Aum, the primordial sound of creation

By Anup  Taneja

The initial creative impulses arose as ‘spandan,’ as thought-vibration of the pure Being. The sound that emanated from the vibration was Aum. Sound is, in all creation, the one, powerful principle that widely influences and effectively brings under control all other manifestations. In its transcendental aspect, it is difficult to establish contact with the Supreme Being. However, the nearest approach is sound, also referred to as ‘Aparam Brahmn’, through which the seeker is able to experience oneness with the Supreme Spirit.

According to Swami Vivekananda, Aum is the basis of all sounds. The first letter, A, is the root sound, the key, pronounced without touching any part of the tongue or palate; M represents the last sound in the series, being produced by closed lips, and the U rolls from the very root to the end of the sounding board of the mouth. Thus, Aum represents the whole phenomena of sound production.

Vivekananda says that repetition of a mantra like Aum is the greatest stimulation that can be given to latent spiritual samskaras. The power of association is so great that even a moment of association with the holy is enough for a ship to cross the ocean of worldliness. To quote him: “This repetition of Aum, and thinking of its meaning, is keeping good company in your own mind. Study, and then meditate on what you have studied. Thus light will come to you, the Self will become manifest.”

Through constant repetition of the holy mantra in meditation,  seekers ultimately get connected  with the subtle, divine sound of Aum, the Anahata Naad the unstruck, mystic sound that occurs spontaneously and is not the result of striking or beating certain things. Swami Muktananda, sage of Ganeshpuri, says that Aum is self-begotten and arises by itself out of the upper spaces of sahasrara.  When this ‘naad’ is heard in meditation, the seeker experiences ecstasy.

In the initial stages of meditation, the seeker perceives the red aura that represents the gross, physical body through which the waking state of consciousness is experienced with the aid of five senses of perception. The individual soul in the physical body is seated in the eyes and is known as ‘vishva’, which is represented by ‘A’ – the first letter of Aum, the primordial sound.

As the seeker makes further progress in meditation, he begins to perceive the white flame that represents the subtle or astral body of the size of the thumb. The dream state of consciousness is experienced through the astral body that is represented by ‘U’ – the second letter of Aum. The individual soul in this body is called ‘taijasa’ and is seated in the throat.

The next stage in meditation is marked by the appearance of black light that represents the causal body through which the deep sleep state is experienced.
The individual soul in the causal body is called ‘prajna’ which is seated in the heart and is the size of a fingertip. It is represented by the symbol ‘M’, the third letter of Aum.

Constant hearing of the Divine Sound of Aum in deep meditation leads the seeker to the ultimate goal of yoga, the supra-causal state, wherein he experiences bliss of the eternal blue of Consciousness. In this state, the seeker’s ego gets completely dissolved in the Light of the Self.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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