The Om symbol meaning has a very powerful significance in Hindu and Asian cultures. It is widely believed that when the universe was created out of nothingness, the first sound that was emitted was “Om” or “Aum.”
Today, Om finds its importance in religious festivals. If you truly wish to know the significance behind this small but extraordinary word, then keep reading below!
Om Symbol Meaning
To put it simply, “Om” is the ultimate truth or the true meaning of the Universe. The symbol is also an important one, which consists of a dot and a semicircle.
Here, the dot represents the highest level of consciousness, and the semicircle is the obstacle that stops people from achieving ultimate consciousness.
The bottom curve of the symbol represents A, or the waking state. The middle curve represents U or the dream state. And the upper curve symbolizes M, or the state of deep sleep.
So, what are the other symbolic meanings? Let’s find out!
1. The beginning of the Universe
As already mentioned, the word Om has been there since the beginning of time. When the universe was first formed, it is said that it emitted a sound consisting of the three letters “A,” “U,” and “M.”
In Sanskrit, the letters “A” and “U” merge together to form “O,” and that is where “OM” comes from. It symbolizes that this mantra has been present ever since the universe first began.
2. The three greatest gods
In the word “AUM,” the first syllable or “A” represents Brahma or creation. The second syllable, “U,” represents Vishnu or preservation of the universe. Finally, “M” symbolizes Shiva or the time when the universe will be destroyed.
Since Om is related to the birth and death of the universe, it also symbolizes timelessness.
Science says that the universe was formed nearly 14 billion years ago, but many religions believe that there have been many universes before the present one.
Similarly, there shall be many universes being formed after the death of the current universe. Therefore, Om will keep ringing forever.
4. Inner strength
Hindus believe that chanting Om by keeping your mind free of any thoughts is one of the most powerful ways to improve your inner spirit. Countless sages have chanted Om repeatedly to cleanse themselves of any negative energy.
If you, too, chant Om while doing yoga or with any pure intention on your mind, you will notice an instant change in your willpower and conscience.
5. The union of three energies
Just as there are three great gods in the Hindu scriptures, there are also three great energies residing in each human being.
These energies are those of the mind, body, and spirit. Om is said to symbolize the union of these three powerful energy levels.
If you believe in the power of Om, you will see that your mind, body, and spirit have all aligned themselves into one great energy.
6. Thought, speech, action
In the modern context, Om also represents our daily activities and how we can improve ourselves in terms of thought, speech, and action.
Hindu spiritual leaders say that each syllable represents each characteristic. Therefore, you must always have pure and positive thoughts about yourself and others. These thoughts should be manifested in the form of selfless and pure speech and action.
7. Union with god
Chanting Om is also a way to get closer to the Supreme Being, or the Ruler of the Universe. Hindus say that there is a Supreme Being that has no form, gender, or any physical characteristic.
However, you can always feel their power and energy around you. But when you sit down in a quiet place and chant Om, your energy aligns with that of the Supreme Being, and you both become one.
If you’re interested in improving your life and understanding your true purpose, then understanding the meaning of Om can be a great starting place.
Since this sound was emitted during the formation of the universe, it is older than anything else that we have ever known.
Therefore, believing in such an old and powerful mantra will show you why you are doing the things that you do.
9. Vishnu’s energy
Vaishnavites, or followers of Lord Vishnu, believe that Om signifies the merging of three powerful energies associated with the Lord.
The first syllable represents Lord Vishnu, the second represents his wife, Goddess Lakshmi, and the third syllable stands for the worshiper of Vishnu and Lakshmi,
Thus, all three are bonded together in a cosmic connection throughout the devotee’s life.
10. Shiva’s energy
The Shiva lingam is the most common symbol of Lord Shiva. It is said to represent his seed or the cosmic egg.
Shaivites, or worshippers of Lord Shiva, believe that the lingam is where the universe was born. As a result, the chant of Om also originated from there. This is why Shaivites draw the Om symbol on the Shiva lingam as a mark of respect and endless devotion.
Other Symbols of Om
These are some of the most common symbolic meanings of Om. However, this symbol has also been used in a variety of other places, including literature, art, and even some different beliefs. Let’s see where Om finds importance today!
1. In Buddhism
You might be surprised to know that Buddhists also strongly believe in the power of Om. Buddhists say that Om represents compassion and connection to cosmic power.
When one is compassionate, one sees the world with different eyes. They wish to help people and reach closer to God. Their good deeds and kindness form an unbreakable connection with the Supreme Being.
2. In Jainism
Om has also found a special place in Jainism. Here, Om represents the first five lines of the Namokar mantra, which is the most important daily prayer of the Jains.
This prayer honors the Pancha-Paramesthi, or the five supreme beings of ancient India. It is also said to enrich the mind and body.
3. In Sikhism
In Sikhism, Om is used more as a phrase than a single word. Sikhs believe in the saying “Ik Onkar,” which literally translates to “One Om.”
This means that there is only one ruler of the universe, who is the most powerful and supreme of all energies. Since Sikhism believes in the unity of all people under a common belief, it also emphasizes that there is only one God.
4. In Sanskrit texts
The Om syllable was first mentioned in the Upanishads and forms the entire subject matter of the Mandukya Upanishad. Even in the ancient Vedic texts, Om has been used as a powerful tool for meditation.
In the Aranyaka and Brahmana layers of these texts, Om is said to encompass the whole of the Vedas. These scriptures have also suggested that Om translates to a universe beyond the sun.
5. In South-Asian countries
In many South-Asian countries such as Cambodia and Thailand, Om is seen as a path to nirvana or the ultimate form of release.
You can also find many Southeast Asians sporting Om tattoos because they believe in its power. For example, it can be seen in the flags of Thong Chom Klao flag of King Rama IV of Siam and on the flag of the royal arms flag of Cambodia.
6. In Japan
The term “Aun” is often used in Japanese to signify a harmonious relationship that primarily consists of nonverbal communication.
The Japanese believe that the most beautiful and profound things in life can only be felt and not spoken out loud.
Therefore, Aun, a close replacement of Aum or Om, is a feeling that can only be experienced through your mind and soul.
7. In Thelema
Thelema is a form of occult and Western esoteric religion founded in the 1900s. Even here, there is a great importance of Om.
Aleister Crowley, the founder of Thelema, added the letters GN after AUM, making it AUMGN. This particular word has a numerological value of 93, which is said to be an important number in Thelema and is related to divine consciousness.
8. In modern beliefs
In your daily life, you might find a lot of people writing a small Om on top of their examination papers or other important documents. This is because they believe that Om possesses good luck and fortune.
Even before starting any important chapter of their lives, many people often write Om. However, it’s important to first understand its power before simply writing it down somewhere.
9. In Music
Om is often used not just as a chant but also in many devotional songs. When Om is coupled with lyrics praising gods and goddesses, the energy vibrating through each lyric of these devotional songs can be really powerful.
It has been used in almost every verse of the songs written in the Vedas. Even after so many years, people compose songs that surround Om.
10. In painting
Om is also used in paintings to help people meditate. If you’re meditating for the very first time, you might find it a little difficult to concentrate on just one thing or to keep your mind blank. This is why a painting of Om helps you to refocus.
Moreover, it also creates a certain kind of resonance within you that will help you to understand your true potential and purpose.
A word from TheMindFool
So, dear reader, these are some of the most important meanings behind Om. Even though the word might seem very small, never forget the immense power that it carries.
And if you feel helpless and need some motivation, chanting this word can bring wonders to your life!
Surabhi has a deep passion for words. She puts her heart and mind into whatever she pursues and craves for creative ventures. She has always been keen on creating original content that can make a difference. In her experience as a content writer, she has had the opportunity to work on several fields with Psychology being her favorite. Surabhi says, words have the power to transform the world, better than a sword. So she hopes to contribute her bit to this revolution. At TheMindFool, she feels lucky to have the opportunity to share content capable of bringing about a change in the lives of the readers.