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Dharmic Only: Om or Aum?

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by SalixIncendium, Dec 3, 2022.

?
  1. Om

    2 vote(s)
    40.0%
  2. Aum

    2 vote(s)
    40.0%
  3. Something else (specify below)

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  1. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Vestigial Member
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    I've heard it suggested by many that ॐ has three sounds: Uh (as in 'up'), Oo, (as in 'room'), and Mm (as in Campbells Soup), and therefore, it should be pronounced with all three.

    However, I learned from Swami Sarvapriyananda, in his lecture on the Mandukya Karika, that in Sanskrit grammar, despite the fact that the word is made up of 3 mātrās (and an amātrā), Uh and Oo, when the former is preceded directly by the latter, creates the sound Oh (as in 'orange') rather than Uh-Oo because of sandhi (the process whereby the form of a word changes as a result of its position in an utterance).

    Relevant portion of the lecture starts at around 50:45 and ends at about 54:00:


    So which is the correct pronunciation, in your opinion? Om or Aum?
     
    #1 SalixIncendium, Dec 3, 2022
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2022
  2. Gargovic Malkav

    Gargovic Malkav Well-Known Member

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    What many Dharmics don't know is that it's actually pronounced as "Throatwobbler Mangrove".
     
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  3. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I see both as correct, dependent on your view. In contrast to the effects of chanting it well, the difference between Aum and Om seems so trivial. Those who argue this are missing the main point.
     
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  4. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Vestigial Member
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    You make a valid point when it comes to how it is chanted, but the question is more about the correct pronunciation in Sanskrit grammar. Is Swami Sarvapriyananda correct in his analysis of the pronunciation as it pertains to Sanskrit grammar in the lecture?
     
  5. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Yes. My Guru's explanation corresponds to that. ahh, and oo as in moon blend into o as in coat. Only when it's chanted slowly can the distinction be made. Also, as the mm comes, it was taught to slightly touch the teeth together, so that the cranium vibrates subtly as in the much grosser vibration you get when you visit the dentist. Personally, I'm an experimenter with such things, and like to discover for myself (as also taught by my Guru).
     
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  6. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    The one where a bug dosent fly into your mouth.
     
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  7. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member: I Share (not Debate) my POV

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    I remember Sai Baba giving a discourse and saying "nowadays some people pronounce the 3 letters (a u m), this is not correct". Then Sai Baba showed us how it should be recited

    Also, Sai Baba has declared "if you chant from the heart, then it's good also. If you correctly pronounce it, but not heartfelt then it is not useful"

    So, most importantly is to love what you do.
     
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  8. Guitar's Cry

    Guitar's Cry The "I" in Reality

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    I like Joseph Campbell's explanation of it:



    "But when you really realize the sound, "AUM," the sound of the mystery of the word everywhere, then you don't have to go out and die for anything because it's right there all around. Just sit still and see it and experience and know it. That's a peak experience.

    "AUM" is a word that represents to our ears that sound of the energy of the universe of which all things are manifestations. You start in the back of the mouth "ahh," and then "oo," you fill the mouth, and "mm" closes the mouth. When you pronunce this properly, all vowel sounds are included in the pronunciation. AUM. Consonants are here regarded simply as interruptions of the essential vowel sound. All words are thus fragments of AUM, just as all images are fragments of the Form of forms. AUM is a symbolic sound that puts you in touch with that resounding being that is the universe. If you heard some of the recordings of Tibetan monks chanting AUM, you would know what the word means , all right. That's the AUM of being in the world. To be in touch with that and get the sense of that is the peak experience of all. A-U-M. The birth, the coming into being, and the dissolution that cycles back. AUM is called the "four-element syllable." A-U-M - and what is the fourth element? The silence out of which AUM arises, and back into which it goes, and which underlies it. My life is the A-U-M, but there is a silence underlying it, too. That is what we would call the immortal. This is the mortal and that's the immortal, and there wouldn't be the mortal if there weren't the immortal. One must discriminate between the mortal aspect and the immortal aspect of one's own existence. In the experience of my mother and father who are gone, of whom I was born, I have come to understand that there is more that what was our temporal relationship... Of course there were certain moments... They stand out as moments of epiphany, of relevation, of the radiance."
     
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  9. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    The correct pronunciation is aum but the spelling is om. I know people write aum namah śivāya and aum śri ... namah. The change from au to o is because by rules of Sanskrit sandhi. au (and aḥ) before certain consonants becomes o. Similarly om namo nārāyanāya, namo namah, gurur devo maheshvara,

    It is not sarvebhyaḥ devebhyaḥ namah ("obeisance to all devas"), but rather sarvebhyo devebhyo namah. Btw, why doesn't aum namah śivāya become om namo śivāya like om namo nārāyanāya? Because ś is not one of the consonants that requires the change of ah to o. So nyah nyah :p

    OK, so I'm being pedantic but the point other than me being pedantic is that Sanskrit is really rather complicated in its inflections, pronunciations and spelling. There are a lot of things going on that make it seem really confusing... which of course it is. :D
     
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  10. syo

    syo Well-Known Member

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    Written AUM and pronounced OH-M.
     
  11. Vinidra

    Vinidra Jai Mata Di!

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    I don't think it was in this particular lecture that you've linked, but Swami Sarvapriyananda is the one who cleared up for me how it should be pronounced. The explanation of how the Sanskrit works was very helpful to me, to make it make sense.

    So now I say "Om." :D
     
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