OM symbol on beach

The OM Symbol

Ever wonder why most yoga classes start by chanting OM (AUM)? The OM sound takes us straight to the highest consciousness, the highest awareness — the highest vibration.

OM is a special mantra, a sacred sound formula, for creating oneness and harmony. When we chant OM, or it’s cousin, Au-men, we create feelings of peacefulness and calm in all the cells of the body, at the vibratory level. It’s like yogic Xanax.

OM extended out becomes A-U-M, which has the same harmonizing effect, but with greater force and prana (cosmic energy). The extended AUM (A-U-M) is rich in symbolism. It’s one word representing the beginning, middle and the end of this universe (“In the beginning was the Word…”).

In addition,

Ahhhhhh represents the waking state, where we spend most of our time.

Uuuuuuu — the dream state, where we enter the astral realm, and

Mmmmm —  the deep sleep state — where the soul can rest.

OM/AUM is the most important mantra and the source of all other mantras. It takes us straight to the highest consciousness, the highest awareness —  the highest vibration.

It’s often used as a prefix for other mantras. Chanting OM first makes other mantras more effective, like the peace mantra, OM Shanti Shanti Shanti.

Mantra for the Third Eye

In the energy (astral) body, OM is the mantra for the sixth chakra, the third eye, the eye of intuition. It pulls the energy up from the lower chakras to the top of the head, the crown chakra, (sahasrara).

OM is the vibration of the higher Self, the divinity within us all.

It’s is the cosmic sound, the primal sound of the Universe, the sound of  Yes!

Book Cover Mantra Meditation

Yet OM is just the beginning. To OM, we add a family of mantras, essential for healing and higher consciousness — mantras like Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu — May All Beings Be Happy and Free, and Asato Ma Satgamaya — Lead us From the Unreal to the Real, and the Gayatri, a mantric meditation on the spiritual Light.

Over time, Sanskrit chanting leads to feelings of contentment, oneness, happiness, joy and connection. These good feelings, these positive emotions, are the very goals of Yoga and Ayurveda.

More? Book Mantra Meditation: An Alternative Treatment for Anxiety and Depression — now available on Amazon.

Books, blogs and online courses available at

Harrison Graves MD and Alex

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