Om, Aum, Mantra, Yoga

Author:Mrs Pournima Mandlik


-- Mrs. Poornima Mandlik (Rishi Dharmasheela) 

“Omkaram Bindu sanyuktam, Nityan dhyayanti yoginaha

Kamadam Mokshdam Chaiva, Omkarayam namo namaha” 

Meaning of the Mantra: These two lines are sufficient to explain what is Omkar. The dot of the om is known as bindu. The yogis meditate regularly on that bindu. Chanting of Omkar enables the yogi to fulfill all desires (desire for healthy body, mind and soul, peace, calmness and so on). The evil desires are not fulfilled by chanting Omkar. The desires to cause harm to anyone is not fulfilled. But the desires to remove any negativity from the mind, such as anger, hatred, restlessness, fears, stress and anxiety are fulfilled.  Whenever we come across situations that create stress in our mind, such as stress of examination, facing an interview, any issue in family matters etc, chanting of Omkar helps in bringing the calmness in our being. It works instantly. If we get into a situation that needs our mind to be calm and peaceful, Omkar should be chanted for 5 minutes. It will immediately refresh the mind with positive energy and calmness. Moksha or freedom is the ultimate goal of life. Omkar gives us Moksha, liberation, the ultimate freedom. The last line Omkaraya Namo Namaha means we offer our salutations to the Omkar.  

How to chant Omkar: AUM can be chanted slowly or quickly. Each method is as good as the other and you must experiment yourself to find out your own preference. If chanted quickly, then it is a powerful method to synchronize it with the heartbeat. In this manner you feel AUM resonating throughout the whole body in tune with the natural heart rate.

If AUM is chanted slowly, it can be made to last many seconds, depending on the capacity of the individual. There should be definite pronunciation of each of the syllables 'A', 'U' and 'M', with a gradual transition of one to another. 'A' is pronounced as 'a' in 'palm', 'U' is pronounced as 'ooo', and 'M' is pronounced as a humming sound by closing the lips 'mmmmmmm'. The sound of 'A' should start at the navel, 'U' from the chest and 'M' from brain (head). The sound should be generated from the navel and taken up very slowly to the top of the head with the closing sound of 'M'. 'A' is pronounced by opening the mouth slightly, without touching the tongue to the pallets of the mouth, 'U' is pronounced by opening the mouth in a beak shape, like whistling, the tongue touching the back of the lower teeth slightly, 'M' is pronounced by closing the mouth and simply producing the humming sound (mmmmmmmm). All the three sounds should be continuous and in rhythm, like the water pouring continuously. Just like the ringing of a bell the sound and vibrations are heard for a long time, called 'ninaad'. In the same way AUM should be chanted, with the 'M' sound leaving its vibration. 

Practice of chanting Omkar:

Practice of Omkar chanting for 5 minutes. Please sit in a relaxed position, keep your spine erect and gently close your eyes. Try to relax your whole body, relax your left hand from fingers to shoulder, relax your right hand from finger to shoulder. Relax left foot from toes to waist; relax right foot from toes to waist. Now concentrate on the front side of your body, abdomen, chest. Concentrate on the backside of your body, neck muscles, spine, shoulders, upper back, lower back, now try to relax your face, chin, left cheek, right cheek, left eye, eye lid, eye ball, eyebrow, right eye, eye lid, eye ball, eyebrow, forehead, top of the head, backside of the head. After relaxing the whole body, concentrate on your natural breathing for some time. Start practicing deep breathing very slowly. Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply…relax whole body again and again, inhale deeply, exhale deeply, try to increase the amount of oxygen with deep breathing, deep inhalation, deep exhalation, after few deep breaths concentrate on normal breathing. Chant Aum (AUMMMMMM) for 5 minutes and finish with shanti paath. Om shanti shanti shanti

Now put your palms on your eyes and open your eyes in your palms and remove from the eyes don't rub it you will lose the calmness.  

Benefits of chanting Omkar: Omkar, pronounced in its correct method, arouses and transforms every atom in the physical body, setting up new vibrations and conditions, and awakening the sleeping power of the body. The chanting of AUM drives away all worldly thoughts and removes distractions. It is very powerful. If you are depressed, chant AUM for 10 minutes, you will be filled with new vigour and strength. Chanting of AUM gives energy. Continuous practice of Omkar helps in improving the brain capacity and memory. Our capacity to grasp any knowledge increases. Our mind becomes more active and we are able to take decisions quickly. Our brain has 14000 centres. However we are only utilizing 208 centres or just 2% of the brain. The other 98% of the brain remains unused. Chanting of Omkar stimulates these sleeping brain centres. Just 5 minutes of Omkar chanting gives calmness and relaxation to our body and mind. As we inhale deeply while chanting AUM, we take more oxygen in, improving the capacity of lungs. Chanting of AUM improves confidence level and prepares us to face the adverse circumstances of life. AUM removes nervousness and fears from the mind. Chanting of Omkar before bed give sound sleep. The problems of Insomnia and fearful dreams are cured by AUM chanting. 

Experiment with Omkar Chanting: We have done various experiments in our institute to prove the effective benefits of Omkar chanting. In one of the experiments we divided the batch into three groups. One group was asked to chant 'A' for a longer time and 'U' and 'M' for a shorter time. The second group was asked to chant 'A' for longer, 'U' for short and 'M' for longer. The third group was asked to chant 'A' for 2 seconds, 'U' for 3 seconds and 'M' for 5 seconds. The experiment showed better results for the group 3 who change 'A', 'U', 'M' for 2,3,5 seconds respectively. One chant of AUM lasting for 10 seconds.  

Just a few days ago one of our volunteers from another city near Nashik called me to say that her head was aching and her neck became stiff. She was unable to move her neck and could not get up from the bed. She chanted AUM for 10 minutes then she placed her palm on her aching head and neck and she chanted AUM for another 10 minutes. Slowly her neck started moving and she was able to get up from the bed. After getting up again she chanted AUM for 10 minutes. In this way she chanted Omkar for 30 minutes continuously and got rid of the pain in her neck and head. Seeing this miracle she immediately called me to share how Omkar healed her completely. Omkar fulfils all desires of those who chant with complete faith and devotion.  

What is Omkar? Pranava, the sound of creative AUM vibration, is the mother of all sounds. The intelligent cosmic energy of AUM that issues forth from God, and is the manifestation of God, is the creator and substance of all matter. This holy vibration is the link between matter and spirit. Meditation on AUM is the way to realize the true Spirit-essence of all creation. By inwardly following the sound of Pranava to its source, the yogi's consciousness is carried aloft to God. Omkar is the symbol of Brahman. AUM is the infinity, AUM is eternity. AUM is immortality. AUM is the source of everything. From AUM proceed all sounds. In AUM exists all objects.

We do not know how God looks like, as we haven't seen him. But we see the Sun every day. Sun is everything for human life on this earth. We say God is the cosmic energy. We get all the energy from Sun, that's why we worship the Sun as God. If the Sun stops rising or stops working, we will not get any energy and will not be able to survive longer. Sun is God for us. When we inhale, we take the prana or cosmic energy in. When we exhale we release the negative energy and impurities from the body into the space. This cosmic energy or prana keeps us alive. If the breathing stops, we are no more alive. Omkar is our ultimate target in life. That is Moksha, merging our soul with the supreme soul. Omkar guides us to our soul. Omkar is a guide to the dream of God. God has four qualities or energies: light, heat, vibration, and sound. According to physics energy is explained by these four qualities. The sun is having all these four qualities. 

 AUM is the cosmic sound. AUM is everywhere. AUM is in the rotation of the earth, all the other planets, stars. Everything in the cosmos is in motion and constantly producing a sound. That constant humming sound is AUM. The motion creates speed, the speed creates sound and energy. The universe is so huge that we are unable to perceive it. AUM sound is continuous in the universe but we are so tiny in the universe that we are unable to hear this sound. By chanting of AUM we are creating the sound of AUM and trying to create the vibration within our body.

Patanjali writes in the Yoga Sutras, “Tasya vachakah pranavah”, meaning AUM (Pranava) is the word denoting God. In the next sutra he writes, “Tajjapastadarthabhavanam”, meaning that (the word AUM) should be recited repeatedly while dwelling mentally on its meaning. He says AUM is the word which indicates Ishwara; Ishwara is described by AUM. AUM is the mantra that designates Ishwara. Further Patanjali says, “ Tatah pratyakchetanadhigamo pyantarayabhavascha” As a result of AUM japa, the consciousness or awareness is introverted and the obstacles disappear. When a student tries to go ahead on the path of yoga he comes across many obstacles which block his way. The next sutra gives a list of nine obstacles that obstruct the path of a yogi, these obstacles are - disease, dullness, doubt, procrastination, laziness, craving, erroneous perception, inability to achieve finer stages and instability. AUM removes all of these obstacles. 

One volunteer from our institute had surgery done on his ear. Six months after the surgery water started coming out of his ears, and he had to use cotton to soak up the water. He took so many medicines but it did not solve the problem. Our Guruji asked him to chant Omkar everyday for half an hour. After 10 days of practice the water stopped coming out of his ears. If we chant Omkar in a way like we call a loved one, with feeling and love, AUM comes to us, filling every cell of our body with love, positivity and calmness.  

The Symbol of Omkar: The symbol of Omkar has 4 parts, each part corresponds with a particular stage in human life. According to Indian philosophy the life of a human being undergoes 4 stages. The first part, the half circle denotes the first stage of human life until we finish our education. The first stage is from birth up to the age of 25 until we finish our education. This stage is called Brahmacharya. The second part, or the second half circle, represents the second stage of human life. The second stage is from the age of 25 up to the age of 50 years. This stage is called the grihastha ashram. In this stage, the human being plays the role of a householder, spouse, parent, employee, businessman etc. The third part, the full circle represents the third stage of human life. After the age of 50, the third stage starts, when the children are grown up and are able to take care of themselves. The responsibilities of family are much reduced. In this stage of life, man should turn his focus into his social responsibilities by sharing and caring with the society in various ways. This stage is called Vanprastha and it lasts up to the age of 75. The last stage of human life is from 75 to 100 years. The children are grown up now and they don't need help anymore, one is free from responsibility. At that stage you have to be satisfied and that is the complete nature of life. One should divert all attention to becoming spiritual. This stage is called sannyasa. The bindu (dot) in the Omkar symbol represents this fourth part of human life. Where the man works towards his liberation, by keeping one pointed focus on God.  The path of bindu will lead our way to god.  

Omkar & Moksha (Liberation): How is Omkar related to our Moksha or liberation? The three sounds of Omkar - A, U, M symbolize the gross, subtle and causal aspects of Brahman. AUM is the means to know Brahman, and is inseparable from Him. If you realize AUM, you know Brahman. Therefore, it is essential to have direct understanding of AUM, by which the immortal Self, the supreme Brahman, the ultimate goal is realized. The universe is made of five elements, they are space, air, fire, water, earth. Just like the universe, our body is also made of the same five elements. All these elements are made of tiny particles, they are so tiny that we cannot hold them in our hands or see them with our naked eyes. We cannot see the tiniest particle of earth, water, fire, air and space. These tiny particles are called electrons, and every electron is nothing but energy. This energy is present in the sun, moon, all the planets, earth, in the whole of universe. Our journey starts from the gross (earth) level. Transforming from the gross state to the ether state, merging into every tiniest particle of the universe is Moksha, freedom. By merging ourselves with AUM, we attain that ultimate state of freedom, freedom from the cycle of birth and death. We become jivanmukta, freedom from human life, and oneness with the supreme Brahman.  

Hari Om Tat Sat!