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Aum or Om – Which is The Right Way!!

Updated on June 20, 2014

This topic has been on my mind for quite some time. Spiritual practitioners and religious people in India and across the world are not new to the word 'Om'. Om is how the day starts for most people. 'Aum' or 'Om' is the most fundamental, primordial and a powerful mantra to chant. It forms the foundation for most mantras and spiritual works. Spiritual practitioners believe that this is the universal sound vibrating throughout the universe. Aum plays a significant role in spiritual practices.

There are several meanings attached to the word Aum. According to religious people,


'A' means the beginning of the universe

'U' signifies the life period of the universe, and

'M' signifies the end of the universe


This means that Aum notifies the three main works of god – creation, preservation and destruction of the universe. However, when one goes beyond the religious connotation, it has a deeper meaning. Aum has a scientific meaning. We shall not go into the science of Aum in this article.

According to spiritual practitioners, Aum connects the physical, astral and the causal planes. Alternately, it connects the awake state, the meditative state and the dreamless sleep state. This creates peace in one's mind as well as rises the energy in a soul.

However, many people have given little thought as to how the mantra should actually be chanted. Is it Aum or Om? The most common way of chanting the mantra is 'Om' or 'Ohm'. Is this really the right way?


It is 'Aum', not 'Om'

Ask any spiritual guru and he/she will tell you that Om and Aum are both same, as the syllable 'o' is just a diphthong of 'a' and 'u'. As such, it is alright to chant Om instead of Aum and doesn't make any different. They also claim that when you chant 'Om', you don't need to accentuate the 'au' part as it is a subtle intonation which naturally arises when you chant Om. In fact, 99 out of 100 gurus will make this claim. However, I believe that it is very wrong. The very vibration which is created when you chant Aum and Om are quite different. Try it out for yourself. I have posted two videos here that show how the vibration differs.

The first video gives the way Om is usually chanted, while the second video gives the proper way of chanting aum.

If you listened to both videos carefully, the second video gave you more vibrations. The chanting of the three different alphabets 'a', 'u', and 'm', connect different parts of the body. While the 'a' creates a vibration in your forehead and crown part of your head (agna and sahasra padma dala chakras respectively), 'u' creates a vibration in your throat (vishudhi chakra) and 'm' creates a vibration of the heart and solar plexus (anahata and manipura chakras respectively). The long vibration of 'm' ultimately connects the root chakra. This means that when you chant Aum properly, the upper, middle and lower body are connected, creating energy throughout the body.

When the mantra is chanted properly, there is a vibration created in your forehead, throat, your solar plexus and lower body. But when you chant Om, a vibration is created only in your throat and lower body. You won't feel it much in the forehead.

Aum is a powerful chant while Om does not give you much power. Also, make sure that your chin is tucked into your chest while you chant Aum. This gives additional power to the chant.

Now, you know the proper way of chanting Aum. It is 'Aum' and not 'Om'.

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    • karthikkash profile image
      Author

      Karthik Kashyap 2 years ago from India

      Thanks a lot for your comments. I completely agree with you. I think people who are serious about spirituality understand that. Regarding the chanting of AUM in public, I too am of an opinion (though not sure whether right or wrong) of silent chanting, but not with that reason. The simple reason is that if everyone is chanting AUM in a proper way, then the vibrations make a difference. Otherwise, it is useless. If I am doing it alone at my home, I always prefer the vocal chanting of AUM for maximum effect.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      You are correct according to the works of the Tibetan DK. OM is just a lesser form of AUM, and the 5th Dimensional energies need the full AUM. Since the tonal vibration is what sets the energy in motion, I wonder if those who use the silent AUM or OM during meditation are getting the effect they intend. The silent AUM or OM is used a lot in public meditation or classes to keep it from being disruptive to anyone outside the room. What are your thoughts on this? Voted up++