Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Nikhilanda on Om in Katha 1.2.15

Pronounced om, as in home, Om is the most sacred word of the Vedas and may be compared to the Word referred to by St. John in the opening of the Fourth Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

According to Hindu philosophy, the whole of this universe has name and form (namarupa) as the conditions of its manifestation. (The form is its outer crust, of which the name or idea is the inner essence or kernel. The name is inseparable from a word or sound.)

The universe perceived by the five senses is the form, behind which stands the eternal, inexpressible Sphota, the Word or Logos. This eternal Sphota, the essential, beginningless material of all ideas or names, is the power through which the Lord creates the universe;

nay, the Lord first becomes conditioned as the Sphota by His own maya and then evolves Himself as the more concrete sense-perceived universe.

The symbol of the Sphota is Om, also written Aum. Since a word is inseparable from its idea, Om and the eternal Sphota are inseparable. Therefore the eternal Om is the mother or source of all names and forms, and hence is the holiest of all holy words.

There may be other words to denote the eternal and inexpressible Sphota; but the Hindus contend that Om is a unique word and uniquely apposite.

The Sphota is the material or foundation of all sounds or words, which are inseparable from names or ideas; yet it is not any definite, fully formed word. That is to say, if all the peculiarities that distinguish one word from another be removed,

Then what remains will be the Sphota, or Om. Therefore Om is called the Nada-Brahman, the Sound-Brahman... It is the symbol both of the Personal God (in His aspect of Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer [A, U, and M]) and of Impersonal Reality. 

No comments:

Post a Comment