How to Chant Aum

Question

Dear Nayaswami Diksha,

I read your writings and also I see your videos regularly. It’s life changing and its very helpful to realize my higher experience. I have a question to ask you. I have heard that chanting sacred mantra like "OM" have huge benefit on mind, body and health. I practiced it few times and realized its benefits. I want to know how can I chant this mantra properly and is there a specific way? You are an inspiration and blessing and I really thank you from the bottom of my heart

—S Chow, USA

Answer

Dear Chuddho,

Repeating the sacred sound of Aum is powerful and comforting.

Aum is the cosmic vibration of God within creation.

Swami Kriyananda explained about Aum in his book: The Hindu Way of Awakening

“AUM has three frequencies of vibration, according to whether it is bringing creation into manifestation, maintaining it in that manifested state, or dissolving it back again into the Infinite Spirit.

An example, familiar to most people, may help to explain these frequencies. When an automobile starts off quickly down the road, its motor runs somewhat loudly at more revolutions per minute, and its sound is relatively high pitched. As it reaches cruising speed, it shifts gears, producing fewer revolutions per minute; the motor hums more softly at a lower pitch. Finally, as the car comes to a halt, and just before the motor is switched off, its sound is lower still in both pitch and volume.

The sound made by the cosmic “motor” is similar, in a sense. Its vibratory frequency is highest and loudest in its creative mode, lower and softer in its preserving mode, and lowest in its dissolving mode, which brings universal manifestation to an end. The sounds emitted by these three vibrations are otherwise different from those of a motor, but they are pitched accordingly: high, medium, and low, and the same is true of their volume.

The word AUM, when written properly, contains three letters, signifying the threefold nature of Cosmic Vibration. In English, this word is often written OM, because the vowel “O” is pronounced as a diphthong. I myself stopped writing it this way when I found speakers of other languages mispronouncing it to rhyme with our English word, “from,” instead of with “home.” AUM should be pronounced correctly for its mantric power.

The “A” in AUM represents the cosmic creative vibration, and should be pronounced short, rather than long as in “arm.” When this sound is heard in meditation, it is pitched highest of the three.

“U” (pronounced “oo” as in “moon”) is the cosmic vibration of preservation. It maintains all creation in a state of equilibrium. This sound, when heard in meditation, is pitched somewhat lower than the first.

“M” represents the vibration of cosmic dissolution, which draws all creation back into the Absolute at the end of a universal cycle. The time allotted to cosmic manifestation is known as a Day of Brahma, and spans a period of billions of years. This vibration of the AUM sound, when heard in meditation, is pitched lowest of all, like a deep rumbling.

The fact that all three sounds are audible in meditation is proof that their activity is constant, and not only sequential in cosmic time.

The “threefold AUM,” a chant common in India, is a reminder of AUM in its three aspects. The notes of the first “AUM” are higher, and should be sung loudly. The second note-sequence is a little lower, and is sung more softly. The third sequence is lowest, and is the softest of the three.

A final point should be made here: When chanting AUM, the “M” should be given equal emphasis to the preceding two vowels.”

You can purchase and listen to Swami Kriyananda chanting Aum on this CD:

Aum — Mantra of Eternity

You can also watch the video of an Ananda Minister Mary Kretzman — chanting Aum:

Healing with Aum

I am glad that you have benefited from the articles and the videos.

Blessings on your spiritual journey,

Nayawami Diksha