OOM - The Holy Alphabet

Rahul Kapoor

Farudabad, India

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Artist's Description

To promote the wonderful Group True Potential in their effort to collect funds at "Just Giving:http://www.justgiving.co.uk/truepotential/

50% of the artist’s proceeds will go to the Tibet Relief Fund.

Normally it is the beginning of any Shloka and Mantra (verses) and is recited by Yogies all across India.

In Sanskrit, the meaning of Om is avati, or rakùati. Rakùati means ‘One who protects, sustains’. So that which sustains everything is Om. And that which sustains everything is what we have to see as the order. We can go one step further. That order, which is the reality of everything. The order itself is a reality. And so, that which is the essence of the order itself, is Om. That means Om is the name of the Lord, who pervades your being, who pervades everything in the world in the form of niyati, the form of the order that sustains.

Om is also used as a symbol, what we call a pratīka, for everything – this entire universe – because Om sustains everything. The entire universe means not only the physical universe, but also the experience there of. That’s the meaning Vedas load in this symbol.

Being an oral tradition, Vedas explain Om as made up of three parts. These are phonetic parts of that ‘Om’ sound and each of those parts are loaded with certain meaning. That is called superimposition, adhyāsa. You superimpose a meaning upon those sounds. In Om, there is ‘a’ there is ‘u’, and there is ‘m’. ‘A’ is a vowel, ‘u’ is a vowel and ‘m’ is the consonant.

Thus, this ‘a’ plus ‘u’ plus ‘m’ together becomes ‘Om”. ‘A’ plus ‘u’ becomes ‘o’, a diphthong. If you see how the ‘a’ and ‘u’ is pronounced, as a combination at the sthāna, the place where the sound comes from, then you will see that ‘a’ plus ‘u’ can not be but ‘o’. And with ‘m’ ending, it becomes “Om”.

The letter ‘a’ stands for the entire physical world of your experience. The experiencer, the experience and the experienced, all three of them are covered by the sound ‘a’. When you are awake, you are aware of your physical body and this physical world – known and unknown. You are also aware of the experience of the physical world. At the same time, you are also aware of the experiencer – that is you. All these three you are aware of, are ‘a’. The letter ‘u’ is the thought world, which is distinctly experienced as other than the physical world. A thought world which is distinctly experienced, as your dream, as your imagination and as abstract or subtle, Sūkùma or subtle is represented by ‘u’. The thought world, the object of the thought world and its experience are the meaning of the sound ‘u’. Then there is ‘m’. It stands for the experience you have in deep sleep, the unmanifest condition. What was there before and after the creation is the meaning of the sound ‘m’.

Thus, the sleeper and the sleep experience, the dreamer and the dream experience and the waker and the waking experience all these three
constitute what we call everything that is here. All these three together
represent ‘Om’. Om is complete.

We saw what existed before, what exists now and what will exist later
is all Om. Even all known and unknown that is experienced, the experience
and the experiencer, is also Om, vidim aviditam sarvam Omkāraþ. That is
the Lord, Bhagavān or Īśvara.

Tried to capture the sound into a painting.. Along with the resonance..

My First Oil Painting…

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