It is well known that ॐ (Om) is the original sound of the universe. Om, Omkaar or Pranava Mantra is an inseparable component of our Indian culture from Vedic and ancient times. It is worshiped with great reverence in our culture. Occult and mystery were associated with Om since ancient times. Now modern Scientific Researches have proven that Omkar chant has many physical, mental and spiritual benefits. Om is the universal element which pervades every word, object and existence. And it has an unbreakable relationship with yoga.
While other words or mantras have some meaning or the other, Om is a pure sound and has no grammatical meaning. It is just an Anahata (which is not caused by clashing), Anahad (beyond the limit) Naad ( Sound) that gives us Brahmanand (ultimate bliss) by repeatedly reciting it.
Misconceptions About Om Chanting
However, as a student of yoga philosophy and practice here, I needed to ascertain how the classical pronunciation of Om (ॐ) should be made. So that we can take full benefit of this Mahamantra because now-a-days many different methods of chanting are taught by modern, especially Western Gurus. See, how a Western teacher demonstrates a Strange Pronunciation of Om!
Om Pronunciation in the Authentic Scriptures
Therefore after some research, I have come to the conclusion that according to the authentic scriptures, Om sound is the combination of vowels A, U, and M. Further each of syllables needs to be pronounced separately. Athough when all three merged together smoothly they sound as one.
See how Sadhguru demonstrates it in the following video:
Many Researches about the benefits of Om chanting, prove them to be true. Therefore, here we are only concerned about what is the right method of chanting Om.
Omkar (chanting of Om) can be performed in three ways, listen to the audio given below each method for clarity:
1. (A + U) Oऽऽऽऽऽऽ + Mऽऽऽऽऽऽ: Both the characters are pronounced with same time length:
2. (A+U) Oऽऽऽऽऽऽ + Mऽऽऽ: O is pronounced twice longer than M:
3. (A + U) Oऽऽऽ + Mऽऽऽऽऽऽ: The sound of M is twice that of O:
Keep in mind that the pronunciation of A will generate vibrations in the umbilical region. In heart and neck from U, and in mouth and all the brain area above the neck from M. This is an indicator that you are pronouncing it properly. If there is no buzzing around the specified body areas, then you should practice it repeatedly to master it.
If you get any kind of confusion from the above three methods, try a very simple ratio method explained below:
4. (A: U: M) = (1: 2: 4)
That means if you chant A in nearly 3 seconds, then U and M should be done in approximately 6 and 12 seconds respectively. Don’t worry about making a perfect ratio – perform the above four methods in approximate time.
A sound (as in RUN) means Brahma-the Creator, U (as in HOOT) is Vishnu-the Preserver and M ( as in RUM) means Mahesh-the Destroyer. Therefore, A-U-M denotes Creation, Growth and and becoming Silent or Disperse into Brahm (Supreme Cosmic Spirit). Other interpretations include Past, Present and the Future. Also Awakening, Dream and Sleep states as well as Tamas (darkness, destructive, chaotic), Rajas (passion, active, confused), and Saatvik (goodness, constructive, harmonious) qualities.
Benefits of Different Ways of Chanting
Let us now discuss the benefits of the 3 types of Chants mentioned earlier above:
I. Those seekers who need Physical and Material benefits should adopt the first (both characters at the same time) and the second method (double the pronunciation of O).
II. But anyone who wants to make Spiritual progress should pronounce with the third method, that is, lengthening of M in Omkar which makes your mind become relaxed and calm and goes into the inner depths thus making it easier to enter Dhyan (concentration).
Importance of OM Recitation
First off, the greatness of OM Mantra chanting as described in all our ancient texts. In short, Hatha Yoga says that chanting Om i.e. Pranav can take you into deep meditation (Samadhi)–it has such potential. In chanting other mantras, the mind can become distracted, but in chanting Om, the mind is concentrated and gets into meditative state.
Other than that, According to the Prashnopanishad, if you want to get rid of tribulations, then chant Pranava. The Kathopanishad says that every person who wants to fulfill their wishes must chant Om. Similarly, the Varaha Upanishad states that if Om is recited in a short time (rapid pace), then all sins are destroyed. If pronounced at a longer pace, then salvation is attained. According to Vrata Sannyas Upanishad, chanting Om 12000 times every day cleanses all your sins. And if you do this for a year, Brahman knowledge is attained resulting in realization of the God.
Therefore, you can also start chanting Omkar from 10 or 21 times a day and with time, increase the number and continue to practice regularly. Practice of chanting of Om grants supernatural powers and spiritual strength, in fact it is the highest spiritual practice. Chanting Omkar is a wonderful link connecting Mantra Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga all together.
Incredible But True Scientific Evidence
Incidentally, NASA has recorded sound of the Vibration of Sun and they say that the sound of Sun appears to be similar to the Om (A-U-M). Watch below the official video of NASA regarding this claim:
What is your opinion on this subject, do write your thoughts in the comment box below.
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