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Om - AUM

“Om is the sound of the universe symbolizing absolute reality. It is heard all around us in the movement of the leaves, the waves of the ocean & the stillness of the moon. Chanting Aum connects us with the universe and through our breath, awareness, and consciousness we find divinity. ” BKS Iyengar

Many students ask why many yoga classes begin with the chanting of three Oms. Om is the most sacred Hindu Mantra (a sound or word having spiritual power). It is composed of the three sounds A-U-M representing three important triads in Hinduism: the three parts of the world: earth, atmosphere, and heaven, the three sacred Vedic scriptures: Rig, Yajur and Sama, and the three major Hindu Gods; Brahma created the world and creatures, Vishnu is the Preserver of the universe and Shiva is the destroyer in order to re-create.

BRAHMA is the "father of all" is recognized as the creator god. He is rarely depicted and is not worshiped as other gods because he has already fulfilled his duty and will not be called upon do anything until the next creation cycle.

VISHNU is the Preserver and maintains order in the universe. Whenever destructive forces threaten to overwhelm the world, he descends in the form of an avatar to restore moral order. He is associated with the right action and the upholder of all Hindu values.

Shiva is regarded as the destroyer, Preserver, and creator because he completes the Hindu cosmological cycle ushering in the return of creation. His destruction and recreation powers are seen to destroy the illusions and imperfections of this world, creating change.

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