The ancient syllable "OM" is the shortest of the Mantras and in Indian tradition it is a word suggestive of God.
The scriptures tell us that "OM" is the planets primordial vibration from which the entire universe has arisen. All other sounds are contained within it.
It is believed that "OM" is the mother of all languages. Repetition of "OM" enables us to maintain mental and emotional calmness, overcome obstacles and enable understanding.
An analysis of "OM" as it is written in Sanskrit shows that it is made up of A, U, M and a symbol representing resonance. So "OM" has four aspects.
The first is A, a sound that comes from the belly, is formed in the open throat, and is voiced with the mouth open. As with many alphabets, A is the first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet.
The second aspect is the U, a sound that is formed in the middle of the mouth. The mouth is not as wide as it is for sounding the A.
With the third sound, M the mouth closes. The sound rises to the nasal passages, from where the resonance, the forth aspect of "OM" issues forth.
It is said that A represents the waking state. U the dream state and M the state of deep dreamless sleep. the fourth state, sounds in the resonance following M.
Saying "OM" is actually a form of meditation
(Acknowledgement T.K.V Desikachar - The Heart of Yoga)
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