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.
Six-thousand-year-old ancient temples are giving up acoustic clues for modern scientists. Intriguing new research on ancient temples in Malta and highlighted by the Old Temples Study Foundation.
"We may be hitting on one of those 'lost secrets'," says Linda Eneix, President of The OTS Foundation, dedicated to archaeology research and education related to the ancient temples of Mediterranean Malta.
Located south of Sicily, the islands of Malta and Gozo are home to megalithic structures that were created by a highly developed people more than a thousand years ahead of Stonehenge and the pyramids.
A consortium called The PEAR Proposition: Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research are pioneers in the field of archaeo-acoustics, merging archaeology and sound science. Directed by Physicist Dr. Robert Jahn, the PEAR group set out in 1994 to test acoustic behavior in megalithic sites such as Newgrange and Wayland's Smithy in the UK. They found that the ancient chambers all sustained a strong resonance at a sound frequency between 95 and 120 hertz: well within the range of a low male voice.
In subsequent OTSF testing, stone rooms in ancient temples in Malta were found to match the same pattern of resonance, registering at the frequency of 110 or 111 hz. This turns out to be a significant level [right] for the human brain. Whether it was deliberate or not, the people who spent time in such an environment were exposing themselves to vibrations that impacted their minds.
Sound scientist, Prof. Daniel Talma of the University of Malta explains: "At certain frequencies you have standing waves that emphasize each and other waves that de-emphasize each other. The idea that it was used thousands of years ago to create a certain trance -- that's what fascinates me."
Dr. Ian A. Cook of UCLA and colleagues published findings in 2008 of an experiment in which regional brain activity in a number of healthy volunteers was monitored by EEG through different resonance frequencies.
Findings indicated that at 110 hz the patterns of activity over the prefrontal cortex abruptly shifted, resulting in a relative deactivation of the language center and a temporary switching from left to right-sided dominance related to emotional processing. People regularly exposed to resonant sound in the frequency of 110 or 111 hz would have been "turning on" an area of the brain that bio-behavioral scientists believe relates to mood, empathy and social behavior.
Although archaeologists had not found an explanation for such sophisticated engineering suddenly blossoming nearly six thousand years ago, Prof. Richard England, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, sees an evolution:
". . . a gradual growth, from the cave to the tomb. The idea of continuity comes from an underground architecture. Gradually from these ovular rock-hewn spaces, man moved above ground, and above ground he fashioned an architecture of the living which followed the form of an architecture for the dead."
"Once you know what you are looking for, you can see these same ceiling curves in natural caves in Malta." Eneix observes. "It's logical that the ancient temple builders observed the echoes and sound characteristics in the caves and came up with the idea of recreating the same environment in a more controlled way. Were they doing it intentionally to facilitate an altered state of consciousness? There is a lot that we are never going to know."