The Om mantra is one of the best-known mantras in the world, probably the single best-known and most popular. But what does it mean and why is it so important?
What Does Om Mantra Mean?
The sound ‘Om’ is believed in Hinduism to be the sound that was made at the creation of our universe. It is the essence of all that is sacred to Hindus. Said at the start of prayers, end of prayers and during the practice of yoga, it is an important mantra to Hindus everywhere.
Why Is Om Mantra So Powerful?
In simple terms, it is the sound from which the whole universe was created.
More broadly, om is said to be the primordial sound that was present at the creation of the universe. It is said to be the original sound that contains all other sounds, all words, all languages and all mantras.
How Can Om Mantra Benefit You?
As well as the power the sound of the Om mantra holds, and its role in the creation of everything in existence, chanting Om can benefit you in many ways.
The Om mantra is well-known and backed by research to have a positive effect on the mind, body and soul.
“According to a research done at the Cleveland University, USA, the rhythmic tones involved in chanting create a melodious effect in the body called the Neuro-linguistic effect [NLE]. When we know the meaning of the mantra we are reciting, it creates a Psycholinguistic effect [PLE] on the body. The NLE and the PLE effects are by-products of the production and spreading of curative chemicals in the brain. The research concludes that this is the real reason why chanting provokes curative effects in us.
A study by Dr Alan Watkins [senior lecturer in neuroscience at Imperial College London] revealed that while chanting, our heart rate and blood pressure dip to its lowest in the day. Doctors say that even listening to chants normalises adrenalin levels, brain wave pattern and lowers cholesterol levels.
Using chants as part of our exercise regimen, helps facilitate movement and flow of the body during exercise.
Studies prove that making chants a part of our daily yoga can help achieve greater weight loss in a shorter span of time.
Neuro-scientist Marian Diamond from the University of California found that chanting helps block the release of stress hormones and increases immune function. It also keeps our muscles and joints flexible for a long time.
The body’s energy and vitality are augmented by regular chanting.
Chanting cures depression: An 8-week study was carried out at the Samarya Center for Integrated Movement Therapy and Ashtanga Yoga in Seattle, WA, to see the effects of chanting on general well-being and particularly respiratory functions in people suffering from mild-to-severe depression. The results showed that chanting helped participants increase control over their breath and expiratory output level. The participants claimed that chanting reduced their anxiety and improved their mood. Researchers thus concluded that if done at least once a week, chanting is an effective means of enhancing people’s moods in the immediate present, as well as over an extended period of time.”
So next time you are stressed, panicked, or not feeling too great, why not take a few minutes out and chant Om to yourself a bit? Reflecting on this powerful 1-syllable phrase from which all life began might do you some good.