Om or Aum (Devanagari: ॐ or ओं or ओ३म्, Bengali: ওঁ) is considered as a divine sound and a name of God. The sound Om is a combination of A-U-M, according to Hindu belief, the sound Om includes every possible sound of the universe.
The topic of our this article is Swami Vivekananda‘s quotations on Om.
- As every word-symbol, intended to express the inexpressible Sphota, will so particularise it that it will no longer be the Sphota, that symbol which particularises it the least and at the same time most approximately expresses its nature, will be the truest symbol thereof; and this is the Om, and the Om only;
because these three letters अ उ म (A.U.M.), pronounced incombination as Om, may well be the generalised symbol of all possible sounds. The letter A is the least differentiated of all sounds, therefore Krishna says in the Gita अक्षराणां अकारोऽस्मि — “I am A among the letters”.[Source]
- For those who believe in God, a symbolical name, such as Om or other sacred words received from a Guru, will be very helpful. Om is the greatest, meaning the Absolute. Meditating on the meaning of these holy names while repeating them is the chief practice.[Source]
- Great men like Avatâras, in coming back from Samadhi to the realm of “I” and “mine”, first experience the unmanifest Nada, which by degrees grows distinct and appears as Om, and then from Omkâra, the subtle form of the universe as a mass of ideas becomes experienced, and last, the material universe comes into perception.[Source]
- He whom all the Vedas seek, to see whom men undergo all sorts of asceticism, I will tell you His name: It is Om. This eternal Om is the Brahman, this is the immortal One; he who knows the secret of this — whatever he desires is his.[Source]
- His manifesting word is Om.[Source]
- Ishvara is the Atman as seen or grasped by mind. His highest name is Om; so repeat it, meditate on it, and think of all its wonderful nature and attributes. Repeating the Om continually is the only true worship. It is not a word, it is God Himself.[Source]
- It is not necessary to go through all these ceremonials to reach the meaning of the Vedanta. Repeating Om is enough.[Source]
- Om is the pointed piece and Dhyâna (meditation) is the friction.[Source]
- Om is the sacred name of that indescribable One. This word is the holiest of all words. He who knows the secret of this word receives that which he desires.” Take refuge in this word. Whoso takes refuge in this word, to him the way opens.[Source]
- Om represents the Akhanda, the undifferentiated Brahman.[Source]
- Om, the one without a second. He in me, I in Him. I am like a bit of glass in an ocean of light. I am not, I am not. He is, He is, He is.[Source]
- “Om, this is the Brahman; Om, this is the greatest reality; he who knows the secret of this Om, whatever he desires that he gets.” Ay, therefore first know the secret of this Om, that you are the Om; know the secret of this Tattvamasi, and then and then alone whatever you want shall come to you.[Source]
- One must think of Om, and of its meaning too.[Source]
- Meditate upon the Om that is in the heart.[Source]
- “That which all the Vedas declare, which is proclaimed by all penances, seeking which men lead lives of continence, I will tell you in one word — it is ‘Om’.” You will find this word “Om” praised very much in the Vedas, and it is held to be very sacred.[Source]
- The Hindu boy or girl … gets initiation. He gets from his Guru a word. This is called the root word. This word is given to the Guru [by his Guru], and he gives it to his disciple. One such word is OM. All these symbols have a great deal of meaning, and they hold it secret, never write it. They must receive it through the ear — not through writing — from the teacher, and then hold it as God himself. Then they meditate on the word.[Source]
- The Jnani must keep ever in his mind the “Om Tat Sat”, that is, Om the only real existence.[Source]
- To know the Om is to know the secret of the universe.[Source]
Om — a study
From Patanjali’s Yoga Aphorisms notes—[Source]
The commentator says the manifesting word of God is Om. Why does he emphasise this word? There are hundreds of words for God. One thought is connected with a thousand words; the idea “God” is connected with hundreds of words, and each one stands as a symbol for God. Very good. But there must be a generalisation among all these words, some substratum, some common ground of all these symbols, and that which is the common symbol will be the best, and will really represent them all. In making a sound we use the larynx and the palate as a sounding board. Is there any material sound of which all other sounds must be manifestations, one which is the most natural sound? Om (Aum) is such a sound, the basis of all sounds. The first letter, A, is the root sound, the key, pronounced without touching any part of the tongue or palate; M represents the last sound in the series, being produced by the closed lips, and the U rolls from the very root to the end of the sounding board of the mouth. Thus, Om represents the whole phenomena of sound-producing. As such, it must be the natural symbol, the matrix of all the various sounds. It denotes the whole range and possibility of all the words that can be made. Apart from these speculations, we see that around this word Om are centred all the different religious ideas in India; all the various religious ideas of the Vedas have gathered themselves round this word Om. What has that to do with America and England, or any other country? Simply this, that the word has been retained at every stage of religious growth in India, and it has been manipulated to mean all the various ideas about God. Monists, dualists, mono-dualists, separatists, and even atheists took up this Om. Om has become the one symbol for the religious aspiration of the vast majority of human beings. Take, for instance, the English word God. It covers only a limited function, and if you go beyond it, you have to add adjectives, to make it Personal, or Impersonal, or Absolute God. So with the words for God in every other language; their signification is very small. This word Om, however, has around it all the various significances. As such it should be accepted by everyone.