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Pranavam - The cosmic sound ( s1: e2 )

Updated: 2 days ago

‘Omkar’ stands as the essence and embodiment of this universal system (Brahman). It is also known as ‘Pranavam’ which implies ‘prakarshena navam’ (always or ever new)



 cosmic sound

There are two approaches adopted in contemplating the meaning of ‘Omkar’ which are Samastha (com prehensive) and Vystha (component based). Under the Samastha approach ‘Om’ is taken as a phrase and its meaning is explained. In Vyastha approach the syllables of the word are dissected and its distinct meaning is analyzed. In the former approach, ‘Om’ is explained through the phrase ‘Omithyedaksharam brahma’, ‘Om’ repre- sents brahma. Similarly Bhramam is remembered through phrases such as ‘Om tat sat iti nirteso bhrama thrivid am’, ‘Om’, ‘tat’, and ‘sat’. In the second approach ‘Om’ is analysed into separate syllables such as A-U-M, and the meaning of each of the syllables are interpreted. Mandukya Upanishad, mentions about both these approaches of interpreting ‘Omkar’.


If the meaning of ‘Om’ is interpreted and analysed as ever new as implied by ‘prakarshena navam’ it can be realized that while it reflects the three states of consciousness jagrat (awake state), swapna (dream state), and susupti (deep sleep state), it also signifies the state of ultimate reality that ever exists beyond these states.


‘Omkar’ is properly recited by engaging the neck, upper palate and the lips. In Patanjala Yoga Sutras, Sage Patanjali Maharishi, clearly states that ‘Pranavam’ when practiced with total absorption, and with proper understanding of its meaning, will enable the Sadhak (practitioner) to overcome obstacles in Yoga (Chita vikshepa) - The cosmic sound.

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