The Science of AUM

When I was about 10 years of age, I remember seeing a large painting in one of  our  neighbors’ home in India, The large picture frame had concentric blue and white circles with an AUM written in the centre of all those seemingly unending number of circles. The picture fascinated me, though its meaning and significance remained a mystery for many years to come. The only knowledge I ever gained on the word AUM was that it was a sacred word/symbol used as a mantra . The fascination however continued, not knowing that one day I would develop an affinity to the mystical chant.

Over the years, I encountered the AUM at many a milestones of my life. It was as though the AUM was destined to be a part of me and so I decided to accept it fully and whole-heartedly with complete awareness.

OM advaita-vedanta

AUM is one of the most chanted sound mantras in India as well as on the Asian continent, and now gaining worldwide acceptance gradually . The chanting of AUM has a profound effect on the body and mind and also on the surrounding environment . Most mantras and vedic prayers start with AUM . All auspicious rituals begin with AUM . It is even used as a greeting – Om, Hari Om , Om Shanti, etc. We see it being used as a mantra , as a meditative chant and as an affirmation to remove negativity. We worship it , chant it and meditate upon it .

These sacred syllables of AUM are the primordial sounds in the universe from which, all other sounds and creation emerge. It underlies all phonetic creations. The utterance of AUM, consisting of the three letters A, U, and M, covers the whole process of articulation. The AUM chant should have the resounding sound of a bell (aaooommm). It is like the sound of a gong that gradually tapers to a point and merges in silence. It fills the environment with resounding  peace and brings the mind , body and soul into a singular focus. It establishes a physical , mental and spiritual balance into our being.

According to Hinduism, the three letters symbolise the three states – wakefulness, dreams and deep sleep.  The three deities – Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva. The three vedas – Rig, Yajur, Sama.  The three worlds – Bhuh, Bhuvah, Suvah. People meditate on its meaning and attain realisation. One who attains AUM, merges with the Absolute.


Pythagoras , the mathematician philosopher believed that the universe and everything in it was held together by sound or vibration. From the distant stars to the smallest particles on earth he said: “All these sounds and vibrations form a universal harmony, in which each element, while having it’s own function and character, contributes to the whole.” Consequently, he believed that sound as in chanting and music, could be used for healing. This is something which science is increasingly verifying. Astronauts swear that the reverberating sound heard in space , is an uncanny sonorous AAAUUUUMMMM ..

AUM Chanting culminates into a humming. Acharya Rajneesh aka Osho explains it as a great source of energy. We don’t know our own sources and we don’t know how to connect with these sources. When you are humming the AUM sound, the body is humming – subtle layers of the body vibrate and the mind is also humming. The sound becomes a vibration in your body/mind and by and by, slowly the body and mind fall into a rapport. They both start falling in one step, in harmony, into a deep love affair – a sort of orgasmic state between body and mind.

Osho further explains this by telling us that how energy is being wasted continuously, because there is a continuous conflict between the body and mind. The body wants to do one thing – the mind wants to do something else. With the humming of AUM, this conflict ceases; in that cessation of the conflict, energy is saved and that energy is great. When this energy is saved you have the right to ask for more.

Like Jesus says in the Bible, “Those who have, more shall be given to them, and those who don’t have, even that which they have will be taken away” So when you have the energy and you are saving the energy you become capable of receiving more and more.

According to A J Respir Crit Care Med , during the humming of AUM , the gas exchange between the nasal passages and the sinuses is 98%, almost complete exchange. During normal exhalation, without humming, the gas exchange rate is only 4%. Poor gas exchange and poor circulation in the sinus cavities create a good environment for bacterial growth. Researchers suggest that daily chanting/humming could help reduce the incidence of sinusitis and upper respiratory infections.

Also, sinuses are major produces of nitric oxide, which helps dilate capillaries and increase blood flow. When nitric oxide levels were measured during humming of AUM, researchers found that they are 15 times higher than during normal breathing.

Mitchell L. Gaynor, MD , one of New York’s most prominent oncologists has used the incredibly healing power of sound in his clinic and shown how it can dramatically improve health, reduce pain and stress and awaken creativity. According to Dr. David Simon, medical director of Neurological Services at Sharp Cabrillo Hospital in San Diego California, and medical director of the Chopra Center for Well-Being, chants and music have “measure-able physiological effects” Simon points out that chants are actually metabolised into natural pain-killers, releasing healing agents into the body.

Scientific studies on AUM suggest that the mental repetition of AUM results in physiological alertness, increased sensitivity as well as synchronicity of certain bio-rhythms, and an increased sensitivity to sensory transmission.

It is tough to handle the stress some times. Therefore, to come out of the stress, meditation is essential for all human beings. In the direction of mediating human subject, AUM chanting affords steadiness in the mind scientifically. It provides calm and peace too, to the stressed mind. The mental stress of a person gets reduced as the mind reaches steadiness. The entire psychological pressure and worldly thoughts are taken away by the chanting of AUM mantra.” As a final point, it has been confirmed scientifically – the accomplishments of AUM chanting in reducing the stress from the human mind.”

Yoga teachings too consider the syllable AUM to be the force behind all thoughts. Either chanting or thinking about AUM is anecdotally reported to cause a mental state of peace and quiet.

Consider this incident involving a Benedictine monastery. A new abbot, forward thinking and progressive, persuaded the monastery’s monks to stop their six to eight hours of daily chanting, believing it was antiquated and served no purpose. Shortly afterwards, the monks began complaining of fatigue and depression. When symptoms did not ease up, doctors were called upon. They recommended a change of diet and made other suggestions. Nothing worked. Finally, the leaders of the monastery approached the French otolaryngologist, Alfred Tomatis, MD., who specialised in the study of ear function and vibration. Dr. Tomatis, who believes that the cortex of the brain is charged with energy via sound waves, immediately suggested the monks return to their traditional chants. They followed his advice and soon their symptoms disappeared. Like Dr. Tomatis, many sound researchers believe that disease is the body literally being “out of tune” and that sound can be used to harmonise the body’s energies so it can heal.

So, when yogis chant AUM together, several things are happening.

First, they are synchronising with one another.

Secondly, they are synchronising with the vibration of the universe.

Thirdly, chanting AUM gives the mind a single focus.

And lastly, the vibrations they create within their own bodies, can create subtle inner healing as they chant and synchronise with everything around them.

So can we become ONE with  our Source , with  the Universe and everything around us ? YES….. we can …..Because ONENESS is all there was , all there is and all that will always be ! Meditate , chant , raise your vibrations with the mystical magic of AUM !!!





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