Aum is considered as a part of Hinduism from the very beginning of human evolution in spirituality and it is present in almost all the mantras. Chanting only Aum can give many benefits to the seeker of truth or even to the one who is not on the path of spirituality.
Being born in a Hindu family, I was introduced to Aum from my childhood. For me, it was always a mantra for prayer. I never had any longing towards religion or mantra chanting until I reached my late twenties. What was taught in childhood as a religious routine turned out to be life-changing Sadhana. The major benefits I experienced only after I started chanting consciously.
Aum chanting Sadhana is very simple. You need to chant Aum 21 or 108 times (or for a longer period for intense Sadhana) with closed eyes and keep the focus on the inner vibration. It is critical that we chant it in the right manner. Let me share the benefits I have experienced with a few months of Sadhana.
Existence is Vibration — During my initial days of Sadhana, when my eyes were closed and all the attention was on the Aum, I felt the vibration within my body for the first time. It starts from the navel and reaches your nose. These vibrations are in harmony with chanting.
This was an extraordinary experience for me. It opened up so many possibilities for exploring our true nature. We have been told many times that we are made up of energy by yogis and now by scientists as well. Consciously experiencing the vibration within yourself is rudimentary proof of this truth.
Peace of Mind — Most of us starts a spiritual journey for the sole purpose of achieving peace of mind. You will be surprised to know that peace is only a side effect and not the destination in spirituality. Similarly, Aum is considered as the highest sound and peace of mind is just one of the benefits we receive while practising it.
Daily chores and work responsibilities create chaos in the mind. I am continuously thinking either about the pending work or what can go wrong in life. In the morning, when comparatively there is less noise and when I have not yet plunged into daily activities, chanting Aum gives immense peace and strength to deal with uncertainty. Most of the days, peace stays with me for the entire day.
Focus — Unwavering attention is the main requirement for success in the material and spiritual world. When I am chanting Aum, I try to keep my entire focus on the inner world. My eyes are closed and all the senses are turned inward. Conscious chanting forces my mind to focus on the sound and vibration. Daily practice of Aum trains the mind to pay attention.
Less fear — I do not know how to explain this logically and different people would have a different experience for this. Some of my fear reduced especially related to uncertainty after I started the Aum Sadhana. In Yoga, we don’t have scientific labs to prove the result. Our own body and mind is a lab. I always say that the best way to understand anything is to have direct experience.
I would suggest you note down all the fears that you experience regularly. Fears can be related to death, illness or losses. Also, notice the intensity of these fears. Start your practice and you will notice that at the start intensity goes down. You may not get rid of these fears completely but they will not give you anxiety anymore.
Pathway to a higher truth — For me, this was the main aim of starting the practice of Aum chanting. Many saints have proclaimed that even if you do Aum Sadhana with all the dedication, then you will reach your destination. You don’t need anything else. Being a sceptical human being, I don’t take what has been said in the past.
After starting the practice, my commitment to reaching the highest truth became stronger. I became more meditative which helps in preparing for the experience of Samadhi. It reminds me of my mortal nature and pushes me to search for higher possibilities.