OM Symbol and meaning, history, PNG

OM SymbolOM Symbol

Perhaps the most famous among the sacred Hindu and Tibetan symbols is the “Om” sign, the embodiment of the sound that created everything in the universe. It is also known as “Aum” and “Soham”. It has many interpretations.

For example, “Om” can be thought of as the unnamed name of the Creator, the Almighty, the Tao. It should not only be considered as ritual symbolism but much broader. It is believed to contain a deep metaphysical meaning that permeates the very human consciousness.

Different interpretations of the “Om” sign

There are several interpretations of the symbol “Om”: it expresses both a graphic sign and a combination of sounds. So where did the belief that “Aum” has a sacred meaning and carries a deep spiritual message come from?

Indian spiritual sciences tell us that God originally created sound, from the vibrations of which the world and everything in the world arose. Metria itself and all of our existence came from the sacred sound. As stated in the Upanishads, “Om” is God in the form of sound.

OM Symbol

The meaning of “Om” or “Aum” is considered in different teachings with some differences, but there is certainly much in common in these approaches.

The letter “A” is understood as the beginning of something, birth (adimatva). The letter “U” stands for development, movement, transformation (utkarsha). The letter “M” represents destruction, decay (miti). Within this view of the meaning of the sacred sign “Aum,” there is a common view that it is special energy (God), controlling the regular processes of creation, development, and destruction of the universe.

The entire sign symbolizes the Creator with his creations, and each of the letters stands for masculine, feminine, and neuter.

The sign “Om” is also understood in terms of time – past, present, and future. The symbol itself implies a Creator who is outside of time.

It is also worthwhile to understand the sacred symbol as the teachings of the mother, the father, and the guru. And in general, it means the knowledge of one’s self, the realization of inner divinity.

The letter “A” is interpreted as vak (speech), “U” as manas (mind), and “M” as prana (breath of life). The holistic symbol represents the living spirit, which is part of the divine spirit. Within this approach, too, the three letters can be interpreted as length, width, and height, and the symbol implies the Force, cosmic energy, God, not limited to form and size.

So, “Om” has a triple symbolism. In addition to the above examples, it also manifests itself in such equivalents:

  • qualities (gunas) – rajas (energy), sattva (purity), tamas (ignorance);
  • Man – body, soul, spirit;
  • deities – Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, etc.

To understand all the greatness of this symbol, one must have religious knowledge and be imbued with the sacredness of the sign.

Where and how the OM symbol is used

The sign (sound) “OM” is used in different countries, in different religions and practices: in meditations, in rituals, in yoga, at the beginning of sacred texts and mantras.

OM Symbol George Harrison Guitar Pick

This wonderful symbol was even used by such celebrities of world culture: George Harrison: placed the sign on some covers of his albums; “The Beatles” (they sang the mantra in the chorus of one of their songs); and in the famous movie “The Matrix”, the divine mantra, you can hear in one of the songs.

What does the sign of “Om” look like?

Visually, the sign “Om” looks like a ligature in the Sanskrit alphabet, consisting of the letters “A”, “U”, and anuswara pronounced as “M”.

Symbol OM


In Sanskrit, “Om” is a single letter, and graphically the symbol is represented from a combination of three letters, above which a crescent moon with a dot on top can be seen. As Sri Vinoba Bhave states, both the Sanskrit word “Aum” and the Latin “Omne” have the same root. They express omnipresence and omnipotence, and can be translated as “so be it,” “truly.” In addition, there are at least 19 other meanings of this syllable.