
  5. 5. disturbed. Sitting straight, still and place your hand over the region whilstcomfortably be aware of your breathing. chanting the corresponding mantra.Closing the eyes relax all tension from the topof the head to the tips of the toes. Inhaleslowly and deeply then on the exhalation 1) Lam: pubic bone, coccyx (mooladharaallow the sound aum to flow from the chakra)abdomen to the cranium. As you inhale 2) Vam: lower abdomen, sacrumvisualise and sense all positive energies (swadhisthana chakra)entering your being. The vibration initially 3) Ram: solar plexus (manipura chakra)invigorates every cell then quietens the body 4) Yam: heart area (anahata chakra)and mind. 5) Hum: throat (vishuddhi chakra) 6) Sham: eyebrow centre (ajna chakra)A more detailed six-step sequence devised 7) Aum: crown fontanelle (sahasrara chakra)by Dr Nagendra is as follows: Irrespective of individaul faith aum is an all-1) Kapala Bhati: Deep breaths for one minute person, all-purpose mantra. It can be used by2) Nadi Shodhana: Alternate nostril breathing itself or as a powerful adjunct to otherfor five rounds spiritual practices.3) Brahmari: Beeʼs breath for five rounds4) Trataka: Unfocused gaze on the aum Irrespective of individaul faith aum is an all- Ayurveda Elements | Training, Tours, Treatments, Resorts, Hospitals Phone/fax: 0011 61 2 9904 775 • 17 Orchard Road, Chatswood NSW Australia 2067 • Copyright © Ayurveda Elements 2010  symbol three times with eyes tearing person, all-purpose mantra. It can be used by5) Chanting aum for 15 minutes itself or as a powerful adjunct to other6) Silence for five minutes spiritual practices. Aspirants from all faiths recommend using aum for spiritual progressAnother way of utilising aum is through the as Sri Sankarachaya said “one who hasfollowing chakra balancing exercise. embraced the path of self-realisation shouldStanding, sitting or lying in a relaxed state meditate incessantly on aum.”   5