The Cosmic Sound OM
Exploring the Mystical Power of OM Chanting - By Anandmutri Gurumaa
Reading time: 5 minutes
The syllable OM is not man-made. Sages heard it in their deep meditative states. With a calm and tranquil mind, devoid of all worldly desires, in a state of heightened consciousness, the sage heard the unbroken sound of OM within himself. At a cosmic plane, the sound vibrates eternally in the entire universe.
OM has three components: A-U-M. They symbolise the three states we go through daily: waking, dreaming and deep sleep respectively. And there is a fourth aspect of OM representing the sound of silence.
OM chanting has a deep impact on the body. The sound 'A' (pronounced as u in the word fun) directly affects the solar plexus chakra (Manipura). 'U' (pronounced as oo in the word cool) affects the throat chakra (Vishuddha), and 'M' (pronounced as m in the word hum) impacts the third eye chakra (Ajna). Chakras are energy vortexes in a subtle plane, with subtle channels running throughout the body. The sound of OM can impact these chakras positively, provided the intonation is done correctly.
OM Chanting | The Process
Before starting the OM practice, we begin with a prayer, invoking compassion and blessings of the eternal, ever-conscious, ever-blissful, all-pervasive existence. We seek the blessings of all the revered sages and enlightened beings, praying to them to help us sit sincerely through the entire process.
Remember, prayer should not be mechanical. Pray with feeling, beseech the Almighty with utmost love seeking divine grace. Fill your heart with love and devotion.
Close your eyes while sitting still with the spinal column erect. Once settled, begin deepening your breath. Inhale in deeply and exhale out completely. The breathing should be smooth, light and gentle. When you inhale properly, your chest will expand, your stomach will protrude, and clavicle bones will rise. Your breathing should be deep, silent, silk-smooth and jerk-free. Continue this for 5 minutes or so. Then you are ready to commence the chant of OM.
Stage 1: Breathe in Deep & Chant OM while Breathing out
Breathe in a long breath, and while exhaling the breath, chant OM aloud. Chant it loudly, clearly, and without constraining the throat.
Continue the chanting for the next 10-15 minutes, at least. If you so wish, you may do it for a longer period.
Stage 2: Humming OM
As we reach stage two, verbal chanting will stop and be replaced by the humming of OM. You need to close your mouth and steady your tongue. Inhale deep, and while exhaling, make a humming sound like a bumble bee. For optimal benefit, gently close both ears with index fingers and then listen to this sound of humming OM. The right frequency will give some wonderous effects that magically energise and revitalise your entire system.
Continue this for the next 10-15 minutes, at least. If you so wish, you may do it for a longer time.
Stage 3: Basking in the Silence of Emptiness
In the last stage of OM chanting, sit in silence for as long as you wish, relishing the gift of calmness and tranquillity that this primordial sound brings.
This process is for new practitioners. Advanced practitioners move on to deeper stages that open the doors to higher spiritual realms.
OM is the supreme sound. It verily holds the essence of life and has a purifying effect on the Mind-Intellect-Body unit. Even the place where you sit to do OM chanting every day gets sanctified. Having been blessed with a human body is pure grace. It's a priceless opportunity to explore who you are and should ideally be expended in fulfilling the supreme objective, i.e., To know thy Self. OM has the innate capability to lead you to the highest Truth.
For more information on mantra chanting, you are welcome to refer to my book Mantra Yoga. You can also download a track I have created specifically on OM chanting called ‘Pranav.’ It is available on my app Amrit Varsha-Pearls of Wisdom.