AUM: Universal Sound

Tasya vacakah pranavah.
The word expressive of Ishvara is the mystic sound AUM.

Tajjapas tadartha bhavanam.
To repeat it with reflection upon its meaning is an aid. 

Tatah pratyak cetanadhigamo pyantarayabhavas ca.
From this practice all the obstacles disappear and simultaneously dawns knowledge of the inner Self. 
Yoga Sutra 1.27-29

About AUM

Aum (also commonly spelled Om) is probably the most widely known mantra. It is also considered the most sacred. In Sanskrit, pranavah is the primordial humming sound from which the universe originated. 

According to the folklore, before the existence of the cosmos, before space or time, all that existed was the potential for existence. Out of that possibility grew a subtle friction that evolved into a slight humming vibration. This humming gradually became the sound of Aum, and from that sound, the entire cosmos sprang into existence. So, it’s thought that the sound of Aum is the very foundation of life itself, a sacred thread that is woven through the fabric of life. And by chanting Aum, we are connecting with the sound of the universe. -Lily Cushman

The mantra Aum is composed of four parts, each representing an aspect of the universe. 

  1. A represents creation, Brahma and the waking state (pronounced Ahhh)
  2. U represents sustenance, Vishnu and the dream state (pronounced ooo)
  3. M represents destruction or transformation, Shiva and the dreamless sleep state (pronounced mmmm)
  4. Silence represents the unspoken, the sound and space from within that transcends all and can never be destroyed

The mantra Aum calms the body and mind and also energizes the system. Utilizing this mantra increases tranquility and alertness that promotes a calm sense of readiness. 

Translation: 

The cosmic sound, the primordial sound, the sound of the universe

Effects: 

  • Connection
  • Tranquility
  • Enlightenment

Prana... is the spirit of mantra. Mantra in turn is the expression of prana.
Whatever most engages our prana or vital energy becomes the main subject of our speech.

Dr. David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri)
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