In order to benefit from the power of OM, it is important to first get a clear understanding of what OM is. The Yog Vashisht describes OM thus, “Brahman is the Truth that is indicated as ‘Om.’” OM is the truth that expresses the ultimate reality. All truths are derived from OM. It is the “Word” of the Bible.
OM is the primordial sound of cosmic consciousness, the energy whose vibrations pervade all living things. Seers connect with their cosmic consciousness through the chanting of OM. This chant, when it becomes thoroughly internalized can be experienced as the “Anahat Naad”, or the subtle chant of OM that accompanies each breath. You’ll hear it when you reach that stage of awareness.
Our external ears are not capable of catching this naad or sound, which is not created by the striking of two objects; it exists on its own. It may sound esoteric, but it’s not. It is something that is very much within the reach of the common man.
OM is the AMEN of Abrahamic religions. Wise men across religions have recognized the power of OM and incorporated its variations in their own paths.
When pronouncing OM during chanting, it is pronounced as AUM…A-U-M. OM does not rhyme with home. Sit in the Padmasan or the Lotus Pose and chant; look up some YouTube videos on the chanting of OM. The sound has to emanate from deep within you, from your belly and not just your throat.
You feel the hum inside as you stretch AUM during a chant. Almost all mantras in Hinduism have OM prefixed in the beginning, such is the veneration accorded to this syllable.
Practised on its own, the mantra OM aids in getting into a meditative state. Anyone can practice it, there are absolutely no contraindications attached with chanting of this mantra. A big advantage with the mantra OM is that it is but one word and when pronounced as AUM, it invokes the holy trinity of Brahma (Creator), Vishnu (preserver), and Shiv (Destroyer). You can focus on the sound and vibrations of this one word easily.
This is one of the reasons why Westerners drawn to Yoga and meditation adopt the chanting of OM.
OM is akin to the fire latent in dry wood, it has to be ignited by rubbing with a drill. So, too, OM remains formless within the human form and has to be realized through constant meditation. A lack of focus may result in it slipping through, but it can be caught again.
When we meditate on OM, we move toward identifying with our true self and gradually are able to prise through the strong hold that Maya has on us. We realize that we are more than our gross body, our name, and our attachments to these are burnt.
The recitation of OM kindles an attachment to the immortal Soul, our true identity and our actual everlasting residence. The energy of OM goads us away from material pursuits towards realization of God.
All that is required is regular practice for fifteen to twenty minutes at least each day.