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To ॐ (AUM) or Not to OM?

Ross C

That is the Question…

, more commonly known as OM or AUM, is well-known to yogis and at least familiar to the rest. But what the heck is it?

Is it a symbol? Is it a sound? Is it sacred? Does it mean something? Does it do anything? Well, yes–to all.

ॐ represents an impossible idea, an unfathomable concept, the Sound of Conscious Creation. The best we can do is to seek a better understanding through the experience of creating the vibration. However, there’s something you should know…

If you’re ending the sound with the letter and vibration of ‘m’ you’re missing out! ॐ has been misunderstood by Westerners since it was first heard by the early Orientalists of the Asiatic Society (c. 1910-1925). The purpose of creating the sound in our bodies is to raise our Conscious Vibration. From the smallest cell to the impossible idea of a Conscious/Spirit body, ॐ can touch each and every layer of our Being.

Sound, vibration, and Light are the fundamental building blocks of all Creation. In order to understand this, we tune our own vibration to align with these fundamental elements through sounding ॐ. From the very base, gross, and Earthly foundations of physical form up to the ethereal, subtle, and Conscious realms, ॐ can help us unlock hidden potentials deep from within.

To accomplish this, ॐ must be seen as it is, not as OM or AUM. Remember, OM and AUM are mere translations of a foreign sound. When Westerners like Sir John Woodroffe, aka Arthur Avalon, (The Serpent Power, 1919) first heard yogis making the sound ॐ they visually saw the yogis close their mouths to the sound of ‘m.’ But this is only part of the journey of ॐ…

If you’re wanting to reach the realm of Consciousness, you must allow ॐ to continue its journey upwards, not terminating on the lips, but rising up into the center of the brain and above. To do this, we think of the sound ‘ng.’ There really isn’t an equivalent sound in the English language. However, the best description I’ve received came from my Sanskrit teacher, Christopher Tompkins (Shaiva Yoga). The final sound of ॐ is that of a honey bee contently drunk off nectar. To make the sound, we raise the back of our tongues into the roof of the mouth against the soft pallet and allow the honey bee vibration to reverberate into the center of the brain upwards towards our Conscious/Spirit center, Sahasrara chakra.

ॐ represents seven aspects of all creation (

  1. Vaishvaanara (A) - The manifest, waking, conscious, gross dimension
  2. Unmani (A-U) - The transition between waking and dreaming through sleep
  3. Taijasa (U) - The immaterial, dreaming, unconscious, subtle dimension
  4. Aladani (U-M) - The transition between dreaming and deep sleep
  5. Prajna (M/NG) - The un-manifest, deep sleep, subconscious, causal dimension
  6. Samadhi (M/NG-Silence)- The transition into the place where Observer, observing, and observed collapse into one
  7. Turiya (Silence) - The empty, Consciousness, Absolute, Silent dimension
OM/AUM and the Seven Levels of Consciousness

As you can see, there are 3 States of Consciousness:

  1. (A;1) - Waking, Conscious, Gross
  2. (U;3) - Dreaming, Unconscious, Subtle
  3. (M;5) - Deep Sleep, Subconscious, Causal

3 Transitions:

  1. (A-U;2)
  2. (U-M/NG;4)
  3. (M/NG-Silence;6)

And 1 Unique State of Awareness and Being:

  1. (Silence;7) - Consciousness, Absolute, and Empty or Dissolved

Ok, so let’s bring it back down to Earth. How do we understand this?? Well, think of the ocean. The ocean is made up of an immeasurable number of water molecules. Each molecule of water contributes to the whole ocean. Consider yourself as one of those individual molecules. If you choose, you could remain aware of only your own existence as an individual molecule. Or, you could recognize the molecules within your immediate vicinity. Or, you could begin to see the whole collective of molecules and you as a part of it. Or, you could eventually recognize the entire ocean, made of zillions of individual molecules. Or, finally, you could simply BE an individual molecule of water in an ocean moving with the ebb and flow of Life.

It all depends on your perspective. So many Humans remain aware of only themselves in the Conscious, waking state–never aware of anything more than what is present to their senses, brain, and body. Look closer…dig deeper…expand your perspective!

So, to ॐ or not to AUM/OM? That really is the question…

Do we choose to remain aware of our mere physical existence or do we follow the proverbial rabbit down the hole to discover what is beyond the obvious? Its Your choice–remain a single drop or recognize the deep connection of Consciousness we all share. Either way, sounding ॐ and raising our Conscious Vibration is the best teacher. Learn by Experience!

Peace ॐ

Ross C
RossC = Chaordic Catalytic Curious Creature


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