Ravisankar S. Mayavaram msr at ISC.TAMU.EDU
Tue Aug 11 17:55:56 CDT 1998

On Tue, 11 Aug 1998, Vaidya N. Sundaram wrote:
> in later posts.
>  I also request members to find time to discuss the relevance or other
> interpretations of AUM in this forum. I am also especially interested the
> method of intonation: is it to be said aloud, or meditated upon etc.


 patanjali's yoga sUtra-s deal with this subject matter.
Especially with vyAsa bhAShyam and the vivaraNa attributed to
shrI shankara many things become very clear.

AUM is an unique symbol of Ishvara. It is not a mere convention
like a Nation choosing its symbol.  (refer to I.27 of
yogasUtra). This was and is and will be the symbol of Ishvara in
the past, present and future creation cycles. Yoga sUtra says
that meditating on AUM and contemplating on its meaning will be
lead to yoga which is chitta vR^itti nirodhaH (I.28). This will
be achieved by making the mind one-pointed and turning it inward.

At present, I do not have the book. shankara's vivaraNa explains
AUM is a great detail. This is translated by Trevor Leggett.

On japa, my understanding is this. Anything that is said aloud is
lower form japa. For beginner it may be required. Not said aloud,
chanted mentally with lip movement is better than the former.
Best is to chant internally with no external movement.  Just
because, this is the best the lower forms should be not
ridiculed. They serve the purpose when the best is not possible.
At times when the mind is scattered, it is better to say it
aloud than not meditate at all. Especially when you hear what you
say aloud, slowly the mind will become quiet and one can switch
to complete internal meditation.  A good prelude like saying
shlokas will set a good atmosphere for meditation. Those who do
sandhya will know that by the time one gets to gAyatri japa, mind
will be quite ready to take on the meditation deeply.

This is my understanding. I may be wrong.

With respects,

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list