Meditation On OM

Mandukya Upnishad

Mantra -1 

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"Om, the word, is all this. Its further explanation is this. All that is past, present and future is verily Om. That which is beyond the triple conception of time, is verily Om."

ln this Upanishad, Varuna, the Lord of waters assumes the form of a frog (Manduka) and praises Om. Varuna is the Rishi or Revealer of this Upanishad. Brahman is the Devata; Anushtup is the metre. The person qualified to study this Upanishad is anyone who wants to attain liberation.

Om, the Pranava, the Omkara is the only symbol of Brahman, the Absolute. Just as a sick man regains his equilibrium when the cause of the disease vanishes, so also the Jiva, the individual soul regains his equilibrium, the original state of pristine glory or divine splendor, oneness or unity with the Supreme Self when the illusion of duality caused by ignorance is destroyed by the knowledge of the Self.

The sacred monosyllable Om is the only name of Brahman, the Supreme Soul. Brahman is nameless but in the relative plane a name is necessary for giving instructions to the aspirants. Even the highest Brahman is realized by means of a name only.

Name is a symbol or representative of the person or thing named. Name of a person or a thing denotes the person or thing of which it is the name. The words 'Buddha,' 'Rama' are the names of certain persons who lived at certain periods of time. These words are the symbols of those persons. A picture of a person or a thing is also a symbol of the person or the thing which it represents. When you look at the photo or picture of a person, you give a description of the person by naming the person. The name of a person is remembered for a very long time. We still remember the names of Lord Jesus, Lord Rama, Sri Sankara and others. The person dies but the name lives for ever. Therefore the name is more comprehensive than the picture.

"Om is this;" "Om is the support;" "Om is Brahman;" "Om is the Akshara, the immortal;" "Om is the Atman;" "Om is pure Chaitanya Consciousness;" "The word Om is all;" "One should, with purity of heart, fix his mind on the Atman through Om which is the Atman"-these texts of the Upanishads declare that Om, Brahman and the Atman are one and the same.

The famous Mantra of Sri Guru Nanak begins with "Sat Nam Ek Omkar," i.e., Real Name, One Om. Om is this all. lt clearly means that Brahman or the Supreme Self denoted by the syllable Om is this all. its explanation should be known. What was, what is, and what will be, all is verily the word Om. Every object has a name. The name and the object denoted by it are identical. All objects are not different from their names. The connection between sabda (sound) and artha (object) is inseparable. Names and forms are inseparable. Name is a sound-symbol. Thoughts cannot he separated from forms and names. Brahman willed. There was Brahma-sankalpa: "May I become many." There was a Spandan, vibration. Then creation began. This original vibration or sound-symbol is Om. This Om is the most universal, all-inclusive sound. All names are not different from Om, because Om is the basis or matrix for all sounds, words and names. Therefore, it is proper to say that all this is indeed Om. Om is the right symbol of Brahman. Through Om alone you will have to approach Brahman. Just as heat is inseparable from fire, just as fragrance is inseparable from the flower, so also Om is inseparable from Brahman. Om is a means to the knowledge of Brahman. Om is the means by which the immortal Self, denoted by Om is realized. Om is very intimately related to Brahman. Om is very near to Brahman. Om is in the vicinity of Brahman. lf you know Om, you know Brahman also. Therefore it is very necessary to have a comprehensive understanding of Om. A clear explanation of Om is very essential. Avery lucid and elaborate explanation is given in this Upanishad. The Karakas of Sri Gaudapadacharya are very illuminating. The method of approach to Brahman through the sacred monosyllable Om is very clearly enunciated in this remarkable Upanishad which is an abridgment or a short summary of all the hundred and eight Upanishads.

Just as an object is known through its names, so also Brahman, the Supreme Self, is known through Om alone. lf anyone utters the words, 'that is a mango tree,'you at onceknow all about the mango tree, its leaves, flowers, fruits, nature of the fruits, beneflts of the fruits, etc., through the name 'mango tree.'Just as you know all about mango through the name 'mango,' so also you can know all about Brahman through Om alone. Therefore, Brahman is indeed Om. Brahman, the Atman, Chaitanya, Purushottama, Svarupa, Supreme Self and Om are identical.

The sacred monosyllable Om denotes the all-pervading immortal, indivisible, self-luminous, unchanging Brahman, the Supreme Self of which it is a name.

 Akshara : This word means that which is imperishable or immortal, that which does not decay or decompose' lt also means a letter of the alphabet. In the Gita you will find' "Aksharanam Akarosmi amongst all the letters, I am the letter 'A " (X-33). lt also means the monosyllable Ekaksharam Om (X-25). The word 'Akshara' here clearly means the monosyllable Om, but not the immortal Brahman.

Tasya: of Om.

Upavyakhyanam: clear explanation. 

All that is subject to the threefold time such as past, present and future (manifold) is verily Om or Brahman. All that is beyond the triple conceptions of time (unmanifest-Avyakrita)) and yet present in Consciousness through its effects, is also verily Om, is not apart from Om.

Brahman is denoted by the word Om. Brahman is above the three periods of time (Trikalatita). Therefore, Om also is beyond the three periods of time. That which is beyond three periods of time, is Om alone. Om means literally that by which everything is pervaded (Otam). This word Om is woven in Brahman like warp and woof and, therefore, denotes Brahman. That which enters into everything is Om.

Just as the rope is the substratum for the illusion of snake, so also Om is the substratum for the illusion of speech. All is mere play of words. Ideas or thoughts are communicated through words only. Experiences are expressed through words only. Incidents are narrated through words only. Everything is held together by the string of speech, by the cord, rope or thread of specific names. The world cannot exist without names or words. The world cannot run without names or words. Therefore, it is proper to say that 'All is the word.'

Names cannot exist apart from Om which is Brahman. Brahman is one with Om. The Atman is one with Om.

This treatise is the explanation of this Om, the word (Akshara) which is of the same nature as the higher Brahman without attributes as well as the lower Brahman with attributes.

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