The Science behind OM

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aum
“IF YOU WANT TO FIND THE SECRETS OF UNIVERSE, THINK IN TERMS OF ENERGY, FREQUENCY AND VIBRATION” – NIKOLA TESLA

Om or AUM is not just a sound, but a vibration of the universe. It is a frequency of energy that connects and joins the entire universe together.OM is not just O and M but it is a vibration that lingers and flows like energy itself.

Ommmmmmmmmmmm…

The moment you start feeling the vibrations of OM, you will feel yourself grounded, not into the earth, but to the cosmos that surrounds you. Just like a raindrop that dissolves into the ocean once it has touched the surface, you will feel the sound of OM resonate in your throat.Om is a mantra, or vibration, that is traditionally chanted by Hindus.Although OM is chanted in many more religions like Jainism,Sikhism but it is believed that OM has originated from the Hindu scriptures. This mantra is considered to have high spiritual and creative power.This mantra is both a sound and a symbol rich in meaning and depth.When pronounced correctly it is actually AUM. This syllable is also referred to

  • Omkara (ओंकार, oṃkāra)

  • Aumkara (औंकार, auṃkāra)

  • Pranava (प्रणव, praṇava)

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The frequency of Om is exactly the same as the frequency of earth’s rotation around its own axis. So, in some sense, earth is saying Om.

One of the most popular misconception about “OM” is that it is religious symbol. On the contrary, it is the most universal and spiritual feeling that neither refers to any particular religion nor any God or religion. Om is said to be the cosmic sound which initiated the creation of universe (big bang theory).

[ LEARN MORE ABOUT : CREATION AND GOD ]

Just like the other traditional practices followed in India, OM also has a scientific and practical explanation (based on the physics of sound, vibrations & resonance)

What is a Mantra?

A mantra is made up of syllables which exert their influence on the surroundings and the person chanting them, by means of sound (vibrations). I am sure many of you would have already experienced the energy patterns made by different syllables and their vibrations,ultimately affecting different parts of our body. Each syllable has a frequency which resonates with certain organ or part of our body.ॐ 

By chanting “aaaaaaa”, one can feel the sensation and resonance in your nervous system,stomach and chest region. Chanting “ooooo” creates sensations and resonance in your throat & chest region. Similarly, chanting/humming “mmmm” creates sensations and resonates with your nasal cavity as well as skull/brain region.

What happens when we concatenate (join together) the above syllables into one mantra?

We get the AUM mantra which when chanted sequentially activates your stomach, spinal cord, throat, nasal and brain regions. This energy moves from your abdomen all the way up to your brain, thereby channelizing energy and activating your spinal cord & brain.

Following is an excerpt from a research paper which shows the waveform of A-U-M mantra made up of 3 syllables.

AUM_waveformsClick here to View the Research Paper “Spectral Analysis of the Vedic Mantra Omkara”

Yogis claim that chanting Om mantra improves our concentration, gives peace and steadiness to our mind, reduces mental stress and clears all worldly thoughts. Scientists were curious to find out more about it and verify such claims with the help of science & technology.ॐ 

Few years ago, scientists conducted an experiment in which participants who had never chanted Om mantra were asked to chant it for few minutes and each of their chants were recorded.

The time frequency analysis of it showed irregular wave-forms which indicated unsteadiness in their mind. They were asked to chant the mantra on a regular basis and after few days, the experiment was repeated. The time-frequency analysis this time had some startling revelations. The wave-forms were improved with regular spacing, had almost perfect symmetry and harmony. Not only had these participants witnessed dramatic improvements in focus, concentration & steadiness, but found themselves to be in peace, witnessed reduction in mental stress & could remain calm all the time.

time_frequency_analysisClick here to View the Research Paper “Time Frequency Analysis of OM”
In another such instance, scientists conducted experiments to study the effect of Om mantra on our nervous system through repeated practice. Using sophisticated software tools, mathematical transforms were applied to raw samples of the chanting and similar results (improvements in focus concentration, steadiness, peace, reduction in stress etc) were observed.
spectrogram_analysisClick here to View the Research Paper “Analysis of AcousticOM chant to study its effect on Nervous System”

In another experiment, scientists analyzed functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans (f-MRI scans) before & after Om mantra chanting and concluded that regular chanting of Om mantra can treat depression & epilepsy as well.

resonance_imaging_pngClick here to View the Research Paper “Neurohemodynamic correlates of ‘OM’ chanting: A pilot functional magnetic resonance imaging study”

Based on scientific experiments & research studies, we can confirm the age old claims made by Yogis that chanting Om mantra reduces mental stress, cures depression, improves focus & concentration, calms the mind and leads to better well-being, peace & happiness.When Om Mantra is chanted, the frequency of the vibrations is said to be 432 Hz which happens to be the frequency of everything in the universe. This scientific finding is the justification of the saying ‘in harmony with the being‘.ॐ 

Fundamentally, there are three sounds in existence. Any given sound can be created out of these three sounds. You can see this with a simple experiment: without the use of your tongue, there are only three sounds you can utter: “aaa”, “ouuu”, and “mmm”. Even if you cut off your tongue, you can still utter these three sounds. For any other sound, you need the use of your tongue.In day to day life, You are using your tongue only to mix these three sounds in many ways, to produce all the other sounds

Sine Wave

If you utter these three sounds together, what do you get? AUM. AUM is not some religious trademark.It is the fundamental sound of existence.If we think of this universe as being made up of infinite interacting waves, Om would be the fundamental “tone” of universe from which all other waves are derived or originated.Think of a sine wave. Its amplitude goes up. That is “O”. Then it comes back down and hits the null point. That is “m”. So repeating Om as a mantra you’re essentially expressing a very long wave.

The idea of Om has been passed down as a way of expressing the essence and foundation of universe at a fundamental level.

Aum is the sound of infinite. Aum is said to be the essence of all mantras and Vedas, the highest of all mantras or divine word. By sound and form, AUM symbolizes the infinite Brahman and the entire universe.

  • A stands for Creation.
  • U stands for Preservation.
  • And finally M stands for Destruction or dissolution.

AUM represents the Trinity of God in Hindu dharma (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva).

The three portions of AUM relate to the states of waking, dream and deep sleep and the three guans (rajas, satva, tamas).

The three letters also indicate three planes of existence, heaven, earth and the netherworld.

In the Vedas, AUM is the sound of the Sun, the sound of Light. It is the sound of assent.

OM has an upward movement that uplifts our soul, just like the sound of a divine eagle or falcon.

The pronunciation of the word “OM” is supposed to symbolize the totality of all sounds as it includes all other sounds that humans can utter. This idea of totality also exists in the English language as “Omnipresent” that includes OM as its prefix. We also have words like Omnipotent and Omniscient, all of which have the concept of totality in their meanings.

The ancient Greek alphabet had Omega as its last letter. Omega Ω when written in the lower case ω of the Greek alphabet, if turned to its side, looks quite similar to the Sanskrit way of writing Om. It is from the Greek alphabet “Omega” that we have the English phrase “the alpha and Omega”, which means, “to include everything”.

Om is a well-known symbol to Indians all over the world. Almost every Indian household owns some sort of Om symbol.According to Paramahansa Yogananda, author of the classic text Autobiography of a Yogi:

“Om or Aum of the Vedas became the sacred word Hum of the Tibetans,Amin of the Moslems and Amen of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Jews, and Christians.”

The syllable has been translated into many different languages, cultures, and religious traditions, but the creative and transformative power of the sound remains the same.

Om Gam Ganapataye Namah invokes and praises Ganesha, the God of abundance and destroyer of obstacles. By chanting OM before the other mantras, one calls upon the power of the word OM and the primordial origins of itssound.

OM is most associated with the 6th (brow point) and 7th (top of the head) chakras. Other syllables are connected to each of the other chakras. Try chanting these as you focus on each chakra or area of the body:

  • “LAM”- Chakra 1 (Root)
  • “VAM”- Chakra 2 (Sacral/Navel)
  • “RAM”- Chakra 3 (Solar Plexus)
  • “YAM”- Chakra 4 (Heart)
  • “HAM”- Chakra 5 (Throat)
  • “OM”- Chakra 6 (Third Eye/Brow)
  • “OM”- Chakra 7 (Crown)

[ LEARN MORE ABOUT : CHAKRA SHUDDHI ]

  • The sound A comes from the back of our throat.
  • U comes from the palate, middle of the vocal region.
  • M comes from the vocal organ or Lips and is nasal and labial.

As a sacred symbol, Om is the Absolute Reality, the Self, Spirit, the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. It is the sound from which all other mantras are formed. It is the contemplation of this sound that gave birth to the sacred scriptures of the Vedas and Upanishads, the mathematically precise Sanskrit language, and everything else in the universe.

Symbolism of OM

The sound of OM encompasses all words, all sounds present in the human language.OM is a matrix of all sounds, which in its diversified form gives rise to all the other words used in language.In Sanskrit, the sound “O” is a diphthong spelled “AU”. A diphthong is the blending of two vowel sounds where both the vowels are normally heard and thus make a gliding sound. As a result, the difference between OM and AUM is simply that id transliteration. AUM represents the 3 Fold Division of Time
A – is the Waking State
U – is the Dreaming State
M – is the state of Deep Sleep

At the end of AUM is a pause, a silence. This represents the fourth state known as Turiya, or Infinite Consciousness.The visual symbol 🕉 represents the true meaning of AUM

The symbol OM visually consists of three curves, one semicircle, and a dot.

  • The large bottom curve symbolizes the waking state, A.
  • The middle curve signifies the dream state, U.
  • The upper curve denotes the state of deep sleep, M.

The dot signifies the fourth state of consciousness, Turiya.

The semi circle at the top represents Maya and separates the dot from the other three curves. It represents an illusion of Maya which is an obstacle to self-realization

OM is associated with Ganesha as well

The physical form of Lord Ganesha is said to be that of OM. The upper curve, of OM, is identified with the head or face of Ganesha. The Lower curve represents his belly. The twisted curve, on the right side of OM is his trunk.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

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