Om is not a word but rather an intonation (spoken pitch), which, like music, transcends all barriers of age, race, culture and even species. It is made up of three Sanskrit letters, aa, au, and ma which, when combined together, make the sound Aum or Om.
It is believed to be the basic sound of the world and to contain all other sounds. It is a mantra or prayer in itself. If repeated with the correct it resonates throughout the body so that the sound penetrates to the center of one's being, the Atman or soul.
This mantra represents the three most important triads in Hinduism:
• Three worlds - earth, atmosphere, and heaven
• Three major Hindu gods - Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva
• Three sacred Vedic scriptures - Rig, Yajur, and Sama
When we chant Om, we create within ourselves a vibration that attunes us with the cosmic vibration, and we start to think universally. The silence we feel between each chant creates a profound connection, which ultimately ceases the sound where there is no thought and the mind and the intellect are transcended to the infinite self of realization. This is the power of Om.
“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 & through our breath, awareness & consciousness we find divinity:” BKS Iyengar