One of the most popular misconception about AUM chanting is that it is religious. On the contrary, it is the most universal syllable because it neither refers to any particular religion nor God. The first impulse to emerge from the silence of the absolute, was the sound AUM. Even the Bible and modern science agree that the initial spark of creation came from sound or vibration. The Gospel, according to John says, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God … and the Word was made flesh.”
AUM is a one-word mantra and yet the most powerful mantra. It is the essence of all mantras. As a rule, every mantra begins with AUM, otherwise, it is considered as incomplete. Potency of the mantras increases due to AUM, hence it is regarded as the king of all mantras. This is an auspicious mantra through which we can experience the spiritual forces or the vibrations or the special kind of sensations in our body. It not only gives material benefits, but spiritual ones as well.
Simple Benefits of AUM Chanting
The initial benefits of chanting AUM include: a calming effect in the body and mind; the heart will regulate itself and the breathing will naturally slow down.
You will achieve the first stage of meditation by drawing your attention away from external noise, and things, bringing your awareness within; you will feel a pleasant harmonic vibration within the body, especially in the heart, chest and forehead. Your concentration and brain functioning will improve. You will feel an indescribable sense of peace and well-being. Aum chanting is a wonderful way to introduce the body and mind to a more in depth meditative practice. You can also just continue to chant AUM, bringing your awareness deeper and deeper within yourself. Not all the positive results of AUM chanting appear to you right away. If you are looking for a spiritual awakening, especially, it will take many hours, many days in succession to feel the true benefits.
Scientific studies concluded the following benefits of AUM chanting:
A study published in the International Journal of Yoga found that AUM chanting reduced activity in the limbic system, which is the portion of the brain associated with stress, emotions, learning, and motivation. By monitoring brain activity using a functional MRI machine, researchers found that AUM chanting relaxed the brain, and thus could reduce stress. Another study found that it could be used to treat depression.
If you’re familiar with meditation, I’m sure you can imagine how chanting a mantra like AUM could improve concentration. Yogic texts discuss the eight limbs or branches of yoga, and the sixth one is Dharana, the Sanskrit word for concentration. In practicing concentration, one can meditate and chant mantras in order to achieve maximum concentration. In this context, this means that the yogi is fully present and thus able to slow down the mind in order to either concentrate on one subject or to completely silence the mind.
Balance Your Emotions
If you’re ever feeling a little down or slightly off, chanting AUM can help you connect to the Self and balance your emotions. You may find that, as you chant, your mind starts to clear. This is because you’re concentrating on one thing: the sound or vibration that AUM gives off. Om holds the same frequency as that of everything in nature, allowing you to connect further and look inwards.
Improve Heart Health
In the past, meditation has been proven to improve heart health. If one practices chanting AUM multiple times in a row, this can be viewed as a form of meditation, especially because an integral part of chanting AUM is the silence endured afterwards. A study performed in 2006 looked at the effects of transcendental meditation (TM), a form of meditation whereby the practitioner continuously repeats a mantra, and concluded that TM can improve blood pressure and cardiac autonomic nervous system tone and decrease risk of coronary heart disease.
Improve Mental Alertness
A 2010 study looked into the effects chanting AUM has on the mind. Researchers found that chanting AUM resulted in a combination of both mental alertness and physiological rest. This makes sense given the fact that meditation and chanting can improve concentration!
Helps Rid Yourself of Negativity
Chanting AUM creates a positive vibration in the body, which can then attract positivity into your life. Chanting AUM allows you to focus on your third eye chakra and gaze inward, silencing your mind. If you find yourself engaging in negative self talk a lot or can’t seem to stop thinking, try chanting AUM a few times and see if that can help your mind slow down!
Watch the video below to experience the full power of the sound AUM recorded at the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum’s Oracle Chamber.