The symbol that appears on every page of GodConsciousness.com is AUM (often pronounced OM). This mystic symbol and syllable has a rich and vast history in the esoteric traditions of the East. Perhaps the first and most succinct exposition upon the meaning of AUM appears in:
The Mandukya Upanishad
1. AUM represents the totality of Reality, all that is past, present and future, and whatever else there is beyond time.
2. All of Reality is embraced in the integrated Self. The entirety of existence and Being is this Self. The Self incorporates four dimensions of being.
3. The first dimension encompasses the waking state, where there is cognition of external objects which seem to be everywhere in time and space. This aspect of Self is capable of enjoying material objects.
4. The second dimension encompasses the dream state, where there is cognition of internal objects which are inside all things in the universe. This aspect of Self is capable of enjoying subtle objects.
5. Deep sleep is a condition where one is fast asleep, devoid of any desires, and where there are no dreams. This is the third dimension where all is united and at peace. This mode of cognition or experience is full of bliss.
6. AUM is the lord of all, the knower of all, the inner controller, the beginning and the end of all beings. AUM is the Self.
7. The third dimension is not that which has cognition of either internal objects or external objects. This level of consciousness does not even cognize both of them together. This dimension is neither a mass of cognition. This realm of Self does not fall into the categories of being either cognitive or non-cognitive. This aspect of Self is beyond cognition altogether. This dimension is unseen, incapable of being spoken of, ungraspable, void of any distinctive marks, unthinkable, and unnameable. This is the essence of the knowledge of the one Self of All into which the cosmos is resolved. This is the realm of the peaceful, the loving, and the non-dual.
8. AUM is this great Self. AUM is to be known and experienced. This is the nature of AUM. The three dimensions are the constituents of AUM as represented in the letter A, the letter U, and the letter M.
9. The dimension of AUM that is the waking state, is represented by the letter A, the first element, either from to obtain or from being the first. Whoever knows this aspect of Self obtains all true desires and becomes first.
10. The dimension of AUM that is the dream state is represented by the letter U, the second element, corresponding with exaltation or intermediateness. Whoever is aware of this dimension of Self is truly exalted, in unison with knowledge, and reaches a consciousness of equality towards all. Such a person passes on the knowledge of Self to future generations.
11. The dimension of Self that corresponds to the state of deep sleep, is the letter M, the third element, and represents the modes of union or love. Whoever knows this aspect of Self merges with Self and becomes virtually indistinguishable from Self.
12. The fourth dimension of the Self has no elements, cannot be spoken of, is that into which the universe is continually resolved. This realm is One and filled with love. Thus, the syllable AUM is the very Self of the cosmos. Whoever knows it attains mystical union.
May our explorations into consciousness lead us towards union with Self, one another, and AUM.
Translation by GodConsciousness.com