What is OM - AUM
OM is the eternal; OM is this entire universe. OM is the syllable of assent. Saying, "OM, let us hear," the sages begin the recitation. With OM, they sing the hymns of the Sama Veda. With OM SHOM, they pronounce the shastras. With OM, the priest officiating at the sacrifice says the response. With OM, Brahma begins creation. With OM, one sanctions the burnt offering. With OM, the Brahmin, before he expounds the "May I attain the eternal. Verily he attains." (Taithiriya Upanishad, says, Chapter 8.)
OM is Brahman. OM is the Word of Brahman. OM is the sound of Brahman (Shabda Brahman). OM is the sound that projected the universe. During cosmic dissolution the universe merges in OM. OM has no beginning. OM has no end. OM was before time was created. OM is beyond time, space and causation. OM is beyond past, present, and future. OM is beyond nether regions, earth and ethereal regions. OM is beyond saliva (brilliance), rajas (passion) and tames (darkness). OM is beyond Brahma (creator), Vishnu (preserver) and Shiva (destroyer). OM is Supreme above the supreme (Paratpara).
OM moves the prana or the cosmic vital force. In man, OM expresses prana or the vital breath. Hence it is called Pranava. In man, OM is beyond gross, subtle and causal bodies. It is beyond waking; dreaming and deep sleep states of consciousness. In every breath, man utters it, repeats it unintentionally and inevitably.
Every vibration in the body and in the universe emerges from OM, sustains in OM, and returns to OM. Every humming emerges from OM, sustains in OM and l returns to OM. A child cries, "OM, OM;" musicians hum, "OM, OM;" bees buzz, "OM, OM" the ocean roars, "OM, OM."
To an aching man, humming soothes; to an ailing man, OM cures. To a poet, it brings inspiration. To the philosopher, it brings realization. OM is the consent of man for God to enter into him. OM is the expression of the seer of Truth.
OM is Veda, the wisdom of God. OM is nada, the sound of God. OM is eternal, the indestructible Word. OM is the nectarian God-soul union cord.
OM is the one quest of all the saints. OM is the one search of all the scientists. OM is the one Soul of all the souls. OM is the one Truth that is worshiped in diverse ways.
OM brings equilibrium. OM brings wisdom. OM is the root. OM is the support. OM pervades all. OM sustains all. OM brings peace, bliss and power. OM kills the ego, desires and doubt. OM is the language of God. OM is expressed by God. OM expressed God. OM is God.
God is Prem (Love). God expressed OM. Therefore, it is the love expression of God. So, OM has come from Prem, who is God. Love and its expression are identical, so Prem and OM are one and the same.
All the Vedic mantras have emerged from OM. All the mantras have OM prefixed. The Taithiriya Upanishad says, "With OM, Brahma begins creation." It means the whole creation comes out of sound.
Mandulya Upanishad describes the greatness of this mystical syllable in the following words:
"OM is this imperishable Word. OM is the universe, and this is the exposition OM. The past, present and the future, all that was, all that is, all that will be is OM. Likewise all else that may exist 1 beyond the bounds of time, that, too, is OM." (Verse 1.)
The highest conception of OM is described in the above verse. The body as we Know it has come out of the combination of five elements (pancha mahabhuta). In their gross form, they are called ether, air, fire, water and earth. In their subtle form, they are called tanmatras or subtle properties from which the gross elements have emerged.
These are shabda (sound); sparsha (touch); rupa (form or seeing); rasa (taste); and gandha (smell). Among the five, the first is sound. Thus it is clear that the world has emerged out of sound.