Today I'll begin with the symbol that we Westerners are familiar with, ॐ. This symbol is from an Indian alphabet that uses sounds, instead of letters like our English alphabet. It is an Ancient symbol though and to be honest there is tons of information on it, I'm trying for the basics here. The Cliff notes of the symbol to the left is this, numbers 1,2, & 3 are the three parts of the self, the dot next to the number 4 is enlightenment and the line below the dot is what prevents us from seeing enlightenment. Here is the more involved version;
1. The lovwer curve symbolizes the waking state of the mind, jagrat. The large curve symbolizes that this is the most common state of the mind. Consciousness is turned outwards through the senses, possibly why the large tail points away.
2. The upper curve represents a state of deep sleep, sushupti, where we are unconscious and desire nothing.
3. The Middle curve represents a dreaming state, swapna, where the concious and unconscious mix together and we are turned inward but in a dream state. It's interesting to note that this stems more from the large lower curve, perhaps suggesting that in Swapna we are still very much affected by our outwardly senses and are still ruled by our attachments and desires.
All together these three parts represent the three states of an individuals physical consciousness, combining together to create our manifested reality.
4. The dot represents the fourth state of consciousness, turiya, where we neither look inward, outward, nor the two combined. This is enlightenment, bliss, or peace of mind (however you choose to look at it) when we reach this state we are able to illuminate the other three states and we can achieve true perception with out illusions.
The line below the dot represents maya, illusion or fraud, and is what we must overcome in order to realize the higher state. Often this curve is seen touching the upper curve but never touching the dot itself, this may suggest that even in our deep sleep we can be affected by illusions but our highest state is not affected. Maya prevents us from achieving our goals or the unmanifest. Hence, OM represents the manifested and the unmanifested.
I myself wear a ring with OM symbol on it. For me this is a constant reminder that my life is what I make of it. With practice I can learn to move past the illusions and reach a state of peace and bliss. Isn't that Great?!
I really want to move on with sharing my mantras but I think this is enough to ponder about for one day and we'll go over the rich sound of OM tomorrow.
Here's a short mantra to tide you over, OM
Hehe! Have a great day!