Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Philosophy of Om
The sound produced in the flowing of the river Ganges, the sound that is heard at a distance, the sound that proceeds from the bustle of the market, that is produced by the flywheel when it is set in motion, that is caused when it rains, or there is a conflagration, or thunder - it is all Om only. Split any word and you will find Om there. Om is all-pervading, like akasha (space), like Brahman, the Absolute.
Om is the symbol of Brahman. It is the word of power. It is the sacred monosyllable. It is the essence of the vedas. It is the boat to take you across to the other shore of fearlessness and immortality.
The word Om is the most appropriate name of Brahman. By its application, by its chanting, he becomes propitiated. Om is emblematic of Brahman, as images are of material objects. When you hear the sound 'tree', you at once understand it has a root, a stem, branches, leaves, flowers, fruits, etc. Similarly too, when you hear the shabda (sound) Om it denotes Satchidananda Brahman - existence absolute, knowledge absolute, bliss absolute.
Shabda (word) and artha (meaning) are inseparable. All collections of words (speech), terminate in one sound Om. All objects are denoted by sounds, and all sounds merge in Om. The whole universe comes out of Om and is absorbed into Om. Hence Om is very important.
Om should be worshiped. Om should be chanted loudly. Om should be repeated mentally, with deep meaning and feeling. Om should be meditated upon.
Watch the breath. When you inhale, the sound so is produced. When you exhale, the sound ham is produced. You are naturally uttering soham I am he or he am I with every breath. The breath reminds you that you are in essence identical with the Supreme Self.
In soham the 's' and the 'h' are consonants. If you delete them you get 'oam' or om.
Consonants depend on vowels for their existence. 'S' and 'h' represent names and forms, or this universe which is phenomenal or relative or empirical or dependent existence. Om is the only solid reality. Om is the soul of your breath.