OM - The song of the Universe


For ages, we humans have been curious about the beginning of this Universe. The western scientists came up with the theory of the Big Bang. Ancient Indians believe that the Universe came into existence because the Consciousness started vibrating at a particular sound frequency. In the beginning, there was nothing but pure consciousness which is referred to as the Shiva or Purusha. With OM the entire physical Universe which we refer to as Prakriti manifested. We all have heard of the OM mantra but many of us are not aware of its history. OM refers to infinite and something very difficult to explain or contemplate. OM is not just the beginning but also the end. It is the sound or the song of the Universe.


OM or AUM is a combination of three syllables which are Aaah, oooh, and mmmm. Like a lot of other cultures, Santan Dharma is also based on the concept of Trinity. The mantra OM also represents Trinity which signifies creation, sustenance, and dissolution. It also symbolises Brahma,Vishnu and Mahesh who are the Gods of creation, preservation and destruction.OM could also represent different states of consciousness which are the wake, dream, and sleep states. It could also signify Heaven, Earth, and Hell. Whatever the real meaning or representation be, the mantra OM certainly has a unifying vibe attached to it. It is the most popular mantra used during meditation as it helps us become one with the Cosmos. All other mantras and Vedic chants were born out of OM, hence making it the most powerful vibration. OM mantra has been used at the beginning and the end of various Vedic chants used to invoke Gods and Goddesses. In the field of Yoga OM is the Beeja mantra for the Third eye chakra center. Regular recitation of OM during meditation and prayers has a calming effect on the nervous system and helps one to be more grounded and one with nature. This sacred spiritual and mystical symbol is not only popular in Hinduism but also in cultures like Buddhism and Jainism. Hence to sum up OM is the ultimate reality and the sound of our Consciousness or Soul. The yogis knew the power of this Mantra and hence chanted it day and night to achieve Nirvana or Moksha.


There is an interesting story in Shiva Purana about Lord Kartikeya and OM. Kartikeya is the eldest son of Shiva and Parvati. During his childhood days, Lord Shiva requested Brahma to become Kartikeya's guru and teach him about everything in this Cosmos. Brahma agreed to teach. One day during the lessons Kartikeya asked Brahma to explain to him the meaning of OM. Brahma instructed Kartikeya to learn simpler things first. Kartikeya was adamant and wanted to test Brahma's knowledge. The fact was that even Lord Brahma was not quite clear about OM. Kartikeya went back to Lord Shiva and told him that he was not going to learn from Brahma. Lord Brahma also gave up and told Shiva that only he should handle his son and teach him. When Shiva asked Kartikeya why he did not want to study with Brahma, Kartikeya replied that he doesn't want to learn from someone who doesn't know the meaning of OM. Shiva smiled and told him that even he doesn't know what OM is. Upon hearing this Kartikeya agreed to explain Shiva but only if Shiva takes him as his Guru. Shiva smiled and agreed.He made little Kartikeya sit on his shoulder.Kartikeya then whispered in Shiva's ear that OM was the source of everything. It was the Pranava mantra that created this Universe. It is the song of this Universe which binds everything together. It also helps the soul to achieve liberation from the endless cycle of birth and death and is the path to Moksha. Goddess Parvati was elated to hear little Kartikeya's explanation and started calling him Swaminatha (chief guru) after this.


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