The constant development - evolution - was understood as the driving force of life. This was the former task of Re-ligion, the instrument of man in a complex world. To Re-unite with the "pure sound", "the divine source" is what the word Religion means (lat. religere)
Swami Nirmalananda Giri
Here some excerpts:

Om Yoga
This sacred syllable is spelled out either as Om or Aum, but It is usually written in the ideogrammatic forms: or

It is most important in repeating Om to pronounce the O correctly. It should be pronounced with a long O.
Om is also considered to be formed of the three letters a, u, and m
In Sanskrit, when a and u are combined they produce the sound of o. However, this only applies to verbal speech. In mental “speaking” we make the pure sound of o, not a and u together. So the inner Om is only two letters, not three.
Om should be intoned giving full value to both the O and the M.
1) Sit upright, comfortable and relaxed.
2) Breathe naturally.
3) Gently and without any strain turn your eyes upward as though looking at a point far distant. Then gently close them - do not squeeze them tight.
4) Be aware of your breath naturally (automatically) flowing in and out as you breathe through your nose.
5) Now begin mentally (do not make a sound!) intoning (“singing” on a single note) Om once throughout each inhalation and once throughout each exhalation. Fit the intonations to the breath-not the breath to the intonations. If the breath is short, then the intonation should be short. If the breath is long, then the intonation should be long. Make sure the O and the M get approximately “equal time”.
6) For the rest of your meditation time keep on intoning Om in this manner - in time with the breath - listening to your inner intonations of Om. This enables you to enter effortlessly into the Witness Consciousness that is your finite spirit within the Infinite Spirit that is God.
“Amazingly Om can become a silent sound.”
7) In time your inner mental intonations of Om may change to a more mellow or softer form, even to an inner whispering, but Om is always fully present and effective. Your intonations may even become silent, like a soundless “mouthing” of Om, yet you will still be intoning Om in your intention. Amazingly Om can become a silent sound, as you can experience for yourself. But of this be sure: Om never ceases. Never.
8) In the same way you will find that your breath will also become more subtle and refined, and slow down. Sometimes your breath can become so light that it almost seems as though you are not breathing at all. At such times you may perceive that your inhaling and exhaling are more like a magnetic pull in and out instead of actual breath movements. This occurs as the prana that produces the breath switches back and forth in polarity from positive to negative.
9) In Om Yoga we do not deliberately concentrate on any particular point of the body such as the “third eye,” as we want the subtle energies of Om to be free to manifest themselves as is best at the moment.
10) Thoughts, impressions, memories, inner sensations, and suchlike may also arise during meditation. Be calmly aware of all these things in a detached and objective manner, but keep your attention centered in your intonations of Om in time with your breath. Do not let your attention become centered on or caught up in any inner or outer phenomena. Om can also produce peace, awareness and quiet joy in your mind as well as soothing radiations of energy in the physical and subtle bodies. Be calmly aware of all these things in a detached and objective manner-they are part of the transforming work of Om, and are perfectly all right - but keep your attention centered in your intonations of Om in time with your breath. Even though something feels very right or good when it occurs, it should not be forced or hung on to. The sum and substance of it all is this: It is not the experience we are after, but the effect.
12) Remember: Om Yoga meditation basically consists of three things: a) sitting with the eyes turned up and then closed; b) being aware of our breath as it moves in and out, and c) mentally intoning Om in time with the breathing and listening to those mental intonations - all in a relaxed and easeful manner, without strain.
13) At the end of your meditation time, keep on intoning Om in time with your breath as you go about your various activities. Since you cannot keep your eyes turned up outside meditation, as much as is possible or practical try to keep a general awareness of the “thousand-petalled lotus” of the brain all the time, feeling that the breath and Om are taking place there. In this way you can keep “near” the Chidakasha state you experience in meditation.
Om Yoga is simple and easy because it goes directly to the root of our bondage which is a single (and therefore simple) thing: loss of awareness.
The eyes have a definite esoteric effect on the mind and its subtle energies as well as the polarization of those energies. When the eyes are turned down, they lead into subconscious experiences, especially when they are closed, and even into the sleep state. When the eyes are held straight ahead, they keep us alert and aware of our surroundings, even if the eyes are closed, and confine our awareness to the ordinary conscious state. When the eyes are turned up, they begin transferring our awareness into the levels of superconsciousness. For when the eyes are turned up, the thousand-petalled lotus of the brain, the Sahasrara, begins to open and become active.
Meditating with upturned eyes causes the subtle mental energies that pervade the body to begin moving upward into the higher centers of perception in the brain and its astral and causal counterparts.
You will find that on occasion you may even experience that the subtle breath is taking place within the area of the eyebrows or the forehead.
it may help to think of looking upward into the sky
Anyone who understands the theory of mantra yoga and the relation of vibration with consciousness should be able to see that there is nothing inherently impossible in the idea of a mystic syllable possessing such a power.
We must meditate on the Self-not on external deities or symbolic forms of psychic states. As Sri Ma Sarada Devi said: “After attaining wisdom one sees that gods and deities are all maya.” (Maya=Matrix)
“When you utter 'Om' it travels not only all around the earth but throughout all space and eternity”-so said Paramhansa Yogananda. Thoughts do not cease the moment they pass from the conscious mind. They spread out around us, into our aura, the subtle field of biomagnetic and mental energies around our physical body, and then on into the surrounding creation, ultimately extending to the farthest reaches of the cosmos and then returning and striking back into our aura and mind. This is the process of mental karma. By continually doing repetition and meditation of Om, we set up a continuous current of spiritual vibration that in time becomes a perpetual inflow of higher consciousness as it returns to us after having extended throughout creation and benefited all things and all beings therein. In this way we create the highest form of spiritual karma, uplifting and divinizing both ourselves and all that exists.

A final word
All the theory and eulogy in the world regarding a meditation practice mean virtually nothing. But practice is everything. In meditation more than anything I know, practice certainly does Make Perfect. Meditation produces steady growth if there is steady practice. And the practice is so marvelously simple.
Om Yoga is the means by which we answer for ourselves the prayer:
Lead me from the unreal to the Real.
Lead me from darkness to the Light.
Lead me from death to Immortality.

Om in the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and Yoga Sutras
Swami Nirmalananda Giri
Here some excerpts:

Only a fraction of the world’s population is formally imprisoned, but the entire human race is imprisoned in the body and the earth itself. None are free from the inevitability of sickness, age, and death, however free of them they may be at the moment.

Our real self, the spirit, is ever perfect and free. But we have forgotten that.

Eternal Truth in its purity is found in twelve basic texts of the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, being a digest and exposition of the upanishadic philosophy with emphasis on its practical application.

Although Om is to be found in each upanishad, at least as part of the opening and closing mantras of blessing, eight of them have sections dealing with Om Itself. Here some basic statements from the Upanishads.

Om is "the Primeval Being."

Only chant Om to obtain fulfillment of their desires-especially the desire for divine knowledge.
"Speech [vak] and life force [prana] are joined together in the syllable Om.

Prana means the Universal Life Force which is incarnate in every living being in the form of the five pranas (Sinne?) that support all the functions of living organisms. Om is more than sound, It is Life Itself.

Om is not only the seed of omniscience and omnipresence, It is also the seed of omnipotence.

Since our soul is always breathing Om, by intoning Om we put ourselves in tune with the very wellspring of our existence, linking up with our inmost consciousness.

Om lifts us beyond the sphere of cause and effect and sets us free.

Om is both transcendent and immanent. In which ever plane we wish to abide, Om is the basis, the illuminator, the key to comprehension and mastery.

From the original Sound, Om, all things have come into manifestation as Its extension-embodiments. Everything that has ever existed, now exists, or shall exist, is the expansion of Om. Om is all-embracing Eternity, containing and transcending past, present, and future. There is nothing but Om. That being true, the upanishad then says: "The Self [atman] is of the nature of the Syllable Om... Thus the Syllable Om is the very Self. He who knows It thus enters the Self [Supreme Spirit] with his self [individual spirit]." By means of Om, the eternal wave merges into the eternal Sea.

The Great Galactic Central Sun and Death and Liberation

The upanishadic sages had much to say about the great galactic central sun as the source of life.

The great galactic central sun continually vibrates Om according to the upanishads and those who continually intone Om align themselves with its evolutionary energies and greatly quicken their upward development. Having established a profound affinity with the sun through a lifetime of Om meditation, they easily pass upward and through the sun, escaping the compulsion to material rebirth.

the rays of the sun go to both these worlds, this one and that yonder. They start from the yonder sun and enter into the nadis. They start from the nadis and enter into the yonder sun... When a man departs from this body, then he goes upwards by these very rays or he goes up with the thought of Om. As his mind is failing, he goes to the sun. That, verily, is the gateway of the world, an entering in for the knowers

Rebirth occurs because we have not fully realized our divine potential. Om unfolds that potential and thereby frees us.

As milk becomes diluted in water, so the consciousness of the departing soul becomes dispersed and wanders, confused. But this is not so for those who cling even in death to the repetition of Om


The Pranava Manthra - OM
The Meaning and the Significance

The Pranava Manthra "OM" is pronounced as "AUM" with a long vowel sound. "OM" is the comprehensive Universal, holy Sound Symbol and Signifier of the Supreme Infinite Reality. The Universe is said to have been created with the Supreme Reality manifesting first as the Ether or Space of the Pancha Bootham [Five primary Elements] and comes in the form of "Sound" - "Om". It manifests as the totality of existence on four Cosmic and Spiritual planes; Physical, Psychical, Causal or potential and transcendental. Thus OM represents the Supreme Reality and all His manifestations and creations. Sri Ganesha, as God manifesting and represented with the face like an elephant is symbolic of the shape Om and is called "Pranava Swaroopa". " All this Cosmic Universe is the Eternal word Om. Its further explanation is this: the past, the present, the future and everything is just Om. - And whatever transcends the three divisions of time -- that too is just Om. .. -- .. Thus the Word Om is verily the Self [Aathman]. He who knows this, with his self [Jiva], enters the Self [Aathman]. -- [ Maandukya Upanishad ]

"The Goal which all Vedas proclaim, which all austerities and meditations seek and desiring which the sages lead the life of Brahmacharya -- I tell it to thee in brief -- It is Om." -- [ Katha Upanishad ]  

" What is Om, O' Sathyakaama, is verily the Higher or Transcedental Brahmam and the Relative or Personal Creator-God Brahmaa. Therefore the Knower attains either of the two by this means."

" ... Verily, with this Om-kara as the Support, the knower attains what is peaceful, undecaying, immortal, fearless and Supreme - Aathman / Brahmam." -- [ Prasna Upanishad. ] " Pranava - the Mystic sound Om - is the Bow; the soul within, the arrow; and Brahmam, the target. One should hit that mark with an undistracted mind, and like the arrow, become one with It."-- [Mundaka Upanishad.]

" All this Cosmic Universe is the Eternal word Om. Its further explanatyion is this: the past, the present, the future and everything is just Om. - And whatever transcends the three divisions of time -- that too is just Om. .. -- .. Thus the Word Om is verily the Self [Aathman]. He who knows this, with his self [Jiva], enters the Self [Aathman]. -- [ Maandukya Upanishad ]
--- Excerpts from: "Om Gayatri and Sandhya" - by Swami Mukhyananda...

Meaning and Meditation
(A) Om bhur bhuvah swah:
Bhur : the earth, bhuvah : the planets (solar family), swah : the Galaxy.
We observe that when an ordinary fan with a speed of 900 RPM (Rotations Per Minute) moves, it makes noise. Then, one can imagine, what great noise would be created when the galaxies move with a speed of 20,000 miles per second. This is what this portion of the mantra explains that the sound produced due to the fast-moving earth, planets and galaxies is Om. The sound was heard during meditation by Rishi Vishvamitra, who mentioned it to other colleagues. All of them, then unanimously decided to call this sound Om the name of God, because this sound is available in all the three periods of time, hence it is sat (permanent).
Therefore, it was the first ever-revolutionary idea to identify formless God with a specific title (form) called upadhi. Until that time, everybody recognized God as formless and nobody was prepared to accept this new idea. In the Gita also, it is said, "Om ity ekaksharam brahma", meaning that the name of the Supreme is Om, which contains only one syllable (Gita 8.13). This sound Om heard during samadhi was called by all the seers nada-brahma (a very great noise), but not a noise that is normally beyond a specific amplitude and limits of decibels suited to human hearing. Hence the rishis called this sound Udgith musical sound of the above, i.e., heaven. They also noticed that the infinite mass of galaxies moving with a velocity of 20,000 miles/second was generating a kinetic energy = 0.5 MV2 and this was balancing the total energy consumption of the cosmos. Hence they named it Pranavah, which means the body (vapu) or storehouse of energy (prana).
(B) Tat savitur varenyam:
Tat : that (God);savitur : the sun (star); varenyam : worthy of bowing or respect.
Once the form of a person along with the name is known to us, we may locate the specific person. Hence the two titles (upadhi) provide the solid ground to identify the formless God, Vishvamitra suggested. He told us that we could know (realize) the unknowable formless God through the known factors, viz., sound Om and light of suns (stars). A mathematician can solve an equation x2+y2=4; if x=2; then y can be known and so on. An engineer can measure the width of a river even by standing at the riverbank just by drawing a triangle. So was the scientific method, as suggested by Vishvamitra in the mantra in the next portion as under:
(C) Bhargo devasya dheemahi:
Bhargo : the light; devasya of the deity; dheemahi : we should meditate.
The rishi instructs us to meditate upon the available form (light of suns) to discover the formless Creator (God). Also he wants us to do japa of the word Om (this is understood in the Mantra).
This is how the sage wants us to proceed, but there is a great problem to realise it, as the human mind is so shaky and restless that without the grace of the Supreme (Brahman) it cannot be controlled. Hence Vishvamitra suggests the way to pray Him as under:
(D) Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat:
Dhiyo : intellect; yo : who; nah : we all; prachodayat : guide to right direction.
O God! Deploy our intellect on the right path.
Full scientific interpretation of Gãyatri Mantra:
The three worlds of our existence, here, around and beyond, as the earth (bhur), the planets (bhuvah), and the galaxies (swah) are moving at a very great velocity, the sound produced is Om, (the name of formless God.) That God (tat), who manifests Himself in the form of light of suns (savitur) is worthy of bowing/respect (varenyam). We all, therefore, should meditate (dheemahi) upon the light (bhargo) of that deity (devasya) and also do chanting of Om. May He (yo) guide in right direction (prachodayat) our (nah) intellect (dhiyo).
So we notice that the important points hinted in the mantra are:
(1) The total kinetic energy generated by the movement of galaxies acts as umbrella and balances the total energy consumption of the cosmos. Hence it was named as the Pranavah (body of energy). This is equal to 0.5MV2 (Mass of galaxies x Velocity2).
(2) Realizing the great importance of the syllable Om, the other later date religions adopted this word with a slight change in accent, viz., amen and ameen.
(3) The Formless God could be realized through the saguna (gross) upasana (method) by:
(a) Chanting the name of the supreme as Om and
(b) Meditating upon the light emitted by stars.
Om as Goddess
We have seen that according to various writers Om or Amm was the holy one whose name in India it was a sacrilege to pronounce. It was the eternal sun, or the Great Mother. As this word stands also for "tribe or people,” it seems to mean, too, that which binds, holds, or endures.
As Om or Amm signifies the Great Mother, so An or On means the Great Father. Concerning the word Amm-On, therefore:
"The association of the words signifying mother and father indicates that it is to such conjunction we must refer creative power

Am-Un, Am-On, An-Ubis, Om-An, An-K, An-U are all words containing one or more of the various syllables.

Kailash mountain (like other mountains and places too) is associated with the Center of the Universe through which axis the World Creation is passing. Above the mountain the world of sages is situated (Big Bear), and the World of Eternal Truth is located above the Polar Star. All words are encircled with Divine cover, and spheres of water, fire, air and mind are located around it. The World ends with a substance which is a source of all existing things and phenomena. All worlds, from the lowest to the highest ones, are rotating around the axis which goes through the mountain and Polar Star.

An Om-Phalos is an altar like, round shaped stone like the Yoni-Lingam that marks the axis
Seeking the unstruck sound
Ancient teachings and modern science agree: you, I, all living things, all things in existence are made up at their most essential level of vibrating, pulsing energy.
For millennia, mystics have recounted their experience of this energy, which is said to manifest in our hearing awareness as a humming vibration around and within everything else.
In the Sanskrit tradition, this sound is called "Anahata Nada," the "Unstruck Sound." Literally, this means "the sound that is not made by two things striking together." The point of this particular distinction is that all ordinary audible sounds are made by at least two elements: bow and string; drum and stick; two vocal cords; two lips against the mouthpiece of the trumpet; the double reed of the oboe; waves against the shore; wind against the leaves. All sounds within our range of hearing are created by things visible or invisible, striking each other or vibrating together, creating pulsing waves of air molecules which our ears and brain interpret as sound.
So, sound that is not made of two things striking together is the sound of primal energy, the sound of the universe itself. Joseph Campbell likens this unstruck vibration to the humming of an electrical transformer, or the (to our ears) unheard hummings of atoms and molecules.
And the ancients say that the audible sound which most resembles this unstruck sound is the syllable OM. Tradition has it that this ancient mantra is composed of four elements: the first three are vocal sounds: A, U, and M. The fourth sound, unheard, is the silence which begins and ends the audible sound, the silence which surrounds it.
There are several traditional and allegorical interpretations of this ancient sound.
One ancient tradition of AUM
The lovliest explanation of OM is found within the ancient Vedic and Sanskrit traditions. We can read about AUM in the marvelous Manduka Upanishad, which explains the four elements of AUM as an allegory of the four planes of consciousness.
"A" (pronounced "AH" as in "father") resonates in the center of the mouth. It represents normal waking consciousness, in which subject and object exist as separate entities. This is the level of mechanics, science, logical reason, the lower three chakras. Matter exists on a gross level, is stable and slow to change.
Then the sound "U" (pronounced as in "who") transfers the sense of vibration to the back of the mouth, and shifts the allegory to the level of dream consciousness. Here, object and subject become intertwined in awareness. Both are contained within us. Matter becomes subtle, more fluid, rapidly changing. This is the realm of dreams, divinities, imagination, the inner world.
"M" is the third element, humming with lips gently closed. This sound resonates forward in the mouth and buzzes throughout the head. (Try it.) This sound represents the realm of deep, dreamless sleep. There is neither observing subject nor observed object. All are one, and nothing. Only pure consciousness exists, unseen, pristine, latent, covered with darkness. This is the cosmic night, the interval between cycles of creation, the womb of the divine Mother.
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The Yoga of AUM
It might be said that the ultimate aim of Yoga is to enter this third dreamless realm while awake. Yoga means "yoke" or "join." Through yoga we "join" our waking consciousness to its "source" in the world of pure, qualitiless unconsciousness.
Which brings us to the fourth sound of AUM, the primal "unstruck" sound within the silence at the end of the sacred syllable. In fact, the word "silence" itself can be understood only in reference to "sound." We hear this silence best when listening to sound, any sound at all, without interpreting or judging the sound. Listening fully, openly, without preconceptions or expectations. The sound of music, the sound of the city, the sound of the wind in the forest. All can give us the opportunity to follow the path of sound into the awareness of the sound behind the sound.
When one really "listens" to this silent sound, this unstruck vibration, one comes inevitably to stillness, to pure and open existence. The poet Gerhart Hauptmann says the aim of all poetry is "to let the Word be heard resounding behind words." The sound behind the sound. And, in making the sound of AUM, we hear this unstruck sound most clearly in the instant when the last humming vibrations of the "M" fade away. At that moment, that instant separating audible sound and silence, the veil is thinnest, and our listening awareness is most expansive.
At that moment of silence, to use William Blake's words, the "doors of perception" are cleansed, and "everything would appear to man as it is, infinite."

Another way to make the AUM sound
One of my favorite exercises with the sacred AUM sound involves a more modern interpretation of its elements. In short: "A" is the sound of infinite expanding energy in the universe, the energy of unity consciousness and Divine Love; "U" is the sound of that very energy manifesting and materializing in our waking reality; with the sound of "M" we absorb and integrate that energy into our own being. In the silence after the sound we give thanks and allow the process to resonate within us.
Try this: stand comfortably, feet shoulder width apart, hands and arms hanging easily at your sides. Prepare to make the "AUM" sound, all three vowels in one seamless breath. Inhale gently, easily, expanding into your belly as you breathe. Open your mouth fully as you inhale, as if to "inhale" the "A" sound itself, creating the intention of the sound before the sound actually begins.
Then, as you begin to make the "A" sound, raise your arms out to the side, as if opening to embrace all the universe. Than as your voice transitions seamlessly to the "U" sound, extend your arms to the front, as if to hold something precious and powerful in your hands. You might wish to visualize some shape, round and energetic, manifesting between the palms of your hands. Then, gliding from "U" to the "M" sound, bring your hands, and whatever they may contain, to your heart center. Finally, in the echo of the silence, bring your palms to your chest, pressing them lovingly to your heart. Breathe gently.
Repeat this exercise several times. It is remarkably centering and relaxing.

Find your own way
The most important aspect of this second form of AUM is the combination of sound and movement. It really doesn't matter what "images" you create in your mind as you do this exercise, or what specific significance you choose to attribute to each of the individual vowel sounds. The mere fact that you are intoning this ancient sound, and combining it with gentle intuitive movements of the upper body, will have a naturally gentle and balancing effect on your body, mind, emotions, and spirit.
In that state, we can best hear the the Anahata Nada, the unstruck sound behind the sound, the very Sound of the Self.
- David Gordon
Copyright David Gordon 2002 All rights reserved
If you choose to experiment with this sound for your own meditation and realizations, be sure to resonate the word (long o……m….) in the deepest range of your vocal register, with a single breath. Elongate the o with an open mouth and then vibrate the m through closed lips. Keep the repetition of the sound even in duration, breathing in between soundings. After doing this exercise for 10 minutes or so, you may wish to transform the OM to AUM (ah…ewe…m…) and note the effect after 10 more minutes. It also is helpful to visualize the symbol for OM while doing this, either with eyes closed or by looking at the symbol during a wide-eyed meditation. See the symbol as a "seed” with each OM-AUM it grows inside you…until you become the OM-AUM.
Happy realizations!

In Oneness,
Kythera Ann
Aum is all-inclusive, it contains all within it.
Aum is the indivisible existence. -Osho Rajneesh

Conscience is one churning stick, AUM is another, and by these two - constant churning by these two - an inner fire is created. That fire burns all the causes of bondage, and man becomes freedom - not free, but freedom. -Osho Rajneesh

'Aum' is a symbol for all that cannot be said. There is no meaning to the word 'aum' it is without a meaning. 'Aum' has no meaning whatsoever, it is only a sound. It simply has no meaning, and that is its greatness and significance. -Osho Rajneesh

Aum is a very delicate sound. One of the most nonviolent sounds is Aum. -Osho Rajneesh

The sound 'Aum' is the deepest sound, the most harmonious, the most basic. When you are totally silent and the mind has dissolved and the thoughts disappeared, when the ego has ceased, then you hear the sound of aum - it is soundless sound. No one is creating it, it is there. It is the very existential sound; it is how existence happens to be just a humming sound of existence. -Osho Rajneesh

The word aum is very symbolic. First, this word aum consists of three sounds: a, u, m. These three sounds are the basic sounds; all the sounds are created out of them. All the languages, all the words, are created out of these three sounds; a, u, m. And this is not a myth, now phonetics agrees that these are the basic root sounds. And the word aum is meaningless, it is simply a combination of all the three basic sounds. Aum is a way, it is a mantra, a path, to combine all the sounds in three, to first reduce all the sounds to three - and then aum becomes the door
for the one. -Osho Rajneesh

Omni is a derivation from the Hindu word aum. Aum is the symbol of the universe. Omnipotent means one who knows all, one who is all-powerful omnipresent means one who is everywhere present - present in the aum, seeing the aum, powerful like the aum. -Osho Rajneesh

The Upanishads have divided the layers of our bodies into five parts. What is visible on the outside is the annamay body. Hidden behind it is the pranamay body - what scientists in the West call bioenergy. The East called it prana; it is an energy body. It is the second layer within this physical body. Behind it is the manomay body, the body of mind, of psychic energy.
Behind the mind there is one more body called the vigyanamay body. This we call consciousness, that capacity of knowing.
Behind that the Upanishads accept one more body, which they call the nandamay body, the bliss body. Those glimpses of happiness, which we occasionally feel in life, are the happenings in our bliss body. -Osho Rajneesh
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