Monday, February 06, 2012

Why do we chant Om?




Radhekrishna to one and all,

In our previous post, we have seen the references of Om in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Let us continue the same in this post.

Even though chanting of OM as a mantra by itself is advocated in the above sutras, it is common to use OM in conjunction with other mantras. In some cases, it is added at the beginning of a shloka ; for example – "OM namo shivaya, OM bhur, bhuvah, svaha" etc. In other cases it is also added at the end of a phrase – e.g., Hari OM. Most of the mantras in the vedas also start with OM. In the spiritual tradition, those who wish to meditate on a regular basis get a personal mantra from their spiritual teacher. This personal mantra may or may not include OM as a part of the mantra.

How to chant OM

As Patanjali states in sutra 1.28, OM should be chanted keeping its meaning and significance in mind. Since OM is the representative sound and symbol for Ishvara, it is important to keep the essence of Ishvara (sutra 1.24) in mind while chanting OM.

Other names for OM

In some of the Upanishads, OM is referred to as ‘udgita’ (the uplifting chant) or ‘Omkara’. In Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and in some Upanishads it is mentioned as ‘Pranava’. Patanjali mentions it as a ‘vachaka’ or the representative symbol for Ishvara (the Lord). Other words used for OM include ‘taraka’ (the one that helps us cross the ocean of this perishable life), ‘akshara’ (indestructible or imperishable), and the Brahman (supreme consciousness) in sound form called ‘Shabda Brahman.

In our next post, let us know the technique of chanting Om.

…to be continued

Section II: Information about Indian herbs

In this post, let us know about Nayebooti or Nah.

  • It’s a small herb with thin branches and leaves having a bitter taste
  • It’s a specific for continuous fevers and tuberculosis
  • It’s used in conjunction with Gooda Booti

That concludes our post for the fortnight. Till the next post on 22nd February, keep on chanting the Radhekrishna namam and enjoy the supreme bliss.

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam



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