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Int J Yoga. 2010 Jan;3(1):2-5. doi: 10.4103/0973-6131.66771.

Meditation on OM: Relevance from ancient texts and contemporary science.

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Department of Yoga Research, Indian Council of Medical Research Centre for Advanced Research in Yoga and Neurophysiology, SVYASA, Bangalore, India.



In Indian scriptures the sacred syllable Om is the primordial sound from which all other sounds and creation emerge which signifies the Supreme Power.


To explore the significance of the syllable OM from ancient texts and effects of OM meditation in contemporary science. DESCRIPTIONS FROM ANCIENT TEXTS: The descriptions of Om have been taken from four Upanisads (Mundaka, Mandukya, Svetasvatara, and Katha), the Bhagvad Gita, and Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ON OM: Autonomic and respiratory studies suggest that there is a combination of mental alertness with physiological rest during the practice of Om meditation. Evoked potentials studies suggest a decrease in sensory transmission time at the level of the auditory association cortices, along with recruitment of more neurons at mesencephalic-diencephalic levels.


It is considered that a person who realizes Om, merges with the Absolute. Scientific studies on Om suggest that the mental repetition of Om results in physiological alertness, and increased sensitivity to sensory transmission.


Om; autonomic variables; patanjali’s yoga sutras; upanisads

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