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What is ‘Om?’

Om is a sacred symbol in Hinduism. The symbol is considered as a ‘primordial sound’ of guidance to medication. As per the studies, Om which sounds as “Aum” when chanted connects the living being (human), the God and the Universe. In the finale of all proceedings of rituals in Hindus and Upanishads, Om plays a vital role. It is said to be the most effective symbol of God. Besides, various scientific studies have proved that the Sun also makes the primordial sound of Om, i.e. Aum.

Apart from its significance in Hinduism, the symbol is also important in Tibetan Buddhism. The symbol Om is placed at the beginning of mantras, the most common of which is “Om Mani Padme Hum”. It is a six syllable mantra of the Bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteśvara and is correlated with the four-armed Shadakshari form of Avalokiteśvara. However, as a seed syllable or bija mantra, Om (Aum) is considered holy in Esoteric Buddhism.

The 14th Dalai Lama has often described Om as being composed of three letters- A, U, and M. These are a symbol of the impure body, speech, and the mind of an unenlightened life of a practitioner. On the other hand, these also symbolize the pure exalted body, the speech, and the mind of an enlightened Buddha.

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