This is in response to two of my fellow bloggers on another discussion forum (which is not functional now) – Ved Vahan and Subash. Cross posting it again to share it with the audience here. While I don’t have access to those blogs wherein those 2 loving souls had brought out concept of OM, I humbly submit that this is an amateurish attempt to complement their indisputable explanations. Wherever relevant, I have made any reference to their writing,I have specifically reproduced for relevance.
So here I go….
For our ordinary minds (and true for almost all beginners on the spiritual path), it is not so easy to conceptualize or comprehend an idea without expressing them in words. If it cannot spoken about or if not expressible we somehow get a feeling of surreality or unreal.
So this idea of God or Divine, has to necessarily be associated and expressed with Words. Another condition is that since God/Divinity is considered fundamental fact of the Cosmos, the word expressing It needs to be fundamental too. The ancients saints, seers and Rishis struck upon and agreed that this word “AUM” is a fundamental word that can truly express the Divine.
Why is this word fundamental? Here let me begin by exploring deeper purport of one of my fellow blogger on another site – Sri Subashji’s explanation. Representing the “G”enerator, “O”perator and “D”estructor – nature of GOD.
“A” the creative force originating at the lower part (Step on a thorn or when you get hurt on your legs or feet, the natural sound that emerges out is “Aaaah”)
“U”, the maintaining force originating at the middle part (someone punching on your abdomen, the natural sound that is expressed would be “Uuuuuu”).
“M”, the destructive force – of evil tendencies originating at the top part (ask
someone to give a sharp knock on your head, the sound that emerges would be “Mmmmm”).
Sum total of these forces represents the entire universe and hence lends a legitimate expression representing God representing the Trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, considered as the Creative, Maintaining and Destructive Forces.
The very construct itself renders AUM a fundamental WORD.
“A”, the root sound is pronounced without touching any part of the tongue or roof of the mouth,
“M” pronounced with closed lips representing the last possible sound.
“U” rolls from the root to the end of the palate, right upto the lips. So the three
syllables together forms the PRIMORDIAL expression called “AUM”, which represents the whole phenomena of sound production (“A” + “U” representing “O”).
Next why 3 times? As Ved-Vahan ji rightly said, “it represents three dimensions of our existence and a honor to all the three dimensions representing the
divinity in us. More importantly someone said, “It is Gurudev’s bidding (referring to His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar ji of Art of Living) , HE knows why :-)” (personally the most important and favourite reason for chanting it 3 times).
It is pertinent to remind here that chanting of 3 times is an aspect specific to Sudarshana Kriya and many Art Of Living processes but not mandatory – it could be more. (As HE keeps saying in various forums, in these busy times,
it is good enough if someone can chant 3 times – anything more and people would simply cite lack of time and discontinue Sadhana). 108 time chanting is quite popular too (9 Grahas x 12 Rashis).
My personal experience (not to do with numbers, but the very act of Chanting OM) – it clearly demarcates the activities on either side of my chanting. Prior to starting with a Sadhana, I disconnect the pre-Sadhana life with OM. As a rule, our group of AOL’ites whatever be the spiritual practices we embark on (viewing Knowledge Videos, beginning of AOL meetings, beginning satsangs)we chant OM, which clearly separates (mentally and physically) the mundane things from our mindspreparing the ground for our subsequent activities.
ॐ ॐ ॐ