What Does The OM Symbol Mean?

Om Symbol Meaning

Om symbol meaning in Hinduism and Buddhism

Perhaps the most famous among the sacred Hindu and Tibetan symbols is the sign “Om”, the personification of the universe sound. He is also known as Aum and Soham. He has many interpretations.

What Does The OM Symbol Mean

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Om symbol, hieroglyph

It is believed that “Om” has a deep metaphysical meaning permeating the human consciousness itself. Well, let’s take a closer look at what the sign and the sound “Aum” tells us, what interpretations of symbolism are and what is the meaning of the Om tattoo.

Om symbol graphic signification

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


The letter “A” is understood as the beginning of something, birth (adimatva). The letter “U” – development, movement, transformation (utkarsha). The letter “M” represents the destruction, decay (miti). Within this view on the meaning of the sacred sign “Aum”, there is a general opinion that this is special energy of the natural processes of creation, development, and destruction.

The whole sign symbolizes the creation, and each of the letters means the masculine, feminine and neuter gender. The sign “Om” is also understood in terms of time – past, present, and future.

The symbol itself implies the creation, which is timeless. It is also worth understanding the sacred yoga symbol as the teaching of the mother, father, and guru. But in general, it means the knowledge of one’s own Self, an awareness of inner peace.

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The letter “A” is interpreted as vak (speech), “U” – manas (mind), “M” – prana (breath of life). The holistic symbol personifies the living spirit. The three letters can also be interpreted as length, width, and height, and the symbol implies Force, a cosmic energy, not limited by shape and size.

Jewelry with Om sign

In jewelry “Om” has a triple symbolism. In addition to the above examples, it is manifested in the following equivalents: qualities (guna) – rajas (energy), sattva (purity), Tamas (ignorance), man – body, soul, spirit, Deities – Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, etc. To understand all the greatness of this symbol, you must have religious knowledge, imbued with the sacredness of the sign.

The use of “Om” in different religious areas

Indian sign “Om” in Hinduism is the most sacred. It is pronounced at the very beginning of mantras and sacred texts. It symbolizes the trinity of the Rigveda, Yajurveda, and Samaveda. The sound of “Aum” is perceived as three times of the day, a person’s abilities (desire, knowledge, action) and three levels of existence (heaven, air, earth).

The Buddhist sign “Om” is borrowed from Hinduism. It is used in mantras, rituals, and personifies the three jewels of Buddhism (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha), Body, Speech, and Mind of Buddha. Om in Yoga & meditation practices is used as a mantra. The sound is consistently created in three parts of the body – the abdominal area (“A”), the chest (“U”), and the crown (“M”).

Buddhist Om Symbol Meaning

Buddhist sign Om Surprisingly, it is used in world culture. For example, the band The Beatles used the mantra in the chorus of one of their songs. George Harrison placed a symbol on the covers of several of his albums. And even in the movie “The Matrix” in one of the songs you can hear the mantra “Om”.

What is the Om Sanskrit meaning?

Visually, the sign “Om” looks in the Sanskrit alphabet as a ligature consisting of the letters “A”, “U”, and also anusvara, pronounced as “M”. In Sanskrit, “Om” is one letter, and graphically the symbol is represented by a combination of three letters, above which you can see an image of a crescent with a dot at the top. According to Sri Vinoba Bhave, the Sanskrit word Aum and the Latin Omne have the same root. They express omnipresence and omnipotence, and they can be translated as “so be it”, “true.” In addition, there are still at least 19 meanings of this syllable.

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Today it is not so rarely applied as a tattoo mark “Om”. However, before applying it you need to know the special rules. This symbol can be depicted only on the skin of the upper body, but in no case below the belt.

As it became clear, this is not just an interesting drawing. This is a magical symbol containing an incomprehensible sacred mystery of being. Sometimes a sign is depicted as a separate symbol from other elements, but its design is also extremely popular, for example, a lotus flower or a ring made of a multi-syllable ornament.

Om Mani Padme hum tattoo

What importance does the tattoo mark “Om” mean? In addition to decorating the body, people who are not close to religious teachings believe that it can be used to find a way out of even the most difficult life circumstances. He skillfully directs the person to the correct exit.

Those who seek to take the path of cleansing the mind, for example, practicing certain religious areas of Hinduism, put an Om tattoo, the significance of which is to help a person overcome the ordeals on the path to enlightenment.

Om symbol meaning as a sacred sound

“Om” is considered as Indian sign Omas the sacred sound used in mantras.

The sound “Aum” is considered the primary sound, independent of the cultural context. It can be said that this sound contains the whole alphabet, as for its pronunciation it is necessary to go through a phased metamorphosis.

So, the open mouth from “A” to “M” moves to its closure. And it has a deep sacred meaning. Considering this phenomenon from the point of view of metaphorical decoding, it follows that:

the sound “A” is pronounced with an open mouth, which personifies the state of wakefulness, activity. The sound “A” is pronounced with an open mouth, which personifies the state of wakefulness, activity.

The sound “U” is a transitional stage, which is formed from openness, but by closing the mouth, which symbolizes the state of sleep.

The sound “M” – there is a complete closing of the lips, interpreted as a state of a deep sleep, locking the doors to the outside world.

“Om” is the sound of the fourth dimension, invisible to the human senses, which perceive only the material world.

Mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” definition

It has already been pointed out that the sound “Om” is often used in religious mantras. They hide a deep Sign om tattoo value sacred meaning, often personified, for example, in one of the most famous mantras Om Mane Padme Hum. Tattoo with her image can be interpreted in different ways. Literally from the Tibetan language is translated as “Oh, the jewel in the lotus flower!”. But it is endowed with a wider meaning.

It is commonly believed that this is the mantra of Aodokiteshvara’s compassionate bodhisattva, consisting of six syllables, each of which is aimed at saving beings from man, animals, spirits and those who live in the underworld. For example, it is believed that every word in the tattoo “Om Mani Padme Hum” means the following:

The word “Om” – the body, speech, and mind of the Buddha.

“Mani” – love, sincere compassion, awakening.

“Padme” – wisdom.

“Hum” – the unity of practice and wisdom.

The sign “Om” is able to become a talisman for a person who is in a difficult life situation or who does not know which decision will be right. This symbol and sacred sound will help those who truly believe in it.

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