Friday May 24, 2019

The Power of ‘Om’: Find Peace with Mind, Body and Soul

Om is the cosmic vibration, giving birth to all sounds that exist

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Chanting Om. Image source: www.stylecraze.com
  • Om is considered the absolute symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism
  • Uttering the spiritual word leads to self realization and reconciliation of the inner self
  • There are various physical benefits of chanting Om and is good for heart

“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 I

‘OM’ or ‘AUM’ is one of the most important symbols in Hinduism and Buddhism. It is often chanted during the recital of spiritual texts, pujas, weddings and meditative activities of yoga. It is the cosmic vibration, giving birth to all sounds that exist.

Om Symbol. Image source: www.hinduwebsite.com
Om Symbol. Image source: www.hinduwebsite.com

It comprises of syllables A-U-M, corresponding to three principles of nature:

A- Waking state | U- Dream state | M- State of deep sleep

Benefits of uttering Om-

Uttering the spiritual word leads to self realisation and reconciliation of the inner self. It also instils peace and deep sense of being.

Chanting om links all the beings that exist together, including the nature and the universe. There are various physical benefits as well. It lowers down the blood pressure, calms the mind, slows the nervous system and improves the health of the heart in the long run.

A recent TOI report said that the Government of Madhya Pradesh has announced to observe International Yoga Day on June 21 by chanting of ‘Om’, but necessarily not in the morning.

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Right technique of chanting-

Chanting Om during Yoga. Image source: Zeenews
Chanting Om during Yoga. Image source: Zeenews

First, sit cross legged. Make it a point that your spine, neck and head are aligned. Close your eyes and detach yourself from the outer world. Breathe in deeply and while exhaling, chant the word om. It is pronounced like home, without the h. Stretch the syllables equally.

Repeat this 3 times. You will be able to feel the vibration of the word in every cell of your body.

Benefits of Om in Daily Life-

Om pendants. Image source: mulpix.com
Om pendants. Image source: mulpix.com

Although Om symbolizes the most profound concepts of Hindu belief, it is used by many for the benefits it brings with it. The sacred symbol of Om can be seen at the head of letters, hang it on the main door of the house, at the top of examination papers and so on.  Om is popular with people of all ages, specially Hindus as they wear it in the form of pendants as an expression of spiritual perfection. The symbol is present in every Hindu temples and premises in some form or the other.

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Hindu born children are ushered into this world with this holy sign. According to the ritual, the child is cleansed and the sacred syllable ‘Om’ is written on its tongue with honey. Thus right at the time of birth the syllable. Apart from that, Om is also a popular symbol and is used in contemporary body art as well as tattoos.

-prepared by Devika Todi, an intern at NewsGram. twitter: devika_todi

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  • Aparna Gupta

    Also, Om is used before any Mantra because it increases the power of Mantra and forgive for any slip of tongue during chanting a mantra.

Next Story

East African Countries Set to Ban Skin-Lightening Products Containing Hydroquinone

If bans are not backed by enforcement, they will have little effect on the use of the high demand skin-lightening products, despite the risk to health

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skin-lightening products
FILE - Aranmolate Ayobami, plastic surgeon at Grandville Medical and Laser clinic in Lagos, holds a tube of Skinlite a skin lightening product used at his clinic, on July 17, 2018, in Lagos, Nigeria. VOA

East African countries are set to ban skin-lightening products that contain hydroquinone, a medical agent linked to health problems when used in high concentrations. The East African Legislative Assembly last week passed a resolution calling for a region-wide ban on the manufacturing and importation of products containing hydroquinone.

At a beauty parlor in Arusha, 52-year-old Rose Mselle has been using skin-bleaching products since she was a teenager. She says women like her want to be beautiful. “And in the process of looking for beauty, or for our skin color to shine, we use things that we shouldn’t,” she added.

At a nearby market, 32-year-old clothing vendor Janet Jonijosefu used skin-lightening products that contain hydroquinone, a medical agent used to treat dark spots, for years. She stopped after her skin became fragile.

She said the beauty products containing hydroquinone badly affected her skin. She started developing patches on her face. She went to the doctor and was advised to stop using products containing hydroquinone and instead use aloe vera.

skin-lightening products
FILE – A shop sells skin-lightening products in Accra, Ghana, on July 3, 2018. VOA

Skin-lightening products often use high concentrations of hydroquinone, which can cause skin problems or become toxic when mixed with other bleaching chemicals.

Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa ban or regulate the agent in cosmetics. Tanzania bars imports. The East African Legislative Assembly last week passed a resolution on a region-wide ban of hydroquinone’s manufacture and importation.

Suzan Nakawuki, a member of the regional assembly from Uganda, noted that hydroquinone is not only used by women but also men. “We have seen men bleaching seriously even more than women,” she said. “But it’s becoming a problem. If we don’t regulate it, it is going to become very problematic.”

When used medically, hydroquinone can be an effective treatment for skin discoloration. Some East African lawmakers spoke out against a blanket ban. Aden Abdikadir, a lawmaker from Kenya, said he is concerned a blanket ban will cause “serious trade disruption” for cosmetics.

skin-lightening products
If bans are not backed by enforcement, they will have little effect on the use of the high demand skin-lightening products, despite the risk to health. Wikimedia Commons

If signed by heads of state, the ban becomes law in all six East African Community states, which include Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

Critics point out bans on hydroquinone have failed to stop smuggled products from being sold openly. Cosmetics labeled as having hydroquinone are on display at shops in Arusha.

If bans are not backed by enforcement, they will have little effect on the use of the high demand skin-lightening products, despite the risk to health. (VOA)