Appreciating OM: The Sound of the Universe
By: April Carson
"What we think, we become." - Buddha
The first sound we hear is the mantra "OM." It's been a part of our lives for so long, but what does it really mean? The true value behind this powerful sound lies in understanding its meaning and how you can use that knowledge to help yourself.
The Origin of the Universe According to Sound
The Hindu scripture, Vedanta says that the big bang is actually a om and not just one occurrence. If it stopped for even microsecond there would be no universe as we know it. The creation comes from pure consciousness which underlies all existence constantly unfolding in your experience of life.
Science tells us science can explain how everything started but vedas also teaches about another way where nothing happened so instead something else happens such as energy manifesting into matter or same thing happening with time travel.
Imagine, if you can, a time before the universe existed. Imagine Pure Consciousness as an eternal silence filled with potential and possibilities that's not just empty but full of something: pure consciousness itself! At some point this field made up solely by its own being decided it wanted to experience itself but there wasn’t anything else for them so they had no choice but move within themselves in order do so-as all experiences stem from contrast after all.
Eventually through moving around on their own two feet inside oneself came about what we today know as thoughts or ideas which was really just Pure Consciousness splitting itself up into different bubbles of it's own being, each one containing a unique perspective from which this new playground could be seen.
Now, movement produces friction, and friction generates noise, so Pure Consciousness emerged a sound. However, since Pure Consciousness is silent by definition, this sound had to be forced out of the silence and became conditioned consciousness. The Universe in which we live is called OM (conditioned consciousness), which was created when God heard himself think.
Sound Waves of God
Everything that exists has a sound. The Vedas say that god/creation is nothing but eternal energy in motion or vibration. It's the movement of this energy which creates waves and forms our universe. These vibrations are the basis of all creation, so by simply observing your breath you can tune into them and experience their eternal flow.
The idea that the world was created out of nothing by God is also essential to Islam, Christianity, and Judaism—and there are many references to a god creating the Universe with sound (words). When God said, "Let there be light," it was through His words that He created the world. John's Gospel states, "The Word (sound) was made flesh and dwelt amongst us."
The Four States of consciousness:
The waking state, in which our senses are directed outward, indicates mastery of our senses and leads to fulfillment of all ambitions and greatness.
The “dream state,” where we direct our senses inward. By grasping this knowledge, we can control our dreams and achieve wisdom; as a result, everyone born into our family is more completely Brahman (highly evolved).
The “deep sleep,” a state in which the mind is tranquil and there is no awareness of external or internal objects. All things merge into ourselves when we comprehend this.
The fourth state described in the Mandukya Upanishad is known as Turiya, which we know as Transcendental Consciousness. This state is the source of all knowledge and greatness. This ability to tap into a higher level of self-awareness is what allows for enlightenment, or moksha (liberation), which is the final goal of yoga (Hindu philosophy).
Chanting the Mantra (OM)
As OM is the sound of the Universe, we cannot create it by chanting. Rather than making a conformed chant with our own voices and rhythms to what already exists within us-the vibration sympathetic or like minded as that which comes from all points in space at once (Om). It’s not about how many times you repeat “om" but rather establishing connection between yourself an Supreme Reality manifesting itself through sound waves into vibrations known as " Om."
One way of chanting OM is in its separate form. In one breath, chant "Aaaa—Uooo-Mmm," and then pause for silence after each sound ends on both levels: waking/dreaming deliriums merging into the Oneness that exists between Absolute."
Check out Billy's new Meditation Monday podcast to learn more about OM! He discusses Primordial OM Meditation in this episode. I've included a link to the YouTube video below. Enjoy!
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