Each religion is associated with many symbols. One such symbol that represents Hinduism all across the globe is the Aum Symbol. There are many aspects to this symbol that we will be discussing now. The topic is vast and one article might not be enough to cover the same. However, we will try to cover most of the important aspects of the symbol. The Aum Symbol is depicted like the one shown in the picture enclosed. I am sure you must have seen this Aum Symbol somewhere or the other.
The scripture is devnagiri that is the origin of the Aum Symbol. It is basically a Sanskrit word. It is used in vedas and all our ancient scriptures. It is also given a great importance in Buddhism and Jainism. The syllable is omkara. In Sanskrit it is considered as a word that must be told loudly. This is the literal meaning of the Aum Symbol. It is said before any mantra starts and also used to end the mantra. It is the first letter of all the vedas and also the last letter in them. Whether it is a puja, a sacrifice, a birth ceremony, wedding or a death in the family this symbol is a part of all the rituals. It is said that when you say this word the gods are welcomed to the ceremony.
In the Upanishad a single chapter has been dedicated to the Aum Symbol. The symbol is said to contain three phonemes that signify the beginning, the duration and the end of the universe. These are associated with Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva respectively. The Arya Samaj school of thought says that Aum means I am existence. Each regional language of India has a unique style of writing this symbol. This symbol is found in the Tibetan scripture as well as in Chinese scripture the Aum Symbol can be found. This makes the significance of Aum Symbol even stronger.
The Aum Symbol is aid to have existed even before the universe was created. The utterance of this word leads to the creation of the universe. The Aum Symbol has no beginning and end. It is said to have been existed for thousands of years perhaps always. It is the vibration of the supreme the power we all call god. A-U-M is the combination of all the Shakti that is namely the Vishnu Shakti, Brahma Shakti and shiva Shakti. The religious scriptures also state that not just the Aum Symbol, each and every part of the symbol is equally important. A-kara means shape; it gives form to all that exists. Earth, trees and every other object has a shape. U-kara means shapeless, like the water, the wind, and the fire that don’t have any shape. The last is the Ma-kara means the force that both has shape and is also shapeless. It is the black energy that exists on earth and controls our lives. These are the elements that make earth and the universe. All the three factors are well combined in the word. Interesting that even before all that we know and don’t know came into existence this power was ruling the universe. Perhaps this is the big bang scientists refer to.
The vedas say that having knowledge is fine but someone who knows this word and utters this word on daily basis is in constant touch with the Parmatma. The people with mere mention of this word can get rid of all earthly desires. The Bhagwad Gita clearly states that one who utters Aum Symbol at death will reach the divine power and perhaps get moksha.
Well not only religious scriptures the Aum Symbol get a due mention in yoga too. Until and unless this Aum Symbol is mentioned no yoga is complete. You have to know how to pronounce the Aum Symbol correctly in order to get the desired results in yoga. It is the sound that contains all other sounds and words in it. The sound Aum comes from the stomach. The longer you can hold your breath the stronger the sound will come. Yogis for years practice how to pronounce the Aum Symbol correctly. Once they learn the actual way to utter Aum Symbol they can start learning yoga. Paramhansa Yogananda mentioned about this symbol and it importance from yoga prospective in the books that he wrote.
In Adavita philosophy has a unique way of analysing the Aum Symbol and its importance. It means that whole universe is one. The one who attains moksha can truly understand the essence of the Aum Symbol. It is the ultimate truth that all that we see and know is nothing but one single force. The word Omkara also means singleness. Jainism gives a lot of importance to the Aum Symbol and it is found in most of Jain scriptures and mantras. Even Buddhists use the Aum Symbol in the beginning and end of their mantras. Although the Aum Symbol was used in Chinese and Tibetan scriptures the Aum Symbol that has got its maximum recognition is the Hindu form. The western world recognises Aum Symbol only when they see Hindu Aum Symbol. This truth cannot be denied.
Even in Sikhism there is a reference to the Aum Symbol. It is written differently and means one god. It is pronounced as Ik onkar. Interestingly it is said that Aum Symbol also has its presence in Christianity and the word is Auspice Maria. Perhaps the Aum Symbol has found its well-deserved presence in almost all religion of the world. This proves how important the Aum Symbol must be. However, it still remains to be the symbol that is predominantly associated with Hinduism.
As a day today habit, there are few things that you can do to involve the Aum Symbol in your life. Always try to keep the Aum Symbol at the entrance of your house. In the morning when you wake up utter the Aum thrice in your mind as well as visualise the same. You can repeat the same while you sleep. Ensure that you never wear any dress that has the Aum Symbol. Well exception is when you do puja or any rituals. The Aum Symbol must be respected as much as possible. Many youngsters make tattoo of the Aum Symbol on their body this is very wrong. It is highly not recommended as you are insulting the supreme force by doing so. This will also bring in a lot of negative energy in your life. In your financial books try to write the Aum Symbol first. This will make your finances better. Students can write the Aum Symbol on their exam paper to get better results.