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OM

 

Mantras are tools for thinking—worshiping and meditating on mantras shapes the mind and makes it pure.

 

The greatest of these is OM, mother of all sounds. Composed of the elements A,U,M—signifying the creation, preservation, and dissolution of the world—OM is the manifestation of bindu, the creative impulse of the cosmos. OM is the source of all  mantras and seed syllables.

 

OM is described in the Mandukya Upanisad as the best, the highest, and the most wonderful of all sounds. It stands for both change and changelessness. Its components are A,U,M. A represents the waking state. U is the sound made between the opening and closing of the mouth; it symbolizes the dream state. M is the third sound, made with the lips shut; it is the state of deep sleep. The silence which follows is the consummation of the syllable’s power—peaceful, unified, and unutterable. When pronounced together they recreate the alpha and omega of existence. OM is the seed character of the universe.

 

Some realize the unity of Brahman-Atman in OM while others find in it the nonduality of Buddha-nature; yet OM itself retains its position as a symbol of supreme liberation, beyond words and concepts. OM is the ultimate word of affirmation and should be spoken and written with confidence.

 

John Stevens, Sacred Calligraphy of the East, Shambhala, 1981

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Mysticism Of Tibet

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