॥ ॐकार ॥Excerpts/collection from various sources. Some sanskrit words are modified for pronunciation. Last update: September 20, 1995 From:Guidance from the guru Letters from Sadguru Swami Tapovanam Original in Malyalam Translated by: Shri T . N . Keshav Pillai OM Narayana smriti With loving ``Narayana Smaranam ''. Uttarkasi, 14-10-1955- The letter had been received . The old indifference to external activities such as writing letters has been growing of late . Hence the delay. Repetition of `Omkara ' is of differnt kinds . Sometimes it is uttered as part of some mantras, sometimes independently . ``Om Namasivaya '' and similar Vedic mantras . as well as many hymns begin with Omkara . So do sacrifices, acts of penance, etc . Thus ``all '' people pronounce it as part of mantras and sacred rites . Here there is no prohibition . Whether all people can pursue ``Pranavopasana '' has been contraversed . ``Pranavopasana '' means the repetition of Pranava (OM) by itself (not as part of, or in conjunction wlth mantras and rites) and the meditation upon its significance - the Supreme Brahma. According to Sri Sankara and certain other religious teachers this is reserved for Sanyasins only . The reason given is only those who have enough purity of mind and power of conoentration can perform thc Upasana in the proper way . The gist of the argument is house holders and people like them lacking mental purity and concentration should not perform Pranavopasana . In other contexts there is no taboo because there is no need for such purity and concentration as are essential for the contemplation of Nirguna Brahma (Brahma without attributes). The independent pronunciation of Pranava alone is thus objected to . Whoever cares for controls imposed by whomsoever in these days? There is one more difficulty . In the previous paragraph ``all '' has been put in inverted commas, why? It may be explained here . ``All '' in the context means those who, like the Brahmins, have the right to study the Vedas . The Orthodox chapter of the Hindus still holds that shudras and women who have no upanayana have no right to pronounce Pranava . The Moderns, however, take a contrary view demolishing the conservative one . In these circumstances is there anything improper in holding that all people including householders can conduct Pranavopasana? How can all these be expatiated upon here? Pay not much attention to such controversies . If you are already engaged in Pranavopasana, either according to somebody's advice or by your own choice, why doubt its propriety? Do it with firm resolve . If you listen to each and every advisor, the result will be doubt and confusions leading to the slackening of your performance . It is your mind that the Inner Being tests; it is your sincere love that pleases Him . Whether you repeat the holiest of Vedic Mantras OM or the meaningless ``mara '' ``mara '' the result will be alI the same, provided you have full faith in what you do. What pleases God is sincere devotion . If you have real love in your mind all these rules, injunctions and prohibitions, will lose their relevance . With the mantra you love best, worship Him and develop your devotion this is the advice of the broad minded Mahatmas, most learned and most experienced. With best wishes. Swami Tapovanam The Significance of OM - What the Upanishads Say Sreedhar Chintalapaty Summary The MAndukyopanishad , which belongs to the Atharva Veda and contains twelve verses, is an exposition of the principle of OM as consisting of three elements A, U, M, which refer to the three states of waking, dream and dreamless sleep. The supreme self is manifested in the universe in its gross, subtle and causal aspects . Answering to the four states of consciousness namely wakefulness, dream, dreamless sleep and transcendental consciousness, the last aspect of godhead being all inclusive and ultimately real. Exposition: ॐ इत्येतदक्षरं इदं सर्वं, तस्योऽपव्याख्यानं, भूतं भवद् भविश्यद् इति सर्वं ओंकार एव, यच् चान्यत् त्रिकालातीतं तदप्योंकारमेव । Translation: OM, this syllable is all this . An explanation of that (is the following). All that is past, the present and the future, all this is only the syllable OM . And whatever else there is beyond the threefold time, that too is only the syllable OM. Explanation: OM is the symbol of Brahman, and also the means of realizing their true nature . The following passages from the upanishads may be quoted : It should be remembered that OM is a SYMBOL for something, and statements like ``Through this alone ... '' should be construed as about teh idea that OM represents, not its aural effect. 1- कठोपनिषद् : [I.I . 15] सर्वे वेल्दयतामनन्ति, तपाम्सि सर्वाणि च यद् वदन्ति, यद् इच्चन्तो ब्रह्मचर्यम् चरन्ति, तत् ते पदं संग्रहेन ब्रवीमि । ॐ इत्येतत् । (Yama says to Nachiketa) That word which all vedas declare, which all the austerities proclaim, desiring which (people) live the life of a religious student, that word, to thee, I shall tell in brief : that is OM. 2- कठोपनिषद् : [I.I . 17] एतद् आलम्बनं श्रेश्थं एतद् आलम्बनं परं । एतद् आलम्बनं ज्ञात्वा ब्रह्म लोके महीयते ॥ (Yama says) This OM is the best support , knowing which one becomes blessed in the world of brahma. 3- प्रश्नोपनिषद् : [V.2] तस्मै स होवाच, एतद् वै, सत्य काम, परं चापरं च ब्रह्म यद् ओंकारः तस्माद् विद्वान् एतेनैवायतनेनैकतरं अन्वेति । (PippalAda says to SatyakAma) That which is the sound OM, O satyakAma, is verily the higher (Parabrahman) and the lower (Aparabrahman) Brahman. Therefore, it is with this support alone does the wise man reach the one or the other. 4- तैत्तरीयोपनिषद् : [I.vIi . 1] ॐ इति ब्रह्म, ॐ इतीदं सर्वं, ॐ इत्येतद् अनुकृतिः ह स्म वा अप्योश्रावयेत्याश्रावयन्ति, ॐ इति सामानि गायन्ति, ॐ शोमिति शस्त्राणि शम्शंथि, ॐ इति अध्वर्युः, प्रतिगारं प्रतिगृणाति, ॐ इति ब्रह्म प्रसौति, ॐ इत्यग्निहोत्रं अनुजानाति, ॐ इति ब्राह्मणः प्रवक्ष्यन्न् आह, ब्रह्मोपाप्नवानीति, ब्रह्मैवोवाप्नोति । Aum is Brahman . Aum is this all . Aum, this, verily, is compliance . On uttering `recite', they recite . With OM, they sing the chants of SAma Veda . With OM, they resite the prayers . With OM the advaryu priest utters the response . With OM does the priest utter the introductory eulogy . With OM, one assents to the offering to fire. The symbol OM is used to indicate the indescribable Brahman, whose true nature, like the riot of colors in the summer sky, can be felt, but the experience remains supremely personal. हरिः ॐ तत्सत्
Light on Yoga ( योग दीपिका)by B.K.S . Iyengar (1985 edition) Below is the excerpts from the book on the defintion of OM : According to Sri VinobA BhAve, the Latin word Omne and the Sanskrit word Aum are both derived from the same root meaning all and both words convey the concepts of omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence . Another word for Aum is pranava, which is derived from the root nu meaning to praise, to which is added the prefix pra denoting superiority. The word , therefore, means the best praise or the best prayer . The symbol OM is composed of three syllables, namely the letters A, U, M, and when written has a crescent and a dot on its top. A few instances of the various interpretations are given to it may be mentioned here to convey its meaning. The letter A symbolises the conscious or waking state (jAgrata-avasthA), the letter U the dream state (svapna-avasthA) and the letter M the dreamless sleep state (sushupta-avasthA) of the mind and spirit . The entire symbol, together with the crescent and the dot , stands for the fourth state (turIya-avasthA), which combines all these states and transcends them . This is the state of samAdhi. The letters A,U and M symbolise respectively speech (vak), the mind (manas) and the breath of life (prAna), while the entire symbol stands for the living spirit, which is but a portion of the divine spirit. The three letters also represent the dimensions of length, breadth and depth, while the entire symbol represents Divinity, which is beyond the limitations of shapes and form. The three letters A, U and M symbolise the absence of desire, fear and anger, while the whole symbol stands for the perfect man (a sthita-prajna), one whose wisdom is firmly established in the divine. They represent three genders, masculine, feminine and neuter, while the entire symbol represent all creation together with the Creator. They stand for the three gunAs or qualities of sattva, rajas and tamas, while the whole symbol represents a gunAtIta, one who has transcended and gone beyond the pull of the gunAs. The three letters correspond to the three tenses - past, present and future - while the entire symbol stands for the Creator, who trancends the limitations of time. They also stand for the teaching imparted by the mother, the father and the Guru respectively . The entire symbol represents Brahma VidyA, the knowledge of the Self, the teaching which is imperishable. The A, U and M depict the three stages of yogic discipline, namely Asana, prAnAyAma and pratyAhAra . The entire symbol reprsent samAdhi, the goal for which the three stages are steps. They represent the triad of Divinity, namely, BrahmA - the creator, Vishnu - the Maintainer, and Siva - the Destroyer of the universe . The whole symbol is said to represent Brahman from which the universe emanates, has its growth and fruition and into which it merges in the end . It does not grow or change . Many change and pass, but Brahman is the One that ever remains unchanged. The letters A, U and M also stands for the mantra `tat.g tvaM asi' (`That Thou Art'), the realisation of man's divinity within himself . The entire symbol stands for this realisation, which liberates the human spirit from the confines of his body, mind and intellect and ego.
OM or Hare KrishNa?This comes from a text scan (with permission) of an article in the July 94 Back to Godhead magazine . You can find this article, along with other articles from BTG on the Bhakti Yoga WWW home page: http://riceinfo.rice.edu/~vijaypai/rvc/BhaktiYoga/Welcometml vijaypai at kachori.rice.edu (Vijay Sadananda Pai). (c) 1994 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. Used with permission. by Kurappiah Chockalingam (Kuruppiah Chockalingam, an eighteen-year-old student from Melbourne, Australia, is an active member of Bhaktivedanta Yourh Services, which holds weekly programs for children and adults at the Melbourne ISKCON temple.) Though the sacred sound OM is often associated with impersonalists, only the devotees understand its full import. Throughout the vedas there is much mention of the syllabel OM . This spiritual vibration, which is sometimes called omkara or pranava, comprises three Sanskrit sounds - a, u, and ma (the a in ma is silent). When these three sounds are combined, the result is the single-syllabled vibration OM. An unusual attribute of OM is that it has no direct translation from Sanskrit into English . And though every Vedantist will accept OM to be a representation of God, exactly how OM is viewed differs according to various schools to thought . These schools can be classified into two main categories, the Mayavadi, or impersonalist, and the Vaisnava, or devotee. The impersonalist, as the name suggests, is happy to treat OM as an impersonal, formless, representation of the Absolute Truth . Therefore, the Mayavadi will very openly chant OM, being careful to avoid names such as Krsna and Rama, which according to them, are limited . A Mayavadi might explain his theory of pranava OM like this: ``Since this whole universe has been created by Him (God), whatever there is in the universe is Him alone. As such, He has no name . But if He has to have a name, then all names are His, for He alone is appearing in all forms . The first sound in most languages is a; the last sound to leave as our mouth closes is m; u is the center of the two . Together, they represent all the basic sounds from which words are produced . And threfore, these three sounds, making up the syllable OM, represent the entire universe of names and forms . '' Using such reasoning, the impersonalist concludes that the holy name Krsna is ultimately no different from any other word one can dream up . OM, says the impersonalist, contains all sounds, and so it is the universal sound, whereas ``Krsna '' and ``Rama '' are limited. All Vaisnavas know, however, that such speculation on the Lord's holy name is one of the ten worst offenses one can commit at His lotus feet (tathartha vadah). Lord Caitanya, therefore, has repeatedly warned us to steer clear of such offenders, or pasandis. What does omkara mean to the vaisnavas? The Gosvamis of Vrndavana have analyzed OM (a-u-m) as follows: The letter a refers to Krsna, the master of all planets and all living entities . The letter u indicates Srimati Radharani, the pleasure potency of Krsna, and m indicates the living entities . Thus omkara represents Krsna; His name, fame, pastimes, potencies, and devotees; and everything else pertaining to Him. To the devotees of the Lord, thereis no differnece between chanting His holy name and reciting omkara, for Krsna has stated in Bhagavad-gita (7-8, 9-17, 10-25) that omkara is He Himself in the form of sound . Just as omkara is non-different from the Lord's holy name, it is also inseparable from the Lord's beautiful tow-armed form as Syamasundara . Pranava OM is therefore used in the Vedas and Upanisads to address the Supreme Person -VAsudeva, or Krsna. Thus, omkara serves no other purpose than to remind the devotee of Krsna. Srila Prabhupada confirms this fact in a purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam (9-14-48) wherein he states that just as Hare Krsna addresses the Lord together with His energy, so too does omkara. It is therefore clearly evident that OM refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna . Yet, surprisingly enough, the Mayavadis are not altogether wrong in thinking that omkara possesses no form . Where's the catch? Three angles from which OM may be viewed Omkara, like Krsna, can be realized or viewed from three angles, as Brahman, Pramatma, and Bhagavan . The speculative Mayavadi knows omkara to be nothing beyond Brahman, or spiritual, and at the same time without shape or form. The mystic yogi sees whatever the Mayavadi sees but also realized that omkara is situated within the heart of everyone as Paramatma, or the supersoul . And the Vaisnava knows all that the other two transcendentalists know, but he also realized that it is the personal aspect of omkara, Bhagavan, that makes the other two aspects possible. Srila Prabhupada likened these three features of the Lord to the sunlight, the sun globe, and the sun-god residing within the sun . If I were studying the sun, would my knowledge be complete if I could research no further than the sunlight or the sun globe? Some material scientist might answer yes, but a more intelligent person would want to know, ``Where does the sunlight come from? '' or ``What gives the sun its power to shine? '' Just as one automatically knows about the sunlight and sun globe the moment he learns that the sun-god, Vivasvan, is the source of both, so one realizes omkara completely when oen understands that OM ultimately possesses form . Srila Prabhupada highlights this important fact in a purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam (8-3-2) The understanding of the impersonalist philosopher, though not altogether incorrect, is therefore incomplete . The devotee or Vaisnava, however, knows omkara in truth. Hare Krishna and OM The same in all respects? Though Hare Krsna and OM are equally potent sound forms fo the Lord, there is one difference . If at the time of death one chants Hare Krsna, even though unintentionally, one attains the spiritual Vaikuntha planets without a doubt . This is a universal truth that has been accepted by all great authorities . If, however, one similiarly chants OM, not thinking of Krsna, one attains to the impersonal brahmajyoti sky of the spiritual world but does not associate with Krsna . This fact is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (8-11). One may ask why, if omkara is ultimately personal, one shouldn't reciprocate with Krsna personally on leaving one's body withe OM on one's tongue . The answer is that it is possible to chant OM and go to Krsna but the process involves much more than simply externally uttering OM. According to the Gita (8-13), those who chant OM and at the same time remember Krsna while leaving the body do indeed go to the Vaikuntha planets: ओमित्येकाक्षरं ब्रह्म व्याहरन् मां अनुस्मरन् । यः प्रयाति त्यजन् देहं स याति परमां गतिम् ॥ ``After being situated in this yoga practice and vibrating the sacred syllable OM, the supreme combination of letters, if one thinks of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and quits his body, he will certainly reach the spiritual planetes . '' In a purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam (7-15-31) Srila Prabhupada informs us that to fix the turbulent, restless mind upon Krsna at the moment of death while thus uttering OM, there are certain rules one must follow . These rules are listed in Bhagavad-gita (6-11, 8-12). For example, one must sit in a certain precise posture, cease all the activities of the senses, fix the mind on the heart, and fix the life air at the top of the head. In addition to all this, Prabhupada points out that only brahmanas, or those in the mode of goodness, can properly recite OM . When one chants OM after having fulfilled all these prerequisites, only then can he reap the same result as he would have received from inadvertently chanting Hare Krsna. Then why such a thing as OM? Since both the Lord's holy name and omkara are transcendental sound vibrations, what then is the purpose of omkara? Krsna, being all-knowing, could clearly understand that there will always be a class of people called avyaktasakta cetasam, or those attached to His impersonal aspect . Since such impersonalists have no solid name or form to fix their minds upon, Krsna has provided them with pranava OM. Since OM has no direct meaning or refers to no particualr form, the Mayavadis assume, without complete knowledge, that the Absolute Truth is beyond all names and forms . To make the Mayavadis thinking this way is Krsna's intention, for not everyone is capable of acknowledging the Lord's transcendental name and form . Thus, their minds being absorbed in impersonal OM, the Mayavadis ultimately merge with the unmanifest brahmajyoti effulgence of the Lord, a type of liberation called sayujya-mukti. Though sayujya-mukti ensures freedom from material misery, the Vaisnavas consider it no better than hell, for in such a state there is no reciprocation with the lotus feet of the Lord . Consequently, the pure devotees are very careful to see omkara in the light of His beautiful form. Devotees spread only the holy name The pure devotee, whose mind is fixed twenty-gour hours a day on the form of the Lord, rises above all rules and requirements for chanting OM . Such a devotee, having transcended the three modes of material nature, goes beyond even the qualifications of a brahmana . Thus the devotee's chanting of OM is pure, whereas a Mayavadi, who cannot relate omkara to Krsna, chants OM becoming submerged, to a certain extent, in ignorance . Those who actually follow every prerequiseite and recite OM as directed by Krsna are generally those mystic yogis who, as previously discussed, are more inclined to inner meditation on Krsna as Paramatma than to pure devotional service. Although all Vaisnavas are more than qualified to freely chant OM, the Gaudiya Vaisnavas, devotees of Lord Caitanya, seldom do so . As mentioned earlier, one must be a qualified brahmana to chant OM properly . Most people in this Age of Kali are no better than sudras (kalau sudra-sambhavah). Therefore, the Vaisnavas, who care only for the welfare of others, do not very much promote the chanting of omkara . Instead, they particularly promote the chanting of Hare Krsna. As explained by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, niyamitah smarane na kalah: the requirements for chanting Hare Krsna are absolutely none . Therefore, the only practical means of spiritual advancement for all of us fallen souls of Kali-yuga turns out, once again, to be the chanting of the maha-mantra: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga by Swami Vishnudevananda 1960, Julian Press, NY Vedantic meditation to conquer death and develop intuition In Vedantic meditation the most important thing is to realize that one's real self is the sun of suns, the light of lights . In the state of meditation one can rise above the body and above the mind and dehypnotize onself into the light of lights, into the sun of suns. Meditation should be started after a few rounds of breathing exercise and a few minutes of chanting of the name of the Supreme Almighty who resides in the heart of hearts as the self or atman, and when the mind obtains some exaltation or is elevated to a certain height, it becomes very easy to make it soar much higher and even to great heights . One must make the mind rise into the higher regions by humming the syllable OM (OM). The meaning of the syllable OM is different to different persons . Everyone in his own stage of spiritual development has to give it the meaning that suits him best. Some people meditate on OM as the sun of suns shining within their hearts, while others meditate upon the ajna chakra (space between the eyebrows) while chanting OM . One can choose and meditate on either of these places (the heart or the space between the eyebrows.) While chanting OM one should meditate on the meaning attached to it, as follows: I am the light of lights; I am the sun; I am the real, real sun; the apparent sun is my symbol only . [In dreams we see objects not by the light of a lamp, nor by the light of the moon, sun, or stars, and yet we see them . If without light we cannot see, then with what light do we see light?] It is the light of my real self; itis the light of my atman, and it is my light that makes everything visible in my dreams. I am a monarch of monarchs . It is I who appear as all the beautiful flowers in different gardens . In me the whole world lives, moves, and has its being . Everywhere it is my will that is being done . I am manifested everywhere, I feed every being, from the smallest microbes to man . I existed before the world began. Evil thoughts and worldly desires are things concerning the false body and the false mind, and are things of darkness . In my presence they have no right to make their appearance . I am - not bound by any actions; I command elements . I am all-per vading, like supreme ether . Like light and invisible rays, I per - meate and pervade every atom and every object . I am the low est; I am the highest; I am the spectator, I am the showman, I am the performer . I am the most famous people, and most dis reputable, ignominious; I am the most fallen . Oh, how beautiful I aml I shine in the lightning; I roar in the thunder; I ffutter in leaves; I hiss in the winds; I roll in the surging seas . The friend I am; the foe I am . To me, no friends, no foes . Whatever be the state of this body, it concerns me not; all bodies are mine . I am the whole universe; everything is in me; I am limitless, eter nal, all-pervading . I am in each and all . I am in you; you are in me . Nay, there can be no you and I, no difference . Soham, Soham, Soham . I am that, I am that, I am that . OM OM OM. To realize his self, a beginner gets great help from the chanting of the syllable OM while meditating on its meaning . With this kind of meditation, one frees oneself from the clutches of death and attains immortality . No action can bind one, as there is no agency or ``enjoyership '' in one's actions . One always identifies oneself with the all-pervading self by removing ``I-ness '' and ``mineness. '' Before beginning this kind of meditation, students are advised to remove the three impurities of the mind: mala or selfishness; vikShepa or tossing of the mind; and avarana, or the veiling power, if they wish to achieve quick results . These three impurities of the mind may be described as follows: 1- Mala, or selfishness, is the grossest impurity . It is to be found in all men, in varying degrees and intensities, according to the degree of spiritual development of their souls; and it can be removed only through selSess service . Therefore every student, low or evolved, should spend some time in serving others without thought of reward before proceeding to deeper meditation. 2- The second impurity is known as vikShepa sakthi, or tossing of the mind . Mind becomes unsteady because of this impurity, and concentration becomes difficult . The Yogi method of stopping this tossing is through Yogic breathing (see Breathing, Chapter 8), devotion, and chanting. 3- The last is the subtlest of all impurities, known as avarana sakthi, or the veiling power of the mind . This avarana sakthi clouds the pure consciousness or self, and produces body consciousness . This is the most difficult impurity (the idea of body consciousness) to get rid of . Vedantic meditation amd the inquiry, ``Who am I? '' removes this veiling power . Only then can the self shine of itself. The philosophy and meaning of the sacred syllable OM Several volumes have been written to explain the meaning of the great syllable OM . In fact, all Vedanta and all Hindu philosophy is simply an exposition of this syllable OM . OM covers the whole universe. There is not a law, a force, or an object in all the world that is not comprised within the syllable OM . We shall try to explain how all the planes of being, all the worlds, all phases of existence are encompassed by OM . The importance of this syllable will be explored from various points of view in order that people may attempt to grasp it with their minds as well as accept it with their whole hearts . As we are all rational beings, we should not take up anything unless it appeals to our intellect. The literal meaning of Vedanta is the end of knowledge, the end of speech; and the whole of Vedanta is represented by OM . OM consists of A, U, M, and according to the rules of Sanskrit grammar, A and U when joined together become O, and thus A, U, M, produces the sound OM . The sound of OM is the most natural sound that can be uttered; even a mute can produce this sound . Observe boys in a playground when they are very happy; their overflowing joy finds natural expressioti with a prolonged sound of O, which is simply OM cut short . Not only children, but all people use this sound on occasions when they feel exhilarated, whether it is at a football game, a horse race, or a party . It is common to note that many people answer ``Oh, yes, '' or ``Oh, my God! '' When one is sick in bed or in trouble, when one is suffering from extreme pain, this sound of oh or um, which is a corrupted expression of OM, comes from one's lips . The Hebrew, Arab, and English prayers end with ``Amen, '' which most remarkably resembles Aum. Why should this sound be so prorninent in everybody's life? The answer is because it is a natural sound; it brings relief from pain for a sick person; it expresses mental moods in the form of sounds, which in turn bring peace and harmony . If one gets a little relief from I pain by uttering this sound incorrectly, then may it not bring more peace and harmony if it is chanted in the right way? This OM is also known as pranava, or that which pervades life or runs through the prana or breath . Even the sound of bells, the noise of a flowing river, the whistling of the wind, or blowing of a conch shell produces the sound OM. All thought is related to language as the obverse and reverse sides of the same coin . One cannot exist without the other . Can anyone see an object without thinking of it? Nothing is perceived without thinking accordingly . The very word ``perceive '' signifies mental thought . Thought and language are the same, and one cannot think without language. Absence of language occurs primarily in two cases: in intuitive perception and intuitive ideation . Intuitive ideation is the formation of a mental image of an object . I see a tree and close my eyes and see it again in mental image . Every form is associated with a name and utterance of a name brings forth the picture of the object . When I say ``chair, '' immediately the form of a chair appears in my mind . Though many mental images of sights and sounds occur that do not always bring up their names, and though this intuitive process may actually take place without language, yet in description, analysis, classification, judgment, and other mental elaborations, language is indispensable. One can look at the moon without remembering the name of the moon, but when one analyzes and thinks of what it is, then language comes. Therefore, nothing is perceived in this world without thought, and there can be no thought without language . Thus the world is related to language; language, to thought; and thought, to the world In the Bible it is said: ``In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . '' The word or language is not something arbitrary or invented . No man ever invented language because the word itself is God . The Vedic language (the original language) was revealed by God directly to the mind and when it was corrupted, it was called human language . Now we want to have a single word or sound that will represent the whole world . In all languages we have some sounds that come from the throat, others that come from the palate, and others from the lips . There is not a single sound in any language that comes from organs below the throat, as the throat is the one boundary of the vocal organ, and none come from outside the lips as the lips are the other boundary . Now we have A, U, M . The sound A is guttural; it comes from the throat . U (oo) proceeds exactly from the middle of the vocal region, the palate . M is labial and nasal, which comes from the extremity of the vocal organ or lips .. Thus, A represents the beginning of the range of sound; U represents the middle, and M represents the end . It covers the whole field of the vocal organs . Thus OM represents all language and, since world and language are interrelated, it represents all the world. Sounds are of two kinds: articulate or varnatmak and inarticulate or dhwanyatmak . Varnatmak sounds are capable of being written, while dhwanyatmak cannot be expressed by characters or by written words . Ordinary language is vamatmak, and the language of feeling, such as laughter and weeping, is dhvanyatmak . Laughter cannot be t expressed in written language. The articulate or natural language (dhwanyatmak) has a purpose that camlot be served by varnatmak . Suppose a foreigner who does not know the language of another country wants some food, and people cannot understand his language . He may then start weeping because of hunger; this language of feeling (weeping) can be understood and people give him food . When you laugh, everyone understands that something pleasant has happened . The language of music is also dhvanyatmak . The language of music is different from the language of thought . In melodious music there is a charming effect upon the mind. Similarly, OM chanting has a charm about it that brings the mind of one who chants under control and directly brings the feeling of peace and rest to the mind . In that state the individual is one with God. Though the effect of the chanting of OM cannot be scientifically proved, it is nonetheless experienced by all who practice it sincerely. There is no denying the changes within oneself when they take place. Now let us discuss the philosophy of OM . The sound A, according to the tseaching of Vedanta, represents the so-called material universe, the world of the gross senses, that which is observed in the waking state . All the experience of the dream world and the world of the spirits, the astral plane, and heaven and hell are signified by U . M represents the unknown, the deep-sleep state and all those things which are beyond the comprehension of the intellect. Thus, OM (OM) covers all the threefold experience of man (waking, dreaming, and deep sleep). It is a common thing to note that generally the philosophy of the West is based on experience in the waking state and takes little or no notice of the experience of the dream or of the deep-sleep state. Vedanta says that in order to find out the reality or truth, one must analyze all three states of experience of man; otherwise the data will be incomplete . Most philosophers limit themselves to the waking state, and all their discoveries and investigations are based on the waking state alone . Vedanta considers all the data from the threefold experiences . The world of the waking state disappears entirely in the other two states, dreaming and deep sleep. In dreams, thougll the external world disappears, it is the same ``I '' which perceives . The intellect and personal consciousness vanish entirely in the deep-sleep state and yet the real ``I '' or self remains the same . Thus ``I '' or self is the same in all these three states, and this self is the underlying reality that experiences all these states. This unchangeable and immutable principle, this reality that remains constant through the threefold worlds, is the true self or atman . This is OM. How do we know that the wor]d exists? How do we know there is a universe? Because we touch, hear, see, smell, and taste things; that is the only proof . Our senses are the only direct or indirect proof of the existence of this world. Sensation is the primary cause of all perception, intellectual understanding, etc., and it is not limited to our waking state alone . In the waking state our senses are in the gross form and we perceive objects . But we perceive in our dream state also . The sense organs operate in the dream state even though the external ears and eyes are not functioning . Thus in effect the dreaming mind evokes simultaneously both the object and the sense organs that perceive the object . So in dreamland the senses and the objects sensed are like the positive and negative poles of the same object . In dreams the subject and the object spring up together . Both the subject and the object of dreams are represented by the sound 61 in OM, and the underlying reality, in which both the subject and the object appear as waves in the ocean, is the pure self or OM. Although objects in dreams are produced simultaneously with the corresponding perceiving senses, they appear to have a long past of their own and as long as one is dreaming, so long is the dream reality for one's consciousness . When we say that this solid, rigid world is real, the statement is entirely founded on the evidence of perceiving senses and is equivalent to the dreaming person calling the object of the dream real whereas in reality both waking and dreaming states are unreal. The senses themselves exist only by virtue of the elements they perceive . Without the objective world of the elements, the senses could not perceive whether they were in a dreaming or a waking state; so for the existence of the senses the objective world is essential . In the same way, for the existence of the world the senses are essential . Is that pot reasoning in a circle? It is, indeed, and serves only to prove the illusory nature of the world in the waking state as in the dream state . The objects of dreams are real as long as the dream lasts . Those objects are no more when one wakes . In the deep-sleep state, what happens to the solid world of the waking state? Everything disappears . Thus we see that there is no reality to the world either in the waking state or in the dream state. Vedanta defines reality as that which persists in all circumstances. That which appears as reality at one time and disappears like a mist after awhile must be an illusory phenomenon . The dreamland we call unreal because when we are awake it is not there . Just so the solid must be unreal because it also vanishes in the dream and deepsleep states. Then what is reality? The sound A in OM represents the apparent subject (senses) and object (elements or world) of the waking state as mere manifestations of the underlying reality, me . The only hard reality is the Self or ``I, '' which never changes in any state . That ``I '' is the witness of the waking, dreaming, and deep-sleep states . Thus Vedanta comes to the conclusion that all the three states of man, waking, dreaming, and deep sleep, are unreal and the real self, which is knowledge absolute, existence absolute, and bliss absolute, is the only stern reality, before which the apparent reality of the world melts away. Many do not like to accept this conclusion because it is derived from considering the dreaming and deep-sleep states as rivals of the waking state . If twe analyze our lives, almost half of the time we are either in a dreaming or a deep-sleep state . There being night at any time over half the surface of the earth, almost half the population is always in the dreaming or deep-sleep state . Thus a man spends almost half of his life either in sleep or in dream . Childhood is a long dream. If we count the time, the hours spent in the waking state are almost equal to the time spent in sleeping and dreaming . Therefore we cannot consider only those things that take place in the waking state as all of reality and the other states as unreal . Even the strongest man or wisest man without exception is bound by the law of sleep, and the inexorable power of sleep takes no account of his ardent desire to stay awake and enjoy the sense world . Since the dream and deep-sleep states are as powerful as the waking state, we cannot neglect these former two states and consider only the latter . That is why Vedanta philosophy delves deeply into all the threefold states of man to find out the underlying reality . Again there are plants in a state of perpetual deep sleep and there are animals in a constant state of dreaming . To them our world is different . To the eyes of an ant, a frog, an elephant, a fish, or an owl things are very different . How dare we disregard their experience and consider the waking state of man alone as real? Thus in OM (OM) the first letter A stands for this reality, the self, as underlying and manifesting the illusory material world of the waking state . U represents the dream and the psychic or astral worlds, and the last letter, M, denotes the absolute self underlying the chaotic state and represents all the unknown, the deep sleep . Thus OM means the underlying reality behind the scenes, the eternal truth, the indestructible self that one is, and when OM is chanted one must throw the body and mind into the true self and melt into the reaT atman or ' pure consciousness.
ज्ञानेश्वरी (Marathi)अकार चरण युगुल । उकार उदर विशाल । मकार महामंडल । मस्तकाकारे ॥ हे तिन्ही एकवटले । तेथ शब्दब्रह्म प्रकटले ।
From: The Bhagavad-Gitaby Ramanand Prasad, Ph.D. रसोऽहमप्सु कौन्तेय प्रभास्मि शशिसूर्ययोः । प्रणवः सर्ववेदेषु शब्दः खे पौरुषं नृषु ॥ ७-८॥ O Arjuna, I am the sapidity in the water, I am the radiance in the sun and the moon, the sacred syllable OM in all the Vedas, the sound in the ether, and the manhood in men . (7-08) ओमित्येकाक्षरं ब्रह्म व्याहरन्मामनुस्मरन् । यः प्रयाति त्यजन्देहं स याति परमां गतिम् ॥ ८-१३॥ One who leaves the body while meditating on Brahman and uttering OM, the sacred monosyllable sound of Brahman, attains the Supreme goal. (8-13) ॐतत्सदिति निर्देशो ब्रह्मणस्त्रिविधः स्मृतः । ब्राह्मणास्तेन वेदाश्च यज्ञाश्च विहिताः पुरा ॥ १७-२३॥ ``OM TAT SAT'' is said to be the threefold name of Brahman . The BrAhmana, the Vedas, and the Yajna were created from this in the ancient time . (17-23) तस्मादोमित्युदाहृत्य यज्ञदानतपःक्रियाः । प्रवर्तन्ते विधानोक्ताः सततं ब्रह्मवादिनाम् ॥ १७-२४॥ Therefore, acts of sacrifice, charity, and austerity prescribed in the scriptures are always commenced by uttering ``OM'' by the knowers of Brahman . (17-24) ॐ तत्सत् Encoded by NA