Most of us have heard the word “AUM” or more popularly known as “OM”, but do we know what it really means ? Why it is considered the most sacred sound in Eastern religions ? Why is it chanted in meditation ?The answers can be found in Mandukya Upanishad, which are shortest of the Upanishads, the scriptures of Hindu Vedanta consisting of twelve verses written around 800BC. Aum is said to be the essence of all mantras and Vedas, the highest of all mantras or divine words, symbolizing the infinite Brahman (the Ultimate and the Absolute) and the entire universe.
A stands for Creation, representing Brahma
U stands for Preservation, representing Vishnu
M stands for destruction of dissolution, representing Shiva
Aum stands for the Supreme Reality. It is the symbol of what was, what is, and what shall be. It also represents what lies beyond past, present and future.The Upanishads explain that “AUM” has four states of consciousness:Vaishvanara: the waking state, consciousness with senses turned outwards, awareness of the external world.Tijasa: the dreaming state, consciousness with the senses turned inwards.
Prajna: deep sleep, consciousness with no mind, no dreams and no desires, the source and end of all.
Turiya – super consciousness, beyond the senses and the intellect, represented by AUM.
To sum it up on one sentence, AUM is the primordial vibration of the consciousness which created the universe.