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Why Is Om So Important to Hindus

 

Why Is 'Om' So Important to Hindus?

"The goal which all the Vedas declare, which all austerities aim at, and which men desire when they lead the life of continence is Om. This syllable Om is indeed Brahman. Whosoever knows this syllable obtains all that he desires. This is the best support; this is the highest support. Whosoever knows this support is adored in the world of Brahma."
- Katha Upanishad

Om or Aum is of paramount importance in Hinduism.

This symbol (as seen in the image) is a sacred syllable representing Brahman, the impersonal Absolute of Hinduism — omnipotent, omnipresent, and the source of all manifest existence. Brahman, in itself, is incomprehensible; so a symbol becomes mandatory to help us realize the Unknowable. Om, therefore, represents both the unmanifest (nirguna) and manifest (saguna) aspects of God. That is why it is called pranava, to mean that it pervades life and runs through our prana or breath.

Om in Daily Life

Although Om symbolizes the most profound concepts of Hindu belief, it is in use daily.

The Hindus begin their day or any work or a journey by uttering Om. The sacred symbol is often found at the head of letters, at the beginning of examination papers and so on. Many Hindus, as an expression of spiritual perfection, wear the sign of Om as a pendant. This symbol is enshrined in every Hindu temple premise or in some form or another on family shrines.