For a long time now I have this question in the back of my mind…..what does OM mean? What is the significance of this innocuous word. I have read books, articles, have had conversations with a range of people but I have always been unsatisfied with the answer. I tried reading the gita, mahabharta and other books on hinduism but could never really complete them. Then a few days back I came across the following the other day and then then meaning was a little clearer.
Krishna to Arjun upon being asked to describe himself
I am their beginning, their being, their end;
I am the mind of the senses,
I am the radiant sun among lights;
I am the song in sacred lore;
I am the king of deities;
I am the priest of great seers;
Of words, I am the eternal OM,
the prayer of sacrifices.
WOW!! OK I take back what I said earlier. I am beginning to SEE the beginning of the meaning of OM. OM encapsulates everything. It encapsulates life; It encapsulates death. It is the beginning and the end. Read the rest and you will see what I mean : –
leader of celestial musicians.
I am the recluse philosopher among saints.
I am the thunderbolt among weapons,
among cattle, the Kamadhenu.
I am the procreative god of love.
I am the endless cosmic serpent,
the lord of all sea creatures;
I am the chief of the ancestral fathers.
I am gracious Shiva among howling storms.
Of restraints, I am death,
Of measures, I am time.
I am the purifying wind.
I am the cleansing Ganga.
Of sciences, I am the science of the self;
I am the dispute of orators.
I am victory and resolve,
the lucidity of lucid men.
I am the brilliance of fiery heroes.
I am the morality of ambitious men;
I am the silence of the mystery
I am the seed of all creatures,
I am the death destroyer of all.
Isn’t that amazing? OM is not a word, it’s a feeling. Whatever you feel at this moment or have felt or are going to feel is – OM. OM is everywhere around us. I had always equated OM to a religious connotation but how wrong I was. It equates to love, life and death.