is a very beautiful word of a syllable. In Kathopanishad it is said:

sarve bans yatpadamamananti tapamsi sarvani ca yadvadanti
yadicchanto brahmacarya caranti tatte padam sagrahena bravimyomityetat

  Vedas speak of that aim: to know it the people surrender to a study life and discipline. That is Om." Then, wanting this, the people surrender to a studious life, thoughtful and disciplined, sacrificing a lot. And the one what is this? Om. You cannot be briefer.

Linguistic meaning

  In sânscrit, the meaning of Om is avati or rakshati. Rakshati means "that that protects, it sustains". Therefore, that that sustains everything is Om and what sustains everything is what we can see as the order. We can go further on; this order is the reality of everything. The own order is a reality. It is then, the essence of the own order is Om. This means that Om is the name of the Lord that permeates and preserves everything in the world in the niyati form, the form of the order that sustains.

  When we say that the order is behind everything, this doesn't mean "behind" of some thing that is here. It is the own thing. That is a glass. What does it make it a glass? Which is the material of the glass? Why does he appear in that private form? Why doesn't he have other form? Why this material, doesn't stainless steel become rusty? Why does other steel rust - that what is iron-cast iron? This everything is order and this form is conserved by the order. It is the order that makes a thing like it is. The chair fact to be chair it is because of the order. Everything that is here is permeated by this order. This order is Íshvara.

  The one that you see is the object and its fact to see it is the order. In the own object there is order, for that you are not looking for "behind" of the object to find the order. Today that is glass of steel, you will be able to call him a glass of steel tomorrow, therefore that is in order.
If tomorrow it doesn't go glass of steel, nevertheless it will be in order. This is also seen. Today we see the form of a flower, tomorrow we will discover that the flower left and there is a fruit, this is also order. Order means the way as the things are as healthy.
Everything that exists is maintained for the order called niyati. This niyati is Ishvara, the Lord.

sarvam omkarah eva yadbhutam yadbhavishyatam

What happened before, what exists now and what will exist later - all this is Om."

The teaching here is to connect that meaning the this word. If the meaning is in my head, when I take this vision for you, there are the total transaction or communication then. That is teaching.

A word or object, abhidhanam and its meaning abhidheyam are a single and same thing.

When I ask you to bring a pot, you don't write "P - O - T " and bring it me. The name and the object are identical, in the sense that you cannot think about the word without thinking in the meaning. If you don't know the meaning, then it is not a word - she becomes only a group of sounds. One time that you know that for this group of sounds this meaning exists, then, without thinking in the meaning, you don't get to think in the word.

Like this, Om is a name and the truth of the Lord. Om is the name of the Lord that is everything.

Vedic Meaning of Om

Om is also used as a symbol (pratika in sânscrit) for everything, the whole universe, because Om sustains everything. The whole universe means not only the physical universe, but also its experience. This is the meaning that Vedas give to this symbol.

Being an oral tradition, Vedas explain to them Om as done of three parts. They are phonetic parts of this sound Om and each one of those parts carries a certain meaning. That is called superimposition, adhyasa. You superimpose a meaning on these sounds.

In OM, there is "A", there is "U", there is "M". "A" is a vowel, "U" is a vowel, "M" is the consonant. Then this "A" plus"U" together "M" become "OM". "A" more "U" become "O", a diphthong. If you notice like "A" and "U" are pronounced, as a combination in the sthana, the place from where the sound comes, then you will see that "A" more "U" can only be "O". And with "M" in the end, it becomes "OM."

The letter "A" represents all physical experience. When you are awake you are aware of the physical body and of this physical world - known and unknown. You are also aware of the experience of the physical world.

The letter"U" is the thought world that is experienced distinctly as different from the physical world. A thought world, that is experienced distinctly, as a dream, as imagination and as abstract or subtle, sukshma, is represented by "U". The thought world, the object of the thought world and his/her experience are the meaning of the sound "U."

Soon afterwards there is "M". The experience that you have in the deep sleep acts, the non manifest condition. What existed before and after the creation it is the meaning of the sound "M."

Then, that sleeps and the experience of the sleep, the dreamer and the experience of the dream, the awake and the experience of the awake, all these three constitute what we called as everything that exists. All these three together they represent Om. Om is complete:

vidim aviditam sarvam oàkarah

We saw that what existed before, what exists now and what will exist later, everything is OM. Equally, everything that is ignored, what is experienced, the experience and the experienciador is also OM. That is the Lord, Bhagavan or Ishvara.

Non linguistic meaning of Om

The whole jagat, the manifested world, it is seen as a, but we can say, diversily, has many forms. You can look at each one of them as a thing, but if you look them differently, you will discover that it is a combination of other things. Each one has a form, for which we give a name.

Even this physical body has been varying forms. We have two hands, two legs and in each part there are a lot of cells. The cells are different also. If we took the cells, there are many types of them: cells of the liver, cells of the brain, etc. Besides there are components of the cell, DNA, etc.

Therefore, you discover that it is going using new words continually because there are different forms inside in each way. All of the names and forms are not separate from the Lord. But, I want to give a name for the Lord; like this, I can link with Him or to see his meaning and then to communicate with Him.

Then, what name should I give - a name that included all the forms? When I say "pot", it is not "chair", it is not "table", it is not "tree", nor "carpet"; "pot" is only pot. But the Lord is pot, chair, is table, rug.... everything, Then what should I make? We have to recite the whole dictionary!

But this is not enough. You have to do it in each language! Each language, each dialect, has their own names and forms. There is an amount of objects in the world that still are not known and we continue inventing new facts for which we discovered new names.

When you are going to the language sânscrit there is another problem. The dictionary is an apology to the sânscrit language . Dictionary in the sanscrit language is not at all a dictionary, because the sanscrit language is full of composed words and you can do composed words the whole time and when you make a composition, it is a word that is valid but it is not in the dictionary. Then, in sanscrit it cannot have a complete and including dictionary. The possibilities of the words are infinite.

Linguistically, to give a name to the Lord - that is all in the names and ways - it is an impossible task. Therefore, we abandoned the languages. Like this, we have other explanation for OM, that is not linguistic. Don't look at him as a word. Look at him as something that is purely phonetic.

All of the names are only words. All of the words are only letters and all of the letters are only sounds. Letters and alphabet also differ. In English you have of "A" "Z"; in Latin it begins with "Alpha" and it finishes with "Omega"; in Sânscrito he is going from the "A" to "H."

We discovered that the letters are specific for each language. Therefore, we are going besides the letters where all of the particularities of the languages are outdated.

Besides the letters, a name becomes a group of sounds. French, Arabic, the member of an African tribe, an erudite in sanscrit or a brahmin of Boston, all emit some sounds.

Specifically, when I don't know the language listen only sounds. In each language, certain sounds repeat, what constitutes the only characteristic of that language. But, if a French or an Indian or did anybody open his mouth to do a sound, what would be?

When you open the mouth and make a sound, the sound that is produced is A. If you close the mouth and make a sound, that sound is M. You don't produce any other sound later. All the other sounds are among the sounds A and M, be them consonants or vocals. However, there is a sound that can represent all the other sounds, in the sense of completing all of the sounds, you produce it rounding the lips. It is U. Now I can combine those three sounds that represent all of the sounds: A + U + M and to do a single word that if it will turn Om, the name of the Lord. Once you say Om, you say everything.

When you know the meaning, Om becomes the name of the Lord for you. Then you can call him, to invoke him and to pray for Him.
It is for this that a lot of prayers, songs and mantras begin with Om.