OM: the Origin of all Mantras

The first sound that came after the Creation of the Universe is said to be the syllable OM.
This sound concentrate in itself all the energies that come into play in the Creation of the universe and in its evolution. Its symbol is the OMKARA (see the image); we will give you a more detailed description of this primordial symbol and its origin in a next lesson.

OMKARA or OMIn general, we will call mantra a sound, a word or a sentence capable to give a direct benefit to our energetic system. Mantra derives from the Sanskrit manana that means to meditate. When we utter a mantra during our meditation, we can immediately perceive the positive effect on our chakras and improve the quality of our meditation as well.
Mantras are generally know in Sanskrit language, but we are also going to use affirmations in our language (just like we have done during the Self Realization); these affirmations evoke the subtle principle of our chakras, that are consequently stimulated to restore them.

The syllable OM is formed by 3 basic sounds: A, U, M.
A is the potential energy of the left channel or Ida Nadi; U is the energy of the right channel or Pingala Nadi; while M is the energy of the central channel or Sushumna Nadi. So we can use these sounds singularly to work directly on one of the channels, or we can combine them.
You can practice this mantra at the beginning of your meditation to bring peace and silence inside you.
You can witness the change in your vibratory state, before and after the mantra to see the difference. So, first rise your Kundalini and give yourself a bandhan (see the lesson How to start meditation), put your hands over your lap and then check your vibrations on them; see what you feel on your fingertips: cool, heat, heaviness, lightness, etc. Practice one or all the OM exercises and then check your vibrations again. Remember that the cool breeze and lightness denote the state of balance.

Important note: a mantra should not be uttered again and again for many times, it is not necessary or even harmful (as you can spoil your fifth chakra, the Vishuddhi chakra). It is better to utter it few times and with pure attention. In particular, when we utter Sanskrit mantras (included the OM) we must remember that those sounds are the phonetization of vibrations, so the better we utter them, the more they are effective on our chakras. Anyway, even if your pronounce is not perfect, your should not worry, again it is our attention, our dedication and respect for our sacredness to be the most important thing.

In this lesson we are starting with the practice of the mantra OM. We will show you some exercises that you can practice as you prefer during your meditation. As we said, before practicing mantra, just like when you start your meditation, rise your Kundalini and give yourself a bandhan (see the lesson How to start meditation).

Exercises

Chiudete gli occhi o teneteli aperti a seconda di come vi sentite meglio. Sedetevi comodi ma con la schiena dritta in modo di essere liberi di respirare e pronunciare ogni suono nel miglior modo possibile. Quando pronunciate la A, cercate di tenere la bocca ben aperta, in modo che venga fuori un suono chiaro. Ogni volta che pronunciate uno dei suoni proposti, fate un bel respiro e pronunciatelo per tutta la durata del vostro fiato.

Exercise 1

3 times A. Pause. (left channel)
3 times U. Pause. (right channel)
3 times M. Pause. (central channel)
With this exercise you can individually work on each of your channels.

Exercise 2

3 times AUM. (all channels)

Exercise 3

3 times AUM in a way that A has a longer duration. Pause. (left channel)
3 times AUM in a way that U has a longer duration. Pause. (right channel)
3 times AUM in a way that M has a longer duration. Pause. (central channel)

Exercise 4

3 times A. Pause. (left channel)
3 times U. Pause. (right channel)
3 times M. Pause. (central channel)
3 times AUM. (all channels)
3 times AUOM. (all channels)
3 times AUOÕM. (all channels)
3 times OÕM. (all channels)

This last exercise is more complete. It also introduce two new sounds:  O e Õ. O is the contraction of A and U. While Õ is a sound similar to the nasalized O pronounced by the French; to pronounce Õ, try to clog your nostrils in the upper part of your nose, inside, and then say O. Do not worry if in the beginning it will not come well.
The nasalized Õ is called anusvara in Sanskrit and in the OMKARA symbol is the comma with the dot in the right upper top side.

To help you in the practice, we are presenting you the recording of dr Arun Apte, who was an excellent singer of Classical Indian Music, a teacher of music-therapy and the director of P.K. Salve Academy of Music and Art in Vaitarna (close to Mumbay).
He starts with singing 3 times SA (it corresponds to the western DO); then he passes to AKAR that is A, UKAR that is U and finally MAKAR that is M. Next he will show the same exercise 4 we have described previously.

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