Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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Considered to be the most sacred and important of all sounds and mantras in the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain traditions, oṃ is recited at the beginning and end of almost all prayers and meditational exercises. The word is understood to have three sounds, a, u, and m, with the diphthong au producing an o sound. The sound oṃ, which begins deep in the body and ends at the lips, is thought to be auspicious, and articulating it is said to exercise the whole vocal…

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Narayanan, Vasudha, “Oṃ”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 29 January 2022 <>
First published online: 2018

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