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The sacred syllable OM, , is the expression of the supreme spirit of Brahman and the individual spirit of Atman. Like all the expressions of the universal spirit of the Sun, it is associated with transcendent Oneness, an all-encompassing unity, all in One.
Centuries before Christ, the ancient Hindu scriptures, the Upanishads, made this identity clear :
‘ OM. This eternal word is all : what was, what is and what shall be, and what is beyond is in eternity. All is OM.
Brahman is all and Atman is Brahman. Atman in his own pure state : the awakened life of supreme consciousness … the Spirit himself .. peace and love .. this Atman is the eternal word OM.
The word OM .. is the state of supreme consciousness. It is beyond the senses .. it is non-duality and love. He goes with his self to the supreme Self who knows this.’
Mandukya Upanishad *trans. by Juan Mascaro Penguin Books
‘The word that all sacred studies and holy life seek … is OM. That word is the everlasting Brahman : that word is the highest end. When that sacred word is known, all longings are fulfilled.’
Katha Upanishad *
It is interesting to speculate on an Indo-European linguistic connection which has given us an apparent close resemblance to OM in the Latin word for all, ‘omnia.’ There has long been speculation on a connection with the Hebrew word, ‘amen,’ which means ‘truth.’ Although OM is used differently by the Hindus, at the beginning rather than the end of sacred expressions, and has a wider interpretation, OM is also recognised as an expression of ultimate truth.
The strong association of OM with the Atman, the Self, strongly evokes the psychologist C.G. Jung’s theory of the Self at the centre of the four psychological functions, or the four metaphysical elements, mentioned in connection with Brahma.
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