{hinduloka} $title={Table of Content} Om Cosmic Sound

There are four types of waves; sound waves, echo waves, oscillating waves, and transcendental waves. Om̐ mantra all these waves. Om̐  is a combination of the three sounds 'A', 'U' and 'M'. 'A' creates sound waves, 'U' waves echo, and 'M' waves oscillate. The fourth wave, transcendental and beyond the senses of hearing or speech, is created by meditating on Om̐ in the center of the heart.

When transcending the external sensory world, one becomes aware of high-frequency waves that have no rest. Ordinary waves have a period of rest. When chanting the Om̐ mantra, it begins and ends. Beginning and ending are periods of rest for sound waves. But when it goes beyond the mind, it comes to high sound frequencies that have no rest.
The first three sound waves belong to the three dimensions of human consciousness and are interconnected. 'A' represents waking consciousness or feeling, 'U' dreaming or sub-consciousness, and 'M' deep or unconscious sleep. The fourth wave represents the infinite dimension of consciousness which is beyond the mind and senses. Therefore, we can say that Om̐ has four bases: the sensual world, the mental world, the terrestrial world, and the supreme state.

Om creative power

According to the  Vedas,  Om̐ is the highest and first mantra. It has no name or form, and is considered the creative force of the universal mind. The concept of the universal mind is very difficult for us to understand. In scripture it is called  hiranyagarbha  which is compared to egg.

In the center of this egg is the ultimate point from which the sound originates. Nada  literally means sound, but here it refers to the highest point of resonance. This point is the transcendental point where Om̐'s voice is an unmanifested form. There is no vibration, no rhythm, no waves, and everything seems completely silent and potential. It could be imagined as complete inactivity.

At the opposite pole of this universal egg are forces known as space and time . Space is a positive energy force and time is negative. When producing the Om̐ mantra by mouth or chanting it in the realm of the mind, these two psychic powers reach a state of polarity and attempt to project themselves to the core. When union occurs, there is an explosion of power, resulting in the entire universal creation. Therefore, the Om̐ mantra represents the creative force, the center where time and space unite, and where the infinity is divided into many infinities.

The Om̐ ( mantra is written in a certain way. It consists of four curves, there is a  crescent  accompanied by a  bindu  or point . Bindu is the center or focal point of Om̐. Each curve represents infinity in a different aspect of time, space, object, and transcendence. Because of this, Om̐ has other powers known as  prakriti  or nature, as well as spiritual powers.

Yogis meditate on this symbol of Om̐ to develop spiritual and mental powers within themselves. There are two manifestations of this energy; one is fulfillment that is included in the material field; the other is transcendence which belongs to the spiritual realm. Om̐ is a very powerful spell for transcendence purposes.

Tantra  describes the primum sound of AUM as pure vibration ( spanda ), without cause and the source of all sounds and vibrations. They explain the origin of ancient sounds such as  dhvani, nada , and the subtle alphabet called  matrika  and their relationship to  Siva  and  Shakti .

Tantra Shārada Tilaka The source of all sounds is bindu (dot) which has three constituent parts, namely  nada  (smooth sound),  bija  (seed) and  bindu  (dot). Nada  has the predominance of Shiva consciousness,  bindu  has the predominance of energy or  Shakti,  while  bija  contains both in equal parts.

The Kirana Tantra  describes AUM as divine itself, which resides in Shiva's throat and which is the root of all mantras and also the source of all speech ( vacuum ).

The Amrita-bindu Upanishad  distinguishes between the audible Om̐ ( svara ) and the audible OM (asvara ) which is inaudible, which is not seen in the conscious world but can be seen in the subtle planes in the deeper realms of meditation. Om that can be heard is mortal ( kshara ), while that which is subtle is impermanent ( akshara ). Only by contemplating the latter is it possible to attain a state of equanimity and experience oneness with God.

Amrita-nada-bindu Upanishad describes Om̐ as a chariot to reach the Absolute. By chanting the sacred sound, apart from the first three letters of AUM, one enters a subtle state through the last letter M which is also bindu (seed or focal point). Withdrawing the senses, practicing breath control, sitting on the ground, free from defects and guarding ourselves from harmful thoughts, we have to focus fully on Om̐ and contemplate on it. Om̐ should not be exhaled as it has the ability to purify and remove blemishes.

The Nada-bindu Upanishad  describes AUM as a resounding buzzing sound ( Vairaja Praṇava) , which has four parts through which one can attain the inner sound ( nada) in the right ear. When heard, all external sounds disappear and one can hear various subtle sounds where one becomes videhamukta (liberated from the body).

Hamsa Upanishad, the tone manifests itself as ten distinct sounds, which are heard by experts and yogis in the subtle fields in the progressive stages of their spiritual progress. Hearing them is a sure sign of success on the road. These sounds are cini, cini-cini, bells, conch, harp, cymbals, flutes, kettle drums, tabor and thunder clap. Of these only the latter should be cultivated. Different physical symptoms are said to arise in the mind and body when these sounds are heard, such as shaking of the head and a sweet taste in the mouth. When at last the last-mentioned sound (thunder clap) is heard, one becomes identical with the transcendental Self (  Brahmins).). Tantric shastras recognize AUM as a seed mantra (bija) and suggest its association with the mantras and names of  Siva, Shakti , and other deities to increase their potency and vibration and speed up the process of purification and self-realization. Some of the famous and powerful spells used in conjunction with Aum as a prefix are mentioned below.

Om namah Sivayah
Om namo bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Ganesaya namah or Om namoh Ganesaya
Om namo Pundarikakshaya
Om srimatre namah
Om sat-cit-ekam-brahma
Om Durgaih namah

The Chandogya Upanishad  suggests, in narrative form, the best way to meditate on the Udgītha  to stabilize the mind. It begins with how the devas try various methods in vain to contemplate the udgītha  and how they are plagued with victory in various ways by the demons, until the devas find the proper method of contemplating it as breath.
When the gods began to meditate in this way, the demons tried to disturb them and were instantly crushed as if they had hit a hard rock.

To dispel any doubt, we may have the true meaning of  udgītha:
Heaven ( dyaur ) is  ut , atmosphere (antarisksham ) is  gi , and earth ( prithvi ) is tha . The sun is  utgi  air and fire is  thaSamaveda  is  utYajurveda is gi  and  Rigveda  is  tha . The Upanishads  clearly state that udgītha  is Aum and Aum is udgītha . The Maha-nirvana tantra  talks about the importance of  soham  or  hamsa  

, which is used in meditation and chanting as a means for self-realization. The two words represent the ultimate reality hidden in manifest creation and contain both masculine and feminine aspects of creation, namely Siva and Shakti , which are represented by the sounds " ham " and " sa ", respectively.
Hamsa  means swan and also "I am He". This is equated with natural breathing sounds because our natural breathing sounds are very similar to the sound of a hamsa.

When chanted repeatedly haṁsa  (I am He) sounds like sohaṁ  (He is I) or vice versa. It is thus said that by breathing naturally every living being is unconscious and spontaneous, one of the most powerful mantras in the world, which is considered the  Praṇava  itself. Through the breath, all beings continuously worship God, remind themselves of their true nature and relationship with God and identify themselves with Him, even though they may or may not be aware of it at all.

Atharva-sikha Upanishad suggest that meditation should be done on one letter OM because that in itself is a mantra for meditation. Its four legs are the four devas and the four Vedas while the syllable itself is the same as  the Brahmans  (Supreme Realities). It is stated, "The five gods Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Ishwara and Shiva should be worshiped in the form of Praṇava (Aa + Uu + Ma + half voice + Bindu.)"

AUM is known as " Praṇava " because it makes everyone submit before that and as Oṃkāra  because it sends a stream of life force upward. The Upanishads  identify the constituent sounds of the syllable Aum with Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, and Brahman, and explain their symbolism in the following way.

  • Voice A: symbolizes earth, hymn (ric), Rigveda, Brahma, eight gods known as Vasu, sacred Gayatri mantra, fire garhyapatya, red color and dedicated to Brahma.
  • U sound: refers to the atmosphere (antariksha), the sacrificial formula known as Yajus, Yajurveda, the god Vishnu, the god of the atmosphere known as Rudras, trishtbhu meter, dakshina fire, brightness, and is dedicated to Rudra.
  • M sound symbolizes heaven, sacred chanting saman, Samaveda, god Vishnu, 12 sun gods known as Adityas, meter Jagati, fire ahavaniya, black color and dedicated to Vishnu.

The half part of the M sound that is sounded when chanting AUM is described as the chant of  Atharvana, Atharvaveda,  universal fire of destruction, wind god known as Marut, universal Virat, universal lightning, like lightning, multicolored and dedicated to Brahman or Purusha.

The Dhyana-bindu Upanishad , which describes the chanting of the  hamsa  as the  Gayatri ajapa.

Om̐ in the Gayatri Mantra

Oṁ Bhur Bhuvah Svah
Tat Savitur Varanyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat

Of each syllable  Gayatri , is a symbol of spiritual awareness in man. This consciousness has three stages - the time when it is just awakening, when it is fully mature, and when it enters the eternal space. The sunrise at dawn symbolizes spiritual life, and the sunset at night symbolizes total material consciousness. When there is no sun, there is no light, this is the dark night of the soul according to the sacred text on  Shivaratri, the dark night of  Shiva, for Hindus.

Gayatri should be practiced at sunrise. After many years it can be mentally repeated, but at first it must be sung loudly. Being a Vedic mantra, the chanting is controlled by a certain accent, not like chanting a Sanskrit mantra. According to the Hindu system, those who are pure vegetarians should practice  Gayatri  with  tulsi mala,  and those who are not vegetarians should practice Rudraksha mala. For the practice of  Gayatri , there are no restrictions regarding diet, drinking or marital status. The only limitation was having to receive a spell from a teacher. 

Gayatri Practice is the path to spiritual regulation. It has a strong and simultaneous effect on the body, mind, senses and spiritual life. Whenever you practice the  Gayatri Mantra , one should concentrate on the form of Om̐, the symbol of the four dimensions of human existence - consciousness, sub-consciousness, unconsciousness, and super-consciousness.

Gayatri  and Om̐ are both strong, but Gayatri's action is    not as fast as Om's. Gayatri is  meant for common people and the reason is clear. Human consciousness simultaneously exists in seven different areas. The purpose of the mantra is to transcend the first three realms - physical, mental and astral. This means that the 'I' does not exist only in this physical form.

Then there are the three spiritual planes or higher which are followed by the highest states.

When a human can evolve, he transcends every body, until he arrives at the seventh level. However, people who are unable to cope with their psychic or emotional situation, will find this transcendence quite problematic. Everyone does not want to go beyond, and even if one wants to, he may not qualify for himself.

Transcendence without illuminating the first three realms is a very impractical affair. Different states of human intelligence are reflected as necessities in our daily life. Recognition, perception, recapitulation, and many other forms of intelligence must be developed before attempting transcendence. Vedas very clear in their concept. They say that one must transcend material consciousness, but they put a condition; one should transcend material consciousness only after one has developed it.

The entire evolution goes through three distinct stages. The lowest is  tamas guna , inertia and potential energy. Above that is  rajas guna , a manifestation of dynamism. This is followed by  sattva guna,  knowledge, light and balance in the forces of creation.

If the individual outgrows prematurely, his evolution stagnates. Therefore, they have a very clear concept. Ego must be separated from  tamas guna . Potential energy must be dynamic and real.

When this happens, one has desire, lust, imagination, cognition, feeling, happiness, unhappiness, fear, insecurity; he knows a lot of things. There is a panorama of total action, five sense organs, motor organs, all aspects of  prana , all levels of elements, talking together on the playground as if all the players have come to play in a football match.

Nothing potential, nothing in seed condition. Full expression of cognition. The senses and motor organs are given complete freedom of expression. The mind can think endlessly and without limits. When this full expression occurs, evolution is at the point of rajo guna. In this moment, if one tries to transcend, it has relevance and meaning.

Therefore, Om̐ is considered appropriate only for some people, not for everyone. But  Gayatri is   meant to be public because its aim is to create a process of expression, to illuminate the different levels of human consciousness.

Consciousness was in complete darkness, as if it was like the middle of the night. From that dark night, dawn comes, and inner vision, perception or inner awareness begins to take place.

This is the concept of  Gayatri . Therefore, Hindus teach this mantra to their children at the age of 7, 8 or 9 years; Previously, they were not allowed to practice it.

When they have fulfilled all the obligations and desires of life, when some kind of aversion arises in their minds, they stop the  Gayatri Mantra   and start practicing Om̐. The Om̐ mantra is for yogis, because it is a shortcut to the fulfillment of spiritual transcendence.

Om̐ is the Nada Brahman, the Cosmic Sound of the Universe.

Tone is sound. Sound is vibration. Om̐ is the first sound vibration. Sound is the first manifestation of the Absolute. The scriptures have tried to tell us all about creation, how it proceeds from the Absolute. 

Brahman is one and not double. He thinks, 'Let me be many.' It causes vibrations, eventually producing sound, and that sound is Om̐, from which all other manifestations arise.

So sound is actually the comprehensible basis for all creation. Brahman cannot be understood in its transcendent aspect. The closest approach to It is just sound.

All objects are represented by sound, and all sounds combine in Om̐kara. All utterances or words end in one sound Om̐. 

Om̐ is the basis of the bija mantra. Om̐ consists of three letters, A, U, and M. A, U, M cover the entire range of sound-vibrations. The larynx and palate are the soundboard. When pronouncing A, no part of the tongue or palate is touched. When you say U, the sound goes from the root to the end of the mouth soundboard. M is the last sound produced by closing the lips. Therefore, all sounds are centered in Om̐.

The essence of the four Vedas is Om̐. Om̐ is the source or womb of the scriptures. Om̐ presents one truth which is  Brahman.  There is no worship without Om̐. Nature is in Om, dissolves in Om and lives in Om.

Haṁsa and Soham

Haṁsa  means swan. Haṁsa is  formed from the two words  haṁ  and  sa . It is also pronounced as  haṁsaḥ . In this case, the two words are  haṁ  and  saḥ .

This mantra symbolizes the union of  Siva  and  Sakti  and His strength. This mantra also represents the breathing pattern. Haṁ  represents the in-breath of  prāṇa  and  saḥ  represents the out-breath of  prāṇa . For a person, the normal respiratory rate per day is 21,600 times.

The rate of breathing is directly related to purity of mind. When the rate of breathing slows down, the mind attains purity. So  haṁsaḥ  represents the normal breathing pattern. This is known as the  haṁsa mantra , which the  mahāvākya utter “Tat-tvam-asi”  (I am That or I am  Brahman  or  ivoham).

Haṁ  represents  aham  (I) and  saḥ  represents That ( Brahman ). This mantra is considered the highest mantra for meditation, as it is aligned with one's breath.

If  haṁ  and  saḥ are  reversed, the  Kundalini is  awakened . We have seen above that  haṁ  represents the exhalation of  prāṇa  and  saḥ  represents the inhalation of  prāṇa . If this was reversed it would be  sohaṁ .

Some practitioners reverse this mantra and the mantra is called So'ham  - we will hear  hmmm on inhalation and sigh sa  on exhalation.

So'ham  on inhalation means "He is I" and  Hamsa  on exhalation means "I am He". This is called the ajapa mantra.

Chanting a barely audible incantation with every breath, could feel the energy moving within. Close your eyes and notice how the energy state is changed as you inhale and exhale. Experiment by hearing ham  on inhalation and sa  on exhalation. It would be ideal to visualize this breathing pattern in a  suṣumna , and simultaneously concentrate on the tip of the nose.

If one attains perfection in mantra haṁsa , he becomes a conscious yogi. He enters the sixth stage of consciousness known as  unmanī  (beyond the mind). The  Uttaragta  states:
  • .
  • तीर्थयात्रादिगमनं यावतत्त्वं न विन्दति.
anantakarmaśaucaṁ ca japo yamastathaiva ca |
tīrthayātrādigamanaṁ yāvatattvaṁ na vindati ||
For such a person, no purification ritual, no japa, no mantra, no sacrificial ceremony, no pilgrimage etc. is required, because Brahman does not require any ritual, because He (it is) pure forever. A practitioner has reached this stage by dissolving his mind into intelligence, intelligence into ego, ego into individual consciousness and individual consciousness into Brahman. This is also known as absorption. The individual self or soul is limited by the antaḥkaraṇa and once the antaḥkaraṇa is dissolved, the māyā disappears, revealing the Brahman within.

Only the suffering mind considers the individual self distinct from  Brahman . Such a yogi does not worship form. He is one who remains in the state of  unman , when his mind, knowledge, and ego are completely dissolved and remains absorbed forever in It.

If the above feels energizing or calming to you, then try reversing it: listen for sa  on inhaling and ham  on exhalation. Does this change the feeling of being energetic? Many teachers will claim that the  hamsa is  energizing and the  so'ham is  relaxed, calm or relaxed.
When doing  so'ham , the energy goes down. When doing  ham'sa , energy goes up.
The hamsa mantra is also practiced as a Hong-Sau technique is the Bengali pronunciation of the Sanskrit mantra. Of course, we are all different. We need to experiment and discover which forms of hamsa breathing   are energizing, and which forms are calming. After knowing, then ready to use this tool in practice.

Shortness  hamsa  can be useful when we need a quick energy boost, and breath in the opposite might be ideal for relaxing.

Now that we know how to stimulate or calm our inner energy, let's explore how we can direct this energy.

Breath and Prana

Prana Yoga is one of the most important Yoga traditions and an integral part of the worship of Shiva, which represents the supreme eternal Prana with pure consciousness that transcends time, space and karma.

Shiva and Prana Unity

Shiva is the unitary prana behind the dualistic movement of the breath as inhalation and exhalation or the dualistic movement of the mind through attraction and repulsion.
To attainhigher Shiva Prana , we must first balance the ordinary duality of prana , energy and emotion within us. This is not an easy task and requires us to develop the powers of concentration, mindfulness and detachment relative to the body, senses and mind.  This

unitary prana flows in a state of balance and peace, calm and demand. If we can merge into that unitary prana, we can go beyond the breath, that is, beyond life and death. Pranathe unity of Shiva is the prana behind the breath.

The breath of oneness Shiva pervades all space and light. This is the basis of universal life. This is the breath of Brahman and the breath of Consciousness.

The Sound of Breath as the Voice of Shiva 

The breath reflects   certain cosmic sounds that are connected to certain letters of the alphabet. The most important of the pranic sounds are S- sounds and H - sounds which have a hiss-type or air-type quality, such as the yoga mantra Prana  So' Ham

Inhaling as an energy image reflects the mantra. While exhaling and releasing energy marks the Ham spell . So denotes receptive or lunar energy, whereas Ham represents projective or solar energy. So'ham is also a Shiva mantra.

Yogis work to balance the flow of So'ham within. This can be done in two main ways. The first is to expand this natural energy with Jadi as inhalation and Ham as inhalation . The second is to reverse this energy with Ham as inhalation and Sa as inhalation .

So'ham's approach reflects the nurturing energy of the moon. Hamsa's approach reflects the purifying energy of the sun. Both have a place in the practice of Yoga. Shiva is not only So'ham but also Hamsa .

Once the inhalation and exhalation are balanced, they become drawn into inner peace. Then these same sounds " Hamsa  So' Ham " continue to echo in the spine and sushumna as the natural sounds of the Self, So'ham "He is I," and Ham Sa , "I am He," referring to the Yang. Most High. Self. These sounds can also develop intoShiva'ham , "I am Shiva." This is the inner flow of the non-dualistic breath, which is the breath of Shiva.

Yoga Practice on Shiva Prana

There are many yogic traditions connected with Lord Shiva. They are reflected in several Yoga practices.

Nadi Shodhana
Alternate nostril breathing is the main practice to balance the pranic energy within us. It can be used to balance the right and left or sun and moon pulses, as well as the Agni and Soma energies in the body as a whole or in different chakras. Use the Ham spell   to breathe in through the right nostril and  Sa  or to breathe in through the left.

Hamsa So'ham Pranayama
Since Shiva is prana , the natural sound of breath is Shiva's name. Follow natural breath sounds like  Hamsa  or  Soham  , "He is I" or "I am He" (referring to the nature of Shiva). Or just  Shivaham or I am Shiva.  Hamsa  more sun and So'ham more moon in energy. The same mantra can be used to restrain Prana in Sushumna. Hamsa Soham's internal chant while meditating in silence and keeping awareness in the spine.

Yoga Nidra
It consists of attracting to our inner core prana and Shiva consciousness or state which holds all knowledge and all power. This is the main practice of Pratyahara . This requires that we incorporate our senses and thoughts into our prana which is drawn into the hridaya or spiritual heart. This is the level of practice of Yoga Nidrawhich goes much deeper than what is usually taught today by name.

Witness the Breath and Prana 
By consciously observing the breath, one moves into the state which is the eternal witness beyond the breath. One enters into the power of oneness of consciousness which transcends birth and death, breath and breathlessness. Learn to recognize inner awareness as the breath behind the breath. You're not breathing. It is the body and lungs that breathe. You are the consciousness and energy behind the breath and are not limited to fluctuations.

Finally we can merge into Shiva as Lord conquering sorrow, death and rebirth, either through devotional surrender or acknowledgment of the Supreme Shiva or the Supreme Self as our true nature.

Details about Om̐ and Gayatri are covered in the book
Darsana Oneness