Monday 13 July 2009

Omkara

In ancient mythology whenever a God wants to give life to Himself or to another God,to manifest Heaven and Earth,or Man,He emits a sound.The creative Gods will create everything through Sound,"OM".It is the song of creation!
OMKARA UPASANA:-Sri Krishna Himself claims to be Omkara in the seventh chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.Omkara is auspicious whether a person utters it knowingly or unknowingly.The words "OM ATHA" came out of Lord Brahma's throat in the beginning of creation.When Omkara is repeated alone,the mind develops "vairagya"(detachment).The seekers and hermits in the stage of "vanaprasthaashrama" and sannyaasa make use of Omkara for getting completely detached.
Omkara represents all the letters of the alphabets and therefore all the objects of creation.Thus Omkara is the ideal locus (Alambana) for contemplating the Higher principle of Totality (VIRAT) which is the object of the Upasana (Upasya).The great cosmic sound of the Omkara resonates and vibrates above the head like thunder in the sky (Meghanaada).
KATHOPANISHAD:-Omkara is the best locus for contemplating on the All-Pervasive.Having known and contemplating on this Omkara,man can attain Brahmaloka.

THREE LEVELS OF EXISTENCE:-1)A-gross level of manifestation, 2)U-subtle level just before manifestation, 3)M-casual level,unmanifest, 4) . )-('m' matra as in sanskrit)-Supra casual.

MUNDAKA UPANISHAD-Omkara is the bow,individual self is the arrow,Brahman is the target.The target must be hit by an undistracted seeker and should become one with it as the arrow does.This is a metaphor.Brahman is not really separated from us.The target is knowledge of Brahman.Omkara will give us that knowledge.

AUM could be interpreted as follows:-

A-first letter,with the mouth open

M-third letter with mouth close

U-is seen as intermediate

The OM (AUM) represents all the alphabets,all the words and all the objects of the Universe.What is beyond Omkara is Silence.Silence is the Parabrahman and Omkara is the Shabdha Brahman.Silence-awareness is the illuminator and the content of Omkara.Brahman is both beyond Omkara, the sustaining content of Omkara and the witness of Omkara.

TATTRIYA UPANISHAD 1-16.Omkara worship along with Omkara Upasana (contemplation) is considered to be one of the superior upasanas of the Vedas.

THE HUM OF THE DRAGON (THE CHINESE TAOISTS):-The Om sound is a high-pitched electrical vibration that can be heard-maybe on a quiet morning.There are ten different manifestations of this sound.Chinese taoists recognise two of these.One they call "the hum of the dragon";the other ,"the growl of the tiger".

SWAMI CHETANANANDA from"BREATH OF GOD":-The Om sound is the fundamental vibration of life itself.There is no work to be done with it except,when you here it ,to be aware of it.

SRI ANANDAMAYEE MAA:-(1896-1982),also called Anandamoyi Maa,was a Hindu spiritual teacher and Guru from Bengal and hailed as a spiritual mystic of the 20th century.She would go into a trance and sing many hymns.One of the hymns sung by Her while in a mystical trance:-

Thou hast come out of "PRANAVA"(OM),the seed-word,the base of all existence and the truth of all.....Thou dost symbolize the Heavenly Couple,Kaama and Kaameswari who are dissolved together in all-permeating Bliss Supreme and signified by Nada and Bindu.

This sacred hymn of Anadamayee maa superbly unfolds the mystery of the first creation out of Pranava-The Omkara.Mother said on one occasion:The one eternal word is the prime cause of the Universe:with the evolution of the ever-abiding word,the progress of the material life of creation goes on in parallel lines.These eternal Truths that came out of Her conciousness during samadhi ,have been echoed in Maitreyi Upanishad:-Om was splendour and fire at first.By this syllable Om,the splendour germinates,it shoots upwards,it expands,and becomes the vehicle of Divine worship:the splendour germinates in the form of the mystic syllable Om,as a seed germinates,i.e.,it is manifested in the primeval form of the Veda(the creative song),it shoots as the internal sound Om.

Omkara and Nabhi in LALLA:-Lalla was a great saint and mystic from the Kashmir province of India.She lived in the 14th century.She went through many heart aches in Her marital life and renounced life to come under the spiritual tutelage of Sidh Srikanth.Lalla excelled in spiritual practices and is said to have reached the lofty height of spiritual realization, which is the abode of nectar.

Her love for Shiva could be compared to the Meerabai's love for Krishna.Her poems or "vakyas",formed an important part of kashmiri language and culture and are still very much revered even today.

She said about Omkara:-(LALLA-VAKYANI)-The pranava -Om,is endowed with all virtues contained in all the mantras taken as a whole.She said-"With the help of pranava,I absorb myself in union with the Atman-Light,and so expelled the fear of death."

Lalla advocates a form of concentration on the navel-centre,the nabhi,with the help of Om associated with the rising of kundalini.During sahaja-kumbhaka one becomes absorbed in Shiva.In the Thyagaraja krithi,Mokshamu galada Omkara is mentionedin the charanam:-"Praanaanla samyogamu valla pranava naadamu sapthaswaramulai baraga"-Pranava or Omkara is generated from the combination of Prana or vital force and Anala or the fire.It is from pranava ,the seven notes of the Divine music emerge.

In the continuing lyrics :-" Veena vaadana loludau Siva mano vidhamerugaru,Thyaagaraaja vinutha"-veenas state is exalted by the implication that salvation is not obtainable to those who are not able to perceive the mind of Shiva whose conciousness is tuned to the divine resonance of the veena!

In the krithi "Raga sudharasa" in Andolika ragam,Sri Thyagaraja says in the charanam:"Sadaa Shivamayamagu Nadomkara swara vidhulu jeevanmukthulani Thyagaraaju theliyu"-As known to Thyagaraja,the jeevan mukthas are those who enjoy the melody that is the glorious form of Sadashiva,which is the sound of the tuneful Omkara!




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