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Om or Aum (, IAST: ''Oṃ'', ) is a sacred sound and a spiritual symbol in Indian religions. It signifies the essence of the ultimate reality, consciousness or Atman.James Lochtefeld (2002), "Om", ''The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism'', Vol. 2: N-Z, Rosen Publishing. , page 482Om
. ''Merriam-Webster'' (2013), Pronounced: \ˈōm\
More broadly, it is a syllable that is chanted either independently or before a spiritual recitation in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.Jan Gonda (1963), ''The Indian Mantra'', Oriens, Vol. 16, pp. 244–297Julius Lipner (2010), ''Hindus: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices'', Routledge, , pp. 66–67 The meaning and connotations of ''Om'' vary between the diverse schools within and across the various traditions. It is also part of the iconography found in ancient and medieval era manuscripts, temples, monasteries and spiritual retreats in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. In Hinduism, ''Om'' is one of the most important spiritual symbols.Annette Wilke and Oliver Moebus (2011), ''Sound and Communication: An Aesthetic Cultural History of Sanskrit Hinduism'', De Gruyter, , page 435Krishna Sivaraman (2008), ''Hindu Spirituality Vedas Through Vedanta'', Motilal Banarsidass, , page 433 It refers to Atman (soul, self within) and Brahman (ultimate reality, entirety of the universe, truth, divine, supreme spirit, cosmic principles, knowledge).David Leeming (2005), ''The Oxford Companion to World Mythology'', Oxford University Press, , page 54Hajime Nakamura, ''A History of Early Vedānta Philosophy'', Part 2, Motilal Banarsidass, , page 318Annette Wilke and Oliver Moebus (2011), ''Sound and Communication: An Aesthetic Cultural History of Sanskrit Hinduism'', De Gruyter, , pages 435–456 The syllable is often found at the beginning and the end of chapters in the Vedas, the Upanishads, and other Hindu texts. It is a sacred spiritual incantation made before and during the recitation of spiritual texts, during puja and private prayers, in ceremonies of rites of passage (sanskara) such as weddings, and sometimes during meditative and spiritual activities such as Yoga.David White (2011), ''Yoga in Practice'', Princeton University Press, , pp. 104–111Alexander Studholme (2012), ''The Origins of Om Manipadme Hum: A Study of the Karandavyuha Sutra'', State University of New York Press, , pages 1–4 The syllable ''Om'' is also referred to as onkara (ओङ्कार, '), omkara (ओंकार, ') and pranav/pranava (प्रणव, ').


Origin and meaning


The syllable ''Om'' (Devanagari: , Kannada: ಓಂ, Tamil: ௐ, Malayalam: ഓം, Telugu: ఓం, Bengali: ওঁ, Odia: ଓ‍ଁ or ଓଁ, Tibetan: ༀ) is referred to as ''praṇava''. Other used terms are ' (literally, letter of the alphabet, imperishable, immutable) or ' (one letter of the alphabet) and ' (meaning literally "Om syllable", and connoting: a beginning and female divine energy). ''Udgitha'', a word found in Sama Veda and ''bhasya'' (commentaries) based on it, is also used as a name of the syllable. As ''o'' is the guṇa vowel grade of ''u'', the word ''om'' can be considered to consist of three phonemes: "a-u-m", though it is often described as trisyllabic despite this being either archaic or the result of translation, three phonemes correspond to trimurti also. The syllable ''Om'' is first mentioned in the Upanishads, the mystical texts associated with the Vedanta philosophy. It has variously been associated with concepts of "cosmic sound" or "mystical syllable" or "affirmation to something divine", or as symbolism for abstract spiritual concepts in the Upanishads. In the Aranyaka and the Brahmana layers of Vedic texts, the syllable is so widespread and linked to knowledge, that it stands for the "whole of Veda". The etymological foundations of ''Om'' are repeatedly discussed in the oldest layers of the Vedantic texts (the early Upanishads). The Aitareya Brahmana of Rig Veda, in section 5.32, for example suggests that the three phonetic components of ''Oṃ'' (''a'' + ''u'' + ''ṃ'') correspond to the three stages of cosmic creation, and when it is read or said, it celebrates the creative powers of the universe. The Brahmana layer of Vedic texts equate ''Om'' with ''Bhur-bhuvah-Svah'', the latter symbolizing "the whole Veda". They offer various shades of meaning to ''Om'', such as it being "the universe beyond the sun", or that which is "mysterious and inexhaustible", or "the infinite language, the infinite knowledge", or "essence of breath, life, everything that exists", or that "with which one is liberated". The Sama Veda, the poetical Veda, orthographically maps ''Om'' to the audible, the musical truths in its numerous variations (''Oum'', ''Aum'', ''Ovā Ovā Ovā Um'', etc.) and then attempts to extract musical meters from it. The syllable ''Om'' evolves to mean many abstract ideas in the earliest Upanishads. Max Müller and other scholars state that these philosophical texts recommend ''Om'' as a "tool for meditation", explain various meanings that the syllable may be in the mind of one meditating, ranging from "artificial and senseless" to "highest concepts such as the cause of the Universe, essence of life, Brahman, Atman, and Self-knowledge".Paul Deussen, ''Sixty Upanishads of the Veda'', Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, , pages 67-85, 227, 284, 308, 318, 361-366, 468, 600-601, 667, 772


Written representation





South Asia


Phonologically, the syllable ओम् represents , which is regularly monophthongised to in Sanskrit phonology. When occurring within spoken Sanskrit, the syllable is subject to the normal rules of sandhi in Sanskrit grammar, however with the additional peculiarity that after preceding ''a'' or ''ā'', the ''au'' of ''aum'' does not form vriddhi (''au'') but guna (''o'') per Pāṇini 6.1.95 (i.e. 'om'). It is sometimes also written ओ३म् (''ō̄m'' ), notably by Arya Samaj, where ३ (i.e., the digit "3") is ''pluta'' ("three times as long"), indicating a length of three morae (that is, the time it takes to say three syllables) — an overlong nasalised close-mid back rounded vowel. The ''Om'' symbol is a ligature in Devanagari, combining ओ (') and chandrabindu (, '). In Unicode, the symbol is encoded at and at ("generic symbol independent of Devanagari font"). The ''Om'' or ''Aum'' symbol is found on ancient coins, in regional scripts. In Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura era coins (dated from the 1st to 4th centuries) are embossed with ''Aum'' along with other symbols. Nagari or Devanagari representations are found epigraphically on medieval sculpture, such as the dancing Shiva (ca. 10th to 12th century); Joseph Campbell (1949) even argued that the dance posture itself can be taken to represent ''Om'' as a symbol of the entirety of "consciousness, universe" and "the message that God is within a person and without".


East and Southeast Asia


The ''Om'' symbol, with epigraphical variations, is also found in many Southeast Asian countries. In Cambodia, the symbol is known as ''Om, Aom, or Unalaom''. In Khmer literature, the symbol is called ''Komutr'' (Khmer: គោមូត្រ). The Khmer adopted the symbol since the 1st century during the Kingdom of Funan as seen on artifacts from Angkor Borei, once the capital of Funan. The symbol is seen on numerous Khmer statues from Chenla to Khmer Empire periods and still in used until the present day. This Khmer version of Om symbol is popularly used in Khmer sacred tattoos known as Sak Yant and Khmer Buddhist texts and literatures.The Cambodian official seal has similarly incorporated the ''Aum'' symbol. It is also called ''Unalom'' or ''Aum'' in Thailand and has been a part of various flags and official emblems such as in the Thong Chom Klao of King Rama IV (r. 1851–1868). In traditional Chinese characters, it is written as (), and as () in simplified Chinese characters. There have been proposals that the ''Om'' syllable may already have had written representations in Brahmi script, dating to before the Common Era. A proposal by Deb (1848) held that the ''swastika'' is "a monogrammatic representation of the syllable Om, wherein two Brahmi /o/ characters () were superposed crosswise and the 'm' was represented by dot". A commentary in ''Nature'' considers this theory questionable and unproven. Roy (2011) proposed that ''Om'' was represented using the Brahmi symbols for "A", "U" and "M" (𑀅𑀉𑀫), and that this may have influenced the unusual epigraphical features of the symbol for ''Om''.


Representation in various scripts





Hinduism


It is the most sacred syllable symbol and mantra of Brahman, the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality. ''Om'' connotes the metaphysical concept of Brahman. The syllable is often chanted either independently or before a mantra; it signifies the Brahman as the ultimate reality, consciousness or Atma. The ''Om'' sound is the primordial sound and is called the Shabda-Brahman (Brahman as sound). In Hinduism, ''Om'' is one of the most important spiritual sounds. ''Om'' refers to Atman (soul, self within) and Brahman (ultimate reality, entirety of the universe, truth, divine, supreme spirit, cosmic principles, knowledge). The syllable is often found at the beginning and the end of chapters in the Vedas, the Upanishads, and other Hindu texts. It is a sacred spiritual incantation made before and during the recitation of spiritual texts, during puja and private prayers, in ceremonies of rites of passages (sanskara) such as weddings, and sometimes during meditative and spiritual activities such as Yoga. ''Om'' came to be used as a standard utterance at the beginning of mantras, chants or citations taken from the Vedas. For example, the Gayatri mantra, which consists of a verse from the Rigveda Samhita (RV 3.62.10), is prefixed not just by ''Om'' but by ''Om'' followed by the formula '' bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ''.Monier Monier-Williams (1893), ''Indian Wisdom'', Luzac & Co., London, page 17 Such recitations continue to be in use in Hinduism, with many major incantations and ceremonial functions beginning and ending with ''Om''.


Upanishads


The syllable ''Om'' is described with various meanings in the Upanishads. Descriptions include "the sacred sound, the Yes!, the Vedas, the ''Udgitha'' (song of the universe), the infinite, the all encompassing, the whole world, the truth, the ultimate reality, the finest essence, the cause of the Universe, the essence of life, the Brahman, the Atman, the vehicle of deepest knowledge, and Self-knowledge".


Chandogya Upanishad


The Chandogya Upanishad is one of the oldest Upanishads of Hinduism. It opens with the recommendation that "let a man meditate on Om".Max Muller
Chandogya Upanishad
''The Upanishads'', Part I, Oxford University Press, pages 1-3 with footnotes
It calls the syllable ''Om'' as ''udgitha'' (उद्गीथ, song, chant), and asserts that the significance of the syllable is thus: the essence of all beings is earth, the essence of earth is water, the essence of water are the plants, the essence of plants is man, the essence of man is speech, the essence of speech is the Rig Veda, the essence of the Rig Veda is the Sama Veda, and the essence of Sama Veda is the ''udgitha'' (song, ''Om''). ''Rik'' (ऋच्, Ṛc) is speech, states the text, and ''Sāman'' (सामन्) is breath; they are pairs, and because they have love for each other, speech and breath find themselves together and mate to produce a song. The highest song is ''Om'', asserts section 1.1 of Chandogya Upanishad. It is the symbol of awe, of reverence, of threefold knowledge because ''Adhvaryu'' invokes it, the ''Hotr'' recites it, and ''Udgatr'' sings it.Paul Deussen, ''Sixty Upanishads of the Veda'', Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, , pages 68-70Patrick Olivelle (2014), ''The Early Upanishads'', Oxford University Press, , page 171-185 The second volume of the first chapter continues its discussion of syllable ''Om'', explaining its use as a struggle between ''Devas'' (gods) and ''Asuras'' (demons).Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, , pages 70-71 with footnotes Max Muller states that this struggle between gods and demons is considered allegorical by ancient Indian scholars, as good and evil inclinations within man, respectively.Max Muller
Chandogya Upanishad
''The Upanishads'', Part I, Oxford University Press, pages 4-6 with footnotes
The legend in section 1.2 of Chandogya Upanishad states that gods took the ''Udgitha'' (song of ''Om'') unto themselves, thinking, "with this ''song'' we shall overcome the demons".Robert Hume
Chandogya Upanishad
''The Thirteen Principal Upanishads'', Oxford University Press, pages 178-180
The syllable ''Om'' is thus implied as that which inspires the good inclinations within each person. Chandogya Upanishad's exposition of syllable ''Om'' in its opening chapter combines etymological speculations, symbolism, metric structure and philosophical themes. In the second chapter of the Chandogya Upanishad, the meaning and significance of ''Om'' evolves into a philosophical discourse, such as in section 2.10 where ''Om'' is linked to the Highest Self, and section 2.23 where the text asserts ''Om'' is the essence of three forms of knowledge, ''Om'' is Brahman and "Om is all this bserved world.


Katha Upanishad


The Katha Upanishad is the legendary story of a little boy, Nachiketa – the son of sage Vajasravasa – who meets Yama, the vedic deity of death. Their conversation evolves to a discussion of the nature of man, knowledge, Atman (Soul, Self) and moksha (liberation).Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, , pages 269-273 In section 1.2, Katha Upanishad characterizes Knowledge/Wisdom as the pursuit of good, and Ignorance/Delusion as the pursuit of pleasant,Max Muller (1962), Katha Upanishad, in The Upanishads – Part II, Dover Publications, , page 8 that the essence of Veda is to make man liberated and free, look past what has happened and what has not happened, free from the past and the future, beyond good and evil, and one word for this essence is the word ''Om''.Paul Deussen, ''Sixty Upanishads of the Veda'', Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, , pages 284-286


Maitri Upanishad


The Maitrayaniya Upanishad in sixth ''Prapathakas'' (lesson) discusses the meaning and significance of ''Om''. The text asserts that ''Om'' represents Brahman-Atman. The three roots of the syllable, states the Maitri Upanishad, are ''A'' + ''U'' + ''M''.Max Muller, ''The Upanishads'', Part 2
Maitrayana-Brahmana Upanishad
Oxford University Press, pages 307-308
The sound is the body of Soul, and it repeatedly manifests in three: as gender-endowed body – feminine, masculine, neuter; as light-endowed body – Agni, Vayu and Aditya; as deity-endowed body – Brahma, Rudra and Vishnu; as mouth-endowed body – Garhapatya, Dakshinagni and Ahavaniya; as knowledge-endowed body – Rig, Saman and Yajur; as world-endowed body – Bhūr, Bhuvaḥ and Svaḥ; as time-endowed body – Past, Present and Future; as heat-endowed body – Breath, Fire and Sun; as growth-endowed body – Food, Water and Moon; as thought-endowed body – intellect, mind and psyche.Maitri Upanishad – Sanskrit Text with English Translation
EB Cowell (Translator), Cambridge University, ''Bibliotheca Indica'', page 258-260
Brahman exists in two forms – the material form, and the immaterial formless. The material form is changing, unreal. The immaterial formless isn't changing, real. The immortal formless is truth, the truth is the Brahman, the Brahman is the light, the light is the Sun which is the syllable ''Om'' as the Self. The world is ''Om'', its light is Sun, and the Sun is also the light of the syllable ''Om'', asserts the Upanishad. Meditating on ''Om'', is acknowledging and meditating on the Brahman-Atman (Soul, Self).


Mundaka Upanishad


The Mundaka Upanishad in the second ''Mundakam'' (part), suggests the means to knowing the Self and the Brahman to be meditation, self-reflection and introspection, that can be aided by the symbol ''Om''. Adi Shankara, in his review of the Mundaka Upanishad, states ''Om'' as a symbolism for Atman (soul, self).


Mandukya Upanishad


The Mandukya Upanishad opens by declaring, "Om!, this syllable is this whole world". Thereafter it presents various explanations and theories on what it means and signifies. This discussion is built on a structure of "four fourths" or "fourfold", derived from ''A'' + ''U'' + ''M'' + "silence" (or without an element).Paul Deussen, ''Sixty Upanishads of the Veda'', Volume 2, Motilal Banarsidass, , pages 605-637 :Aum as all states of time :In verse 1, the Upanishad states that time is threefold: the past, the present and the future, that these three are "Aum". The four fourth of time is that which transcends time, that too is "Aum" expressed. :Aum as all states of Atman :In verse 2, states the Upanishad, everything is Brahman, but Brahman is Atman (the Soul, Self), and that the Atman is fourfold. Johnston summarizes these four states of Self, respectively, as seeking the physical, seeking inner thought, seeking the causes and spiritual consciousness, and the fourth state is realizing oneness with the Self, the Eternal.Charles Johnston
The Measures of the Eternal – Mandukya Upanishad
Theosophical Quarterly, October, 1923, pages 158-162
:Aum as all states of consciousness :In verses 3 to 6, the Mandukya Upanishad enumerates four states of consciousness: wakeful, dream, deep sleep and the state of ''ekatma'' (being one with Self, the oneness of Self). These four are ''A'' + ''U'' + ''M'' + "without an element" respectively. :Aum as all of knowledge :In verses 9 to 12, the Mandukya Upanishad enumerates fourfold etymological roots of the syllable "Aum". It states that the first element of "Aum" is ''A'', which is from ''Apti'' (obtaining, reaching) or from ''Adimatva'' (being first). The second element is ''U'', which is from ''Utkarsa'' (exaltation) or from ''Ubhayatva'' (intermediateness). The third element is ''M'', from ''Miti'' (erecting, constructing) or from ''Mi Minati, or apīti'' (annihilation). The fourth is without an element, without development, beyond the expanse of universe. In this way, states the Upanishad, the syllable Om is indeed the Atman (the self).


Shvetashvatara Upanishad


The Shvetashvatara Upanishad, in verses 1.14 to 1.16, suggests meditating with the help of syllable ''Om'', where one's perishable body is like one fuel-stick and the syllable ''Om'' is the second fuel-stick, which with discipline and diligent rubbing of the sticks unleashes the concealed fire of thought and awareness within. Such knowledge, asserts the Upanishad, is the goal of Upanishads.Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, , pages 308 The text asserts that ''Om'' is a tool of meditation empowering one to know the God within oneself, to realize one's Atman (Soul, Self).

Aitareya Aranyaka

Aitareya Aranyaka in verse 23.6, explains ''Om'' as "an acknowledgment, melodic confirmation, something that gives momentum and energy to a hymn".


Bhagavad Gita


The Bhagavad Gita, in the Epic Mahabharata, mentions the meaning and significance of ''Om'' in several verses. According to Jeaneane Fowler, verse 9.17 of the Bhagavad Gita synthesizes the competing dualistic and monist streams of thought in Hinduism, by using "''Om'' which is the symbol for the indescribable, impersonal Brahman". The significance of the sacred syllable in the Hindu traditions, is similarly highlighted in other verses of the ''Gita'', such as verse 17.24 where the importance of ''Om'' during prayers, charity and meditative practices is explained as follows,


Yoga Sutra


The aphoristic verse 1.27 of Pantanjali's Yogasutra links ''Om'' to Yoga practice, as follows,''The Yogasutras of Patanjali''
Charles Johnston (Translator), page 15
Johnston states this verse highlights the importance of ''Om'' in the meditative practice of Yoga, where it symbolizes three worlds in the Soul; the three times – past, present and future eternity, the three divine powers – creation, preservation and transformation in one Being; and three essences in one Spirit – immortality, omniscience and joy. It is, asserts Johnston, a symbol for the perfected Spiritual Man (his emphasis).


Puranas


The medieval era texts of Hinduism, such as the Puranas adopt and expand the concept of ''Om'' in their own ways, and to their own theistic sects. According to the Vayu Purana, ''Om'' is the representation of the Hindu Trimurti, and represents the union of the three gods, viz. ''A'' for Brahma, ''U'' for Vishnu and ''M'' for Shiva. The three sounds also symbolise the three Vedas, namely (Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda). The Shiva Purana highlights the relation between deity Shiva and the ''Pranava'' or ''Om''. Shiva is declared to be ''Om'', and that ''Om'' is Shiva.

Jainism

In Jainism, ''Om'' is considered a condensed form of reference to the Pañca-Parameṣṭhi, by their initials ''A+A+A+U+M'' ('). The Dravyasamgraha quotes a Prakrit line: : :Translation: Veneration to the Arhats, veneration to the perfect ones, veneration to the masters, veneration to the teachers, veneration to all the monks in the world. :''AAAUM'' (or just "Om") is one syllable short form of the initials of the five parameshthis: "Arihant, Ashiri, Acharya, Upajjhaya, Muni". ''() Siddhanam'' (6 syllables), ''Om Nhi'' (2 syllables) and just ''Om'' (1 syllable) are the short forms of the Paramesthi-Mantra, also called Namokar Mantra or Navkar Mantra in Jainism.


Buddhism


''Om'' is often used in some later schools of Buddhism, for example Tibetan Buddhism, which was influenced by Indian Hinduism and Tantra. In Chinese Buddhism, ''Om'' is often transliterated as the Chinese character (pinyin ') or (pinyin ').


Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana)


In Tibetan Buddhism, ''Om'' is often placed at the beginning of mantras and dharanis. Probably the most well known mantra is "Om mani padme hum", the six syllable mantra of the Bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteśvara. This mantra is particularly associated with the four-armed Shadakshari form of Avalokiteśvara. Moreover, as a seed syllable (''bija mantra''), ''Aum'' is considered sacred and holy in Esoteric Buddhism. Some scholars interpret the first word of the mantra ''oṃ maṇipadme hūṃ'' to be ''auṃ'', with a meaning similar to Hinduism – the totality of sound, existence and consciousness. ''Oṃ'' has been described by the 14th Dalai Lama as "composed of three pure letters, A, U, and M. These symbolize the impure body, speech, and mind of everyday unenlightened life of a practitioner; they also symbolize the pure exalted body, speech and mind of an enlightened Buddha." According to Simpkins, ''Om'' is a part of many mantras in Tibetan Buddhism and is a symbolism for "wholeness, perfection and the infinite".


Niō guardian kings and Komainu lion-dogs


''Aum'' is symbolically represented by Niō (仁王) statues in Japan, and their equivalent in East Asia. ''Niō'' appear in pairs in front of Buddhist temple gates and stupas, in the form of two fierce looking guardian kings (''Vajra''). One has an open mouth, regarded by Buddhists as symbolically speaking the "A" syllable; the other has a closed mouth, symbolically speaking the "Um" syllable. The two together are regarded as saying "Aum", the ''vajra-breath'', or the Absolute in Sanskrit. Komainu (狛犬), also called lion-dogs, found in Japan, Korea and China, also occur in pairs before Buddhist temples and public spaces, and again, one has an open mouth (''Agyō''), the other closed (''Ungyō''). Like ''Nio'' statues, they are traditionally interpreted to be saying the start and end of "Aun" – a transliteration of the Sanskrit sacred syllable ''Aum'' (or ''Om''), signifying the start and end of everything.

Sikhism

''Ik Onkar'', iconically represented as in Sikhism are the opening words of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scripture. It is the statement that 'there is one God', and that there is 'singularity despite seeming plurality'. ''Ik Onkar'' is a phrase, which is a compound of the numeral one (''ik'') and ''onkar'', states Doniger, canonically understood in Sikhism to refer to "absolute monotheistic unity of God". ''Ik Onkar'' is part of the "Mul Mantra" in Sikh teachings and represents "One God", states Gulati.Mahinder Gulati (2008), Comparative Religious And Philosophies : Anthropomorphlsm And Divinity, Atlantic, , pages 284-285; Quote: "While Ek literally means One, Onkar is the equivalent of the Hindu "Om" (Aum), the one syllable sound representing the holy trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva - the God in His entirety." Onkar is, states Wazir Singh, a "variation of Om (Aum) of the ancient Indian scriptures (with a change in its orthography), implying the unifying ''seed-force'' that evolves as the universe". Guru Nanak wrote a poem entitled Onkar in which, states Doniger, he "attributed the origin and sense of speech to the Divinity, who is thus the Om-maker". ''Ik Aumkara'' appears at the start of ''Mul Mantra'', states Kohli, and it occurs as "Aum" in the ''Upanishads'' and in ''Gurbani''.SS Kohli (1993), The Sikh and Sikhism, Atlantic, , page 35, Quote: "Ik Aumkara is a significant name in Guru Granth Sahib and appears in the very beginning of Mul Mantra. It occurs as Aum in the Upanishads and in Gurbani, the Onam Akshara (the letter Aum) has been considered as the abstract of three worlds (p. 930). According to Brihadaranyaka Upanishad "Aum" connotes both the transcendent and immanent Brahman. According to Pashaura Singh, Onkar is a foundational word (''shabad'', Mul Mantar), the seed of Sikh scripture, and the basis of the "whole creation of time and space". It is interpreted differently than other Indian religions, and is used frequently as invocation in Sikh scripture, and is central to Sikhism.


Modern reception


The Brahmic script ''om''-ligature has become widely recognized in Western counterculture since the 1960s, mostly in its standard Devanagari form (ॐ), but the Tibetan alphabet ''om'' (ༀ) has also gained limited currency in popular culture.

Notes




References





Sources


*


External links and further reading


* Wiktionary entry: ""
Just say Om
Joel Stein, Time Magazine Archives *
Autonomic changes during "OM" meditation
Telles et al. (1995) * * * * The Mantra Om: Word and Wisdom Swami Vivekananda {{Jainism topics Category:Brahmic graphemes Category:Hindu philosophical concepts Category:Hindu symbols Category:Jain symbols Category:Symbols of Indian religions Category:Buddhist mantras Category:Hindu mantras Category:Jain mantras