How do we chant Om (Aum)?
Om (Aum) pronunciation;
A mantra that can be recited by anyone is the Om mantra. For Om japa to be effective, the mantra must be pronounced correctly.
Remember that the Om (Aum) has actually four syllables. There is ‘A’, ‘U’, ‘M’ and the silent syllable. For Om (Aum) japa to be effective, the mantra must be pronounced correctly.
The first syllable is A, pronounced as the English word “awe,” but prolonged: “aaaaah”. Start with “ah” way back in your throat and stretch for two seconds. You will feel the solar plexus and chest vibrating.
The second syllable is U, as in “roof,” pronounced “oo” but prolonged: “ooo.” Gradually, let the sound roll forward along your upper palate for two seconds. You will feel the throat vibrate.
The third syllable is M, pronounced “mm” with the front teeth gently touching and the sound prolonged: “mmmm.” Keep allowing the sound to roll forward until you close your lips to form “mmm” for three seconds. You will feel it vibrate the top of the head.
The last syllable is the deep silence of the Infinite. Since the pure intelligence rises from the deep silence, you have to merge your chant from the ‘M’ to the deep silence. The mantra must continue moving in pure silence for at least a few seconds. This is most important.
The three syllables are run together: AAUUMM (silence), AAUUMM (silence), AAUUMM (silence). Each repetition is sounded for about seven seconds with a silence of about two seconds before the next repetition. As you get better, a time may come when just one chant may last for several minutes at a time, with at least a few minutes of deep silence in between.
From the Circle to the Point:
The sound of Om starts with a circle and ends with a point. During pronunciation, the lips are slightly apart with ‘A’, slowly starting to close with ‘U’ until they are completely closed with ‘M’. First there is expansion outwards and then contraction inwards. This indicates the path of Yoga: starting from a more or less (mentally and emotionally) dissipated state (represented by the circle), where we search for meaning externally, in the world at large. We start Yoga and progressively move to a more unified state where we are centered in Being (represented by the point). Every time we chant Om we are symbolizing the path towards unity.
The meditation technique of Om (Aum):
Find a quiet, calm and undisturbed place.
Sit comfortably, spine tall without straining.
Close your eyes and focus your vision inward and upward about an inch above the line of your brow.
Take a deep breath.
Chant the mantra as explained below*.
Inhale and chant again.
Continue for at least three minutes.
Trust your inner instincts, and listen to what they tell you. Let them be your guide from now on.
There are many ways to chant Om (Aum).
When you chant it loudly, you feel the omnipotence of the Supreme.
When you chant it softly, you feel the delight of the Supreme.
When you chant it silently, you feel the peace of the Supreme.
It is best to chant out loud, so its sound can vibrate even in your physical ears and permeate your entire body. This will convince your outer mind and give you a greater sense of joy and achievement. When one chants Om out loud, one touches and calls forth the cosmic vibration of the supreme Sound. When chanting out loud, the “M” sound should last at least three times as long as the “AU”.
Chanting the Om mantra for 15 minutes daily can produce a remarkable effect in you. It will help you to calm the mind, settle the thought process and realize the self. The sound of Om produces instant positive vibrations and takes the listener to a state of mental stillness. It purifies the atmosphere.
Thus, proper chanting of Om also is a high form of yoga, moving energy from the lower chakras of the body up to the highest chakra, or energy center — the sahasrara chakra at the crown of the head.
Advantages and effects of Omkar Chanting:
Cleansing the mind.
Controlling the emotions.
Improves the concentration, memory and understanding capacity.
Relaxes Physically, Mentally, and Emotionally.
Charges the surrounding atmosphere.
As the Mundaka Upanishad says,
Aum iti evam dhyayat atmanam…Svasti va paraya tamasah parastat
“Meditate on the Om (Aum) as your inner self…
may you cross over the darkness to the other side”
Tibetan Monks Chanting Om