(1,649 words)

Considered to be the most sacred and important of all sounds and mantras in the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain traditions, oṃ is recited at the beginning and end of almost all prayers and meditational exercises. The word is understood to have three sounds, a, u, and m, with the diphthong au producing an o sound. The sound oṃ, which begins deep in the body and ends at the lips, is thought to be auspicious, and articulating it is said to exercise the whole vocal appa…

Cite this page
Vasudha Narayanan, “Oṃ”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 18 February 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2212-5019_beh_COM_9000000179>
First published online: 2012

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