omiti Brahma omitīdamsarvam [Tait. Up. – 1.8.1]
Om is Brahman. Om is everything here.
girām asmy ekam akṣaram [BG – 10.25]
Of sound vibrations I am the single syllable (OM)
Aum/Om is pronounced with a nasalized ending, halfway between M and N. The letters comprise a triangle that physically delineate all of the possibilities that could be produced or exist in the universe. This sacred sound encompasses in itself the whole universe, the past, the present and the future and goes beyond the periphery of Time itself.
Beyond being the symbol of Brahman, the Supreme Lord who pervades the whole of existence, it is the very essence of all that is sacred in the Hindu thought or Sanatana Dharma. Aum/Om stands for the whole universe. It is used at the beginning of meditation, at the beginning and end of a prayer, during the practice of Yoga, Hindu rites, and every time when the thought of the Brahman pervades one’s being.
The syllable Aum is the call to knowledge. We sing the praises of this syllable, which is the very key to every kind of knowledge. Let us meditate on this syllable, which is the foundation of all Hindu prayers.
Speech and breath combine to form Aum/Om. Speech and breath are like a couple making love, and Aum/Om is the culmination of their labor, their very own child. Aum/Om is the fulfillment of their desires. The syllable Aum/Om signifies assent, for we say it when we assent to something. And assent is nothing but fulfillment.
Those who know the soul, and those who do not know the soul, stand side by side reciting this syllable. But knowledge and ignorance are quite different. Only when it is recited with knowledge and faith, and with awareness of the hidden connections, does it become truly potent.
The earth emerges from the waters; plants emerge from the earth; human beings emerge from plants; speech comes from human beings; and Aum/Om comes from speech. Aum/Om is the essence of all essences. It is the highest of the high. It is the ultimate. It is the eternal cosmic sound.
Let the sound of the sacred syllable Om/Aum pervade your being and soul. Let it purify your thoughts and action.