Mystery of OM

In the cosmos, there are words, nay just the sounds which are constantly vibrating from the beginning to the end. So it is said in the Bible and in all the other Holy Scriptures. “At the beginning of the creation when only darkness rolled over darkness, there came the word first” What was that WORD? It is left to the seeker to experience this mystical WORD. But the Indian philosophy analyzes all phenomena in the path of ‘Jnana Yoga’ (Path of Yoga of Knowledge). The enlightened souls of this path known as ‘Siddha Purushas’ having reached their goal after years of penance (Tapasya), concentration and deep perception were able to bring out the gems of spiritual wisdom through words and convey them to their disciples who by the constant repetition of these words (Mantras) with the same concentration were able to realize the same wisdom. Thus this sacred knowledge was preserved in the form of Vedas and passed from one generation to another and became the basis of the ancient and eternal way of life known by the name  Sanatana Dharma.Actual meaning is Eternal righteous way of life .This was the time before the birth of the religions as it is meant today in the world .

All Holy Books – Bible, Koran, Talmud or Vedas are but full of words. Certain words have wonderful power on the minds of mankind ­Rama, Krishna, Christ, Allah, Jehovah etc.

All words are presented symbolically. But all the Vedas unanimously claim one sacred syllable alone, which is OM (AUM) as the basis of all phonetic creations. OM is the primordial sound which symbolizes BRAH­MAN, the Absolute.

Then, there comes the question. Is OM – one such sound and word from which all others emerge?

Let us now scientifically approach the word OM and learn its properties. The symbol OM consists of three parts. ‘A’, ‘U’, ‘M’ (AUM or OM) represent Creation, Preservation and Destruction personified in Hindu Religion as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva which become the unity – AKHANDA BRAHMAN if put together and proclaim the theory -‘Diversity off Trini­ty’ and ‘Trinity off Unity.’ As claimed by Judaic Christian philosophy

If we widely open our oral cavity and the wind pipe and blow a gush of air out of the lungs there comes a sound which takes the symbol ‘A.’ Arresting this sound by closing the oral cavity at the lips ‘M’ is produced. ‘U’ is simply the space and time during which the impulse ‘A’ rolls from the throat to the lips. This is the time duration of one cycle of creation. Modern physicists have proved that time is relative.

According to grammarians, word ‘A’ is known as the basic vowel. All other vowels are just the modifications. Like for Eg:E. O etc . By arresting the vowels at different parts of oral cavity, different con­sonants emerge. If you arrest at the last part at the lips it becomes Ma, at the teeth sounds Tha and so on and on.  Juggling of vowels and con­sonants makes up a language. Then isn’t it true that all different tongues derive from that one primordial sound which is symbolized as OM or AUM?

It is in my ‘Ma’;

And it is in your ‘Pa ‘;

It is in the Alpha;

And in the Omega;

Resides in the letters A to Zee,

Collides in the hum of restless bee,

Roars in the wave of every sea,

Whispers from the branch of swaying tree.

Om is the Veda; Om is the Nada;

Om is the Vada and every Shabda

It is the irresistible Sparsha, Roopa,

Rasa and all pervading Gandha.

(Nada: sound; Shabda: word; Sparsha: touch; Roopa: form; Rasa: taste; Gandha: smell)

Thus that is OM, this is OM; Only OM comes out of OM; When OM is taken out of OM, only OM remains. This truth is beautifully inscribed in the following hymn of ISAVAAS­YA UPANISHAD:

OM Poornam Adah Poornam Idam Paor­naat Poornam Udachyate.

Poornsya Poormam Aadaya Poornam Eva Avasishyate.

(OM that is totality; this is totality; From totality emerges totality; When totality is removed from totality, totality alone remains.)

A new door of wisdom was opened to the mankind when the great Indian mathematicians realized the meaning of this and grasped the idea of SHUNYA (void) and then coined the symbol Zero, initially as a dot and later gave the shape of a 0 (circle). It was reached by the concept of emptiness which gave birth to the symbol O. Hence Zero is defined as a- a=O, a+ a=O, a- o=a, a÷o=0, a x 0=0. This led to the con­cept of emptiness which is the essence of all forms and the source of all life.

Out of this, a new group of philosophers known as SHUNYAVAADINS (main­tainers of the void) emerged as the most fervent promoters of Mahayana and Heenayana sects of Buddhism.   Who could be compared to the modem physicists who claim that the universe came out of the Atom. But the former thinkers were one step ahead and claimed that even the Atom is a state of emptiness. The great Einstein reflects  the glimpse of it when he argues that every matter by itself is a confined field of space and time.

Professor Halstead emphasizes the vital significance of invention of Zero as follows: “The importance of the creation of Zero can never be exaggerated. It is like coining the NIRVANA into dynamos. No single mathemati­cal creation has been more potent for the general on-go of intelligence and power.”

OM in its fully formed state is not any par­ticular word; yet in it are concealed all the words of the past, present and those that would come into existence in the future.

According to MANDUKYA UPANISHAD, OM or AUM – this syllable is this whole world. The past, the present and the future -all this is only the syllable AUM. And whatever else there is that transcends the threefold time – that too is only the syllable AUM.


The syllable Aum is Atman/Brahman itself which cannot be described, in which the world is dissolved and which is benign and non-dual.



According to the SANKHYA philosophy expounded by the sage Kapila, the whole of the universe is but name  and form (NAMA and ROOPA). If we apply this concept to the microcosm and to the mind of man, we find that no thought arises there without name and form. All thoughts are conditioned by the name which is the inner seed and the form which is the outer crest. If  this is the principle responsible in the creation of microcosm, then the same plan of creation must be there for the whole cosmos. Behind this, there must be an universal thought from which the rest of the thoughts emerge.

Here comes the idea of one inexpressible eternal sound known as SPHOTA described by the MIMAMSA school of philosophy which is inseparable from the symbol OM or Aum.

We shall discuss here the sound which does not arise out of the external reason. For example, if we bring the palms of our hands for­cibly together, it produces a sound which we name as a ‘clap’. The sound of clapping is not produced by hands. The sound already exists in our microcosm but the reason for this sound is produced by this act of clapping. That is why one can record the reason and reproduce the sound. That is what is meant by external reason. When all the external rea­sons are removed there comes a spell of deep silence. In pure concentration in the depth of that silence, one could hear that SPHOTA. Although none of us continuously experiences this, we all have a glimpse of its know­ledge which may be for most of us for just a moment and during that moment although we are unaware of the external world, we are not

unconscious. Out of this SPHOTA, come out all the sounds of the past, the present and the future which are conditioned by external rea­son; nay which conditions the external rea­son.

This SPHOTA itself must have one poss­ible logo, one possible sound and that is OM or AUM. Although the thought and the word are inseparable, it could be argued that the same thought could have different word sym­bols. This OM or AUM may not necessarily represent the thought out of which the universe has manifested. To this Indian philosophy replies that this OM is the only possible sym­bol which covers the whole ground. SPHOTA is the material for all words but yet it is not any definite word in its fully formed state. If all the peculiarities of a word are taken, then it remains as that one primordial sound which is given the greatest significance in Indian phi­losophy and known as NADA BRAHMAN or the sound Brahman. All sounds are but the peculiarities of this one sound.

When the peculiarities are removed, only that external sound remains. All great pro­phets, scientists, musicians or artists or in essence any human being  who excelled in any field were able to get into that silence knowingly or unknowingly and bring out that SPHOTA in one or the other peculiar form and bursted it out into the cosmos like a thun­der in the form of a new philosophy,new discovery or new   concept or a ‘RAGA’ (tune) or some new achievement the mankind not known hitherto . In reality, all these external manifestations are in OM or AUM.

OM TA T SA T OM that is TR UTH.