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 the conscience in the heart of all creatures;
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 : –

I am the chief of divine sages,
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.

One thought on “OM

  1. headless lucy March 8, 2005 / 4:41 pm


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