Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

Get access

(1,632 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 apparatu…

Cite this page
Narayanan, Vasudha, “Oṃ”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 30 May 2020 <>
First published online: 2018

▲   Back to top   ▲