[Advaita-l] Re: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 27, Issue 9

tatha gat tathagat79 at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 9 21:03:53 CDT 2005

> I have read that AUM can be broken down into A
> (this) U (that) M (I)
> and the silence thereafter, representing in
> progression the various
> stages of realization, conveying through its
> unbrokenness the oneness
> of Atman and brAhmaN. I want to know whether this
> word was devised
> keeping the above in mind, or whether this
> remarkable sound was
> discovered 'accidentally'. Also what is the

Dear Adityaji,

In the Mandukya Upanishad, Aum has the following
meaning - When you open your mouth, the first primal
sound you can utter is A (The first part of Aum, *not*
the sound associated with the english alphabet A).
>From there on you open your mouth further and then
close it to completely utter Aum. Thus, Aum is the
complete range of phonetic syllables that can be
uttered by the mouth. Alphabets are nothing but the
building blocks of language which in turn is the most
basic indicative entity. Thus, Aum ultimately
indicates this entire world of names and forms. The
upanishad further equates Aum with not only that which
can be objectified as "this" or "that" but also that
which is beyond the realm of time (the Self,
unmanifest creation, consciousness etc.). It then
explains what the Self is via the famous four states
of consciousness and finally presents a relation
between the syllables of Aum and the states of
reality. So, this is definitely the Upanishad to
study! Swami Tejomayananda of Chinmaya Mission and
Swami Dayanand Saraswati of Arsha Vidya both have
talks on the Mandukya Upanishad that you can buy

I dont know if the sound of Aum has a special
significance or what the etymological origins of Aum


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