Aum is an Onomatopoeia
Onomatopoeia are sound imitative words, like ‘meow’(imitates the sound made by a cat), ‘bang-bang’( imitates the sound made by a gun) and so on. Aum has been misunderstood mostly. It has been taken for a holy word. It is not only a holy word, it is much more than that . Aum is also called ‘Pranava’. If you observe you will find that almost every mantra in Hinduism, which is considered holy and important, begins with Aum. Aum has been given much importance by the tradition but a lot has been lost in the mystic fog over the eons since its importance was understood at first.
What was the true importance of Aum?
Yogi, the most ancient Yogi(call him ‘Shiva’ or call him by any other name!) after undertaking painstaking austerities and meditating for long, that the quintessence of universe, quintessence of existence is Aum. He discovered that it is the primordial sound from which the universe comes into the existence and in which universe dissolves in the end. He discovered it by listening his inner most being. He listened himself and he was amazed to hear those beautiful, divine, enchanting melodies inside his body. These melodies had no comparison in the external world, for no sound, however pleasant could be compared to the bliss conferred by these melodies. When Yogi kept on exploring into his inner world, he got to know even higher levels and he listened even subtler sounds. The most subtle sound, which he came to listen was Aum. It was the most blissful sound possible. It conferred Samadhi to him, the highest state of consciousness!
This was the peak. This state was the God, the Bramhan, the ultimate . This was the everlasting peace and joy. This was the state for which everyone has yearned for eons. So out of his sheer joy, ecstasy and bliss, the yogi wanted to share the secret with the humanity. He told it to everyone who came to him. But, by and by, the true meaning was lost [I do not know why but much of the esoteric essence has been lost due to lack of publication and esoteric schools and never reached to the public] and what remained was the Aum as used in the current form, as just a mysterious symbol, written or uttered before the mantras. We considered it a holy symbol of supreme divine force. We thought that chanting it will purify our body ,mind and soul; but it was just a blurred side of the picture!
What Yogi wanted was: to share that everlasting bliss, that moksha, that nirvana, that eternal joy of his, with all of us. He wanted us to listen those very divine melodies which he had heard in his own body. After having discovered that eternal autumn; that river of bliss, we would have become God like; we would have become Godhead but we have remained mediocre.
Shri Yantra is Aum Visualized!
Those ancient Yogis, those sages tried to the utmost of their ability to point towards this supreme truth, to point towards this ‘anahata naada’, towards this unstuck sound.
The Aum is most important sound as per Yogis. The ancient sages tried their best to reinforce its inclusion into the Hinduism tradition in one form or the other.
Until a few years ago, I wasn’t aware of a very important and significant fact which uncovers many secrets together. Hans Jenny invented Tonoscope, a device which produces images corresponding to various sounds. To my amazement the image of Shree Yantra was produced when Aum was chanted. You might well be surprised to know that the Shree Yantra has been there as a very holy image in Hinduism and has been worshipped for gaining prosperity. It was also suggested that if students concentrate on Shree Yantra their minds become more penetrating.
[It is beyond my understanding as to how those sages came up with Shree Yantra, the visual depiction of Aum, some 5000 years ago]
So it adds significantly to the importance of Aum and to the importance of those Yogis who earnestly tried to make it an indispensable part in the life of Indians. Aum is an unstuck sound according to them ; a sound which has not been produced by the collision. I had never encountered this fact (in my perusals prior to Hans Jenny’s invention ) that Aum is the sound for which Shree Yantra is the image.
So listening Aum in your body or concentrating on Shree Yantra is to do the same thing.
How To Listen The Divine Melodies?
But chanting Aum is not as same as listening Aum inside your body!Yogis say that you have many subtle pathways for the flow of psychic energy ‘chi’.The most important of these pathways are:
The left nostril breathing uses Ida path.The right nostril breathing uses Pingla path.The middle breathing, when you are using balance of both paths is Sushumna breathing.Usually the cycle of left/right nostril breathing should get reversed in about 45 minutes in a healthy body. If a healthy human being continues to breath with left/right nostril for say 6 months continuously he will suffer from Diabetes/Asthma respectively(they say so, no corroboration for the same!)
The alternate nostril breathing is very potent for improving your brain functioning and for getting rid of nervous disorders.The Sushumna is the most important path for a Spiritual being/Yogi.When you practice Yoga/Tao/Harmony or simply have good thoughts for long time—your subtle energy pathway become cleansed and Chakras get activated and you start listening those divine melodies.The most subtle divine melody is Aum.