“OM” AND “WORD”

And when he came up out of the Water, immediately he saw the Heavens opened and the Spirit Descending upon him like a dove; And a voice came from heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son; with Thee I am well pleased.” Mark 1: 10-11 From a spiritual perspective, the object of meditation is more important than the process. If developing concentration were the only goal of meditation, we could focus our mind on any attractive object. Yogic literature is full of stories about mediators who gained enormous powers of concentration either by practicing trataka (fixed gazing) or by focusing their mind on an object of their own choice. There is no meditation without concentration. For this a one-pointed mind is important, but determining the direction that our concentrated mind will travel is even more important. Rather, the essence of a mantra is nada (pure, unstuck, eternal sound), what the evangelist John was referring to when he wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Nada contains the entire universe in its unmanifest form. It is the source of all mantras, and it is their true form. As we practice, first we repeat it mentally, and then we begin to hear it. As our practice deepens, the sound of the mantra neither becomes more subtle and silent, until eventually we neither repeats nor hears it, but rejoice inwardly in its soundless sound. This is the most pristine state of the mantra, one that duplicates the original experience of the mantra’s first seer. Om is a case in point. One of the most popular sacred sounds, Om is the seed mantra of universal consciousness. It has been expounded in the Vedas, Upanishads, and throughout Tantric literature. According to the Mandukya Upanishad the three basic constituent sounds of Om are a, u, and m; the third syllable m is followed by the sound of silence. The word which expresses Him is OM. This word must be repeated with meditation upon its meaning. The Rig Veda also says the same thing as St. John says” In the beginning was Brahman, with whom was the word; and the word was truly the supreme Brahman.” Words and ideas are inseparable. You cannot have the idea of God without the word which expresses God. God is the basic fact of the universe, he must be represented by the most basic, the most natural, the most comprehensive of all the sounds. And it is claimed that this sound is OM (or AUM, as it should be properly pronounced). To quote Swami Vivekananda: “ The first letter, A, is the root sound, the key, pronounced without touching any part of the tongue or palate; M represent 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.” OM is almost certainly the most ancient word for God that has come down to us through the ages. It has been used by countless millions of worshipers- always in the most universal sense; implying no special attribute, referring to no one particular deity. If such use can confer sanctity, then “OM” IS THE MOST SACRED WORD OF ALL