Every vibration has a corresponding sound and everything in
the universe has a vibration and thus a sound. Each atom, molecule,
cell, object, group of objects, even the entire universe, has its own
collection of vibrations and unique sound.
When you chant a mantra, you merge with the sound vibration
and become at one with the energy wavelength of the object of your
mantra. Mantra chanting makes you at one with everyone, everywhere who
is chanting that mantra and with everyone who has ever chanted the
mantra. All the saints who have ever reached enlightenment through the
technique of chanting that mantra connect with you as you connect with
the vibration of the mantra. You merge with their essence which has been
purified and is holy and you become pure and holy because that divine
level of existence vibrates only with holiness, peace, and bliss.
By chanting a mantra, your cells, molecules, atoms, and
sub-atomic particles all vibrate in the same wavelength as the mantra.
Once attuned with this vibration you connect with everything resonating
on that plane of existence. It’s like tuning a radio. At first you may
get static, but once you are in the right frequency your reception is
perfect. Om is the universal sound. It is within every word and within
everything. So when you chant Om, you merge with all energy and all
forms, from the sub-atomic to the universal, from the most gross to the
most divine. And when you are tuned in perfectly, you will receive holy
frequencies clearly and merge and emerge at one with the source of all
and live happily ever after.
Many meditation teachers suggest that it is necessary to
understand every intellectual aspect of the meaning of the mantra that
is being practiced, but just as many others feel that the intellect may
tend to confuse and hold back spiritual progress. What both types of
teachers agree on is that mantras have the potential to take
practitioners to the level of consciousness that transcends the
limitations of the mind by a billion-fold. There is an ancient tale that
very well shows that true devotion and complete absorption are the key:
Once upon a time in a land far away lived a poor uneducated,
mentally challenged man who tended a herd of cows for his master. He
happened upon a meditation teacher and was very taken with his calm,
loving, gentle and happy nature. He decided he wanted to know that
experience first hand. And so he went to the teacher and begged him to
teach him a way to achieve the inner peace that radiated so obviously
from the teacher. The teacher accepted him as his student but quickly
found that the man couldn’t understand any of the philosophical points
he was making and as a matter of fact couldn’t even remember the mantra
Om when he tried to teach it to him. The teacher lovingly said, "My oh
my, you don’t seem to know anything at all, can’t be taught, and can’t
remember anything. You are devoted and sincere in your desire to gain
happiness though, so I will try to help you. My son, what do you know?"
The man said, "Oh great teacher, the only thing I know is cows. All my
life I’ve spent caring for cows, making sure they graze, are milked, and
are kept clean. Yes, for me, everything is cows." "Well, that’s
alright," said the teacher, "then you know what sound the cows make."
"Oh yes," said the man, "they say moo." "Very well then," said the
teacher, "for you, moo will be your mantra. All you have to do is say
moo continually and you will reach freedom from suffering and know real
bliss." So the man chanted moo, moo, moo when he took the cows out to
graze and he chanted moo, moo, moo when he milked them, and he chanted
moo, moo, moo when he cleaned them. He chanted moo all the time and very
soon merged with that vibration, which is Om backward, and reached the
highest heights of joyous understanding and lived happily ever after.
From this story, we learn that it is virtually impossible to
chant Om "wrong". It is, after all, an insentient sound. But the giver
of this sound to the universe knows the intention and devotion of the
practitioner and that is by what we will be rewarded. It is said that
one minute of sincere chanting is superior to a thousand hours of mere
sounding of the words. A parrot can be taught to recite a mantra but
this will be just mere vibrations in the air. It is the love and worship
behind the sound that counts. Technically though, there is a "correct"
way to chant Om. It is made up of three letters: A, U, M. These contain
all the sounds there are. The A is guttural and comes from the throat.
It is pronounced without any part of the tongue or palate in contact.
The U sound comes from the middle of the sounding board, the palate. In
Sanskrit, the A and U join together to become O. The O sound is vibrated
from the navel/ solar plexus area and sent up to the sternum to the
voice region, the lips, where the M sound is prolonged and vibrated up
to the crown of the head. This vibrating M is felt in every cell of the
body and is beamed out lovingly, soothingly, powerfully, to everything,
everyone, everywhere. Intellectually and metaphysically, A stands for
the physical world perceptible to the senses, the material world. U
represents the astral and dream planes, heaven and hell. M is the
unknown, deep sleep, and that which is unfathomable to the intellect.
Thus Om contains the entire spectrum of sound, words, worlds, and
concepts. Om represents the source of all light, love, and wisdom.
There are three ways to do mantras - aloud, silently but
while mouthing or humming the mantra, and completely silently within
oneself. When done aloud and particularly when done with others, the
sound of Om is energizing, calming, and healing. Although it is often
encouraged to do your mantra all the time, it would certainly be
questionable to consider chanting Om aloud in the middle of a board
meeting. Similarly, it may be preferable to do Om silently just by
moving your lips if you are in a movie theater. Chanting Om completely
silently is considered the most potent method because it is not
dependent on having a human voice box, or lips, or facial muscles, all
of which are temporary manifestations compared to the billions of years
you will be fully at one with Om. It is advantageous to spiritual
development to consider the theological, philosophical and mystical
aspects of Om while chanting with your physical eyes closed, looking
through the third eye, and paying attention to your breath. This may
seem complex and complicated, but once in synch, it happens naturally as
Om reveals itself, your Real Self, to you.