The vibration of ‘Aum’ symbolises the manifestation of God in form (saguna brahman). ‘Aum’ is the reflection of the absolute reality, it is said to be “Adi Anadi”, without beginning or the end and embracing all that exists. The mantra ‘Aum’ is the name of God, the vibration of the Supreme. When taken letter by letter, A-U-M represents the divine energy (Shakti) united in its three elementary aspects: Bhrahma Shakti (creation), Vishnu Shakti (preservation) and Shiva Shakti (liberation, and/or destruction).
The most poetic explanation of ‘Aum’ is found within the ancient Vedic and Sanskrit traditions.
“A” (pronounced 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. 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.
Photo: Zuzana Zwiebel – Hindu Temple wall in Varanasi
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