AUM (or OM)

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AUM (or OM)

A sacred sound in Hinduism, composed of three syllables A-U-Mmerging into each other. The sound is used to preface and end the reading of sacred scriptures and prayers and is used in most mantras. AUM is also the subject of intricate mystical symbolism as a subject for meditation and is said to contain the origin of the alphabet and all sounds. In this respect it parallels the Shemhamforasch of Jewish mysticism and the creation of the universe. The Hindu scripture Mandukya Upanishad is devoted entirely to an exposition of the mysticism of AUM.


Prabhavananda, Swami, with Frederick Manchester. The Spiritual Heritage of India. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1963.

Wood, Thomas E. The Mandukya Upanishad and the Agama Shastra: An Investigation into the Meaning of the Vedanta. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1990.