That’s right. The sound of OM (or Aum) frees you by the simple virtue of gathering the energy forces of creation, preservation and transformation within your own body and mind. No, this is not a pitch for the ancient Hindu practice of chanting OM. You could well be OM and Freed by chanting AMIN or AMEN. It really doesn’t matter because all three words, OM – AMIN – AMEN, represent universal consciousness and unite all of creation. It’s something we need to reflect on, namely, the same sound of creation forms the heart and basis of all the world’s major religions. Why is that so? Read on, or simply listen to the beautiful explanation put forth by Khurshed Batliwala at a TEDx talk held in Goa, India last year.
Khurshed’s TEDx talk is slightly over 23 minutes. But I promise you, you will be mesmerised. So, do take the time and watch the whole video. Or, at least, bookmark the video to watch later. For those, who wish for more information before watching the YouTube video, I have highlighted some interesting information below the video.
Here are the highlights, which hopefully will interest you into watching the whole video. I have even indicated the placing in Khurshed’s talk in case anyone wishes to skip directly to that time in the video:
- The ancient Indians called geography bughol. The word means ‘about something that is round’. That indicates that ancient India knew that the Earth was round – ghol even today means round (1.11 – 1.24).
- Similarly, ancient Indians referred to the Earth itself as jagat, a word meaning ‘that which moves.’ That means, even as way back as thousands of years ago, the people of India knew that the Earth was in constant motion (1.25-1.36).
- Watch the video from the time 2.56 – 3.55 to learn why the Indians in ancient times paid special attention to one particular twin star in Ursa Major or the Great Bear. They named the twin star Arundhati and Vasishtha. Watch the video to find out why in ancient India there was a tradition where newly weds were asked to go gaze at Arundhati and Vasishtha on the first night of their married life:) I was blown away because I have never come across a more beautiful, symbolic explanation of married life. Believe me, modern thinking on the subject will pale in comparison.
- Khurshed showcases many examples in the early part of the video and goes onto explain why ancient India was so innovative. As an example, he points to India’s rust free pillars from those ancient times. He says it was because Indian scientists then were saints or rishis (the word means saint in Indian languages). And all of them practised pranayam (a breathing regime) and yoga. Because of that, they never needed physical instruments – “They could just close their eyes and go where they wanted to.”
- From 7. 26 to 14.47, Khurshed explains how the basis of yoga is Om. So much so that Patanjali, who wrote the sutras (principles) of yoga out, does not sign off as Patanjali but with Om. Khurshed goes on to explain how an innovative way of interpreting the meaning of the OM symbol will also explain why his talk ‘All About OM’ fits the bill for the TEDx theme of Innovation that evening. To prove his point, he first asks his audience to practice saying OM the way it really should be chanted, namely, broken into 3 syllables – Aa, Uu and Mmm. You just have to watch this part and try it out along with Khurshed to experience how chanting OM harnesses the forces of creation, preservation and transformation. I am sure what you will experience will hold true for AMIN and AMEN as well.
- Once Khurshed has got his audience to realise for themselves the import of the meaning of the OM symbol, he proceeds to stun his audience by explaining how the forces underlying the word OM can be used for good parenting and hold your breath….being a successful CEO! To learn how, why….simply watch the video.
All the above highlights are not the only value I personally got from watching Khurshed Batliwala’s TEDx talk. When chanting OM along with Khurshed and his audience, I experienced the very chant of the Universe. Visually, I was watching the planets circle in their orbits in harmony like a finely tuned One Universe.
And the sound? Do I really need to spell it out? Or chant it?
Tell you what. I’ll simply sign off, like Patanjali, with……OM!
Because I am now OM and Freed!
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Featured Image Credit: Om mani padme hum by Benjamin Balázs (Flickr.com CCO 1.0)