Om

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Om (ôm), [Skt.,=yes, so be it] for Hindus and Buddhists, a mystic word or mantra. Om is regarded as the syllable of the supreme Reality and is sometimes called "the mother of mantras." It is often found at the beginning of prayers, mantras, and scriptures as a word of invocation and adoration. In Hinduism its three Sanskrit phonemes (transliterated a,u, and m) symbolize the triad of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer, or the three levels of consciousness: waking, dreaming, and deep sleep. In Buddhism it is often understood as symbolizing the true "empty" character of reality, as that truth has been communicated by various historical Buddhas, celestial Buddhas, and, directly, by the true character of reality itself (see sunyata).

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OM (or AUM)

A Sanskrit word of special sanctity in the Hindu religion, generally interchangable with AUM. It is pronounced at the beginning and end of every lesson in the Vedas (ancient scriptures) and is also the introductory word of the Puranas (religious works embodying legends and mythology). The Katha-Upanishad states: "Whoever knows this syllable obtains whatever he wishes."

There are various accounts of its origin; one that it is the term of assent used by the gods and possibly an old contracted form of the Sanskrit word evam meaning "thus." The Manu-Sangita (Laws of Manu), a religious work of social laws, states the word was formed by Brahma himself, who extracted the letters a-u-m from the Vedas.

Om is also the name given by the Hindus to the spiritual sun, as opposed to Surya, the natural sun.

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Oṃ or Auṃ. The most sacred syllable in Hinduism, which first appears in the Upaniṣads. It is often regarded as the bija (seed) of all mantras, containing, as it does, all origination and dissolution. It is known as praṇava (‘reverberation’), and it is the supreme akṣara (syllable). See also ŚABDA.

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OM British vehicle registration for Birmingham
• airline flight code for MIAT-Monglian Airlines
• old man
• optical microscopy
• Optimus Maximus (Latin: greatest and best; title given by Romans to Jupiter)
• Order of Merit
• ordnance map
organic matter
• international civil aircraft marking for Slovakia

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om in Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism, a mystic syllable, considered the most sacred mantra. It appears at the beginning and end of most Sanskrit recitations, prayers, and texts. The word comes from Sanskrit, and is sometimes regarded as three sounds, a-u-m, symbolic of the three major Hindu deities.

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Om (Aum) Sacred mystical symbol representing a sound considered to have divine power by some Hindus, Buddhists, and other religious groups. The sound is chanted at the beginning and end of prayers, and is used as a mantra in meditation.

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om- (omo-) combining form denoting the shoulder.