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It is a sacred spiritual incantation made before and during the recitation of spiritual texts, during puja and private prayers, in ceremonies of rites of passages (sanskara) such as weddings, and sometimes during meditative and spiritual activities such as Yoga.The syllable Om is first mentioned in the Upanishads, the mystical texts associated with the Vedanta philosophy.It is, asserts Johnston, a symbol for the perfected Spiritual Man (his emphasis).The medieval era texts of Hinduism, such as the Puranas adopt and expand the concept of Om in their own ways, and to their own theistic sects.It is the symbol of awe, of reverence, of threefold knowledge because Adhvaryu invokes it, the Hotr recites it, and Udgatr sings it.The Katho Upanishad is the legendary story of a little boy, Nachiketa – the son of sage Vajasravasa – who meets Yama, the Indian deity of death.Their conversation evolves to a discussion of the nature of man, knowledge, Atman (Soul, Self) and moksha (liberation). Taking as a bow the great weapon of the Upanishad, one should put upon it an arrow sharpened by meditation, Stretching it with a thought directed to the essence of That, Penetrate that Imperishable as the mark, my friend.
In Hinduism, Om is one of the most important spiritual symbols.The Om or Aum symbol is found on ancient coins, in regional scripts.In Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura era coins (dated from the 1st to 4th centuries) are embossed with Aum along with other symbols. 10th to 12th century); Joseph Campbell (1949) even argued that the dance posture itself can be taken to represent AUM as a symbol of the entirety of "consciousness, universe" and "the message that God is within a person and without".It has variously been associated with concepts of "cosmic sound" or "mystical syllable" or "affirmation to something divine", or as symbolism for abstract spiritual concepts in the Upanishads.The Aitareya Brahmana of Rig Veda, in section 5.32, for example suggests that the three phonetic components of Om (pronounced AUM) correspond to the three stages of cosmic creation, and when it is read or said, it celebrates the creative powers of the universe.