Pranava means “cosmic sound” in Sanskrit. It is the name of the mantra Om. Meditating on pranava leads to liberation because it brings about unity with Brahman, the absolute truth.
Om chanting is described as pranava sadhana. The purpose of pranava sadhana is to transcend body consciousness and to connect with cosmic consciousness. Om chanting leads us to realize our spiritual potential. While we are chanting, the feeling of spiritual awareness will develop. The purpose of Om is to awaken the state of inner peace. Spiritual growth is not possible without the absence of inner peace. The awakening of peace has to happen at various levels of our nature, personality and mind.
It is possible to identify the various symbols that represent our state of mind. These symbols are chakras or psychic centers. Whenever we chant Om, we need to focus our attention on the different psychic centers. When we chant Om, three times at the beginning of any activity, we concentrate on the eyebrow center. There are three places where we need to concentrate with each chanting of Om. These three places are the three granthis (knots) that exist in our body and recognized by the yogic system.
The first is Brahma granthi, the knot of Brahma, the creator at mooladhara chakra. When we chant Om, the first time, we should have our awareness at mooladhara. Mooladhara is responsible for creation. Our consciousness is bound at mooladhara, in the material world. The second knot is Vishnu granthi at manipura chakra. This granthi is a knot of individual ego and power. When we chant Om, the second time, we shift our awareness to manipura. The third is rudra granthi, the knot of rudra, the destroyer, Om, and the re-emergence of consciousness at ajna chakra. When we chant Om the third time, we shift our awareness to ajna. It is important to pause for five seconds at each chakra and become aware of the light there.
In time one will notice a great difference in the quality of one’s experience. When Om chanting is done seven times, one focuses on ajna chakra. In mantra sadhana, one can focus on each chakra for five seconds. There are different ways of chanting Om. Usually people use the word Om, the sounds ‘o’ and ‘m’ it gives one effect. When you chant Om, with the chakras, mooladhara, manipura and ajna, it is ‘O-m.’ when we chant seven times, it is A-u-m.
Reference: Swami Satyananda Saraswati. 1999
Aim Hrim Klim
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