One consciousness and OM: Sacred sound or hippy banter?
When I first heard people chanting and Om-ing and saying Namaste, I felt somewhat alienated by what seemed to be a kind of hippy, new-age fad. Meditation seemed like something some skinny Indian came up with after going too many days without food and the idea of happiness impossible when I felt as though I was living underneath a pile of rubbish. And another thing, what was all this about one consciousness? How could I possibly be connected to people like the chavs in the next block who go around showing off their bling and their double prams at the age of fifteen?
Now however, I understand. For the first time, I really felt that oneness that the spiritual healers who seemed like a different breed were banging on about. When I took my yoga class last week, I realised what it meant and that actually, I had felt it before. I’d felt it when at a rave many years ago, dj Hype had dropped a dirty bass line and every foot in the room left the floor, our bodies rising to the high in synchronicity. I’d felt it wandering around in a happy, loved up haze at Bestival where it was perfectly acceptable to hug or chat to a complete stranger as though you’d known each other any lifetimes and I felt it last week, at the end of my class when I asked everyone to sound the syllable OM.
As each and every person in the room made their voice vibrate to the same level, I felt us merge into one. It was very powerful. But what does this OM mean? In The Heart of Yoga, T.K.V Desikachar said:
“The ancient syllable “OM” is the shortest of the Mantras and in Indian tradition it is a word suggestive of God. The scriptures tell us that “OM” is the planets primordial vibration from which the entire universe has arisen. All other sounds are contained within it. It is believed that “OM” is the mother of all languages. Repetition of “OM” enables us to maintain mental and emotional calmness, overcome obstacles and enable understanding. An analysis of “OM” as it is written in Sanskrit shows that it is made up of A, U, M and a symbol representing resonance. So “OM” has four aspects. The first is A, a sound that comes from the belly, is formed in the open throat, and is voiced with the mouth open. As with many alphabets, A is the first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet. The second aspect is the U, a sound that is formed in the middle of the mouth. The mouth is not as wide as it is for sounding the A. With the third sound, M the mouth closes. The sound rises to the nasal passages, from where the resonance, the forth aspect of “OM” issues forth. It is said that A represents the waking state. U the dream state and M the state of deep dreamless sleep. the fourth state, sounds in the resonance following M. Saying “OM” is actually a form of meditation.”
If this is true, it completely explains why it is that when we sound this syllable together, we feel ourselves merge together. We are returning to the place from whence we all came… the beginning of the universe when we were all stardust! Whatever you believe, the power of the sound and the good feeling it flowers inside cannot be denied.
So the question about one consciousness? Watch this incredible video and find out…