Many Sanskrit texts from India recommend chanting Om daily. In Hinduism, it is believed that Om is a sacred sound. It is the essence of Brahman, meaning life, and Atman, meaning consciousness.
Om can be chanted independently as a self-sustaining mantra. It can be chanted as a prefix to other essential mantras.
The Om mantra is a primordial sound and so, it is also known as the Shabda-Brahman, meaning the ultimate reality decrypted in sound.
The Om sound is also illustrated with the Om symbol. This symbol is also found whenever the word is mentioned in Sanskrit.
The symbol is a composite of five symbols: four curves and one circle or point.
The four curves represent the different states of consciousness. The circle/point represents the greatest version of self.
The upper curve represents the state of deep sleep or the unconscious state. The lower curve represents the waking state of consciousness.
This is when we use all our five senses.
The third curve stems from the common point of the waking and sleeping states. This represents the state of dreaming where you are neither unconscious nor awake.
The detached semicircle forms the fourth curve. It represents ‘Maya‘, which means the illusion of life. It sits between the consciousness and the circle that represents Samadhi.
The circle of Samadhi is a representation of the absolute truth. It is the purest form of self and divinity.
The symbol of Om can be seen in the beginning and end of chapters of the Vedas, the Upanishads, and other Hindu scriptures.
Om is chanted at every ceremony and ritual in Hindu tradition including weddings, housewarming, and even funerals.