Ever wonder why we chant “om” before our yoga practice or prayer? Check out this interesting take on how Quantum Theory can help us understand the significance of Om.
by Promod Puri
This is perhaps the first time in the studies of Hinduism that an attempt has been made to establish a relationship between the sound of Om and the Quantum Theory in modern physics.
Quantum, derived from the word quantity, means the smallest identifiable unit in the universe of any physical property like energy or matter. Quantum theory deals with the infrastructure in the sub-atomic field. It reveals the nature and behavior of matter and energy in that range. This exposure is referred to as a quantum theory which is the theoretical basis of modern physics.
With the introduction of Super-string Theory of Quantum Reality, the quantum theory has discovered that at the sub-atomic levels matter exists in small strings. In simple words, everything at its ultimate microscopic grade is made up of extremely small vibrating strands or strings like in a musical instrument of the violin.
These strings have repeated oscillatory pattern of vibration. Each pattern presents the string its mass and force, and that confers it the appearance of a particle. Together all these particles have the same physical feature of producing resonant patterns of vibration. The undulation of strings creating up and down loops is the manifestation of resonance in the sub-atomic environs.
And when we exit from the microscopic environment the same phenomenon of transmission of resonance is being played within everything in this universe. The sonority of particles composing the vibrating strings with their mass and energy is also responsible for producing the atoms.
The latter is made up of energy and not physical matter. As a result, the entire universe is made of energy. But the energy appears as a matter or object like the particles of the vibrating string in the sub-atomic field. This is the fundamental feature upon which the universe has been constructed and unified.
The string theory is considered as the theory of everything. And this corresponds well with the metaphysical concept of Om being the primordial sound originating from the strings advanced in the quantum theory of modern physics.
As Om resonates in the stings of atoms then according to the science of quantum physics atoms themselves are made up of whirling mass of radiating energy without manifested structure. Likewise, Om is not merely a sound but a mass of energy itself in invisible formation.
Om is energy constituting the universe.
The universe begins with Om. There is a sound of Om in every matter. It resonates there till eternity. Its resilience lies both in the matter and the sound itself.
The creation of Om is, in fact, is the creation of the universe. And its cosmic vibrations keep the constituents of the universe connected.
In Hindu theology, Om is referred to as God in the form of sound. And the open design of its symbol represents the incomprehensible all powerful Absolute.
In its phenomenal role as constituting and preceding matter, and as vortices of energy that Om is considered as a sacred sound of genesis in the Hindu spiritual philosophy.
The unique symbol of Om occupies the foremost spot in the Hindu iconography. It is a spiritual icon. It is not merely a “tool” for meditations or for contemplating on mantras, but the syllable invokes cosmic presence in them.
“Hari Om” itself is a two-word mantra, along with “Hari Om Tat Sat” or simply “Om Tat Sat.” The word ‘tat’ means ‘that’ or ‘all that is.’ And ‘sat’ refers to ‘truth.’ The latter is not evanescent or ephemeral rather everlasting. The mantra “Om Tat Sat” means: ‘that’ energy is the truth.
Om inaugurates spiritual prayers, rituals and yoga practices, and sanctifies these events. The expression ‘Hari Om’ is a popular form of greetings or salutation among Hindus.
The word ‘Hari’ is a representation of God and Om implies energy.
(excerpts from the book: Hinduism beyond rituals, custom, and traditions)