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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 2-5
Meditation on OM: Relevance from ancient texts and contemporary science


Department of Yoga Research, Indian Council of Medical Research Centre for Advanced Research in Yoga and Neurophysiology, SVYASA, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
Shirley Telles
Patanjali Yogpeeth, Maharishi Dayanand Gram, Bahadrabad, Haridwar - 249 402, Uttarakhand
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-6131.66771

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Background: In Indian scriptures the sacred syllable Om is the primordial sound from which all other sounds and creation emerge which signifies the Supreme Power. Aims: To explore the significance of the syllable OM from ancient texts and effects of OM meditation in contemporary science. Descriptions from ancient texts: The descriptions of Om have been taken from four Upanisads (Mundaka, Mandukya, Svetasvatara, and Katha), the Bhagvad Gita, and Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. Scientific studies on Om: Autonomic and respiratory studies suggest that there is a combination of mental alertness with physiological rest during the practice of Om meditation. Evoked potentials studies suggest a decrease in sensory transmission time at the level of the auditory association cortices, along with recruitment of more neurons at mesencephalic-diencephalic levels. Conclusion: It is considered that a person who realizes Om, merges with the Absolute. Scientific studies on Om suggest that the mental repetition of Om results in physiological alertness, and increased sensitivity to sensory transmission.


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