AUM (Om) is one of the most chanted sound symbols in India. It has a profound effect on the body and mind of the one who chants and also on the surroundings. Most mantras and vedic prayers start with Aum. All auspicious actions begin with it.
Aumkar chanting is a pranayam-meditation technique to rejuvenate and vitalise body'sdefence systems. It is based on ancient Yoga system developed by sage Patanjali around 2,500 years ago in his Yoga sutra based on the principles interpreted in Mandukya Upanishada. The Aumkar chanting technique in association with or without yogic practices is used by many as a supportive therapy in their fight against cancer, cardiac problem and other chronic ailments. Aumkar triggers the mind'sprocess by way of its sound resonance and chain reaction of positive vibrations for the body'sself healing mechanism.
Aum is therefore not only a sacred sound but also has boundless energy. Human body consists of three major systems: limbs of action ? hands and feet, assimilation and breathing ? abdomen and chest and the thinking instrument ? brain and spinal column. The vibrations of ?A? relax the limbs, starting its first feeling in the naval; it represents the waking state, Vaishvanara. ?U? vibrations in the chest region gain control over desires and emotions; it is the dreaming state, Tejasa or vitality of the mental body; high pitch vibrations ?M? stay in the throat and head; it is the deep-sleep state, Turia and the vibrations of the combination Aum stimulate the brain centres and start a journey from gross to the subtle vibrations to the tiniest body matter; it represents super-consciousness, Turiya. Quantum mechanics states that the speeds at subtle level are faster than any measurable speed. At the gross level our perception is the product of our organs and actions of understanding. As we go to subtle levels, understanding is reduced to a mere indefinite mass forming the gateway to definite cognitions. In the last state, Sadhaka (seeker) passes beyond the senses and intellect or beyond the cycle of birth and death and attains the stage of Samadhi (Union with God).
The Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi are the limbs of Ashtang Yoga sutras of sage Patanjali like that of Asanas and Pranayama. Sadhaka should practice Aumkar chanting technique at one place preferably in the morning in one sitting posture (Padmasan, Vajrasan or Sukhasan) One should keep atmosphere pleasant and himself stable. Then remembering one'sown favourite deity, he should start uttering Aumkar sound any number of times daily. The main aim behind the study is to divert and concentrate the mind on the vibrations caused by the saying of the sound. If one fails to achieve concentration, he should do prayer of his choice. The study of Dhyana is not simple and Sadhaka may like to learn the technique from Guru (expert) to achieve the desirable result.
There are thousands of books on Dhyana. Hinduism itself talks about 20 different levels of consciousness or mental stages. By meditation one enters a state of mind with no thoughts. Transcendental meditation by Maharshi Mahesh Yogi is essentially Mantra Yoga. The meditation baby? Pranayama or Hamsa is the easiest of all types. During Dhyana the body gets relaxed and the change in the electrical waves of the brain takes place. The doctors throughout the world are conducting a lot of experiments on the results of Dhyana but so far nobody has come up with anything except research with Electroencephalograph (EEG) indicated that Dhyana makes alpha waves and sometimes even theta and delta waves, the fastest of all brain waves being beta. The alpha waves really rocked the scientific community and it resulted in the development of the bio-feedback therapy. The scientists around the world are doing a lot of experiments on yogis and we can only hope that one day they may discover very valuable points about Dhyana.
Shrikrishna Marathe of Mumbai explains in his book titled, Aum Energisation, how he overcame his two decade old incurable, Addision'sdisease after his contacting Vivekanand Kendra and VKYOGAS, Bangalore. He was off his medicines including cortisones. Simple yogic kriyas, asanas, pranayama, Aum meditation and pranic energisation made him healthier day by day and cured him mysteriously within six months.
Recently the popular periodical Science published a report that the Chief of Research and Experimental Institute of Neuro-Sciences Prof J Morgan through seven years of research noticed successful improvements on the thousands of heart and brain patients who were asked to chant Aumkar that has probably created positive vibrations on stomach, chest and brain and new cells and nerves were either created or old ones got rejuvenated.
The holy Vedas begin with Aum and describe as Pranava; Sikhs, Christians and Moslems describe it as Ek-Aumkar, Amen, and Ameen respectively. Aum is written in different ways in different places. The most common form symbolises Lord Ganesha. The other forms are as indicated in the sketches. Aum tat sat (that is real).
(Author is a former Project Management consultant for local and abroad construction. He can be contacted at 11 sameepan, Bamanwada, Sahar Vile Parle (E), Mumbai 400 099; and e-mail: [email protected])