(Auṃ or Oṃ, : ॐ)

What is O.M or AUM?

Om : Auṃ or Oṃ, : ) is a sacred sound and a spiritual icon in Hindu religion. It is also a mantra in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism

Before the beginning, the absolute reality was one and non-dual. It thought, “I am only one—may I become many.” This caused a vibration which eventually became a sound and this sound was Om, pronounced “aum”.

The primordial sound made when the universe was created. “Creation itself was set in motion by the vibration of Om.”

”Meaning Of Om”

The Sanskrit word OM (also written as AUM) is a composite of three letters “A” (? – like the first sound in ‘aware’, “U” (? -as in ‘foot’ and “M” (?? – as the last sound in ‘mum’). According to MU, the three letters A, U, and M represent the waking, dream and deep sleep states. The silence between successive repetitions of the mantra represents the fourth state called ‘turiya’ (literally the ‘fourth’ in Sanskrit), a state that transcends these three states. These three states correspond to the conscious, sub-conscious and unconscious states of the mind. A few other commonly mentioned interpretations of the letters A, U and M are given below:

  • According to yoga, Samkhya and many other scriptures, the whole material creation, including human mind and body are a manifestation of the ‘mula prakriti’ (primordial nature) which is composed of the three gunas – sattva, rajas and tamas. The three letters of OM thus correspond to the three gunas as follows:
  • A = tamas (darkness, inertia, ignorance)
  • U = rajas (passion, activity, dynamism)
  • M = Sattva (purity, truth, light)

The silence between the two AUM sounds represents the pure consciousness, a state which transcends the three gunas (called ‘trigunaatit’ – beyond gunas)

  • A = Brahma (the creator), U = Vishnu (the sustainer) and M = Shiva (the destroyer); the silence between two OM sounds = the substratum or the reality that lies beyond the trinity
  • A = Present, U = Past, M = future; silence between sounds = the reality beyond time and space
  • What does the symbol Om represent?

The Om symbol written in Sanskrit represents everything. The material world of the waking state is symbolized by the large lower curve. The deep sleep state is symbolized by the upper left curve. The dream state, lying between the waking state below and deep sleep state above, emanates from the confluence of the two. The point and semicircle are separate from the rest and rule the whole. The point represents the state of absolute consciousness. The open semicircle is symbolic of the infinite and the fact that the meaning of the point cannot be grasped if one limits oneself to finite thinking.

How to chant OM!!

As Patanjali states in sutra 1.28, OM should be chanted keeping its meaning and significance in mind. Since OM is the representative sound and symbol for Ishvara, it is important to keep the essence of Ishvara (sutra 1.24) in mind while chanting OM. The technique for chanting OM is given below:

Sit in a comfortable cross-legged seated posture with the spine upright, head, neck and spine in a vertical (if comfortable) alignment. Close the eyes and take a deep inhalation. While exhaling start uttering the OM sound. Begin by feeling the vibration of the “O” sound building up in the navel area and traveling upward. As you continue the chant, feel the vibration moving upward toward the base of the throat. When the vibration reaches the throat area, convert the sound to a deep humming sound of “M”. Continue to feel the vibration moving upward until it reaches the crown of the head (called Sahasrara Chakra). You may repeat this process two or more times. At the end of the final chant, continue to sit still and feel the vibration of the OM sound permeating the whole body – every single cell of the body.

Benefits of chanting OM

The continued recitation of OM (called Udgita Pranayama) fills one with peace, calmness, tranquility and serenity. When we recite it with the understanding that OM is nothing but a representation of Ishvara, it brings us closer to our true nature, our own pure self. As mentioned above, OM is the primordial sound and this entire creation is a manifestation of this mystic sound. It represents the cosmic prana (the vital energy) and the air we breathe. Meditating on these thoughts can bring us closer to other human beings and lift the veil of separateness.

Do you chant the sound of OM in your yoga practice? If so, do you chant OM by itself or in association with other mantras?

The importance of “Om” in the six true words;

Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum.

The first word Om is composed of three letters, A, U, and M. These symbolize the practitioner’s impure body, speech, and mind; they also symbolize the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha

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The Moirai (Moerae)-'' Decide Fates Or Person's Destiny''

The Moirai (Moerae), also referred to as the Fates, represent the idea of “destiny” in Greek mythology. The Ancient Greeks had a habit of creating deities to represent abstract concepts as a way of explaining their world. However, the Moirai do more than just represent destiny – they are the personification of it. It is understood that the Moirai controlled people’s lives in different ways from the time they were born to the time they died.

It is interesting to note that the word, Moirai, meant a portion or a part of a whole in Ancient Greek. The connotation here is that it referred to a portion of a bounty, as would be the case if people were to divide up a treasure. Thus, the Morai were seen as being keepers of a person’s destiny, or her specific allotment of life. Here’s more information about who the Moirai were and the role they played in Greek mythology.

Who the Moirai (Moerae) Were

It is largely understood that the Moirai, or the Fates, were three of the six children that Themis, the goddess of Justice, and Zeus, the king of the gods, had together. The other three children were the Horai, or the Hours. The names of the three Fates were Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. They each had their own, unique characteristics.

  • Clotho. She was known as the spinner because she “spun” the very thread of a person’s life. She spun the thread from her Distaff directly to her Spindle.
  • Lachesis – Once Clotho spun the thread, Lachesis would measure it for each person. Each person had different lengths of thread, indicated that they all had different life spans.
  • Atropos – She was responsible for cutting the thread, which indicates that she controlled when life would end. She also chose the way each person would die.

As you can see, Clotho was always associated with the beginning of life. She essentially created it by spinning the thread. Lachesis controlled the length of a person’s life, and Atropos was always associated with death. Thus, the three Fates essentially represent Birth, Life, and Death.

The Appearance of the Moirai

Unlike their siblings, the Horai, the Moirai were always depicted as ugly old women. Note that the Horai were always depicted as young, beautiful women. The Ancient Greeks appeared to have feared the Moirai. After all, one of the Fates (Moerae) were said to have controlled every aspect of a person’s life, including their death. As a result, most Ancient Greeks feared them and as a result, they imagined them with unflattering appearances. They were also depicted as crippled, stern, inflexible, and severe. They were usually depicted together as a group of three and they were often depicted with their objects. For instance, Clotho was usually shown with her spindle and Atropos was depicted with her cutting shears.

The Moirai, also referred to as the Fates, were an interesting part of Greek mythology. They were three of the children of Themis and Zeus and they were always associated with a person’s destiny.

The Moirai (Moerae)-” Decide Fates Or Person’s Destiny”

The Moirai (Moerae), also referred to as the Fates, represent the idea of “destiny” in Greek mythology. The Ancient Greeks had a habit of creating deities to represent abstract concepts as a way of explaining their world. However, the Moirai do more than just represent destiny – they are the personification of it. It is understood that the Moirai controlled people’s lives in different ways from the time they were born to the time they died.

It is interesting to note that the word, Moirai, meant a portion or a part of a whole in Ancient Greek. The connotation here is that it referred to a portion of a bounty, as would be the case if people were to divide up a treasure. Thus, the Morai were seen as being keepers of a person’s destiny, or her specific allotment of life. Here’s more information about who the Moirai were and the role they played in Greek mythology.

Who the Moirai (Moerae) Were

It is largely understood that the Moirai, or the Fates, were three of the six children that Themis, the goddess of Justice, and Zeus, the king of the gods, had together. The other three children were the Horai, or the Hours. The names of the three Fates were Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. They each had their own, unique characteristics.

  • Clotho. She was known as the spinner because she “spun” the very thread of a person’s life. She spun the thread from her Distaff directly to her Spindle.
  • Lachesis – Once Clotho spun the thread, Lachesis would measure it for each person. Each person had different lengths of thread, indicated that they all had different life spans.
  • Atropos – She was responsible for cutting the thread, which indicates that she controlled when life would end. She also chose the way each person would die.

As you can see, Clotho was always associated with the beginning of life. She essentially created it by spinning the thread. Lachesis controlled the length of a person’s life, and Atropos was always associated with death. Thus, the three Fates essentially represent Birth, Life, and Death.

The Appearance of the Moirai

Unlike their siblings, the Horai, the Moirai were always depicted as ugly old women. Note that the Horai were always depicted as young, beautiful women. The Ancient Greeks appeared to have feared the Moirai. After all, one of the Fates (Moerae) were said to have controlled every aspect of a person’s life, including their death. As a result, most Ancient Greeks feared them and as a result, they imagined them with unflattering appearances. They were also depicted as crippled, stern, inflexible, and severe. They were usually depicted together as a group of three and they were often depicted with their objects. For instance, Clotho was usually shown with her spindle and Atropos was depicted with her cutting shears.

The Moirai, also referred to as the Fates, were an interesting part of Greek mythology. They were three of the children of Themis and Zeus and they were always associated with a person’s destiny.

''My Religion Is Humanity''

Humanity is the true religion of mankind. There is no difference among the people. All are like you and me. All belong to the one category that is human, the human race. Without humanity or the feeling of kindness, a human could indulge in any negative activities within the society.

Buddha once said, “Rule your mind or it will rule you.

Negative qualities which man without humanity is like, start telling lies. Inculcate the habit of stealing others property. Always jealous of others and try to harm people around him and so on.

“Anything that helps to unite all and develop pure divine love and universal brotherhood, is Dharma. Anything that creates discord, split and disharmony and foments hatred, is Adharma. Dharma is the cementer and sustainer of social life. The rules of Dharma have been laid down for regulating the worldly affairs of men. Dharma brings as its consequence happiness, both in this world and in the next. Dharma is the means of preserving one’s self.

My Religion (Dharma) Is Humanity-

It is a fact, Religions today no longer serve the purpose for which they came into existence. The very basic theme of each religion was to teach, how to love each other and bring us closer to ourselves and to God. Today the opposite is happening, Religions are not uniting but dividing us. Forget the differences from religion to religion, each now has so many divisions. The biggest problem Religions are bringing in is Fundamentalism and intolerance, giving birth to Fanatics, who are ready to destroy our freedom, just in the name of religion.

It is about time, to rectify our vision, rectify our way of life, and mold them into what the various religions originally desired. Humanity is the religion which all religions preach, so why not follow it as such, with just a few basic themes to practice and follow in our day to day lives:-

  1. God has sent us as a visitor to this planet Earth, with a Visitor’s visa, having a fixed expiry date. So live and enjoy your stay as a visitor, rather than amassing wealth and trying to become a permanent resident. Remember, this visa is a single entry, non-renewable and non-endorsable.
  2. Love is the only baggage you are allowed to bring and the only baggage you can take back. All remaining things which you acquire during your visit, you have to leave them behind. The more love you can carry the more valuable you become, as in His Kingdom, beings are valued and honored by the amount of love they possess.
  3. To make our visit enjoyable, God gives us a family network, father, mother, brothers & sisters. As charity begins at Home, we should learn and practice to share that baggage of love with the family. Once that is achieved, we can move forward to share our love with friends, associates, co-workers etc.
  4. United we stand, divided we fall, imagine if the World could be one, no Religions, no borders, no wars. The basics all begin at home, if the family can stand as one, that will be the beginning. If brothers & sisters learn to love and live in harmony, that is the beginning.
  5. No matter what, we cannot change our present destiny. So what is the need to rush in our day to day lives, why to have the desire to get more than what we are destined for? Let’s do whatever we do today with full sincerity and leave the results to God, and to the fruits of our actions. Our destiny of tomorrow depends on our actions of today.
  6. Peace is within us, Love is within us, God is within us. That means, God is Love, Love is God, and the understanding of this truth gives us that internal Peace.
  7. When a child is born, the only thing he/she knows is love. The rest we teach, hatred, jealousy, greed, even terrorism. The biggest up-bringing we can give our children is that of love. A loving atmosphere in our home is the biggest foundation we can give to our children. We do not have the power to change their destinies, as each’s destiny is pre-ordained by God.
  8. The power we do have is that of Love, as this is within us. As every parent wants the best for each of his children, with a loving upbringing we certainly can chart the same destiny for all of them, a destiny of Love, Peace, and Happiness.
  9. As we sow, so shall we reap, this is the age-old saying, but how true!

Sow seeds of Hatred and reap tons of Hatred

Sow seeds of Jealousy and reap tons of Jealousy

Sow seeds of Terror and reap tons of Terror

So why not sow seeds of Love and reap tons of Love!

Love is not something which can be given by force, but Religions, as they stand today, are given by force, by parents to children. Anything given by force can never have fruitful results. Love is realized from within, with loving actions, loving emotions, and loving feelings, and the results are always fruitful. On the other hand, Religions given by force can turn us into what we are not, and take us miles away from God and Humanity.

Humanity truly stands out as a religion of Love, Peace, and Happiness

The only force in this is the force of Love!

As God is Love and Love is God

There is nothing else down here or above

Just the force of Love!

And the desire to be human, the desire to love and be loved

So let’s embrace Humanity and begin a new way of life.

”My Religion Is Humanity”

Humanity is the true religion of mankind. There is no difference among the people. All are like you and me. All belong to the one category that is human, the human race. Without humanity or the feeling of kindness, a human could indulge in any negative activities within the society.

Buddha once said, “Rule your mind or it will rule you.

Negative qualities which man without humanity is like, start telling lies. Inculcate the habit of stealing others property. Always jealous of others and try to harm people around him and so on.

“Anything that helps to unite all and develop pure divine love and universal brotherhood, is Dharma. Anything that creates discord, split and disharmony and foments hatred, is Adharma. Dharma is the cementer and sustainer of social life. The rules of Dharma have been laid down for regulating the worldly affairs of men. Dharma brings as its consequence happiness, both in this world and in the next. Dharma is the means of preserving one’s self.

My Religion (Dharma) Is Humanity-

It is a fact, Religions today no longer serve the purpose for which they came into existence. The very basic theme of each religion was to teach, how to love each other and bring us closer to ourselves and to God. Today the opposite is happening, Religions are not uniting but dividing us. Forget the differences from religion to religion, each now has so many divisions. The biggest problem Religions are bringing in is Fundamentalism and intolerance, giving birth to Fanatics, who are ready to destroy our freedom, just in the name of religion.

It is about time, to rectify our vision, rectify our way of life, and mold them into what the various religions originally desired. Humanity is the religion which all religions preach, so why not follow it as such, with just a few basic themes to practice and follow in our day to day lives:-

  1. God has sent us as a visitor to this planet Earth, with a Visitor’s visa, having a fixed expiry date. So live and enjoy your stay as a visitor, rather than amassing wealth and trying to become a permanent resident. Remember, this visa is a single entry, non-renewable and non-endorsable.
  2. Love is the only baggage you are allowed to bring and the only baggage you can take back. All remaining things which you acquire during your visit, you have to leave them behind. The more love you can carry the more valuable you become, as in His Kingdom, beings are valued and honored by the amount of love they possess.
  3. To make our visit enjoyable, God gives us a family network, father, mother, brothers & sisters. As charity begins at Home, we should learn and practice to share that baggage of love with the family. Once that is achieved, we can move forward to share our love with friends, associates, co-workers etc.
  4. United we stand, divided we fall, imagine if the World could be one, no Religions, no borders, no wars. The basics all begin at home, if the family can stand as one, that will be the beginning. If brothers & sisters learn to love and live in harmony, that is the beginning.
  5. No matter what, we cannot change our present destiny. So what is the need to rush in our day to day lives, why to have the desire to get more than what we are destined for? Let’s do whatever we do today with full sincerity and leave the results to God, and to the fruits of our actions. Our destiny of tomorrow depends on our actions of today.
  6. Peace is within us, Love is within us, God is within us. That means, God is Love, Love is God, and the understanding of this truth gives us that internal Peace.
  7. When a child is born, the only thing he/she knows is love. The rest we teach, hatred, jealousy, greed, even terrorism. The biggest up-bringing we can give our children is that of love. A loving atmosphere in our home is the biggest foundation we can give to our children. We do not have the power to change their destinies, as each’s destiny is pre-ordained by God.
  8. The power we do have is that of Love, as this is within us. As every parent wants the best for each of his children, with a loving upbringing we certainly can chart the same destiny for all of them, a destiny of Love, Peace, and Happiness.
  9. As we sow, so shall we reap, this is the age-old saying, but how true!

Sow seeds of Hatred and reap tons of Hatred

Sow seeds of Jealousy and reap tons of Jealousy

Sow seeds of Terror and reap tons of Terror

So why not sow seeds of Love and reap tons of Love!

Love is not something which can be given by force, but Religions, as they stand today, are given by force, by parents to children. Anything given by force can never have fruitful results. Love is realized from within, with loving actions, loving emotions, and loving feelings, and the results are always fruitful. On the other hand, Religions given by force can turn us into what we are not, and take us miles away from God and Humanity.

Humanity truly stands out as a religion of Love, Peace, and Happiness

The only force in this is the force of Love!

As God is Love and Love is God

There is nothing else down here or above

Just the force of Love!

And the desire to be human, the desire to love and be loved

So let’s embrace Humanity and begin a new way of life.

''What Makes Us Happy May Not Always Bring More Meaning''

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” For most people, feeling happy and finding life meaningful are both important and related goals. But do happiness and meaning always go together? It seems unlikely, given that many of the things that we regularly choose to do – from running marathons to raising children – are unlikely to increase our day-to-day happiness. Its said that while happiness and a sense of meaning often overlap, they also diverge in important and surprising ways.

The key differences between a happy life and a meaningful one. We asked some people to answer a few questions on their happiness levels, the degree to which they saw their lives as meaningful, and their general lifestyle and circumstances. As one might expect, people’s happiness levels were positively correlated with whether they saw their lives as meaningful. However, the two measures were not identical – suggesting that what makes us happy may not always bring more meaning, and vice versa. To probe for differences between the two questions about people’s feelings and moods, their relationships with others, and their day-to-day activities. Feeling happy was strongly correlated with seeing life as easy, pleasant, and free from difficult or troubling events. Happiness was also correlated with being in good health and generally feeling well most of the time. However, none of these things were correlated with a greater sense of meaning. Feeling good most of the time might help us feel happier, but it doesn’t necessarily bring a sense of purpose to our lives.

Interestingly, their findings suggest that money, contrary to popular sayings, can indeed buy happiness. Having enough money to buy what one needs in life, as well as what one desires, were also positively correlated with greater levels of happiness. However, having enough money seemed to make little difference in life’s sense of meaning.

This same disconnect was recently found in a multi-national study conducted by Shigehiro Oishi and Ed Diener, who show that people from wealthy countries tend to be happier, however, they don’t see their lives as more meaningful. In fact, Oishi and Diener found that people from poorer countries tend to see their lives as more meaningful. Although the reasons are not totally clear, this might be related to greater religious belief, having more children, and stronger social ties among those living in poorer countries. Perhaps instead of saying that “money doesn’t buy happiness,” we ought to say instead that “money doesn’t buy meaning.”

Not too surprisingly, our relationships with other people are related to both how happy we are as well as how meaningful we see our lives. We feel more connected to others improved both happiness and meaning. However, the role we adopt in our relationships makes an important difference. In addition, spending more time with friends was related to greater happiness but not more meaning. In contrast, spending more time with people one loves was correlated with greater meaning but not with more happiness. It seems that spending time with loved ones is often more difficult, but ultimately more satisfying, than spending time with friends.

When it comes to thinking about how to be happier, many of us fantasize about taking more vacations or finding ways to avoid mundane tasks. We may dream about skipping housework and instead doing something fun and pleasurable. However, tasks which don’t make us happy can, over time, add up to a meaningful life. Even routine activities — talking on the phone, cooking, cleaning, housework, meditating, emailing, praying, waiting on others, and balancing finances — appeared to bring more meaning to people’s lives, but not happiness in the moment.

More broadly, the findings suggest that pure happiness is about getting what we want in life—whether through people, money, or life circumstances. Meaningfulness, in contrast, seems to have more to do with giving, effort, and sacrifice. And our human obsession with happiness may be intimately related to a feeling of emptiness, or a life that lacks meaning.

”What Makes Us Happy May Not Always Bring More Meaning”

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” For most people, feeling happy and finding life meaningful are both important and related goals. But do happiness and meaning always go together? It seems unlikely, given that many of the things that we regularly choose to do – from running marathons to raising children – are unlikely to increase our day-to-day happiness. Its said that while happiness and a sense of meaning often overlap, they also diverge in important and surprising ways.

The key differences between a happy life and a meaningful one. We asked some people to answer a few questions on their happiness levels, the degree to which they saw their lives as meaningful, and their general lifestyle and circumstances. As one might expect, people’s happiness levels were positively correlated with whether they saw their lives as meaningful. However, the two measures were not identical – suggesting that what makes us happy may not always bring more meaning, and vice versa. To probe for differences between the two questions about people’s feelings and moods, their relationships with others, and their day-to-day activities. Feeling happy was strongly correlated with seeing life as easy, pleasant, and free from difficult or troubling events. Happiness was also correlated with being in good health and generally feeling well most of the time. However, none of these things were correlated with a greater sense of meaning. Feeling good most of the time might help us feel happier, but it doesn’t necessarily bring a sense of purpose to our lives.

Interestingly, their findings suggest that money, contrary to popular sayings, can indeed buy happiness. Having enough money to buy what one needs in life, as well as what one desires, were also positively correlated with greater levels of happiness. However, having enough money seemed to make little difference in life’s sense of meaning.

This same disconnect was recently found in a multi-national study conducted by Shigehiro Oishi and Ed Diener, who show that people from wealthy countries tend to be happier, however, they don’t see their lives as more meaningful. In fact, Oishi and Diener found that people from poorer countries tend to see their lives as more meaningful. Although the reasons are not totally clear, this might be related to greater religious belief, having more children, and stronger social ties among those living in poorer countries. Perhaps instead of saying that “money doesn’t buy happiness,” we ought to say instead that “money doesn’t buy meaning.”

Not too surprisingly, our relationships with other people are related to both how happy we are as well as how meaningful we see our lives. We feel more connected to others improved both happiness and meaning. However, the role we adopt in our relationships makes an important difference. In addition, spending more time with friends was related to greater happiness but not more meaning. In contrast, spending more time with people one loves was correlated with greater meaning but not with more happiness. It seems that spending time with loved ones is often more difficult, but ultimately more satisfying, than spending time with friends.

When it comes to thinking about how to be happier, many of us fantasize about taking more vacations or finding ways to avoid mundane tasks. We may dream about skipping housework and instead doing something fun and pleasurable. However, tasks which don’t make us happy can, over time, add up to a meaningful life. Even routine activities — talking on the phone, cooking, cleaning, housework, meditating, emailing, praying, waiting on others, and balancing finances — appeared to bring more meaning to people’s lives, but not happiness in the moment.

More broadly, the findings suggest that pure happiness is about getting what we want in life—whether through people, money, or life circumstances. Meaningfulness, in contrast, seems to have more to do with giving, effort, and sacrifice. And our human obsession with happiness may be intimately related to a feeling of emptiness, or a life that lacks meaning.